The Computer Generation of Novels
Theory and Practice
How do authors use computers, not to write novels with word processors, but to generate novels with computer programs? For those interested in this practice, how to join those who are now working as author/programmers, combining writing techniques with computational techniques, developing innovative new ways of producing plots and prose?
There are plenty of exciting opportunities for innovation in the area of computer-generated novels. To look ahead, it’s first appropriate to look back and discover a bit about the history of computer-generated writing. Some discussion of the novel is important, too. Understanding more about this allows us to see how we can now elaborate, question, and combine past work — using new computational methods.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1992.
Audry, Sofian. for the sleepers in that quiet earth. Boston & New York: Bad Quarto. Texts generated 2017. 2019.
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Davis, Robin Camille. If on a winter’s night a library cardholder. https://github.com/robincamille/nanogenmo2016/blob/master/outputs/novel3.md 2016.
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Jackson, Shelley. Patchwork Girl, or, A Modern Monster a Graveyard, a Journal, a Quilt, a Story & Broken Accents. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems. 1995.
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Joyce, James. The Restored Finnegans Wake. Eds. Danis Rose & John O’Hanlon. London: Penguin Classics, 2012.
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Laufer, Milton. A Noise Such as a Man Might Make. Using Electricity series. Denver: Counterpath. 2018.
McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian, or, The Evening Redness in the West. New York: Ecco Press. 1986.
Mboya, Arwa Michele. Wash Day. Using Electricity series. Denver & New York: Counterpath. 2023.
Montfort, Nick. World Clock. Cambridge, MA: Bad Quarto. 2013.
Montfort, Nick. Megawatt. Cambridge, MA: Bad Quarto. 2014.
Montfort, Nick. Memory Slam: Reimplemented computational poetry, electronic literature, and digital literary art that was originally developed on batch processing systems. https://nickm.com/memslam/ 2014–2018.
Montfort, Nick. “Batch/Interactive.” Time: A Vocabulary of the Present, pp. 309-322. 2016.
Proust, Marcel, and Jean-Yves Tadié. À la recherche du temps perdu, Nouv. éd. Paris: Gallimard, 1987.
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