infovore + fiction   62

The Unfortunates: Interacting with an Audio Story for Smart Speakers - BBC R&D
"In an interview excerpted in The Advance Guard of the Avant-garde, he says that ‘the randomness of the material was directly in conflict with the book as a technological object’. We hope that by using the randomness available to us in a new technological object, we have created a treatment of the work that Johnson would have felt does the material justice." IRFS on their version of _The Unfortunates_ for Alexa - an idea I have a tiny hand in prompting into existence. There's so much frustrating about developing creative content for smart speakers, but this feels like a strong fit between the source material - a radio play in fragments - and the technology - a speaker that is also a computer. Henry's writeup is strong.
bsjohnson  irfs  bbc  theunfortunates  fiction  literature  interactivity 
12 days ago by infovore
George Saunders: what writers really do when they write | Books | The Guardian
George Saunders on writing, and the creative process. Brilliant, both as I'd expected, and in ways I hadn't.
georgesaunders  writing  fiction  creativity 
march 2017 by infovore
Melioration | Motherboard
Wonderful little story from Saxey about language, gender, and singular-they, although as with the best stories, it's all in the telling. Lots of good brain-tickles in here.
esaxey  writing  stories  fiction  sf  language 
june 2015 by infovore
The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu |
"The water that falls on you from nowhere when you lie is perfectly ordinary, but perfectly pure. True fact. I tested it myself when the water started falling a few weeks ago. Everyone on Earth did. Everyone with any sense of lab safety anyway. Never assume any liquid is just water. When you say “I always document my experiments as I go along,” enough water falls to test, but not so much that you have to mop up the lab. Which lie doesn’t matter. The liquid tests as distilled water every time." A truly lovely short story from John Chu.
fiction  sf  shortstory 
september 2014 by infovore
BOMB Magazine — The George Saunders Interview, Part 1 by Patrick Dacey
Cracking interview with George Saunders, from 2011 (so pre-Tenth of December). Lots about the craft of writing, and about what Just Turning Up looks like. Also, his imaginary writing class in which Hemingway punches everybody out made me laugh out loud.
writing  shortstories  fiction  craft  georgesaunders 
september 2014 by infovore
Strange Horizons Fiction: Librarians in the Branch Library of Babel, by Shaenon K. Garrity
"Over time, working at the Branch Library, I came to think of all books as just misprinted editions of Moby-Dick. Carol told me she felt the same way." I enjoyed this.
borges  fiction  libraries  mobydick  melville  notborges 
july 2014 by infovore
The True Literature of California Is Science Fiction
Enjoyed this a lot: Kim Stanley Robinson on California, SF, and the relationship between the two. For me, timely.
california  fiction  sf  kimstanleyrobinson  futures 
may 2014 by infovore
There Will Come Soft Rains - Ray Bradbury
Sixty years earlier, a precursor to Warren Ellis' _Lich House_. The terrors of the future are not those we have - the Cold War still looming large. But the depiction of the future is, whilst regimented and picket-fence-utopian... also charming. The childrens' bedroom, in particular, made me smile and want to visit; not nod knowingly at the cleverness. When we write stories about the future, it's important they're still stories.
raybradbury  fiction  sf  shortstory 
march 2014 by infovore
"First Novel is not the first novel by Nicholas Royle. First Novel is the seventh novel by Nicholas Royle. The protagonist is a novelist called Paul Kinder who teaches Creative Writing in Manchester. Nicholas Royle is a novelist who teaches Creative Writing in Manchester. Paul Kinder is fascinated by first novels. Nicholas Royle is fascinated by first novels. Paul Kinder is friends with novelist and short story writer, Elizabeth Baines. Nicholas Royle is friends with novelist and short story writer, Elizabeth Baines. Paul Kinder has a fascination with the uncanny. Nicholas Royle has a fascination with the uncanny. In other words, First Novel is very much in danger of disappearing up its own arsehole." I greatly enjoyed First Novel - I'm somewhat a fan of Royle's work - and this is a nice interview, especially his comments on the various overlaps with reality.
writing  fiction  nicholasroyle  reality 
february 2014 by infovore
M John Harrison interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction
Rather good interview with MJH; covers lots of bases, carried out just before Light was published.
