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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

You have never heard of William Gibson? You know his name, but you have never read one of his books? Well, I’m certain that you have been influenced by him, or better: by his writing. You see, “cyberspace” is all around us, these days – and the word “cyberspace” was ‘invented’ by William Gibson. I own and have read (almost) all of his novels, starting with “Neuromancer”, “Count Zero” and “Mona Lisa Overdrive” all the way to “Spook Country” and “Zero History”… so I’m biased, OK.

That's the cover of my copy of William Gibsons "Neuromancer"

That’s the cover of my copy
of William Gibsons “Neuromancer”

Gibson has been tagged as the man who predicted many of the internet-related phenomena we all take for granted these days. So why not hop over to the Salon.com website and read an interview titled “William Gibson: I never imagined Facebook with the man? And after that, there are his books, if you don’t know them already. I’m putting his latest novel, “The Peripheral” on my Christmas shopping list!

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How often do you get Shakespeare to appear in an science fiction story? At least once: I liked Fritz Leiber’s “No great magic” a lot. You can find the text in the Gutenberg library.

Click on the picture to see his biography on Wikipedia

Fritz Leiber

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I bought books – the real, paper things – written by Coy Doctorow after reading some of his works for free on the Web. Ars Technica’s “Why DRM-free comic books are a big deal, even if you don’t read comics” explains why I did that, and why you should do the same. Especially when the publishers publish books without some kind of Digital Rights Management (DRM) lock.

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At Last, More IT Poetry

It has been a while since I found some computer-related poetry on the Web, but hee it is: “Android Haikus: A Few of Our Favorites“. I’m not specially fond of haikus, but there are indeed a few gems on that page. For example:

Lightweight and speedy.
Seven inches in my hand.
A tablet, you perv.

Poetry lovers: I have a few more links to computer-related poetry elsewhere on this site ;-)

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Choose your own adventure” is a Wiki unlike any I had seen before, but it’s actually a fine example of what a Wiki can be: a tool where multiple authors create content, packaged in linked pages. In fact, it might be an excellent example to teach the basics of a Wiki!

How does it work? It’s simple, and the site explains itself thus: it’s “a wiki that contains stories where the reader assumes the role of the main character. In each page you choose how the story should progress. If you don’t see an option that you would like to pursue, click the edit tab on the top of the page and add a new path to the page. Then you get to write in your own adventure for the character…”

There is no guarantee as to the quality of the stories of course; you’ll have to explore them and assess that aspect for yourself. At the same time, you’ll experience what a Wiki is all about. Enjoy!

PS. For a dutch version of this post, see the innologos website

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Science And Fiction (And SF)

Twitter may be the biggest micro-blogging service on the Internet, but it’s not the only one. I do lurk around from time to time on Identi.ca, and it’s there that I was indirectly pointed to the website of Solaris Books. Now I only have to find the time to read a book besides those that I am trying to finish these days: Neal Stephensons ‘The System of the World‘ and a dutch translation of Brian Greenes ‘The Fabric of the Cosmos‘. Both are seriously hefty tomes – and I have enough work cut out for me at home, with a new ceiling coming up (literally) next weekend…

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Love this pangram: “Foxy parsons quiz and cajole the lovably dim wiki-girl“. Why? Because it has the word ‘Wiki’ in it, of course, and it’s currently the only one to do so on the List Of Pangrams in the Wikipedia!

If you like (english) pangrams, get your daily dose at The Daily Pangram website. And here’s a neat one in Dutch: Ach, yoghurt is ‘n exquis drankje, proef zelf waarom ‘t u bevalt. – to me, that’s neat because it’s a complete and ‘normal’ sentence.

Now I wonder: has anyone ever written a story in nothing but pangrams as sentences? And how about coding a program in pangrams – a single statement isn’t too hard, I think, but a complete program?

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NUKLEOS WEBLOG 2007-10-11

Dank U, Koen Meulenaere, voor het woord “krulpygmee”! Ik lees jouw column in Knack Magazine steeds als eerste; deze week heb je met dat nieuwe woordje (ik heb het gecheckt: het staat nog niet in Google indexen op het moment dat ik dit tik) een nieuwe absolute top bereikt!

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NUKLEOS WEBLOG 2007-05-14

A Bit Tired Of Music On Your iPod? Try some (english) poetry for a change; get your picks from the PENNsound Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania.

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NUKLEOS WEBLOG 2007-01-03

Top! Reading a book can take up a lot of blogging time, but that’s life. I’m currently reading Greg Bear’s ‘Quantico‘. In summary: very impressive!

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SF Rulez! Phobos Entertainment has published a list of ‘100 science fiction books you just have to read’. Far from me to agree that this is the definitive top-100 in this domain, but… since I have read titles of at least three quarters of the authors mentioned, and since I have read at least 27 titles on the list, I’m inclined to agree that this list contains quality literature!

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Wanna Know? Is knowledge important to you? Where do you go to find knowledge? Is knowledge worth anything if it is not public? How can knowledge be an “economic good”, to be traded and sold? From the blurb of The Access Principle The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship: “The debate over open access, writes Willinsky, raises crucial questions about the place of scholarly work in a larger world — and about the future of knowledge“.

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NUKLEOS WEBLOG 2006-04-27

The Web Is Zen. A few weeks ago, I have started re-reading Robert M.Pirsigs “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. An Inquiry into Values“. Today, while preparing for a motorcycle trip on sunday, I found out that the text is also available on the Web. Excellent!

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NUKLEOS WEBLOG 2006-01-19

Not So Stuffy. Clearly this is stuff for booklovers by the British Library – but you may well find a few children who do not mind listening to Alice in Wonderland while seeing the orginal handwritten copy by Lewis Caroll. And now in dutch: Ook de Vlaming wordt er niet vergeten: in de 15 aktueel getoonde boeken bevindt zich ook een tiental pagina’s uit ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’ van Andreas Vesalius, evenals een twintig pagina’s uit een zestiende-eeuws vlaams ‘boek der uren’.

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NUKLEOS WEBLOG 2005-11-21

We Can Only Hope… to learn enough Esperanto to understand all this: Gangalo (sorry, I haven’t found the circumflex on top of the uppercase G yet). Do note: a recent French study points out: “Le recours à l’espéranto est donc dans l’intérêt évident de plus de 85% des citoyens européens, surtout après l’élargissement survenu en 2004” (you’ll find a copy of the report in PDF at tinyurl.com/bltko). So let’s go and learn something other than a programming language!

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