I’ve always loved the way that Edward Tufte consistently uses Bembo to typeset his books. Here’s a version made for screen and freely licensed.
Absolutely brilliant stuff from Mandy (again). A long hard at today’s tech industry’s narrow approach to bots and artificial intelligence compared to some far more interesting and imaginative approaches in fiction:
- Ann Leckie’s superb Imperial Radch series,
- Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, and
- Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.
So in addition to frightening ramifications for privacy and information discovery, they also reinforce gendered stereotypes about women as servants. The neutral politeness that infects them all furthers that convention: women should be utilitarian, performing their duties on command without fuss or flourish. This is a vile, harmful, and dreadfully boring fantasy; not the least because there is so much extraordinary art around AI that both deconstructs and subverts these stereotypes. It takes a massive failure of imagination to commit yourself to building an artificial intelligence and then name it “Amy.”
Now that Five Simple Steps has closed down, the individual authors are in charge of distributing their own books. This site links to all of those books.
Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages Alex Dally MacFarlane | Interfictions Online
A fascinating look into the challenges encountered translating Anne Leckie’s excellent Radchaai novels into Bulgarian, German, Hebrew, Japanese, and Hungarian.
What is clear in all of these responses is that by examining the notions of ‘neutral’ and ‘feminine’ in grammar and gender through the lens of translation, we reveal their complexity – and some of their possible futures in languages, in both literature and speech.
John expands on just one part of his superbly dense and entertaining dConstruct talk.
The many benefits of an analogue detox. There’s neuroscience and everything.
It’s so important that we take the time to connect and switch on.
Here’s a lovely project with an eye on the Long Now. Trees that were planted last year will be used to make paper to print an anthology in 2114.
Margaret Atwood is one of the contributors.
A cute way of exploring a collection of classic works.
A collection of performance resources: articles, tools, talks, and books.
Alan Kay’s written remarks to a Joint Hearing of the Science Committee and the Economic and Educational and Opportunites Committee in October 1995.
The campaign to restore out-of-print pulp sci-fi books in electronic formats.
Brian Aldiss: ‘These days I don’t read any science fiction. I only read Tolstoy’ | Books | The Guardian
A profile of Brian Aldiss in The Guardian.
I still can’t quite believe I managed to get him for last year’s Brighton SF.
This is a great idea from A Book Apart—the more different books you buy at the same time, the more of a discount you get.
Got to get ‘em all!
Francis Spufford—author of the excellent Backroom Boffins—writes a cover story for the New Humanist magazine remembering Iain Banks with the middle initial M firmly to the fore: it was Iain M Banks—and his creation, The Culture—that took the seemingly passé genre of space opera to new heights.
Aw, my l’il ol’ book is three years old!
To celebrate, you can get 15% off any title from A Book Apart with this discount code for the next few days: HAPPY3RD.
If you’re coming along to the Responsive Day Out and you’ve got some tech books you no longer need, bring them along. We’ll collect them and distribute them to schools.
Eight of Jan White’s excellent books on graphic design are now available for free online, licensed under CC0 …they’re in the public domain now.
All he asks in return is that you might buy one of his books still in print, and maybe make a donation to the Internet Archive.
Jan V. White is a mensch.
Documenting all the ways you could die in a choose-your-own-adventure book.
This looks like an excellent deal: buy eight sci-fi books for as much money as you think is fair. Lauren Beukes, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow …all good stuff.
These short pocketbooks from Five Simple Steps look like they’ll be very handy indeed. Shame they won’t be available in dead-tree format: I bet they’d be really cute.
James muses on the physicality of ebooks in this week’s Observer.
Craig describes the many different ways he’s publishing his book, including putting the whole thing on the web for free:
Why do this? I strongly believe digital books benefit from public endpoints. The current generation of readers (human, not electronic) have formed expectations about sharing text, and if you obstruct their ability to share — to touch — digital text, then your content is as good as non-existent. Or, in the least, it’s less likely to be engaged.
I also believe that we will sell more digital and physical copies of Art Space Tokyo by having all of the content available online.
Like the Web Standards Project but for ePub. I approve of this message.
Well, that’s my reading list sorted then.
Notes in manuscripts and colophons made by medieval scribes and copyists …in 140 characters or fewer.
