Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain, one of the largest in the world. It is located on the Paseo de Recoletos; the library was founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library. The Royal Letters Patent that he granted, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional. During the 19th century, confiscations and donations enabled the Biblioteca Nacional to acquire the majority of the antique and valuable books that it holds. In 1892 the building was used to host the Historical American Exposition. On March 16, 1896, the Biblioteca Nacional opened to the public in the same building in which it is housed and included a vast Reading Room on the main floor designed to hold 320 readers.
In 1931 the Reading Room was reorganised, providing it with a major collection of reference works, the General Reading Room was created to cater for students and general readers. During the Spanish Civil War close to 500,000 volumes were collected by the Confiscation Committee and stored in the Biblioteca Nacional to safeguard works of art and books held until in religious establishments and private houses. During the 20th century numerous modifications were made to the building to adapt its rooms and repositories to its expanding collections, to the growing volume of material received following the modification to the Legal Deposit requirement in 1958, to the numerous works purchased by the library. Among this building work, some of the most noteworthy changes were the alterations made in 1955 to triple the capacity of the library's repositories, those started in 1986 and completed in 2000, which led to the creation of the new building in Alcalá de Henares and complete remodelling of the building on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid.
In 1986, when Spain's main bibliographic institutions - the National Newspaper Library, the Spanish Bibliographic Institute and the Centre for Documentary and Bibliographic Treasures - were incorporated into the Biblioteca Nacional, the library was established as the State Repository of Spain's Cultural Memory, making all of Spain's bibliographic output on any media available to the Spanish Library System and national and international researchers and cultural and educational institutions. In 1990 it was made an Autonomous Entity attached to the Ministry of Culture; the Madrid premises are shared with the National Archaeological Museum. The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System; as the country's national library, it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage, it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to: Compile and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research and information.
Promote research through the study and reproduction of its bibliographic archive. Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement; the library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 600,000 sound recordings, 510,000 music scores, more than 500,000 microforms, 500,000 maps, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, 30,000 manuscripts. The current director of the Biblioteca Nacional is Ana Santos Aramburo, appointed in 2013. Former directors include her predecessors Glòria Pérez-Salmerón and Milagros del Corral as well as historian Juan Pablo Fusi and author Rosa Regàs. Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; the Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services: Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries.
Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems. Access to its automated catalogue, which contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections. Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms. Interlibrary loans. Archive reproduction. Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, digital library launched in 2008 by the Biblioteca Nacional de España List of libraries in Spain Media related to Biblioteca Nacional de España at Wikimedia Commons Official site Official web catalog
The Reality Dysfunction
The Reality Dysfunction is a science fiction novel by British writer Peter F. Hamilton, the first book in The Night's Dawn Trilogy, it is followed by The Naked God. It was first published in the United Kingdom by Macmillan Publishers on 26 January 1996; the first US edition, broken into two volumes and Expansion, followed in July and August 1997 from Time Warner Books. The second US edition, published by Orbit Books in October 2008, is published in a single volume. In some countries, the paperback editions were split into three or four volumes per book; the first volume is a translation of "Emergence". The novel is set in the 27th centuries; the opening chapters cover a period of some thirty years, with the bulk of the story set in the years 2610 and 2611 AD. A timeline in the appendix briskly covers the future history of the human race, from the settling of the Moon and the opening up of space to commercial exploitation to the founding of the Confederation. Humanity has split into two strands, the Adamists and Edenists.
The Edenists possess the affinity gene, which allows telepathic communication between one another and the construction and use of bio-technological constructs, including sentient, living starships and enormous space habitats. The Edenists have a much greater standard of living than their Adamist counterparts; the Adamists are'classic' humans who employ mechanical and cybernetic technology and use implants to achieve their ends. The Adamists reject bitek for religious and cultural reasons, but it is revealed that certain individuals working within Earth's government have discouraged the use of bitek for fear of losing their ability to influence the development of mankind; some Adamists still use bitek, such as'blackhawks', advanced living spacecraft similar to Edenist voidhawks but with enhanced combat capabilities. The Adamists are divided into numerous nation-states; the largest and most populous is Govcentral, an amalgamation of Earth's former countries and its orbital ring of 974 large asteroid settlements known as the O'Neill Halo, with their combined population of forty billion.
