Before I worked at Time I wrote about books and technology for a few other magazines. These are a few selections from my early journalism and fiction.
“Catalog This,” New York Times, April 2002
Rare book libraries often become the last resting place for objects far more bizarre than books. Taft's underwear, Dante's ashes, Tennyson's hair -- what's a librarian to do?
“The Gay Nabokov,” Salon, May 2000
Vladimir Nabokov almost never mentioned his brother Sergei, who was gay and had a strange and colorful life of his own. After Sergei died in a Nazi concentration camp, he haunted his famous brother, and his novels.
“When Words Fail,” Lingua Franca, April 1999
Deep in the bowels of Yale's Beinecke Library sits the Voynich manuscript, the world's most mysterious book. Written entirely in code and filled with botanical, astrological and pornographic illustrations, it has consumed lives and ruined reputations, but nobody has deciphered it yet.
“Get Smart,” Time Digital, October 1998
A brief history of Cyc, a decades-long attempt to create an intelligent computer by teaching it everything about the entire world.
Warp: A novel, 1997
Grossman's first novel, Warp, concerns the lyrical misadventures of a Boston slacker who has trouble distinguishing between reality and Star Trek.