The Contenders for the First Novel Written With a Word Processor

Matthew Kirschenbaum, an English professor and expert on the early days of fiction writing on word processors received a flood of reader messages after The New York Times profiled him a couple of weeks ago. The University of Maryland had discussed his upcoming book on the literary history of computers with the paper and hovered around a fascinating question: Who wrote the first novel on a word processor. Though her original Times's story suggested some big names who were likely candidates, the paper's Jennifer Schuessler followed up with a Tuesday morning blog post, linking Kirschenbaum's theories with the Times readers stories. The post is inconclusive about the answer to the big question of who wrote the first book on a word processor, but we've been able to compile a list of likely candidates. Spoiler: a lot of them are science fiction writers.

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