World Clock tells of 1440 incidents that take place around the world at each minute of a day. The novel was inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s “One Human Minute” and Harry Mathews’s “The Chronogram for 1998.” It celebrates the industrial concept of time and certain types of vigorous banality which are shared by all people throughout the world.
This novel was generated with 165 lines of Python code, all of which were written by the author in about four hours on November 27, 2013. The only external data source that is used in the generation process is the computer’s time zone database. The source code is available under a free software license at http://nickm.com/code; anyone is welcome to use that code to generate their own novel or for any other purpose. World Clock was generated as part of the first “NaNoGenMo” or National Novel Generation Month, which was declared on Twitter this year as a response to, and alternative to, the better-known NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
Nick Montfort develops literary generators and other computational art and poetry, and has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. He is associate professor of digital media at MIT and faculty advisor for the Electronic Literature Organization, whose Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1 he co-edited. Montfort wrote the book of poems Riddle & Bind and co-wrote 2002: A Palindrome Story. The MIT Press has published four of his collaborative and individually-authored books: The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, and most recently 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, a collaboration with nine other authors that Montfort organized.