Results tagged “alan turing”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 22.16.11.pngHey, do you need the perfect* gift? How about a signed copy of Leland Purvis and my NYT Best Seller The Imitation Game, delivered to your doorstep by someone in a great looking uniform?

Nicola's Books here in Ann Arbor has you covered. Just click right here and you'll be all set for Father's Day, a birthday, or a treat for yourself. You provide the lover of science and/or comics and/or history and we'll do the rest.

*Full disclosure: It's not the perfect anything, but I'm really proud of this book**, and proud to work with Lynn at Nicola's to make this happen.

**You can learn more about the book on my site, read some of the reviews, and download a sample as well.

I'm in town for the MoCCA Arts Festival (signings on both Saturday and Sunday...more details here), and the newspaper of record has welcomed me with this.

Well, not just me, and Batman and Raina Telgemeier are (still) the champions. But it's nice to see Turing on the list of heroes people want to read about.

I'm going places to promote our book, The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded. Here's what I know about so far:

Saturday-Sunday, April 2-3
Metropolitan West, NYC (right next to the High Line!)

I'll be signing on both days wherever beautiful books by Abrams ComicArts are sold. The schedule is here, but in brief:
Saturday, noon-1pm at the First Second booth
Saturday 1-3pm at the Abrams Booth (G235, G 246)
Sunday 11am-1pm and 2-4pm, also at Abrams!

Tuesday, April 12, 7pm
Grainger Engineering Library (1301 W Springfield Ave, Urbana, IL 61801)

This is my alma mater, and I'm amazed to return as a speaker about a comic book. Undergrad me had no clue how his life would proceed, or how lucky he would be. Sponsored by the library, of course. (Well, not of course, but...of course!)

Thursday, April 21, 7pm
Westgate Shopping Center, 2513 Jackson Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Close to home, and at one of my favorite bookstores. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, May 5, 7pm
Eastwood - (2820 Towne Center Blvd., Lansing, MI 48912)

Remember Borders when it was indie and great? (If so, you're probably older and from Ann Arbor, like me. Sorry.) Anyway, Schuler is what it would have evolved into if it had stayed indie and gotten even better. I really like this store, and Whitney hosts great events.

Thursday-Friday, May 12-13
McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

This isn't open to the general public, but if you're an ABA member, a librarian, or an educator I'll see you there! Where?

Thursday, 3-4pm: Signing at the Abrams booth

Friday, 10-11am: Signing at the Abrams booth

Bonus: I'm doing an interview with "Authors' Voice" at 12:30pm on Thursday, and you can take part. You can also advance order a signed copy through them, at

Saturday-Sunday, May 14-15
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto CA

It's been a couple years since I've been to TCAF, one of my favorite (favourite!) shows in the world, ever. I can't wait to return. I'll give a couple of talks, and sign some books, and then wander around in awe. I really do love this show.

Saturday, 1-2pm: Panel w/Natalie Andrewson (Hinton Theater, Toronto Reference Library) on "Improving Yourself"
Saturday, 2-3pm: Signing area

Sunday, 2:30-3:45: Nonfiction workshop (Writer's Room, Toronto Reference Library)
Sunday, 3:45-4:45: Signing area

I'll have some other signing times to share soon, I hope!

Thursday, May 19, 5pm
Hatcher Graduate Library (Room 100)

The home field advantage might mean I sound smarter than usual. I'm not sure of the format, but it might be a presentation, and it might be a straight Q&A with one of my librarian colleagues.

Ann Arbor Book Festival
Saturday, June 18, 1-4pm
The Neutral Zone and the Vault of Midnight

I'll give a workshop on non-fiction comics at the NZ (1-2pm) and then take part in the Book Crawl at the Vault at 3pm (just crawl in, I think!). See you there!

Saturday-Sunday, June 25-26
Orlando, FL

No schedule yet, but I'll be there, talking and signing. Unless that conflicts with going to see/hear/bow before Margaret Atwood, who will also be there. In that case you'll meet my understudy or body double or something. (Okay, not really. I'm a pro, I can comport myself as such.) (I hope.)


That's what I know. More as details get firmed up, and plans are revealed to me...this spring Maya B. and her team at Abrams control my destiny!
Back again with a bit more audio in anticipation of the release of our The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decodedwhich comes out Tuesday (March 22). Here are two of my favorite pieces:

If tomorrow you find yourself wondering about the basis for the omnipresent sound effects that run through, over, and under the panels in the second section of the book, wonder no more: Here's what a Bombe sounds like, courtesy of John Harper & the Bombe Rebuild Project team and Graham Ellsbury. Leland liked this one a lot, and found it useful too. As I recall, he tweaked my interpretation of how to render that in text-based sound effects to...well, good effect!

