Book surprise

As regular readers know, we’re moving, so we’ve been trying to clear out excess junk. When I put together a list of all the books we had to get rid of, I thought it would increase the chances of shifting them if I linked each one to its description and reviews on Amazon.com. As sara put it, “You have way too much time on your hands.”

As I worked through the list, I discovered something strange. One of the books was from an obscure independent press out on the west coast, and was long out of print. However, Amazon had two rare book dealers listing that they had copies. They wanted about $200.

I looked at the book and pondered this. It’s a book I was sent to review for The Internet Infidels; it’s about how the language of the Bible may actually be full of coded references to drug use, and how early Christianity might have been heavily into marijuana and ’shrooms. It talks about how one might be how to get the authentic mystical experience of God that the first Christians had by getting really smoked up.

I read the whole thing and wrote my review. I said that it was interesting enough, in a Philip K. Dick, Timothy Archer kind of way, but that the same mystical experiences could be obtained without the drugs, as anyone who had tried Buddhist meditation will tell you. I wasn’t keen on the amateurish fake typewriter typography either.

Since then, the book had been sitting quietly in a pile of other excess books, pretty much in mint condition minus the dent in the cover it had had when it reached me. It seemed implausible to me that anyone would be that keen to get a copy of it; but as sara pointed out, dedicated pot-heads have plenty of cash, and if they were keen enough they might cut down on the weed for a week or two and buy the book. So, I listed my copy on Amazon for $150.

That was last week. Yesterday, someone bought it.

Man, forget the Mary-Jane, I’ve had a genuine religious experience of the Internet kind! Now I want to go find all my other books on Amazon—because yeah, I have a shitload of books, but I have very few that I wouldn’t part with for $150…

And as for the buyer…I sincerely hope that the book is everything he’s hoping it will be. Maybe he needs it for his PhD or something?

Riven

If you’ve played the game Riven, you might recognize this image as the view from the crater towards Gehn’s laboratory. Except that it isn’t; it’s pipework from a hydroelectric plant near Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State.

One of the interesting things about wandering the woodlands and mountains near Seattle was noticing just how much the whole area resembles the game. The wooden walkways through the woods were so Myst-like, I expected to see strange corroded metal machines. In retrospect, it’s not particularly surprising; Rand and Robyn Miller are both from Spokane, and many of the textures used in the games were obtained by travelling the west coast with a digital camera.

So until they produce a direct-to-brain full sensory interface version of Myst, a visit to Snoqualmie, Mount Rainier and the Cascade Mountains is highly recommended.