This is a fictional story written by Chris Johnson that has the Alicebot program and programmers in it. A pdf sample is available online, though a paperback is only $16 at CafePress where and a CD will be soon be too. Here is the synopsis from Chris’ site, which also has a forum to discuss the artist’s work and a blog:

Code Base is a story about a 26 year old named, Philip who has a crush on a celebrity singer/storyteller, Sally Stone (also 26). Philip has studied up for several years to build his dream computer but he doesn’t have any clue just how powerful it will become.

This tale takes you, the reader, through a maze of twists and turns and will make you stop at times to ingest what you have just read. Although it gets technical at times, it’s a love story that will leave you wondering about the possibilities that lay before you, in your own life as well.

It is described on the forum by a guest as appealing to

readers of the Sci Fi Fiction category along with lovers of the 80’s movies “wired” or “weird science” and lovers of Doctor Who.

I enjoyed the use of code in the story, not just for its entrance into net-speak or even mesangelle, but for the inclusion of active text, indeed illocutionary text (as I believe XML and the like is) in a fixed format. I felt like a bit of geek, though, reading it — like I should be laughing that gaffaw relegated to stereotypes. I haven’t finished the sample yet either, so no comment on the AIML references as yet.

An interesting note about the title: I cannot display it here as it is meant to be because it reads as code and so is not parsed appropriately. Fine in fixed print but in the hypertextual domain brackets and slashes MEAN THINGS.

Johnson, C. (2004) Codebase, Spektrum Creations.

4 Responses to “CodeBase”

  1. 1 Jeremy Douglass

    Mark, you could use HTML escape codes to write the title in HTML


    which then renders in the browser as


    …of course, in order to explain that to you just now, I had to escape my explanation & sign by writing it &amp;, thus:


    …which I needed to write


    ….etc. etc. Codebase indeed.

  2. 2 infitech_design

    Hey what happened to the SpektrumCreations website?

  3. 3 Jeremy Douglass

    Did you search for it? The homepage says it has gone offline for revamping as of June 2005 - however <Codebase/> is still available here….

  4. 4 Chris Johnson

    Sorry for the hiatus. I’m getting things back online, primarily working on the sister site to,

    SPKML is the language developed by the main character in <CodeBase />, Philip (which was the original name of the Program E AIML interpretter implimentation), which was an acronym for “Special Purpose Knowledge Markup Language”. However, is also where you can by my latest CD, “Somebody Please Keep Me Lucid” which you’ll see is another acronym using SPKML.

    At any rate, points to

    Also, I’ve created a couple widgets which can be downloaded from my site, which was built to be a more benign version of the bot in the book, Dylan. There are two versions of the Chat bot, one for use with Tiger’s Dashboard, that interfaces with my Program E interpretter, hosted at an the other is for use with Yahoo’s Widget Engine, Dylan Online, which is available for Windows and Mac at — The Yahoo Widget Engine Versions use the built in Text To Speech engines of either operating system. I’m not sure yet how to code the Dashboard widget to impliment TTS.


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