By this time Earth has been ravaged by global warming, with the destruction of the ozone layer, the cessation of ocean currents and the near-poisoning of the surface by carbon dioxide forcing humanity to retreat within vast domed cities known as arcologies. Huge'armada storms' continuously batter the cities of Earth. Other notable states include the monarchist Kulu Kingdom, the communist Moon-Mars alliance, the Oshanko Imperium, New Washington, New California and Srinagar; the Edenists inhabit sentient habitats orbiting gas giants, which they mine for helium-3, the driving force of the Edenist economy. Helium-3 is necessary in the fusion reactors that provide energy for all electric systems, including the energy patterning nodes essential to the interstellar ZTT drive. There are 4,250 of them in orbit around Jupiter and 268 around Saturn; the Jovian Consensus is the second most populous member-state of the Confederation, with more than nine billion inhabitants, but has by far the highest standard of living.
Despite their cultural and religious differences, the Edenists and Adamists work together in a forum known as the Confederation, which seeks to regulate interstellar trade, prevent war and repress the use and spread of antimatter, the most feared weapon of mass destruction at the time of the novels. As of 2610 there are 12,370 independent asteroid settlements in the Confederation. Humanity has only encountered three extraterrestrial races: the Jiciro, a race in the stages of an Industrial Revolution that the Confederation is observing discreetly; the Kiint only occupy one planet and do not possess starships, claiming to have passed beyond the need for economics and now exist purely to learn more about the universe. The Confederation has found the ruins of a race known as the Laymil who committed racial suicide some two thousand years prior to the start of the novels, for reasons unknown; the Reality Dysfunction opens in the year 2581 with a war raging between two worlds and Garissa, over three hundred and eighty seven mineral-rich asteroids known as the Dorados.
The war escalates in a matter of months and it is rumoured that Garissa has developed an ultimate weapon of mass destruction known only as'The Alchemist'. The Alchemist deployment mission, on the starship Beezling and its two escorts, is intercepted by blackhawk mercenaries. Two of the ships survive, although they are stranded far from the nearest system. Dr. Alkad Mzu, creator of the Alchemist, survives the attack. Shortly after, the Omutans drop fifteen antimatter planet-busters on Garissa, rendering the planet uninhabitable and killing the majority of the ninety-five million inhabitants; the Confederation imposes a 30-year blockade around Omuta, executes its government. Many millions of years earlier, the rare conditions on a moon orbiting a gas giant in a remote galaxy allow for the creation of a lifeform able to'transcend' to a purely energy-based (later known
Misspent Youth is a 2002 science fiction novel by English author Peter F. Hamilton. Set around 2040, it describes the story of Jeff Baker, an inventor who revolutionises the world by creating the ultimate method of information storage and, instead of selling it, offers it open source; because of this act, he is chosen as the candidate for the first use of rejuvenation technology which leaves him with the body of a young man. Hamilton forms a picture of a famous man with a troubled family, living in a troubled Rutland, England – Hamilton's home county; this is much a character driven story and focuses on the effects that Jeff's rejuvenation has on his family. The novel has received mixed reviews, with Hamilton himself best describing why: "I could see why it didn't appeal to a lot of people, it was an unpleasant story about unpleasant people. With hindsight, it was never going to be as popular as my other works."The story envisions that after the invention of the "datasphere", traditional publishing industries lost control on their copyright, the development of new novels and movies collapsed.
The United Kingdom remains a part of a more integrated European Union, with violent separatist movements in many member states. Seventy-eight-year-old Jeff Baker has revolutionised the world by inventing the ultimate method of information storage and allowing free use of it with no profits going into his own pocket; because of this generous act, he is chosen by the European Union to be the first recipient for rejuvenation technology, which will leave him with the body of a young man. As part of the deal, he will support the re-election of the EU president, his son Tim has a typical frustrated life as a rich teenager, living with his famous father and distant mother. Tim is happy when he starts going out with gorgeous Annabelle, she likes him, but she has a troubled home life and Tim's drinking problem reminds her of her father. Jeff comes home from the rejuvenation in his 20-year-old body. Energised by his new youthfulness, he has a series of affairs. After reconnecting with his son, Jeff reveals to Tim that the reason he gave away the information storage technology was so that his ex-wife could not get any royalties.
