I've been reading a fairly old book (Jan 1999) by Julian Dibbell, "My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World". You can pick it up from Amazon for $2.00. It basically is a travel log of his time spent in an on-line virtual world called LamdaMOO. I'll not go into the lengthy background on multi-user virtual spaces, but suffice it to say LamdaMOO was a more social form of a MUD (a text based virtual world). Unlike typical MUDs of the day, which reserved creation rights to the elite/long-timers, LamdaMOO allowed anyone to create things and in that way is very similar to Second Life. In fact, much of what he writes about is very relevant, helpful, and serves as perhaps a cautionary note for those in Second Life land.
Which leads me to more recent news and that is the publishing of Julian's latest book "Play Money: Or How I quit may day job and struck it rich in virtual loot farming". He is selling this both in SL and in RL so here is an SURL. You can buy both the virtual and real copy in SL and it will show up in RL. This is great news for me as I too am working on a book on SL and am happy to see some of this SL/RL sales path trodden before I get there. See what Hamlet "Who put the PR in SL" Au has this to say about it here.