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GeekWire

Time-travel novel spawns instant spin-off

Neal Stephenson
Seattle author Neal Stephenson’s latest novel is “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.,” written with Nicole Galland. (Photo by Bob Lee / CC BY 2.0)

Seattle author Neal Stephenson’s newly published science-fiction novel, “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.,” serves as the launch pad for a newly released literary app as well.

The free Bound app, available for iOS with an Android version coming soon, features a serial that’s spun off from the time-traveling characters created by Stephenson and his co-author, historical novelist Nicole Galland.

“The D.O.D.O. Files” is billed as an extension of the book, with episodes written by Jamie Ortiz and David N. Ishimaru. The first two episodes are available for free reading or listening, and fresh content will be added on a weekly basis.

In addition to the episodes, which take the form of emails as well as narratives, users can download excerpts from the fictional Department of Diachronic Operations’ human resources handbook, including DODO’s sexual harassment policy. (One of the banned behaviors is the “wearing of overly large codpieces or making reference to such codpieces.”)

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Forbes

‘Back to the Future’ sets off a tech time warp

Image: Marty McFly and hoverboard
In “Back to the Future Part 2,” Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) grabs a hoverboard to make his escape in 2015 – sparking a decades-long effort to invent hoverboards that actually work. (Credit: Universal Pictures)

One of the running gags in the Back to the Future movies is the Hollywood equivalent of a closed timelike curve – in which a time traveler brings an innovation back from the future and invents it in the past, so that it exists in the future. For example, there’s Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, doing the “Johnny B. Goode” duckwalk that inspires Chuck Berry’s signature move, 30 years earlier in 1955.

This week marks the flip side of that record: In Back to the Future Part 2, Marty travels ahead from 1985 to Oct. 21, 2015 – and brings back glimpses of a weird future world where flying robots roam the skies and the Cubs are contenders. It’s one thing to talk about which technologies the movie got right (fingerprint recognition) or wrong (dog-walking drones). But what’s really interesting are the technologies that arguably take a page from the “BTTF” script and close the time loop, just in time for Marty’s arrival.

Get the full story from Forbes.