writing  interview  mjohnharrison  sf  fantasy  fiction 
october 2013 by infovore
the way back home | the m john harrison blog
"Why doesn’t popular fiction encourage writers as entertainingly skilful as this? Because we do not value the skillset itself, only the story it mediates. We long ago separated the skillset out and donated it to literary fiction. Danny MacAskill doesn’t tell a story. He just is. Indeed, by the look of it, he just is the skillset. As a result I cry every time I watch him perform, because the performance is so much more intense than anything I’ve ever made." Great writing, by a great writer, about a great performer. Perfect.
dannymacaskill  trials  bikes  cycling  mjohnharrison  writing  fiction 
october 2013 by infovore
Fictional places | Matthew Sheret
"I like the idea of mining my data in thirty years or so, realising I spent most of my twenties at trendy coffee shops, airports, and places that don’t exist." Yes, this. This is the main reason I wrote Ghostcar - which is now one of my main reasons for using Foursquare.
foursquare  places  unplaces  mattsheret  fiction 
june 2013 by infovore
Real As Hell: A Conversation With George Saunders | The Awl
"In class I do this drawing of this big mountain, that I call Hemingway Mountain. And talk about how, early in my writing life, I just wanted to be up there near the top. And then I realized: Shit, even if I made it to the top, I'd still be a Hemingway Imitator. So then you trudge back down—and look, there's Kerouac Mountain! Hooray. And then it's rinse, lather, and repeat—until the day comes when you've completely burned yourself out on that, and you see this little dung heap with your name on it, and go: Oh, all right, I'll take that—better to be minor and myself. So that is painful. Especially at first. But it's also spiritual, in a sense—it's honest, you know. It’s a good thing to say: Let's look at the world as it is, as opposed to the way I'd like it to be. Let's see how the world seems to me—as opposed to the way it seems to me, filtered through the voice of Hemingway (or Faulkner, or Toni Morrison, or Bukowski—whoever)." This whole interview is great, but as a creator, I liked thinking about this.
fiction  georgesaunders  writing  authorship  voice 
april 2013 by infovore
The Aleph: Infinite Wonder / Infinite Pity
"I wanted to present a version of what The Aleph might look like now, designed as an endless stream of descriptive passages pulled from the web. For source texts, I took the complete Project Gutenberg as well as current tweets. I searched for the phrase "I saw.""
generative  text  writing  fiction  aleph  bots 
march 2013 by infovore
'"Screw this,” said Horace, downing his Babycham. “I’m going skiing.”' As niche fiction goes, this is very niche, but it is quite a thing. I am not sure how many people Horace fiction is relevant for, though.
horace  games  zxspectrum  horacegoesskiing  fiction  gosh 
february 2013 by infovore
A View from a Hill
Stewart Lee's dark, self-referential Christmas tale from this year, for the New Statesman.
stewartlee  fiction  christmas  wiltshire  from instapaper
january 2013 by infovore
Lee's Notepad (H+: The Digital Series takes place in a world...)
"H+: The Digital Series takes place in a world where people have access to persistent computer interfaces projected into their vision. Before talking to someone face-to-face they perform a “curtain closing” gesture. Presumably it’s a gesture to remove the UI from their vision, but clearly it’s also interpreted as a social cue: “I am giving you my attention”." Oh, very good.
wavingatmachines  gestures  fiction  designfiction 
september 2012 by infovore
Stet by Me: Thoughts on Editing Fiction · Meanjin
"In publishing we now talk about immersive narrative, mainly because we are tense about the future of books. People who love reading are in it for exactly that: to soak themselves in story. To forget whenever possible that there even is a story outside the book, particularly the bubble-busting story of how the book was made. As a reader, I cling to the sense that this all but transcendent experience comes directly to me from one individual imagination. The feeling I have when reading fiction—of a single mind feeding me experience and sensation—is seldom articulated but incredibly powerful. As a reader, I don’t want fiction to be a group project." But, as the article points out, the role of the editor(s) means it always is. A lovely article about books, publishing and fiction.
editing  books  publishing  fiction  writing 
may 2012 by infovore
Introducing Playfic -
"My hope is that Playfic opens up the world of interactive fiction to a much wider audience — young writers, fanfic authors, and culture remixers of all ages." Which is always the audience Inform 7 felt like it was really branching out towards. Sometimes the way to make things accessible is to lower the cost of entry - and in that case, it means a webservice, rather than a downloadable app. Will be interested to see how Playfic develops.
games  interactive  fiction  if  waxy  andybaio 
february 2012 by infovore
Dirty 30s! - The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot
"This is a formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story. It has worked on adventure, detective, western and war-air. It tells exactly where to put everything. It shows definitely just what must happen in each successive thousand words.

