The following web based subscription is recommended if you have $40... If you don't have $40, then you shouldn't have read this far!
The following books are recommended as a first purchase:
Tom Perigrin's "Introductory Practical Pyrotechnics". Purchase it from www.skylighter.com . The good stuff about Perigrin is that he emphasizes safety, has great introductory material on basic requirements, and does a step-by-step for many projects. The bad parts are that he doesn't explain BP very well, leaves out rockets, and has a number of typos in the text. Even with the warts, Introductory Practical Pyrotechnics is easily the best first book to pick up.
Best of AFN (all volumes). This is available from www.fireworksnews.com There are lots of misleading articles in the AFN volumes (especially the early ones) so read them with a critical eye. In the end, they are still worth the purchase.
There are LOTS of old books out there - Weingart is one that is often quoted - however, they are not current and often dangerous. While opinions vary, the best bet is to get a newer book if possible. Don't go for the "make BP in an oak barrel - rotating by hand" books until you get a feel for what is dangerous and what isn't.
The following web sites/news groups are recommended. There are many sites that are NOT recommended. Generally, any site that gets overly concerned with flash, high explosives, anarchy, has a lot of foul language or is obviously frequented by youth bears special watching. There are some pretty silly things done in the name of pyro and posted on YouTube. Filter YouTube entries through your safety sense very carefully.
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.pyrotechnics - rec.pyro is NOT for the faint hearted. There are mean people on any newsgroup and rec.pyro is no different; however, there are nuggets on the NG that are great. Try lurking instead of posting - or just peruse the newsgroup for a few days - there are lots of great threads and if you use the search feature, you can probably find an answer to any question you may have.
Alan Yates's site ( http://www.vk2zay.net )
Visser's site ( http://www.wfvisser.dds.nl/indexEN.html - this site seems like it is dying so get it while it is still there)
Dan William's site is up and down and around. He has recently come back online and is republishing his web pages. Here is a link that is worthwhile: http://fogoforum.us/index.html
Other ( http://groups.google.com/group/AdvancedPyrotechnics , http://groups.yahoo.com/group/r-bp/ (BP rockets only, etc). The PML, PGI and WPA lists are also good. You have to belong to the PGI or WPA to get on their lists. MoPyro is a club that I belong to - see their site at www.mopyro.us . If you belong to the club, you can get on their list (which is similar for all the clubs). Many clubs don't like to advertise that much so get on Passfire and ask - you'll be led correctly.
There are several great web sites that aren't mentioned here. Email us and let us know of them and we'll add them in (after a look-see!).
The following books are recommended once you get past the 'brand newbie' stage:
Hardt - Pyrotechnics
Shimizu - Fireworks the Art, Science and Technique
Many recommended authors (especially those recommended by frequenters of the news groups) are pretty advanced and probably not suitable for a new person. The above authors are in that category but are well worth the money anyway. Unlike advanced technical books, where you may only use them as a reference and infrequently, once you get some experience under your belt, you will read the above books often.
Sources for supplies:
www.skylighter.com (books, videos, chemicals)
www.firefox-fx.com (chemicals - some chemicals restricted due to recent court action)
www.fireworksnews.com (books and videos)
www.cannonfuse.com (fuse, some instruction)
http://www.hobbyhorse.com/pyro_tubes.shtml (New England Paper Tubes - the very best for rockets)
http://www.wolterpyrotools.com/ (one of the best tooling places on the web - high quality stuff)
Pottery stores, craft stores, paint shops, and garden shops. You can get grog, clay, sticks, paints, tapes, paper, chemicals, metals, and a host of items from these stores - usually at a cheaper price than from hobby chemical suppliers. You will still have to go to the suppliers for some things.