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Loompanics Going Out of Business

The book publisher Loompanics is folding. The warehouse in Port Townsend, just the other side of Puget Sound from Seattle, is having a big sale, likewise online, but I think it's the sort of company that really OUGHT to exist, a publisher for books that really, really annoy people. Loompanics publishes books on temp work, the underground economy, weapons, murder, anarchism, mortgage-free housing, tax avoidance, conspiracies, heresies, fake IDs, how to protest, and many other topics annoying to The Man.

This is a company I loved dearly for its fiercely American, even crank-tastic, embrace of free speech and freedom of the press. Not to mention, their books were useful reference works when writing The Assassin's Handbook, Dark*Matter, and so on: think "The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla" or "The Poisoner's Handbook" or "The Complete Guide to Lock Picking". Owner Mike Hoy is 60 now and retiring, and apparently sales ain't great. I suspect he hasn't found a successor because no one wants to carry on the work and the hassle of fighting off the Feds. I know one of their editors and have played cards with a Loompanics author, but I never went to visit their shop/warehouse.

I'm going to miss them the next time I need plans for a nuclear device.

You can pick up their remaining stock at 50% off. It's a fine way to round out your shelves.


( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation; other people linked, but I wasn't familiar with their catalog, so it didn't occur to me to go looking for writerly references.
Jan. 20th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
I got the tip from brainstormfront, who used to live in Port Townsend and has the Über-Inside Track™ for tin-foil-hat stuff like that.

Their catalog is a marvel for mystery and conspiracy writers.
Jan. 20th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
As it happens, my novel-to-be will likely have both real and imagined conspiracies in it, so that will be very helpful. *)
Jan. 27th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Re: the tin-foil hat stuff....

It's a fashion choice, not a paranoiac one. ;)

So email me back and let me know what references you've now got for your shelves if you don't want to post public-like (as we all know who's watching and why he and his cronies need to be pimp-slapped into the prisons they're oh-so-proud to fill with "people-not-like-us."). ;)
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)

OMG, I haven't thought of Loompanics in years.

If ever a publsher was put out of business by the Internet is must be this one. No matter how fringe they got, the net could always do better (or worse, depending on your point of view.).

You're right it's a sad day. Thanks for letting us know about this though.
Jan. 20th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there is a certain overlap with the Internet, but impression of their current catalogue is that they still offer lots of practical "how to" that you don't get on the Internet: How to Get Paid Under the Table, How to Grow Pot, How to Identify a Hitler UFO.

Ok, that last one you can probably find on the internet. But I guess I trust Loompanics for at least some degree of fact-checking or expertise. Some of their authors actually know WTF they are talking about.

Anyway, yeah, probably killed by the Internets.
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
thanks -- I'm going to probably order a few things...

But building a nuclear weapon? Okay, so a hydrogen bomb is more complicated, but an atomic bomb is easy enough. I used to teach a class on it -- first how to refine the uranium, then how to construct the bomb. Fun stuff... (actually did teach that in 20th Century American history at Pierce College...)
Jan. 20th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
Pretty cool class to teach. I guess I'd argue that it's "easy." I mean, the Manhattan Project cost a fortune, and developing nations still need to spend a lot of cash figuring out how to build, say, the Korean or Persian A-bomb.

I kinda want the plans/schematics as a graphic design element for a conspiracy novel cover. But first I have to write the novel.
Jan. 21st, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
I have a bunch of their books on my shelf, including the infamous Hit Man. I wish I had some mad money to spend on them.
( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )

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