Never read Dracula before? Would you like to read it.... over RSS? Dracula is entirely made up of letters, telegrams, newspaper articles. Each has a date, between May 3rd and November 10th, Last year, and now this year, Dracula Daily has offered people the ability to read the classic novel "in real time". It just started, so if you add to your newsreader, you can follow along this year.

Y'know encountering this made me think about writing an epistolary "RSS original" story and the reaction I'm seeing to this post is telling me "yeah, yeah I guess do that".

@dajbelshaw What on earth. I'm going to have to read more about this later, thanks!

@distractedmosfet Oh it's fully awesome. I read it a few months ago when I found out about it!

@distractedmosfet Nice. My RSS is too busy but it would work great as an email so I created an IFTTT tool.
RSS Feed: New feed item matches. Email: Send me an email.
If New feed item matches 'Dracula' from, then Send me an email at stephen at

@distractedmosfet @Downes not as fun, but you could also subscribe to the email from substack to pretty much the same outcome

@qnm @distractedmosfet I could, but the odds are non-zero that Substack will monetize and put up a subscription wall or start throwing in advertisements before the novel finishes.

@distractedmosfet @Downes Fair. I have SO MANY newsletters in my newsreader via substack. I know they are going away at some point, may as well enjoy them while I can!

@distractedmosfet Do you have a recommendation for a RSS feed-thingie? I remember that I used one (google-something?) ages ago and when that disappeared I neve found one that was as smooth to use and then promptly forgot that RSS existed!

@GoblinQuester Yep Google killing that was basically what caused the decreased usage of RSS, it was the number 1 reader. People are trying to revive RSS(/Atom) because it turns out trusting the "follow stuff" job to social media wasn't the greatest. I'm on Linux, I use a local one that I download (and therefore control) called Liferea. I don't think it's very pretty but it does the job. But unless you're a linux nerd this isn't so helpful, so. here's some other ones that jump out to me (cont):

@GoblinQuester This page has a few popular online services: Upside: your feeds are kept with your account and so can be shared between devices. Downside is just like Google Reader you're not in control anymore, and also they have limitations if you aren't paying. RSSGuard here seems alright: you can download it and when setting it up pick offline mode so that you need no accounts and can have as many feeds as you like. Not the prettiest either.

@GoblinQuester Raven Reader and Fluent Reader are both offline apps that look quite pretty. They are made with a thing called Electron though, a tech used by a number of stuff; Slack, Discord. That might make them a bit of a memory hog. If UI design really matters these might be better for you but RSSGuard will possibly be snappier.If none of these seem like your thing, check out: for a huge list.

@GoblinQuester @distractedmosfet I used the Google #RSS Reader (I think it was called). Have been using #Feedly for a while and it's good.

Not sure what else is out there, as I haven't looked since I started using Feedly. If anyone knows of any better ones I'd like to hear about it.

@Karen5Lund I do hear good things about Feedly. So if you're liking it, I think it's reasonable to consider keeping it. I believe if you're on the free tier you are limited in the number subs and if that matters to you perhaps check out the random recs I mentioned to Hteph in my replies. I personally like using a downloaded app with no accounts so that I know that I basically "own" it all. But it does mean I have to say, backup my list myself every so often, to prevent possibly losing it.

@distractedmosfet I'm on the free tier and have a LOT of subscriptions. If there's a limit it's high. But there are some features that don't work; so far none of them appeal to me enough to pay for it.

There are always trade-offs between different kinds of services.

@Karen5Lund @distractedmosfet I have started with Feedly too, so farr it loks good, we’ll see if the feeling prevails over time.

@virtualwolf I agree! And I will note that I am simply sharing this. Send your warm feedback to the contact address here!: Hearing appreciation means a lot to creators 🙂


There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty.

I'm starting to think the Brit's "we can't handle spices because of the war" is just an excuse.

@lordbowlich The thing with brits not using spices was because, prior to widespread colonialism, having a well-spiced meal was a sign of wealth. When the spice trade really took off, spices became widely available, and the rich people could no longer use the depth of flavor of their meals to prove their class superiority.

The proof of their class superiority moved from how much flavor a dish had, to how much time that dish took to make.

Thus, the hallmark of a meal made by a wealthy family was that it was bland and very tender, because, the logic goes, a family must be well-to-do, to have the spare labor-time to create a dish which is "good" without having to resort to spices, the crutch of the poor without the time to dedicate to such meals.


@Anarkat That and the fact that the United Kingdom is flipping cold. Spices won't grow up there. Best you can get is herbs.

@distractedmosfet i just finished reading dracula a couple days ago 😂 but this is so cool!

@isa Noooo! 😆 And it is immensely cool. I am just sharing it though, so perhaps send a kind word to It does make me interested in writing an "RSS Original" epistolary novel. I think people struggle to motivate themselves to read a whole book sometimes. The format might be weirdly accessible, in a perceived-commitment sense. And also RSS is cool 😎

@mguhlin No worries. If you enjoy it, maybe send some appreciation to I'm just a dude sharing something he thought was cool.

@distractedmosfet I actually just installed an aggregator on my home server last week, with the intention of trying to build a habit of using it; I also haven't ever read Dracula yet. Was this made for me?????

@vylion You now know what you must do🧛‍♂️. Also welcome to the RSS user club. There's more stuff out there than you'd think. If you like a site but can't see an RSS link anywhere, try chucking the URL into your reader anyway, most will find the appropriate feed. Plug warning: If you like receiving links to random neat internet junk occasionally, along with random posts about programming, game design, interactive fiction, I'm trying to be more active on my own blog:

@distractedmosfet @dorifer good idea to read the book in real time. I‘ll use the Gutenberg version, because I do not have a feed reader anymore.

@maha @dorifer if you don't mind parting with your email address, this is a substack newsletter so you can sign up to receive them by email but obviously DIYing it also good 🙂

@distractedmosfet @dorifer thank you for this information, but I‘ll opt for DIY. One could do the same with other noteworthy epistolary (letter) novels, most notably: Dangerous Liaisons, Werther, Frankenstein

@distractedmosfet I would like to read it, but I won't be supporting the bigot hosting hell hole that is substack

@ada I can respect this take. If you want, you can DIY it by downloading the ebook from Project Gutenberg, reading up to the current date, and checking the date of the next part of the story (so you know when to read next).

@distractedmosfet Thanks for the suggestion! I might just do that!

@distractedmosfet I've read Dracula multiple times and have listened to it on podcast but this is a first. Going have to tune in!

@distractedmosfet Great idea! I saw similar ones, but, sadly, using twitter (they were about history -- WW2 and Great War, so the format was quite natural). Subscribed, obviously 😀=

@brie It is very neat. Will point out that I'm just sharing this, the actual creator is Matt Kirkland over at He is not on the fediverse, at least not yet anyway. So yeah, credit to him.

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