The amazing act of charity he is famous for was motivated by spite, not goodwill. But Jeff finds himself attracted to Annabelle, while giving her a ride home after Tim got too drunk at a school dance, they start a tawdry affair behind Tim's back and fall in love, their passionate relationship is only a secret for a short time before Tim finds them in bed together. His life falling apart, Tim runs away to live with his Aunt, stops drinking and doing drugs, makes friends with his mother, he finds a new romantic interest in Vanessa, one of his classmates. Jeff and Annabelle are happy together, travelling around the world, meeting celebrities experimenting with a ménage à trois. However, they are sad that they have hurt Tim, who gets injured in a jet-ski accident, providing a catalyst for Jeff to re-enter Tim's life. Jeff and Annabelle both attend a controversial EU conference in London so Jeff can speak supporting the EU. Tim and his friends join a violent protest in the streets below the conference.
As the riots begin, concerned for Tim's safety, Jeff changes his mind about supporting the EU and leaves the conference to charge through the riots to find his son. Impressed by this act, Tim finds it in him to forgive his Annabelle. In the end, Jeff is dying because the rejuvenation treatment is not yet a properly functional technology, it is failing him. After impregnating Annabelle with a second genetically improved child, a girl this time, he begins a live broadcast, where he reveals the lies of the EU government and rescinds his support for the presidential campaign, he loved ones. Misspent Youth is set in the same universe as Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga, consisting of Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. Jeff Baker is mentioned in the prologue to Pandora's Star and Annabelle Goddard is mentioned in Judas Unchained. In addition, the rejuvenation and datasphere technologies established in Misspent Youth are shown in a vastly more sophisticated form in this series. Pandora's Star is set in 2380 340 years after the events of Misspent Youth.
Jeff's son Tim is shown to be the President of the Commonwealth in 3595 in Night Without Stars, book 2 of The Chronicle of the Fallers. The novel was first published in the US in August 2006 in a new edition, re-edited for the US market. Publishers Weekly was not positive in their review saying that "scenes of passion and parent-child conflict are not interesting, the unconvincing sentimental ending disappoints."Kirkus Reviews described the novel as "Flowers for Algernon, centering on sex instead of brains." Misspent Youth title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, risk-taking. Set or in outer space, it involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, other sophisticated technology; the term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera", the latter of, coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, comics and video games. An early film, based on space opera comic strips was Flash Gordon created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre. After the convention-breaking "New Wave", followed by the enormous success of the Star Wars films, space opera became once again a critically acceptable subgenre. Throughout 1982–2002, the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel was given to a space opera nominee.
Space opera is defined as an adventure science-fiction story. The term "space opera" was coined in 1941 by fan writer and author Wilson Tucker as a pejorative term in an article in issue 36 of Le Zombie, a science fiction fanzine. At the time, serial radio dramas in the United States had become popularly known as soap operas because many were sponsored by soap manufacturers; the term "horse opera" had come into use to describe formulaic Western films. Tucker defined space opera as the science fiction equivalent: a "hacky, stinking, spaceship yarn". Fans and critics have noted that the plots of space operas have sometimes been taken from horse operas and translated into an outer space environment, as famously parodied on the back cover of the first issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, when the stories were printed in science-fiction magazines, the stories were referred to as "super-science epics". Beginning in the 1960s, accepted by the 1970s, the space opera was redefined, following Brian Aldiss' definition in Space Opera as – as paraphrased by Hartwell and Cramer – "the good old stuff".
