Virtual Literature

For the last few weeks I have been using planes, trains, and
automobiles to get myself to bookstores and theaters, in order to do
readings and signings. It's been great, and I've especially loved
meeting Huffers at readings, and having them identify themselves (this
means you, Bedouina!) But those planes, trains, and automobiles are
soon to become so last week! Next Friday, Mar. 23, I will be at
Videoranch, doing a virtual reading, and you are all invited.

What, you might be asking yourself, is Videoranch?

Here is a description supplied by Victoria Kennedy, Videoranch inventor
(along with her husband, Michael Nesmith):

"Videoranch 3D is a virtual environment on the internet that hosts live
performances at various virtual venues inside the Ranch. It looks and
feels very much like a videogame, but there is no game quest -- it is a
purely social and cultural environment with various venues where live
real time events are held
. The events we hold in the
virtual world include live concerts, lectures, and classes, real time
movie screenings, live DJs dances, (and starting with me, Jane) live
author's readings and book signings. We video the events real time in
our studio in Monterey and stream the live video image real time into
the virtual environment.

The audiences of these live events are represented in the virtual
environment as avatars. The user controls the avatars with the arrow
keys on the computer keyboard. This allows them to move around the
virtual environment as they wish, explore, and meet other users'

The video performers are able to see the virtual audience of avatars
and interact with them live in real time.

At present, due to technical limits, Videoranch 3D is a
subscription-based, invitation-only, private club.

Also, Videoranch 3D will not work on a Mac, on dial-up, an out of date
computer, or an out of date video card. Videoranch 3D only works on a
good Windows PC with broadband connection to the Internet."

My event is the first booksigning ever at Videoranch, and will take
place on Friday, March 23, at 6PM PT at Ed's October Cafe (a virtual
outdoor cafe) This will be the first book signing, so it is a bit of a
test, and visitors should be aware that they are now on the cutting
edge. Videoranch will have my novel, 10 Days in the Hills, available
for sale online now through the signing. Videoranch will hold all
purchased books for me to sign on the 23rd.

After the reading, avatars will line up and request to have the books
they've bought signed/personalized. I will interact with the avatars
and sign the books real time, from Videoranch 3D. I will be able to
talk to them, they will be able to respond with text chat.
Videoranch will ship books out the following business day.
In order for people to receive a day pass to my reading and book
signing, you should email Videoranch at, give
Victoria your active email addresses, and daypasses. By response email,
Victoria will send a link to download Videoranch software, plus a user
name and password. You will receive the day pass a few days before the
event so you have the opportunity to download the software and go into
Videoranch to get your "ranch legs" -- learn how to move around, and
how to chat via text - both are intuitively obvious and simple.

This is really an opportunity to try out a NEW THING on the internet,
and I hope you will join us there. Also, because Videoranch is eighteen
and over, the reading might conceivably be R rated!