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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Website Found: Secret and Complex Literatures

I had at one point been mulling around in my head an idea for a young adult fantasy/science fiction novel centered around the Voynich Manuscript, a mysterious collection of pages written in an unknown and undecipherable language accompanied by bizarre illustrations. Presumably it's one of those incredibly clever creations that we'll likely never understand, since the person who wrote it died before it was found. The problem for me was finding a book that put all of the pages of the Voynich Manuscript into one place, but without all the writing of an author discussing it crammed between the pages or in the margins.

With that in mind, I present to you Secret and Complex Literatures.

What is it?
Secret and Complex Literatures, which needs a different name, by the way, is a fascinating site filled with ancient texts, strange invented languages/alphabets, obscure and relatively forgotten elements of ancient writing, and, of course, the Voynich Manuscript. If you're interested in invented languages by people other than Tolkien, particularly people you might not have known had invented languages, this is certainly a site for you.

Why is it cool?
Well, aside from the fact that it's a site that puts all this wonderful stuff right in front of your face, it includes a section of thirty-six beautiful manuscripts, a page of ambigrams, a page of calligraphies/micrographies/calligrams, six palimpsest manuscripts, twenty-three variations of secret writings and invented languages, and much more (Voynich, for example). It's all there. Fantasy fans will love this site, I imagine, because it puts all this wonderful stuff in one place; no need to Google search it (unless you want to know more about a particular item). The only downside is that much of the site is written in French, but that shouldn't deter you.

Give this site a look and let me know what you think!

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  1. Hi! Long time reader, first time commenter.

    I really hate doing this, but I need some help. For the last month I've been pondering about sci-fi literature and if there were any really good books out there. Now, I know the classics but I don't know any good books past the 1950's and on.

    Can you help me out and list a few please? Please, please, please?


    P.S. Please?

  2. Well, what sorts of books do you like? What are some of your current sci-fi favorites and why? I could recommend a bunch of stuff, but if it's the kind of stuff you don't like, that would be pointless. Tell me what you like and then I can probably think of some good alternatives :).