Brooklyn-based Singularity & Co has taken it upon itself to bring forgotten science fiction books back from the virtual dead by tracking down copyright holders and getting permission to republish them in e-book format. They have also republished two (soon to be three) vintage novels in print format. Thanks to a massively successful Kickstarter campaign and praise from authors such as Neil Gaiman, they hope to carry new books in their shop and eventually start reviving old books from a different genre.
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday
What’s the Big Idea?
It can be quite difficult to bring old books back into the world. According to Singularity lawyer Ash Kalb, “[A] lot of really great books get lost not because nobody wants them but because people with lots of money who claim they have the rights are stopping people who have the rights from actually doing things.” For their part, the company seeks to treat all parties fairly while using a financially sustainable enterprise model that eschews large profits. In other words, it’s largely a labor of love. Says Kalb: “It’d be great if we can bring some value to the people that own this stuff and also bring the books back to the world.”