No yarn of mine written to the formula has yet failed to sell." Lester Dent was the creator of Doc Savage, and wrote a LOT of pulp fiction.
lesterdent  pulp  fiction  storytelling  writing 
january 2012 by infovore
Customer Service Romance - See Jayne
"I built a working prototype of a Customer Service phone bot that has personal issues she'd like to talk about and over time falls in love with the caller. She uses the tools at her disposal (discounts, upgrades, hold music, confirmation numbers) to communicate her feelings towards you as best she can." Hah!
robots  bots  phones  support  fiction  design 
november 2011 by infovore
Twitter Bot Info |
An excellent selection of auto-response bots.
twitter  fiction  bots  robothumour 
november 2011 by infovore
Ursula K. Le Guin | VICE
An unexpected place for a Le Guin interview, but it's great nontheless.
ursulaleguin  books  fiction  sf  writing 
october 2011 by infovore
Jerry's Map on Vimeo
Explorations in fictional geography, seeded from a deck of cards, and methodically produced over many years. A lovely film, too: careful in the way it explains Jerry's map. Brilliant.
maps  art  geography  fiction  jerrygretzinger 
august 2011 by infovore
Short story: Covehithe by China Miéville | Books |
Marvellous. Can't say any more - you need to read this (very) short story - but it's really, really lovely: shivers down the spine, and something heartwarming, all at once. And: set in a slightly magical part of the world.
books  chinamieville  writing  fiction  shortfiction  sf 
july 2011 by infovore
Adventures in Time and Space: linearity and variability in interactive narrative | Fiction is a Three-Edged Sword
"...the insight I had playing Indigo was that map-based games, while non-linear in gameplay, are inflexible in narrative. There’s nothing variable about the story that emerges in the player’s head: it’s authored, split up, and distributed across the game like pennies in a Christmas pudding. All that changes is the pace at which it appears. But in time-based games, everything the player does is story, and so that story is constant flux.

To put this another way:

Map-based games are ludicly non-linear but narratively inflexible.

Time-based games are ludicly linear but narratively flexible.

(Of course, these are spectrums: some games, like Rameses or Photopia are ludicly linear and narratively inflexible, and some, like Mass Effect, at least endeavour to be ludicly non-linear and narratively flexible.)
Do readers want to interact, toy and play with fiction, or alter, bend and shape it?" Jon Ingold is smart.
joningold  writing  fiction  interaction  interactivefiction  transmedia 
july 2011 by infovore
Nanolaw with Daughter (
"My daughter was first sued in the womb. It was all very new then. I'd posted ultrasound scans online for friends and family. I didn't know the scans had steganographic thumbprints. A giant electronics company that made ultrasound machines acquired a speculative law firm for many tens of millions of dollars. The new legal division cut a deal with all five Big Socials to dig out contact information for anyone who'd posted pictures of their babies in-utero. It turns out the ultrasounds had no clear rights story; I didn't actually own mine. It sounds stupid now but we didn't know. The first backsuits named millions of people, and the Big Socials just caved, ripped up their privacy policies in exchange for a cut. So five months after I posted the ultrasounds, one month before my daughter was born, we received a letter (back then a paper letter) naming myself, my wife, and one or more unidentified fetal defendants in a suit. We faced, I learned, unspecified penalties for copyright violation and theft of trade secrets, and risked, it was implied, that my daughter would be born bankrupt." This is marvellous
paulford  writing  fiction  law  microfiction  futures 
may 2011 by infovore
"A Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease"
Marvellous, touching, sad short story from Jonathan Safran Foer, about how families communicate.
punctuation  fiction  communication  jonathansafranfoer 
december 2010 by infovore
The Millions : Oral History at the End of the World: World War Z and its Cousins
"’s a bit disingenuous to claim, as [World War Z]’s dust jacket does, that Brooks does for zombies what Studs Terkel did for World War II. Yes, his choice of narrative frame refreshes a genre that had already entered its baroque phase. But World War Z never quite manages the same level of moral pique as The Good War and Warday; it is so constrained by its undead subject matter that it can only gesture at modern-day relevance before falling back on the same shopworn themes. Although it has more brains than the average zombie story, it still doesn’t have much of a heart." Really good piece on oral histories, real and fictional. And: I now want to read Warday, if I can find a copy.
