Robin Sloan: A wordsciencer after my own heart.
If there is one thing I love it’s words. And science. And math. Oh, and pictures that explain relationships between words, science and math. Come to think of it, I also have a deep, heartfelt, first-love-at-summer-camp style devotion to technology. If I could, I would invite all these various affairs to a dinner party at my newly completed library and let them mingle. Mingling would lead to chatting amiably about the relative merits of modelling versus simulation and “who even know the difference anyway?” followed by warm laughter and a feeling of newfound camaraderie. This growing affection between my loves would lead, as it inevitably does, to the consumption of near lethal doses of cognac and wormwood cigarellos.
What we know about the rest of the party has been pieced together from partially recovered security footage: Science stumbled into the study and demanded that Words behave themselves in the presence of a lady. Presumably he meant Pictures, the only other guest nearby. Later, Words cancelled a parcheesi tournament because Technology had eaten all the guacamole. Then the kissing. Lord a’Mercy the kissing.
Anyhoo, long story short they all got pregnant, regardless of gender, and had a litter of hybrid science/lit/art/tech striplings. The first of these cross-breeds was introduced to us over breakfast in the atrium. His name was Robin Sloan. He arrived without invitation, but will not be asked to leave until we hear all that he has to say.
He is using some scroll sniffers to track how readers navigate his texts. Super interesting, right? He is also using graphing utilities to visualize the data. Also interesting. Go check it out: Robin Sloan’s code is watching you read Robin Sloan’s code.
More on Sloan and the new generation of hypertext lit later…chapter one: Does subliminal content have to be evil?