Well, this looks clever: a self-updating bookmark (that’s an actual bookmark for books, not browsers).
The perfect Christmas gift for the web geek in your life: get a discount of 30% when you buy all six books apart.
Turning text into hypertext. Pivot on people, places and things mentioned in books. I really, really like this.
A rallying cry from James: since when did we decide that text couldn’t stand by itself without extra layers of “interactive” shininess?
Craig has written down his dConstruct talk, the one that completely polarised opinion. Personally, I loved it.
Take some time out to read this. Read all of this. Craig’s thoughts on the nature of publishing today:
Digital’s effect on how we produce, distribute and consume content.
Brewster Kahle explains how and why the Internet Archive is keeping physical copies of the books it digitises.
China Miéville gives a rundown of some underrated classics of the alternative history subgenre …including Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill.
The threat to Google Videos shows businesses are not suitable cultural custodians — they can’t be held accountable to the public.
I got your work/life balance right here. Merlin means it, man.
I love him.
Kevin Kelly asks “What is a book?” and provides some thought-provoking answers. There’s some inspiring crystal-ball gazing in here.
You can now borrow HTML5 For Web Designers through the Open Library. Nice one, George!
Everything is worth preserving and protecting.
James’s talk from Tools Of Change. Great stuff!
I wish I could’ve attended James’s talk at Tools of Change. It sounds like it was great.
This is kind of mean, but it made me laugh. Out loud.
A blog documenting printed visions of space exploration in the form of children's books.
Pervy little stories made entirely from children's book titles.
One web page for every book. I love this project.
James Bridle propsed Open Bookmarks during a presentation at Tools of Change in Frankfurt today: "Open Bookmarks is not a thing, it’s a proposal, a flag in the ground. We need to agree on a way of sharing and storing annotations and bookmarks, reading attention data and everything around the book: that aura."
A fascinating look at hypertext in illuminated manuscripts.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
Margaret Atwood is all kinds of wonderful.
A detailed look at traditional and digital publishing, considered from the content out.
A medium-zoom view of shifts in publishing.
The bottom-up appeal of netbooks in all their cheap, crappy glory.
An in-depth study mapping all the permutations in "choose your own adventure" books.
An aerosol e-book enhancer.
Best. Appropriate domain name. Ever.
A beautiful PDF literary magazine, designed to be printed out and read away from the computer. I'd still love to see an HTML version.
This looks like a nice book reading app.
The perfect person for the job—George will be working on the Internet Archive's Open Library project: a webpage for every book ever published.
A good piece from Steven Johnson on the future of e-books but alas, it completely ignores DRM which is a show-stopper to the bright future he imagines.
A lovely set of letterpress printing
I know this sound uncharitable but there's a good chance that the reason why Bruce Sterling's books aren't selling is because he's just not a very good writer. And I say that as a big sci-fi fan. I mean, really... have you read Distraction? I tried ...and failed.
An approach to releasing community-driven books that is more like software than traditional book publishing. Think versions instead of editions.
For three days you can buy 5 PDF books for the price of 1 from Sitepoint and your money will go to the victims of the bushfires.
Chris Heathcote's notes from his PaperCamp talk on guidebooks.
Here's a nifty little mashup from Simon: create Moo cards with book details from Amazon.
The Sorted Books project: using book titles to create short narrative pieces.
Prompted by my post on adventure games, Relly sent me this link to a wonderfully archaic series of books from 1983.
Aleks pointed me to this sort-of ARG involving authors in London. Could be good fun.
Here's the first initiative from the WaSP Street Team: labeling outdated webdev books in libraries as hazardous material.
A superb skewering of Kindle and just about any other attempt to make book distribution digital that involves ludicrously restrictive terms of service (or worse, DRM).
A collection of books with beautiful typography.
A blog devoted entirely to reshelving books in their correct categories in bookstores, specifically the science and religion categories. I approve.
Gareth Rushgrove has launched a site devoted to web design books.
Mobtagging: Discreetly move all copies of 1984 to a more suitable section, such as "Current Events", "Politics", "History", "True Crime", or "New Non-Fiction."
The book that changed how websites are designed is back in a smart new second edition.
A nice app for browsing and buying audiobooks - but why isn't it a website?