In 1992, William Gibson published Agrippa, a poem coded on a floppy disk such that after one reading it would destroy itself forever. Quinn DuPont, a PhD student studying cryptography, built an emulation of the self-destructing poem and has a challenge to cyberpunks and cryptographers: be the first person to crack the poem’s code and win a copy of every one of Gibson’s books ever published.
This Friday Slate will premiere its first monthly book review feature. On the first weekend of every month, the Slate Book Review will take over the site’s main page. Senior culture editor Dan Kois told the New York Times that he was displeased to watch newspaper after newspaper scrapping their book sections; “it didn’t seem to me that there was less of an appetite for good writing about books.”
Recommended reading, Halloween edition: 5 scary stories written by women, courtesy of BookRiot.
Jon McGregor has won the International Impac Dublin Literary Award, otherwise known as the richest literary prize in all the land*, for his novel Even the Dogs. To check out the rest of the pool, you can revisit our coverage of both the long and shortlist for the prize. (McGregor’s tweet about this whole affair was pretty grand, by the way.) [*Ed note: a reader in the comments below has disputed this claim.]