Nerd/ nerd adjacent reference materials?
September 15, 2020 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I finally got an e-reader and I'd like to keep some nerdy publications on there that I can drop in and out of for a few minutes at a time without having to follow a plot or characters. I'm looking for free pdf/ epub format files that scratch the same itch as The Dune Encyclopedia, old issues of White Dwarf Magazine, that kind of thing.
posted by Think_Long to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you're a Trekkie, the two The Fifty-Year Mission books are a short-attention-span collection of few-page stories that are a lot of fun. They're not free, but in dollars per page they're pretty cheap.

(Also, 2600 is now selling PDF subscriptions. I haven't read them in years, but it's worth a look.)
posted by eotvos at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2020

What a great question!

Generic thoughts: going along the lines of The Dune Encyclopedia, any sort of encyclopedia or compendium would be good. "Culture" Mythology (Greek, Chinese, African, Irish, etc, acknowledging some of the problematic authoring if you go totally-free route which means out of copyright and thus almost assuredly written by white colonizers).

Also: reference books of whatever you're interested in. Anatomy, car mechanics, plants & wildlife of your region (or a region you love, want to visit, etc).

Specific recommendations: you can download a lot (all?) of Dragon and Dungeon magazines at Internet Archive. (I'm having trouble finding a top-level page for Dragon, but if you go to an individual issue, there are others you can download in related links. Similarly, the core D&D rules for 5E can be found here; I used to love just browsing through the Monster Manual, tho this version necessarily lacks pics + flavor text.

Also lots of Nintendo Power at Internet Archive.
posted by curious nu at 10:21 AM on September 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi, complete with uniformly styled maps of many of the lands, is a book I have fond memories of, though I don't know where my copy is now.
posted by bendybendy at 10:40 AM on September 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

A seventeen-year run of OMNI magazine is on, albeit in .cbr format if you can get your e-reader to handle it.
posted by the sobsister at 12:23 PM on September 15, 2020

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