November 16, 2019

Nano-NaNoGenMo or #NNNGM

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by @ 4:47 pm

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak November;
And each separate bit and pixel wrought a novel on GitHub.

April may be the cruelest month, and now the month associated with poetry, but November is the month associated with novel-writing, via NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Now, thanks to an offhand comment by Darius Kazemi and the work of Hugo van Kemenade, November is also associated with the computer-generation of novels, broadly speaking. Any computer program and its 50,000 word+ output qualifies as an entry in NaNoGenMo, National Novel Generation Month.

August 15, 2018

VIdeo of My PRB Reading

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by @ 6:03 am

Thanks to host Joseph Mosconi, I read at the Poetics Research Bureau in Los Angeles from two recent computer-generated books. Sophia Le Fraga and Aaron Winslow read with me on this evening, on July 21.

I have now posted 360 video of my readings of both The Truelist and Hard West Turn.

Montfort’s Poetic Research Bureau reading of July 21, 2018

I read from The Truelist (Counterpath, 2017). The Truelist is available as an offset-printed book from Counterpath, as a short, deterministic, free software program that generates the full text of the book, and as a free audiobook, thanks to the generosity of the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, its Wexler Studio, and PennSound.

June 10, 2017

My @party Talk on Computer-Generated Books

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by @ 12:46 pm

I just gave a talk at the local demoparty, @party. While I haven’t written out notes and it wasn’t recorded, here are the slides. The talk was “Book Productions: The Latest in Computer-Generated Literary Art,” and included some discussion of how computer-generated literary books related to demoscene productions.

July 21, 2016

Computer-Generated Books

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by @ 11:16 pm

Here’s a first effort (as of 2am on July 22) at a bibliography of computer-generated books. I have not included books where the text has been obviously sorted computer (e.g. Auerbach, Reimer). I have included some strange outliers such as a book written with computational assistance and a book that is human written but is supposed to read like a computer-generated book.

I’d love to know about more of these. I’m not as interested in the thousands of computer-generated spam books available for purchase (unless a few of them are truly awesome), but would particularly like to know if some of the great NaNoGenMo books I’ve read are available in print.

December 29, 2014

Megawatt Reviewed

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by @ 2:44 pm

The first review of Megawatt has appeared, and it’s quite a detailed analysis of the book, its relationship to Watt, and how the code and output text, in their presentation here, relate. The review is by Hannes Bajohr at 0x0a.

It’s in German. Here is the automagical Googly translation.

December 19, 2014

NaNoGenMo 2014: A Look Back & Back

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by @ 9:26 pm

There were so many excellent novel generators, and generated novels, last month for NaNaGenMo (National Novel Generation Month).

I thought a lot of them related to and carried on the work of wonderful existing literary projects — usually in the form of existing books. And this is in no way a backhanded complement. My own NaNoGenMo entry was the most rooted in an existing novel; I simply computationally re-implemented Samuel Beckett’s novel Watt (or at least the parts of it that were most illegible and computational), in my novel generator Megawatt (its PDF output is also available). For good measure, Megawatt is completely deterministic; although someone might choose to modify it and generate different things, as it stands it generates exactly one novel. So, for me to say that I was reminded of a great book when I saw a particular generator is pure praise.

December 9, 2014

Megawatt, the Paperback, Can Be Bought

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by @ 7:53 pm

… from the Harvard Book Store.

And if it’s digital data you’re craving, it’s also available for free as a PDF and as an EPUB. And the code that generated these books is free software.

November 29, 2014


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by @ 11:13 am

The fruits of my National Novel Generation Month (NaNoGenMo) labors are now online; the Megawatt generator is available as a single 350-line Python file, while the novel it deterministically generates can be obtained as a PDF, megawatt.pdf or in epub format, megawatt.epub. From the program’s docstring and from the preface to the book:

Megawatt is the title of both a computer program, the source code
to which you may be reading, and the output of this program, which in
many ways like a standard novel and which you may instead be reading.
This note appears at the beginning of both.

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