7/16/2003

The series on the history of the novel I mentioned in the last blog turned out to be fascinating. I don't think it's at all going to be oriented towards genre, but that's fine, as they're doing a good job looking at the way fiction evolved into its current form over the past few centuries. The programme begins with Defoe writing a satirical tract called 'The Shortest Way with Dissenters' in the voice of a fictional clergyman ... except the authorities decided people wouldn't realise the clergyman wasn't real, and locked him in stocks. Supposedly, this is one of the beginning points for the use of a fictional narrator's voice (Of course, plays were written in this way prior to Defoe, but until this period in history, the idea of having more than one book - ie the Bible - was still pretty new).

There's a nice article in Wired about the possibilities for technological invisibility cloaks ... it mentions a really nice trick that simply never occured to me. Stick a webcam on your back, plug it into your laptop, hold the laptop screen out from your chest, and you can be seen through. If I had a webcam, maybe I'd give it a shot.

But the article also made me wonder about an idea ... say you had a t-shirt, embedded with tens of thousands of tiny, tiny camera lenses wired into a chip somewhere, all linked in. Programmed so that one side - perhaps the back - projected an image of what was behind the wearer onto the front side of the shirt? Just a thought. Or maybe they'd be illegal, since it might make breaking and entering a lot easier?

Workshopped my second book Against Gravity last night, which left me thinking about the next draft. I can never get the shape of a book into my head until other people read it and tell me what they read. I suspect two or three characters may be consolidated into one.
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