Frame by frame, the scanner’s spidery arms reach down, grasp page corners, peel them back. I’ve never seen anything at once so fast and so delicate. The arms—I can’t tell if there are four or eight or sixteen—stroke the pages, caress them, smooth them down. This thing loves books.
It could have been a description of me (well, apart from the number of arms) but it’s actually a description of a book scanner from Robin Sloan’s short story Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store which I stumbled upon recently.
The story really caught my attention and left me wanting more.
That’s when I discovered that there was an option to help that. Robin is using Kickstarter to solicit patrons for his first full length novel. If he hits his target our contributions (hopefully including yours) will go towards the costs of publishing, distribution and promotion.
By contributing to Robin’s project you get a copy of the book as well as an inside peek into the creative process. The premise of the story intrigued me: “Imagine a Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century. All the really good cases are on the internet. And Holmes is a woman, and Watson is an A.I., and San Francisco... oh, poor San Francisco...” so I decided to pledge.
Even if Robin’s work doesn’t grab your attention you should check out Kickstarter to see if there are other projects where you can support and become a patron.