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Lain "Official" Reading List

Introduction: The role of typographic elements in lain


In layer:02 of serial experiments lain during the Accela narration, there is text just barely visible in the background. I took the time to transcribe what it says. It turns out to be a reading list.

(click on each image for a larger version)

unmodified screencapture Unmodified screencapture
modified screencapture Modified screencapture
transcription Transcription (not to scale)

Extrapolation of book titles

I've read a few of these books or portions of them and heard of a few others. The unfamiliar ones I found using Altavista. Here are my best guesses:

Simians, Cyborgs, and Women by Donna Harraway
Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
The Girl Who Was Plugged In by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)
Empire of the Senseless by Kathy Acker
George Slusser and Tim Shippey are analysts of cyberpunk fiction.
Alvin Toffler is a well-known futurist.
Vonda McIntyre is a science-fiction author.

I will add links to information about these authors later. If you can decipher any more of the text in the screencapture, please let me know. Thanks to Jerry Hsu for the DVD screencapture and help with the interpretation.

Urban Diary page 1

Update (12/29/99)

Shana Rosenberg, a reader of this site, emailed me and pointed out the origin of the background image. It turns out to be page 1 of an art exhibit on the web called "Urban Diary," itself part of a larger art website called "the place" by Joseph Squier. Much thanks to Shana for recognizing this and letting me know, as I never would have found it on my own.

Update (01/16/00)

Christian Cain, a reader of this site and fellow lain website author, was motivated to find other meaningful texts hidden within serial experiments lain. He has since sent me the following screencaptures (from layer:11) with a link to the text they originated from. Thanks, Christian!

screencapture screencapture

The text is from What is Artificial Life?, the intro page to ALIFE VI, a webpage for the Sixth International Conference on Artificial Life: Life and Computation: the Boundaries are Changing.

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Last updated on September 14th, 2002
Lawrence Eng