When the writer Rebecca Forster first heard how Google was using her work, it felt like she was trapped in a science fiction novel. “Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea,” she says. “I have no idea what their objective is. Certainly it is not to bring me readers.”
After a 25-year writing career, during which she has published 29 novels ranging from contemporary romance to police procedurals, the first instalment of her Josie Bates series, Hostile Witness, has found a new reader: Google’s artificial intelligence.
“My imagination just didn’t go as far as it being used for something like this,” Forster says. “Perhaps that’s my failure.” Forster’s thriller is just one of 11,000 novels that researchers including Oriol Vinyals and Andrew M Dai at Google Brain have been using to improve the technology giant’s conversational style. After feeding these books into a neural network, the system was able to generate fluent, natural-sounding sentences. READ MORE: Google swallows 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation | Books | The Guardian
The last Shakespeare adaptation I watched was Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. I thought the modern interpretation was cleverly done with the limited financial and production resources with which it was filmed. Waiting to borrow Fassbender’s Macbeth from my local library. Excited to finally watch. I’ve always been impressed with Fassbender’s…ahem…presence.
Are these the 10 best Shakespeare screen adaptations? READ: Are these the 10 best Shakespeare screen adaptations? | Stage | The Guardian + The 10 Best Faithful Shakespeare Adaptations on Film | Flavorwire
There are countless stage and screen adaptations of the playwright’s oeuvre, but we’re highlighting some of the underappreciated and little-known movies inspired by the English writer. READ: 10 Shakespeare Film Adaptations You Haven’t Seen | Flavorwire
It’s 2 A.M. on March 20 in France and Ta-Nehisi Coates is not sleeping. “I’m up learning to make maps so I can make one of Wakanda, believe it or not.” The award-winning writer who’s steering the future of one of Marvel’s most important characters is taking his job very seriously. READ MORE: Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Trying To Do Right By Marvel Comics’ First Black Superhero | Kotaku
The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury—a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold. Sir Isaac Newton Image: Godfrey Kneller As reported in Chemistry World, the US Chemical Heritage Foundation has purchased the document, which languished in a private collection for decades. The newly surfaced manuscript was authored by an American chemist but handwritten and owned by Isaac Newton.
Source: Rediscovered Manuscript Shows How Isaac Newton Dabbled In Alchemy
Calais Refugee Library Flooded with Thousands of Books | Books | The Guardian
Creator of Jungle Books urges people to donate money, not books, so refugees can cook – and read – in safety.
17 Books That Perfectly Capture The Immigrant Experience | BuzzFeed
These authors share fiction and non-fiction about staying afloat in the system.
Bestselling Japanese novelist’s responses to readers’ queries published as a lengthy ebook, with an abridged version available in print. READ MORE: Haruki Murakami’s agony uncle answers become eight-volume book | Books | The Guardian
A Japanese bookseller is fighting back against online retail giants like Amazon by buying up a staggering 90 percent of the first printing of a famous Japanese author’s new collection of essays. READ MORE: Japanese Bookseller Buys Almost Every Copy Of New Murakami Book To Protest Amazon | Huffington Post
SINCE 1953, TO be nominated for a Hugo Award, among the highest honors in science fiction and fantasy writing, has been a dream come true for authors who love time travel, extraterrestrials and tales of the imagined future. Past winners of the rocket-shaped trophy—nominated and voted on by fans—include people like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and Robert A. Heinlein. In other words: the Gods of the genre.
But in recent years, as sci-fi has expanded to include storytellers who are women, gays and lesbians, and people of color, the Hugos have changed, too. At the presentation each August, the Gods with the rockets in their hands have been joined by Goddesses and those of other ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations, many of whom want to tell stories about more than just spaceships. READ MORE: Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters | WIRED.
The plan made me feel dishonest and creepy, so it took me a long time to send my novel out under a man’s name. But each time I read a study about unconscious bias, I got a little closer to trying it. READ MORE: Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name | Jezebel
Rather than watching brain-numbing reality television this summer, I am determined to watch all 13 series of Agatha Christie’s Poroit TV series starring David Suchet. Just finished Series 6 and will be picking up Series 7 & 8 from my local library today. I correctly guess the culprit only half the time. It’s been awesome. Yes, I am a bit of a mystery genre geek.
For almost 100 years, Agatha Christie has beguiled readers with her much-loved mysteries. But now a panel of experts claims to have worked out how to answer the perennial question: whodunnit?
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of the world’s best-selling novelist, academics have created a formula that they claim will enable the reader to identify the killer before the likes of Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple have managed the feat.
The research, commissioned by the TV channel Drama, analysed 27 of the prolific writer’s books – 83 were published during her lifetime – including classics such as Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. The experts concluded that where the novel was set, the main mode of transport used and how the victim dies were among the key clues. READ MORE: How to spot whodunnit: academics crack Agatha Christie’s code | Books | The Guardian.