Speaking of sounds, in our book, Turing huffs and groans through many miles as a long distance runner. He was good at it--nigh unto Olympic class, in fact--but not elegant. (This was true of many aspects of his life; he did remarkable things, but unlike some geniuses, Turing didn't always make it look easy.) Here's Alan Garner, talking about running with Turing.

This bit of audio comes courtesy of Wisconsin Public Radio's "To the Best of Our Knowledge." I did a short comic for them a few years ago along with the fantastic artist Natalie Nourigat, that featured bats, philosophers, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Doolittle, and of course, Alan Turing...

It was as much fun as it sounds!
Leland Purvis and my The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded comes out Tuesday, March 22, and I'm excited by that. To warm you up for it, here are two pieces of audio memoir I enjoyed. I'll offer two more that I like even better tomorrow.

Both of these are courtesy of the British Library's "Voices of Science" series. As you can imagine, I relied a great deal on British sources for the research behind Turing, and am grateful that there were so many fine ones to work from.

Libraries really are the best thing since slice bread.

(Note that public libraries predate sliced bread by almost 100 years, and university libraries are even older. Yeah, I looked it up.)
"We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done."

Alan M. Turing (1950). "Computing machinery and intelligence." Mind, 59, 433-460.

If only that future had included many more years of Turing, and the products of his genius.

Posted in honor of The Imitation Game by Leland Purvis and it at, which concludes its online run today. Thanks to Leland most of all, but also Irene Gallo and Chris Lough at, Joan Hilty, Nick Abadzis, and everyone else who made this possible. 
"A British woman officer or non-commissioned officer can -- and often does -- give orders to a man private. The men obey smartly and know it is no shame. For British women have proven themselves in this way. They have stuck to their posts near burning ammunition dumps, delivered messages afoot after their motorcycles have been blasted from under them. They have pulled aviators from burning planes. They have died at gun posts and as they fell another girl has stepped directly into the position and "carried on." There is not a single record in this war of any British woman in uniformed service quitting her post or failing to do her duty under fire.

"Now you understand why British soldiers respect the women in uniform. They have won the right to the utmost respect. When you see a girl in khaki or air-force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic -- remember she didn't get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich."

Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942, issued by the United States War Department in 1942, published by the Bodelian Library, University of Oxford, in 2004 (ISBN 1-85124-085-3)

"[W]e are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge. We don't want to say 'This machine's quite hard, so it isn't a brain, so it can't think.'"

Alan Turing (1952). "Can automatic calculating machines be said to think?" BBC Third Programme, 14 and 23 Jan. 1952, discussion between M.H.A. Newman, Alan M. Turing, Sir Geoffrey Jefferson, and R.B. Braithwaite.

"Don't be misled by the British tendency to be soft-spoken and polite. If they need to be, they can be plenty tough. The English language didn't spread across the oceans and over the mountains and jungles and swamps of the world because these people were panty-waists."

Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942, issued by the United States War Department in 1942, published by the Bodelian Library, University of Oxford, in 2004 (ISBN 1-85124-085-3)

Turing at the time of his election to Fellowsh...

Turing at the time of his election to Fellowship of the Royal Society. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At last! The book was first announced in Publishers Weekly a...while ago. After a whole lot of work, Leland Purvis and my book about Alan Turing has begun to appear at Here's our pitch from way back when:

"The atomic bomb shortened WWII by months, and the whole world knew it, instantly. The code-breakers at Bletchley Park shortened the war by years, but everyone who worked there remained anonymous and everything they did remained secret...for decades. As Winston Churchill put it, Bletchley people were the geese that 'laid the golden egg, but never cackled.'

Flying at the head of Churchill's flock was Alan Turing, the mathematician who cracked the German Enigma code. That alone would be enough to secure his place in history, but before the war he launched modern computer science via his creation of the Universal Turing Machine and after the war he created what is now known as the Turing Test, a benchmark for artificial intelligence. He called his test 'The Imitation Game'.

He was also openly gay in a time and place where gays were treated criminally. And not just metaphorically -- he killed himself with a cyanide-tainted apple after being convicted of homosexuality and forced to undergo estrogen treatment.

Our world is one of computers and secure communications, and Turing's work is at the heart of both. He was an eccentric genius, an Olympic-class runner, a witty and clear communicator about complicated ideas, and open and honest to a fault. The secret he kept to safeguard his country could have saved him; the secret he refused to keep to save himself meant his destruction at the hands of that same country."

We hope you enjoy it! Here's that link again: The Imitation Game.

(I scheduled this post to appear at 10:01:01 local time. Binary and prime: I hope Alan Turing would approve.)


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