How a mathematician teaches "Little Brother" to a first-year seminar


Derek Bruff teaches a first-year college writing seminar in mathematics, an unusual kind of course that covers a lot of ground, and uses a novel as some of its instructional material -- specifically, my novel Little Brother. Read the rest

Great book covers as animated GIFs


Wonderful literary GIFs by Javier Jensen of Santiago, Chile.

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Why we're still talking about Terminator and the Matrix

My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science. Read the rest

Chuck Palahniuk reads children's book 'Fight Club 4 Kids'


"We'll call it the Horsing Around Club, and we'll just f***in' go to town on each other, just visceral disturbing sh*t, y'know?" The only thing that would be better than Chuck Palahniuk reading Fight Club 4 Kids would be if this book were real. (via) Read the rest

Connecticut teacher fired for reading Allen Ginsberg poem to AP class

Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship writes, "During an AP class discussion about gratuitous language, a student asked a teacher to read an Allen Ginsberg poem. He did. He's not a teacher anymore." Read the rest

New Hugo Award categories for puppies

The "Puppies" are a coalition of right-wing and white-supremacist groups who pushed a slate of ideologically pure nominees onto the Hugo Award ballot, complaining that you could no longer judge books by their covers, and that science fiction had changed to reflect the world since the 1970s. Read the rest

Tldrbot: great works of literature in seconds

Tldrbot is the latest bot from Shardcore (previously, previously, previously) that slurps up great novels, algorithmically summarizes them to 1% of their length, then spits out audio files of a synthetic Scottish woman's voice reading those summaries aloud. Read the rest

Confronting Lovecraft's racism

Award-winning horror writer David Nickle has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to have a frank and serious discussion of HP Lovecraft's undeniable racism; people want to hand-wave it as being a product of Lovecraft's times, but it is inseparable from Lovecraft's fiction. Read the rest

Pop songs as sonnets

Pop Sonnets is a tumblr that turns pop music into Shakespearean sonnets: above, YMCA ("Oh sweet and noble lad, be not aggrieved!"). Read the rest

Animated, candid Bukowski interviews

David sends us this video featuring "Candid conversations between writer Charles Bukowski, his wife, and his producer took place in Bukowski's home during the recording session for his classic Run With the Hunted in 1993. Here the outtakes are brought to life."

Charles Bukowski Uncensored Read the rest

How Harry Potter shaped a generation

Seven years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Caroline Siede looks back on the book series that defined a generation.

Jo Walton talks science fiction, research, & collaborating with readers

David writes, "I host the literary radio show Between The Covers (KBOO 90.7FM/PDX) and my most recent guest was Jo Walton (MP3), who has been profiled multiple times on Boing Boing. We talk about her most recent book, My Real Children, about why George Eliot even though she preceded the beginnings of science fiction nevertheless has a science fictional mind, about the particularly obstacles women writers of science fiction and fantasy face, about the writing terminology Jo Walton has invented and why, and how she uses her online fan community as a vital resource for research when she writes."

Jo Walton : My Real Children Read the rest

How the CIA got Dr Zhivago into the hands of Soviet dissidents

Working from recently declassified documents disclosed in The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book, the BBC World Service tells the extraordinary story of how the CIA conspired with a Dutch spy to publish a Russian edition of Boris Pasternak's Dr Zhivago and smuggle it into Russia by sneaking it into the hands of Soviet attendees at the Brussels Universal and International Exposition in 1958. Zhivago was banned by the Soviets, who also forced Pasternak to renounce the Nobel Prize in literature, which he was awarded that year. Read the rest

Crowdfunding Interfictions, a journal of the weird, the interstitial, and the uncategorizable

The Interstitial Arts Foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its journal Interfictions, devoted to "the weird, the interstitial, and the uncategorizable." Read the rest

Infamous imaginary games from science fiction

Austin Grossman, a novelist and game developer who worked on Ultima Online, Tomb Raider, Thief and Dishonored, is a fan of imaginary games. They're at the center of his latest novel, YOU, just out in paperback, which revolves around a decades-long quest by a group of friends to realize the ultimate game, bringing them fortune, fame, death, misery, love and adventure. Here he offers a tour of his favorite games from the parallel worlds of film and fiction.

Turn literary works into patent applications with patent-generator

Patent-generator is a Github-hosted python script that turns literary texts into patent applications, with descriptions of the accompanying diagrams (here's Kapital, AKA "A method and device for comprehending, theoretically, the historical movement"; and here's Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology, AKA "A device and system for belonging to bringing-forth"). Read the rest

Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel laureate novelist, 1927-2014

Novelist Gabriel García Márquez, whose One Hundred Years of Solitude "established him as a giant of 20th-century literature," died today at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.

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