Cyberspace Starport--Now Under Construction

Picture a vast structure orbiting somewhere above the world of Cyberspace. Picture the huckster's room of the best Worldcon ever, in a free-fall ballroom the size of a small asteroid. Picture yourself floating through an art show suspended in space, in a transparent corridor fifty kilometers long, with a spiral galaxy for a backdrop. Picture the hotel lobby of the first InterGalacticon, with bulletin boards and piles of convention fliers as far as the eye can see.

You get the idea.

If you are reading this online, on the World Wide Web, you've seen cybermalls of every size and description. There are the monsters that offer everything under the Sun (or the DEC); just leave your credit-card number at the door and walk right in; storefronts only $25,000 each per month, paid in advance. There are the mom-and-pop mini-malls with a flowershop, a bookstore, and two starving Netware consultants; stalls only $25 a month. And everything in between.

There are also a couple of Really Cool Places on the Web (and I had a link to one, but it disappeared), that would probably have (and certainly deserve) a couple of pages in the Hitchhiker's Guide to Cyberspace if there was such a thing. Fannish places.

And so, says I to myself, why not combine the two?

A Modest Proposal

What I want to set up is a ``home away from home'' for fen in Cyberspace. Not a mall so much as a convention center, a Permanent Floating Cybercon, with a huckster's level for fannish businesses at fannish prices, a lobby with an enormous bulletin board and lots of flier tables, an artist's ghetto and print shop...

Welcome to the Starport in Cyberspace: <>


Cyberspace Starport is conveniently located at A2I Communications ( in San Jose, California. A2i is a commercial service provider, connected to the Internet via multiple T1 lines. (Grand Central Starport <> is my home system, connected to a2i via dialup SLIP.)

All files will be backed up at both a2i and

I'm not equipped to handle credit cards or other financial transactions at this point, but feel free to stick an order blank on one of your pages. I willbe able to offer (limited) support for HTML forms, so customers will be able to send you orders by e-mail.

Data Types

There will be several kinds of data in the Starport:
In the Mac world these would be called ``folders,'' but we're running a starport here. You get a subdirectory into which you can toss whatever text or graphics you want (within limits.) You will be able to update this at any time via e-mail or ftp. You also get a free doorway (see below) from whichever area (category) you want to reside in.
If you have your own web server, you don't need to take up (or pay for) space at a2i. A doorway consists of a one-line description, an optional small graphic (icon), and a paragraph of text. The description can contain arbitrary numbers of html links.
A flier is something between a room and a doorway; it's a single document (file) with at most one moderate-sized graphic. A flier comes with a free link to it, which consists of the document's title and the graphic shrunk down to icon size.
A link is an HTML link containing a document title and an optional icon-sized graphic.


The Lobby
Bulletin Boards and Flier Tables for links.
The Hucksters' Room
Doorways and links for dealers only.
The Art Show and Artists' Ghetto
Doorways and links for for pro and fan artists.
The Filk Room
Eventually, I hope, including an FTP archive for filksongs posted to
The Fanzine Room
There are a lot of good zines on the Web; maybe there would be more if more editors had net access.
The Grand Hotel
Hotel rooms (and doorways) for fen. There will be a floor for convention hospitality suites. Your home away from home in Cyberspace.
The Docking Bay
Doorways and links to other places in Cyberspace.


...Are nowhere near settled yet (send mail to <> for details when they become available). However, I'm not expecting to get rich out of this, just to help pay for my net habit. Expect something like:

Dealer Prices

Dealers get space in the Hucksters' Room or the Art Show.
$10/month for up to 1 Mb, and one free doorway.
Extra Disk Space:
Conversion and Scanning:
TBA. It will be possible to submit artwork (e.g. a business card) on paper, and/or text on a floppy disk in any of several formats, but the prices aren't decided yet. E-mail is better.

Fan Prices

``What's the single most important single difference between a passenger and a citizen?''
---James Blish, in A Life for the Stars.

The difference between a passenger and a citizen at the Starport is that you get free passage (in the form of a doorway or flier) for a month, but after that you're gone unless you pay up.

Probably free if you provide a reciprocal link.
$5/month. I have to pay for disk space on this machine, and I'm not really trying to run a web hosting service.
Free for 1 month; $2.50/month thereafter.
At the moment I'm trading space (for Xenofilkia) for subscriptions.
Conversion and Scanning:
Probably not. What do you expect for free?
Filk Room:
Free or maybe less.

That's right; if BMI ever comes up with a royalty scheme for electronic distribution, they may pay you whenever someone downloads your song. In that case I'll take the standard publisher's cut. On the other hand, it may never happen. Don't expect to store sampled audio, either; that's 10Mb/minute and takes forever to download. MIDI files for karaoke, maybe. Lyrics, definitely.

Cyberspace Starport and Grand Central Starport are service marks of
HyperSpace Express
343 Leigh Ave, San Jose, CA 95128
Stephen Savitzky <>, proprietor
Cyberspace Starport is hosted at
This file is <>
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