RIP Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles

Chronicles of PrydainThe literary world has lost one of its greats this week. Lloyd Alexander, author of the Prydain Chronicles and a host of other children's books, passed away this Thursday in his home in Drexel Hill, PA. The New York Times has a lovely article about him.

Before there was Harry Potter, there was an assistant pig keeper called Taran. Before there was Hermoine, there was a feisty red headed princess called Eilonwy. I didn't discover the Prydain series until my twenties, but considering that it is just as enchanting as the Narnia series I loved as a kid, but with a heavy dose of Welsh instead of Christian mythology, I can only imagine the wonder it would have brought me (and will one day bring my children, should they decide to exist) to be exposed to it at that age.

Some of you who haven't (yet) read the series might also recognize Prydain as the first web domain I owned, and my original email address. For the story behind that, I give you the letter that I once wrote to Lloyd Alexander, and his response back to me. The man was a prince, and will be missed.

My letter to Lloyd Alexander...

Too many books to count

ISBN13Or at least to uniquely identify within 10 digits. Yes, folks, the 10-digit ISBN that we've all come to know and love over the years is growing up. Soon it will be replaced with ISBN 13, which will ask to borrow the car keys and probably raid your liquor cabinet when you're away for the weekend.

*sigh* They grow up so fast.

In related news, the 12-digit UPC is also going to 13 digit, although I haven't heard yet whether they will be combining the two or keeping them separate. And how much of a dork does it make me that I'm actually kind of looking forward to reading the ISBN 13 For Dummies PDF this weekend?