“I believe that stories told primarily (but not exclusively) with words are among the most durable things a person can produce, and I’m trying my best to write a few that might make it through to the year 2112. If you read one and pass it along to someone else, you’re participating in that project—so, thank you!” (from robinsloan.com)
Robin Sloan’s biography is elusive. Most author biography web pages contain nothing more than the blurb from the inside flap of his book, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. This blurb consists of,
“Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the internet.”
So, in my desire to pin down who this author is and what influences him, I dug a little deeper. On Librarything it is revealed that Robin Sloan was born December 19, 1979. While this may or may not be true as I could find no corroboration, his photo reveals that this may be an accurate approximation of how old he is. From an interview I discovered that he grew up in Troy Michigan and he went on to study economics at Michigan State.
On his web site, Robin Sloan indicates that he is a media inventor. In his own words, he says a media inventor is, as “someone primarily interested in content—words, pictures, ideas—who also experiments with new formats, new tools, and new technology…. Media inventors feel compelled to make the content and the container.” (http://www.robinsloan.com/about/) This sounds like a perfect title for Robin. He appears to have his hands deep into inventing and manipulating new ways for media to disseminate information. His past employment all had to do with the future of media, and he worked at: Poynter a journalism school, Current TV an online news network, and Twitter. His posts and commentary can be found on Twitter and Snarkmarket, a “long-running conversation about media, journalism, technology, cities, culture, design, books, music, movies, the future and the past.” (snarkmarket.com)
Robin Sloan’s book is a mix of the old and the new. And, based on his interviews and web casts, Robin himself seems to exemplify this attitude. He reads book but also lives online, he appears to be excited by the world of technology and yet ditched the smart phone, he has worked to progress digital media and still he wrote a wonderful book about books.
Robin originally released Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore as a short story. He also wrote the novella Annabel Scheme, the short story The writer and the witch.
Find out more about Robin Sloan by visiting his website:
Watch a video of Robin Sloan discussing his book here: http://www.robinsloan.com/penumbra/live/
A Goodreads interview with the author: http://www.goodreads.com/videos/34734-goodreads-live-with-robin-sloan
A New York Times interview with the author: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/one-on-one-robin-sloan-author-and-media-inventor/
A New York Times article about the author and this book: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/books/robin-sloan-author-and-more-and-his-24-hour-bookstore.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0