Monthly Archives: February 2015

Unstuck in Time: Vonnegut Documentary

I have just contributed. You should too.


Watch the video:


Fire Language

(a poem by Ann K. Schwader — original at

What kindled in that cave were names of things
like sparks from stars.

Tongues struck against a thought
again, & then again, as foxfire quickened
in mute amino acids where mutation
sang out as hands had not.

No innovation
of stick or stone or bone, but flame incarnate
from brains no longer solitary, silent
in their pale chambers.

Spiraling those walls
with verbs & nouns, identity & action
united by synaptic galaxies,
we wrote our labyrinth.

Defined our pattern
as ever outward, going forth on fire.

—after Charles Sandison’s video installation Chamber

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

Book cover

Just finished it. Cute little book. I consumed it in two sittings of 5 hours each, pausing to digest it better (not because the reading was hard — it was delightfully easy — but because it deserves to be savored).

The review by Cory Doctorow says it is what “The DaVinci Code could be if its author loved the

I’m glad I did not read The DaVinci Code.

The book made me think of David Egger’s The Circle, with its fictional Google counterpart. In Mr. Penumbra’s, Google plays a major role too, and it is called Google.

But, unlike in The Circle, here Google is apparently not evil. It may actually be an important rung in the ladder that will let us climb all the way up to the Singularity.

But that’s not the focus. I think.

I suggest you read it and figure out what the focus is.

Of course, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose also comes to mind.

You can find more about the book in Robin Sloan’s homepage.

There is also an extended interview with him on CBC.