Our book on the history of self-reproducing machines - an update

Tim Taylor

Dear all,

First of all, many thanks for signing up to this list and showing an interest in our book on the early history of self-reproducing and evolving machines. Here's a brief, but long overdue, update on the current state of play.

Last year we submitted a draft to MIT Press, who sent it out for review. We duly received an impressive five reviews back from them. Three of them recommended publication. The other two had positive comments but also some concerns about the structure and thought it could be improved by having a stronger message running throughout.

I've taken those comments on board, and have spent the last year (in between other things) working on a significantly revamped new draft. This not only addresses the reviewers' comments, but also includes some new material that I've come across in the time since the first draft was submitted. I've also given it a new working title: "Rise of the Self-Replicants: Early Visions of Machines that can Reproduce and Evolve".

The good news is that the new draft is now complete (at last!) and I have sent it back to MIT Press. It's never fun reading negative comments about your work, but I genuinely think the new version is much stronger now because of the feedback.

We have not yet actually signed a contract with MIT Press, but I think we've got a better chance of doing that now. If that doesn't happen, we've got other publication options in play as well. According to what I've heard from MITP, I'm expecting to be able to post another update on progress here in early May.

Best wishes,