Slog tipper Vlad, who blogs about these things at the Third Place Press blog, sent along three links that came up over the last weekend about the future of books.

Janet Reid wonders what the future of books will be, and she assumes (correctly, I think) that large publishers won't have anything to do with it.

Frank Chimero thinks that the future of book design is actually the future of content design.

And io9 says that local sci-fi author Neal Stephenson (with the help of local sci-fi author Greg Bear and others) is about to launch a crowd-sourced novel called "The Mongoliad."

While Stephenson, Bear, and others worked on the text, Bornstein developed the app backend, focusing on collaborative software. The group dubbed the result the "personal ubiquitous literature platform," or PULP.

Though interactive novels have had snippets of movies and images in them since the mid-1990s, PULP is what makes The Mongoliad stand out as a possible way forward for post-print publishing. PULP makes this book into something that's truly the product of our collective imaginations. When you're reading a chapter of the book, you always have the option to pull up a an interactive discussion window and leave a note or enter a discussion about the book. You can write your own additional storyline. Or add to the pedia to explain more about the historical setting. You can also rate every aspect of the book, rating any page on a scale of one to five stars.

And there's Vlad's own post on the subject, where he tries to identify what he thinks the upcoming e-book formats will be. These are exciting times to be into books.