Category Archives: Books

And Inside, Silence

A while ago I was invited to contribute to In the Flesh, a collection of essays about the body edited by Kathy Page and Lynne Van Luven. Each writer could choose their preferred limb, organ etc. I selected the pancreas, and I'm blogging about it here because it compared the virtual bodies we use in cyberspace with the invisible inner workings of our physical selves. The result was an essay called "And Inside, Silence" and it begins like this:

InthefleshI spend a great deal of my time online, which means I sit down a lot while my body does nothing much at all but type, think, and shuffle around on an office chair. There was a time, when the World Wide Web was young, when I and quite a few others lived the life of the mind through the Internet and were so entranced by it that we dared to hope the brain would transcend the body. Through the power of virtuality and imagination we connected in the deepness of cyberspace. Then, years before the noise and colour of places such as Second Life, text-based virtual worlds such as LambdaMOO drew us into deep silence. On those screens there were no pictures. Words typed on a plain black-and-white screen represented your entire self. It was there that I forgot my body and learned to be virtual, where the most physical thing I ever did was put my hand against the glass at a moment when someone else was doing the same on the other side of the world, and our imaginations filled in the rest.

Draft book jacket ‘Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace’

I'm delighted to share this first draft of the jacket for my book, scheduled for early 2013. I think it's beautiful.  Technobiophilia_jacket_draft

‘Nature and Cyberspace: The Wild Surmise’ to be published by Bloomsbury Academic

Creek merging with ocean

Today I signed a contract with Bloomsbury's new scholarly imprint Bloomsbury Academic. Delivery date is September 2012 so i need to get my skates on – lots to do. I'm very excited to be working with Bloomsbury, since they seem to have the right idea about publishing in a new media world – they understand how open source works and they're prepared to experiment at the more risky end of publishing. I gather their new website will be launching soon, and there we will see the full glory of their intentions :)

As for The Wild Surmise – they want to switch the title around to 'Nature and Cyberspace: The Wild Surmise', and I can see how that makes sense because it's more explicit but retains the poetry of the original phrase. I'm keen to reach beyond academia with this book.

So now the idea becomes a firm reality. I'm really looking forward to it!