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Old Wine in New Bottles

And your chance to win a rare and early Web3 publishing artifact

If you haven’t heard from us in a while, it’s probably because things have been busy. It’s been a good busy though, as we work on turning Cryptoversal Books into a full-fledged web3 publishing house. The question still remains, what does a web3 publishing house look like and how does it actually work?

We’ve been putting out new works. Let me rephrase that. We’ve been putting out “new” works, which are time-tested tales of genius with the bells and whistles of next-generation publishing.

Old Wine in New Bottles

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a prime example of old wine that’s been put into new bottles for decades. There’s a new bottle right now, out in theaters, set in the modern day and focused on the character of Renfield.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is subtitled, “The Modern Prometheus,” alluding to the Greek myth about the Titan Prometheus, who advanced human technology in defiance of the gods and suffered horribly as a result. Shelley was putting ancient wine into a 19th Century bottle, which has aged into a fine old wine of its own.

In making classic works into a coherent and original curated collection TokenBooks, we’re learning to appreciate the wine of foundational literature while developing newer and better bottles for the authors of today. We’re picking up skills that once would have seemed like science fiction, and using them to make books that are more than just books.

The Medium Shapes the Message

One thing I’m appreciating is how the medium shapes the message. The Golden Age of Pulp Fiction was made possible by a drop in the price of paper and an industry thinned by fifteen years of economic depression and war. More and more, new literary markets opened their doors to new voices.

One of these voices belonged to Tom Godwin. He had a physical deformity and a formal education that had ended after third grade, but his brilliant mind and capacity for imagination propelled him on a course of self-education and the creation of puzzle-based sci-fi plots that explored human psychology, diplomacy, religion, and computer logic.

The Cryptoversal Books collection of Tom Godwin’s short stories is titled, Chatbot at the End of the World, after a computer interface appearing in the 1954 story, “Brain Teaser.” Although Godwin had likely never seen a computer in person before writing the story, he was able to extrapolate from his limited knowledge of early computers to the frustration felt by a 21st Century user carefully wording a prompt for an AI with limited computational resources.

This old wine has some modern flavors to it.

Wouldn’t it be cool if…

Wouldn’t it be fun if…

Wouldn’t it be useful if…

These are some of the questions that lead to the development of better bottles, formats, presentations, and reader experiences.

Save the Messengers

The technology of Web3 publishing is advancing quickly. We’ve come a long way in a very short time.

Last year at this time, it was not yet possible to create upgradable TokenBooks with platform-independent encrypted content and royalty splits among multiple participants. But the potential for blockchain-powered literature was just around the corner, so we created Messengers—NFTs that promised to someday “deliver” actual books.

The Messenger titles were hand-selected by our mascot of the time, Lucky the Gargoyle.

Lucky the Gargoyle, Mascot Emerita

The Messengers were offered for sale in very limited editions on the NFT Bookstore. They were created through a process called “lazy minting,” which means that they don’t actually exist unless or until they are purchased and “minted” by the purchaser.

The Messenger tokens, once they are recorded on the blockchain, are made to last a very long time. However, but the minting platform itself is a piece of software whose time is drawing to an end. You have until the end of the month to mint these tokens before the minter vanishes.

We’ve cut the original price by 90% and are running a contest you can enter to win a Messenger for free. So…yeah, these are rare and early artifacts from the earliest days of Web3 publishing, they’re vanishing forever soon unless they get minted, and you also have a good chance of winning one for free.

Each Messenger is a bottle that comes with my promise to fill it up with some very fine wine. I’m getting there, vintage by vintage, and having a lot of fun in the process. Thanks for joining us on this journey, and we’d be honored to share a bottle with you.

—The Mythoversal Cryptoversal

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#messengers#tom godwin#mary shelley#bram stoker
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