Ghost (Writer) in the machine

Philip Parker is the most prolific author in history, according to Amazon. The NY Times ran this article about Philip Parker and his amazing technicolor technical writing machines. Apparently, Parker unleashes his computers on the Internet, which look in every nook and cranny to glean all stats, numbers, data, etc. Then Parker peppers in a few introductions and transition pieces, hits another button to format, create charts and an index and…. bam! You have a collection of 200,000 “published” books (actually they’re sitting in a POD database waiting until someone buys one).

Most are dry niche-technical stuff. The kind of specialist info you might expect from a data miner like the one he is running. But he says that he’s looking to produce works in one area-of fiction… the romance novel.

“I’ve already set it up,” he said. “There are only so many body parts.”

Wow. Writing so formulaic that someone thinks a computer could do it? It will be interesting to see if it ever happens.

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