history  writing  fiction  oralhistory  worldwarz  nuclearwar 
september 2010 by infovore
Civilization and Storytelling | Mssv
"...what Civilization provides is a story with a beginning, middle, and end, which is three times more than what you probably started with. If you play the game in particularly interesting way, then you can be rewarded with a delightful, surprising experience that you can’t help but weave into a story, inventing characters and lovers and intrigues all round. This story might tug at you so insistently that you begin to jot down notes and timelines, writing diary entries and newspaper reports of battles. Eventually, you might join all those pieces up, rewrite them, throw it all away, and rewrite it again – and then you might call yourself a storyteller." And this is one of the kinds of storytelling that games are best at: collaborative tales weaved between ruleset and player, between man and machine.
games  mechanics  storytelling  rules  fiction 
august 2010 by infovore
Of Exactitude in Science
"...In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the Map of a Single province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the Study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the Discipline of Geography." Finally, found the Borges quotation about a map the size of the world.
borges  maps  mapping  fiction  cartography 
august 2010 by infovore
P. G. Wodehouse's short story: The Coming of Gowf
"What this magazine requires," he said, "is red-blooded, one-hundred-per-cent dynamic stuff, palpitating with warm human interest and containing a strong, poignant love-motive." "That," we replied, "is us all over, Mabel." "What I need at the moment, however, is a golf story." "By a singular coincidence, ours is a golf story." Lovely short Wodehouse about the coming of Gowf to a far-off land.
golf  pgwodehouse  shortstory  fiction 
june 2010 by infovore
Grounded: volcano fictions and collective experiences |
I could, charmlessly and redundantly, expand on that to say: when life surprises us, making the everyday strange and wonderful, our first impulse is to make stories. These are of course personal stories: the volcano itself is too remote, too vast, to fit into our little narratives. Like Vonnegut’s glaciers, they just exist: human lives happen around them.
volcano  fiction  stories  jamesbridle  stml 
april 2010 by infovore
Hilobrow | Middlebrow is not the solution
"Dreamed up by American and European SF writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries — at a time when Lamarckian evolutionary philosophy, which posits a tendency for organisms to become more perfect as they evolve (because such change is needed or wanted, e.g., by “life”), remained popular — many of the first fictional supermen were portrayed by their creators as examples of a more perfect species towards which humankind has supposedly long aimed. Radium-Age superman was, that is to say, homo superior, an evolved human whose superiority was mental, physical, or both." Lovely essay; a nice bit of SF history (and originally published on IO9, I believe).
olafstapledon  fiction  sf  homosuperior  supermen  sciencefiction 
january 2010 by infovore
Life Starts Here: High Society
“This is who we are.” Duncan Fyfe is writing again; twelve short stories - presumably, one a month - set in the world of games. Writing fiction about something as a way of writing about something; he ends up with not only good - and acute - games writing, but just good writing, plain and simple. So good to have him back.
duncanfyfe  games  fiction  shortstory 
january 2010 by infovore
Bruce Sterling: The Hypersurface of this Decade | ICON MAGAZINE ONLINE
"I have to print my bed, so that I can lie in it." Lovely BruceS fiction; not just futurism, but hyperlocal futurism at that.
fiction  brucesterling  technology  culture  futurism  design  fabrication 
january 2010 by infovore
Rands In Repose: Your People
"You tell these stories to Your People without reservation. Your People love your stories — fiction and all. They love how you tell them, they laugh about the lies you tell yourself, and then they stop and they tell you the truth." I like his point about us turning our experiences into stories. To be honest, I like the whole thing; one of my favourite Rands pieces in a while. And he's right: it's always worth finding Your People.
relationships  work  people  fiction  bullshit  selfediting 
september 2009 by infovore
Metalosis Maligna
"Metalosis Maligna is a fictitious documentary about a spectacular yet chronically disabling disease which affects patients who have been fitted with medical implants. Sourcing from such implants a wild metal growth ultimately transforms human patients into mechanical looking constructions." If you're squeamish, particularly when it comes to surgery or prosthetics, this is NOT for you. Otherwise, it's a remarkably good piece of animation/effects work, wrapped in a remarkably straight documentary wrapper, that perhaps makes the effects-work even more effective.