Yet soon after his redefinition, it began to be challenged, for example, by the editorial practice and marketing of Judy-Lynn del Rey and in the reviews of her husband and colleague Lester del Rey. In particular, they disputed the claims that space operas were obsolete, Del Rey Books labeled reissues of earlier work of Leigh Brackett as space opera. By the early 1980s, space operas were again redefined, the label was attached to major popular culture works such as Star Wars. Only in the early 1990s did the term space opera began to be recognized as a legitimate genre of science fiction. Hartwell and Cramer define space opera as:... colorful, large-scale science fiction adventure and sometimes beautifully written focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, set in the distant future, in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It deals with war, military virtues, large-scale action, large stakes. Early works which preceded the subgenre contained many elements of.
They are today referred to as proto-space opera. Early proto-space opera was written by several 19th century French authors, for example, Les Posthumes by Nicolas-Edme Rétif, Star ou Psi de Cassiopée: Histoire Merveilleuse de l’un des Mondes de l’Espace by C. I. Defontenay and Lumen by Camille Flammarion. Not popular, proto-space operas were occasionally written during the late Victorian and Edwardian science-fiction era. Examples may be found in the works of Percy Greg, Garrett P. Serviss, George Griffith, Robert Cromie. One critic cites Robert William Cole's The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236 as the first space opera; the novel depicts an interstellar conflict between solar men of Earth and a fierce humanoid race headquartered on Sirius. However, the idea for the novel arises out of a nationalistic genre of fiction popular from 1880 to 1914 called future-war fiction. Despite this early beginning, it was not until the late 1920s that the space opera proper began to appear in pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories.
In film, the genre began with the 1918 Danish film, Himmelskibet. Unlike earlier stories of space adventure, which either related the invasion of Earth by extraterrestrials, or concentrated on the invention of a space vehicle by a genius inventor, pure space opera took space travel for granted, skipped the preliminaries, launched straight into tales of derring-do among the stars. Early stories of this type include J. Schlossel's "Invaders from Outside", The Second Swarm and The Star Stealers, Ray Cummings' Tarrano the Conqueror, Edmond Hamilton's Across Space and Crashing Suns. Similar stories by other writers followed through 1929 and 1930. By 1931, the space opera was well established as a major subgenre of science fiction. However, the author cited most as the true father of the genre is E. E. "Doc" Smith. His first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, is called the first great space opera, it merges the traditional tale of a scientist inventing a space-drive with planetary romance in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Smith's Lensman serie
The Abyss Beyond Dreams
The Abyss Beyond Dreams is a science fiction novel by the British author Peter F. Hamilton; the book, released on 21 October 2014, is the first of the two-part The Chronicle of the Fallers. Hamilton announced in 2011, he decided to cut the trilogy down to two parts. Cover art for The Abyss Beyond Dreams was unveiled on March 19, 2014; the book was published by Pan Macmillan in October 2014. Its sequel is Night Without Stars; the novel returns to Hamilton's far-future Commonwealth universe in the 34th century, in the time following the events of the Void Trilogy. It features Nigel Sheldon, the posthuman co-inventor of wormhole technology, who enters the hostile alien pocket universe known as the Void to find a way of destroying it. In the process, he lands on the planet Bienvenido, home to a stranded human civilisation under constant attack by adaptive aliens known as Fallers. A second storyline follows Slvasta, a young soldier, as he progresses from fighting on the front-line against the Fallers to becoming more involved in Bienvenido's politics and government.
The Void, created at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy by an ancient alien race, has a different quantum structure from that of a normal space. The Void reacts to conscious thought, but prevents the use of most electric and electronic devices, although most newly arrived equipment functions and only degrades over a period of time. Technology on Bienvenido is limited to a 19th-century or early 20th-century level, including steam engines, municipal water supplies and an extensive railway transportation network, but no long-distance communication such as radio or telegraphy. On the other hand, all humans and other sapient beings in the Void possess telekinesis and mental telepathy capabilities, retain their knowledge of more advanced technology. Biotechnology largely resists the Void's effects, allowing Nigel Sheldon to bring a team of powerful androids into the Void with him. On Goodreads, it holds a 4.2 out of 5, based on 9000 votes
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
Système universitaire de documentation
The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website