The Spring Colloquium will launch from our winter break reading, Robin Sloan’s critically acclaimed Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store. It is a short, fun read featuring smart, young people, cyber romance, medieval puzzles, Google headquarters, and Big Questions. It is, as the author says, “a novel about books and technology, cryptography and conspiracy, friendship and love. It begins in a mysterious San Francisco bookstore, but quickly reaches out into the wider world and the shadowed past.”
One reviewer called it “A book that gets it. Plus, you know: cryptographic cults, vertical bookshops, hot geeks, theft, and the pursuit of immortality.” Another called it a work “in love with the idea that our technical abilities can serve as conduits for beauty.” We’ll explore all these ideas with our special guest speakers and a planned visit by the author himself.