design  video  fiction  film  horror  effects  medicine  bodyhorror 
march 2009 by infovore
InterText v5n1: Two Solitudes by Carl Steadman
A story, between two people, told through email. Not looking like email; actually, originally, told over email. Now, it can only be read in order - but once, it would have been delivered. Can't imagine how striking it might have been.
writing  narrative  fiction  stories  email  carlsteadman 
march 2009 by infovore
Twitter / gothdobby
"Bio i am a house elf but no one understands me. i like wearing black tea cozies, listening to my chemical romance, and bdsm. sometimes i do emo weed with hermione." Fanfic invades Twitter.
fiction  twitter  harrypotter  fanfic  emo 
january 2009 by infovore
Abyss & Apex : Fourth Quarter 2007: Wikihistory
"Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. I did. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what's the harm?"
writing  history  fiction  sf  timetravel 
january 2009 by infovore
War Unlimited: A blog by Reuben Oluwagembi
The blog of Reuben Oluwagembi, the fictional journalist you meet in Far Cry 2.
blog  AR  games  farcry2  fiction  narrative 
november 2008 by infovore
2008 Results
2008 Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest results. Excellent, as usual.
writing  fiction  literature  humour  pastiche  bulwerlytton 
august 2008 by infovore
Creating ‘The (Former) General’ | Mssv
"It's not quite a game, and while it does have branching, it doesn't allow the reader to affect the outcome of story - only their own experience of it." Adrian Hon on writing something better than Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. Some lovely visible thinking.
books  writing  storytelling  sixtostart  games  play  literature  hypertext  hyperfiction  fiction 
may 2008 by infovore
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | French writer Robbe-Grillet dies
...and I still haven't finished _Les Gommes_. Time to dip back in, I think; a shame Robbe-Grillet is dead.
novel  fiction  writing  robbegrillet 
february 2008 by infovore
Space to think | Review | The Observer
"...HG Wells, had [this] huge, leisurely 'here and [now]' from which to contemplate what might happen. Wells knew exactly where he was and knew he was at the centre of things.' Wonderful William Gibson quotation.
interview  gibson  williamgibson  science  futurism  fiction  hgwells 
august 2007 by infovore
The Remarkable Case Of Davidson's Eyes by H.G. Wells: Arthur's Classic Novels
Wells short story I don't know; a lovely tale of (literal) tele-vision. Linked to by Rod elsewhere.
shortstory  hgwells  scifi  science  fiction 
march 2007 by infovore
The Author of the Acacia Seeds, Ursula K. Le Guin
This story is copyright 1974 by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is transcribed from Le Guin's collection The Compass Rose because I'd like my friends to read it.
shortstory  ursulaleguin  scifi  fiction  language 
march 2007 by infovore
New Statesman - Sex, snobbery and sadism
"There are three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a school boy bully, the mechanical two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult." Wonderful 1958
newstatesman  bond  jamesbond  ianfleming  fiction  novel  review  criticism 
february 2007 by infovore
Literature and Latte - Scrivener Gold
Impressive looking writing tool - some lovely concepts around organisation and reference. Must look into this at some point.
writing  software  osx  application  authoring  fiction  tool 
january 2007 by infovore
New Statesman - Imaginary friends
"To conflate fantasy with immaturity is a rather sizeable error. Rational yet non-intellectual, moral yet inexplicit, symbolic not allegorical, fantasy is not primitive but primary." Ursula le Guin on fine form in the NS.
ursulaleguin  fantasy  sf  writing  fiction  literature  essay  criticism  children  reading 
december 2006 by infovore
Interactive Fiction: First-Timer Foibles
A nice look at some common stumbling blocks in IF
if  interactive  fiction  writing  game  design 
july 2006 by infovore
The Morning News - David Mitchell, by Robert Birnbaum
Lovely, in-depth interview full of cracking quotations. Definitely worth a read.
fiction  stories  davidmitchell  interview 
may 2006 by infovore
Keyboard Practice
Interesting looking short story/novella; really need to get around to reading this.
fiction  scifi 
march 2006 by infovore
Cherchez l'enfant
Interesting essay from Prospect magazine providing a brief history of British children's books.
fiction  childrens  books 
october 2005 by infovore

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