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Sevagram: The New A.E. van Vogt Website

The old version of my A.E. van Vogt website hosted on Earthlink (called Icshi: The A.E. van Vogt Information Site, at the URL http://www.home.earthlink.net/~icshi/) has now been taken down and will no longer be accessible. It has been replaced with the new website Sevagram, hosted on my own domain of Icshi.net.

Sevagram: A.E. van Vogt

The old Earthlink site, built over a period of 10 years, was an ugly hodgepodge of various types of HTML (most of it being HTML version 1!), along with a wild assortment of visual styles for the more recent pages. This mix-n-match feel very much reflected my developing web-coding skills over the past decade, from using a WYSIWYG editor in the beginning for creating HTML 1 pages, to more recently when I began to do everything manually in XHTML, and started experimenting with CSS. This new site has a more attractive and unified look, and features a simpler and more intuitive interface. All content on Icshi.net is built on the more modern technologies of XML, XSLT, XHTML, and CSS… Which should be good for another decade or so!

Unfortunately, for various reasons most of the A.E. van Vogt website has not been renovated yet. Updating all the chaotic and outdated HTML code has turned out to be a far more tedious and time-consuming process than I had anticipated, and will take several months to complete. (I also experienced a flare-up with one of my existing health problems during these past few months, which caused further delays.)

Right now, only the Reviews are online, along with the old Storysource bibliography PDF. I apologize for the absence of so much material which was present on the old site. Rest assured, though, that it will reappear there eventually. Since the Storysource was such an important part of the old site, I decided that keeping the old PDF file online — even in its unrevised state, and full of broken links — was the lesser of two evils. It will be several months before the new XHTML bibliography is online, and despite its faults the Storysource remains a good basic source of information on van Vogt’s works, and should still be useful in the meantime. I should also note that some of the reviews have been altered slightly for the new site; not the review content itself, more in just the way it’s presented. For instance, I dispensed with the awkward spoiler-highlighting system used for my review of Null-A Continuum, and put the dedication page discussion at the end of the review rather than the start.

However, the entire contents of the old Earthlink site are available for offline viewing by downloading the ZIP file here. If you have any questions on how to use this archived version of the old site, see the “Read Me” file included in the download.

Also, I have not yet had time to re-do all the cover scans at higher quality. This isn’t much of an issue at present, since the Covers section hasn’t been renovated yet. When the renovated version of that page is ready, though, I’m afraid that to start with it will still use all of the old, low-resolution scans. Since both the new bibliography and the new Covers section will be derived from a single unified XML source file, for the time being I need to dedicate all my efforts to creating that, rather than scanning. Once the new bibliography and Covers sections are online, then I’ll spend a few months making new scans. Then, once the new scans are ready, I’ll just upload them to where the old scans were stored, with all of the file names matching exactly, so the existing pages online will load the new scans automatically instead of the old ones. This is not the way I had originally planned to do things, but this is the most practical way to go about it.

Everything is in the very early stages at present, and my plate will be full for months to come. But keep an eye on this Space Rubbish blog for updates on how the site renovation is going. And after all the contents of the old site have been renovated, I’ll finally be able to start adding new content, something I’ve been itching to do for years but couldn’t because of the old Earthlink site’s disorganized state and severe storage limits.

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About Isaac Walwyn

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7 responses »

  1. What’s you’re favorite A. E. Van Vogt novel? Short story? I’ve read a few of his works (The World of Null-A, The Mixed Men, and a few others) but haven’t been that impressed…

    Reply
  2. My favorite van Vogt novel is a bit of an idiosyncratic choice: Computerworld, from 1983, one of his rarest and most obscure books. (Cosmic Encounter, from 1979, is also a favorite.) But from a more objective standpoint, his best novel is undoubtedly Slan.

    And as far as short stories go, that’s a more difficult choice. I don’t have a single favorite, so I’ll have to say “Dear Pen Pal,” “Enchanted Village,” “Far Centaurus,” and “The Monster.”

    I’m sorry that the van Vogt books you’ve read to date haven’t been much to your liking. He’s a very unusual writer, so it’s inevitalbe that he’s not as popular as his contemporaries. If you’re still open to reading more of his work, you may just want to read some at random, since you never know what will tickle your fancy…

    Reply
  3. Well, I’m a compulsive sci-fi reader (primarily novels from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and the occasional short story collection from the same time) so I’ll get around to some more of his works sooner or later. I have The Weapon Makers in my to read pile.

    You have a nice blog! I’ve subscribed…

    I’ve not heard of Computerworld — although, I usually stay away from 80s sci-fi — but, I’m compelled by the idiosyncratic nature of your choice 😉

    Reply
  4. I agree that “Slan” is probably his best novel. “The Silkie” was the book that hooked me on van Vogt as a kid. I also like “Clane of Linn” (which I think includes two books, “Empire of the Atom” and “The Wizard of Linn”.)
    As for short stories, I like “Far Centaurus,” “Black Destroyer,” and “Discord in Scarlet.”
    Those are my favorites, but they barely edged out many others.
    Van Vogt was a prolific writer, so hopefully, Joachim, you’ll find some that will impress you.

    Reply
  5. “Those are my favorites, but they barely edged out many others.”

    You really said it there, Donald! Whenever someone asks me what my favorite van Vogt works are, I always cringe at the half-dozen titles (at least!) I have to leave out! (You know, titles like The Book of Ptath, Planets for Sale, The Players of Null-A, The Silkie, The Weapon Makers…)

    Reply
  6. I’ll read The Weapon Makers soon and let you guys know what I think!

    Reply
  7. I’ve updated my website to show the link to the new site, “Sevagram,” though the original link still carried me to the new site.

    Reply

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