August 5th, 2004

Libraries of unpublished books

This BBC news story, the library of unwritten books brings to mind the library in 'The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966' by Richard Brautigan ( just calls it, rather starkly, 'The Abortion'). I only recall the book vaguely but a library where people can deposit their unpublished books features. Some of the books are mentioned, and one of them is described as being SF by the person depositing it. I think the author works in the sewers and when he deposits the book he says 'it's the queen of darkness, pal'. Phil Farmer, in his 'writing fiction as though by other people' mode wrote the story - originally titled 'it's the queen of darkness, pal' it is also known as 'the phantom of the sewers'.
Anyway, apparently there is a Brautigan inspired library of unpublished books - see here .

I remember it being reported that Brautigan died in 1984 though not the circumstances - apparently he committed suicide and was a leaker (all together now 'take my hand, don't fear the leakers'). As one of the San Francisco 'beat' group his stuff is very much 'of its time', and at least one of the user reviews on Amazon says he is very sexist, which I remember thinking when I read some of his stuff. 'The Abortion An Historical Romance 1966' is the one I liked the most, though other things are more famous.