To generalise heroically, the entire arc of world literature can be summarised as follows: writing about gods, then kings and queens, then ordinary people and, finally, ourselves.

But having exhaustively explored the divine and almost every dimension of the human, we are plunging deeper into a new era of literary history: writing about machines. And that may even presage the most startling evolution of all: machines writing about humans and perhaps, one day, machines writing about machines.

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