Jeremy Ettinghausen, the “digital publisher” at the UK branch of the Penguin Group, dropped us a line to let us know about his house’s plans to insinuate themselves into the virtual world of Second Life. Fittingly enough, Penguin (collaborating with “innovation marketing” agency Rivers Run Red) will begin the project by distributing print and audio excerpts from Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk ur-text Snow Crash in Second Life settings, along with discounts for UK readers. “With Snow Crash we can showcase a book close to many Second Lifers’ hearts and minds,” Ettinghausen writes, “and it is an obvious entry point for Penguin. But in an environment where words are intensely powerful, we hope that we can bring other books and other authors into Second Life and provide some quality content for the bookshelves of residents, both inworld and offline.” With that goal in mind, Penguin will eventually follow up with samples from 20 other titles in the “Penguin Virtual Bookshelf.”
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