World Clock

Saturday 30 November 2013, 12:10 pm   //////  

This is my contribution to NaNoGenMo (National Novel Generation Month), written in about four hours on November 27. (Messing with the typesetting took a bit more time.)

Source code in Python. Requires pytz.

World Clock, the generated novel presented as a 246-page PDF.

Page 1 of World Clock


  1. Nick, this is wonderful!

    Comment by Mark Klink — 2013-12-01 @ 12:27 am
  2. […] finally, my entry is World Clock, which briefly describes something happening, at some location around the world, at each minute of a […]

  3. This is great. But I think I’ve caught a typo?

    “It is now precisely 06:12 in St. Johns. In some ramshackle yet sturdy habitat someone named Tsega, who is rather large, reads an entirely made-up word off the label of a tin can. She raises one eyebrow.” (96-97)

    Based on the time zone, I think that’s supposed to be St. John’s, Newfoundland, which has an apostrophe.

    Comment by Chris Piuma — 2013-12-03 @ 7:01 pm
  4. Actually, it’s St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – which also has an apostrophe. So, you are right that the apostrophe needs to be added. I will amend the document to include it as soon as I can.

    Comment by Nick — 2013-12-03 @ 10:52 pm
  5. Chris, thanks, I updated the version of world_clock.pdf to add the missing apostrophe and to change the font of the body text from Times New Roman to Gentium. The version of the novel that you have is now rare and precious.

    Comment by Nick — 2013-12-04 @ 11:42 am
  6. I hate to argue with authorial intent, but the St. John’s reference is at “06:12”, but it’s the 42nd minute of that hour. St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, is UTC-4:00, but Newfoundland Standard Time is UTC-3:30. (The entry two prior is “05:40 in Halifax”, which works if it’s Halifax, Nova Scotia (also UTC-4:00)—and I haven’t mapped out the whole novel yet, but I’m pretty sure it has to be.)

    But certainly Gentium is a nicer font.

    Comment by Chris Piuma — 2013-12-21 @ 1:04 am
  7. Ah yes, Chris, it’s the tell-tale 30 minutes. St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda is UTC-04:00, so you’re right, that must be the more northerly St. John’s. Sometimes Canada seems inscrutable, even without getting to its revocation of anti-prostitution laws, even without getting to Toronto. I appreciate the new-found understanding of time that you’ve offered.

    Comment by Nick — 2013-12-21 @ 9:56 am
  8. As I appreciate the new socio-temporal understanding that you’ve offered!

    Comment by Chris Piuma — 2013-12-21 @ 6:05 pm
  9. great idea. also reminds me of Teju Cole’s twitter posts and the entire ‘fait divers’ thing…

    Comment by GaussMauss — 2014-02-10 @ 5:54 am
  10. […] National Novel Generation Month (a take-off of National Novel Writing Month): Nick Montfort’s World Clock and Darius Kazemi’s Teens Wander around a House. World Clock is fully self-contained; the […]

  11. […] año pasado ganó el certamen World Clock, una novela creada a través de un programa escrito por Nick Montfort (de tan solo 165 líneas en Python). Por supuesto la novela, bajo los criterios humanos (por […]

  12. You should have done it with US towns. Alot of towns in the US have the same names

    Comment by Michel — 2015-02-09 @ 2:56 pm
  13. Feel free!

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2015-02-09 @ 3:30 pm
  14. […] few IF community members have tackled this in the past, including Nick Montefort (World Clock), Andrew Plotkin (Redwreath and Goldstar Have Traveled to Deathsgate), Aaron Reed (Aggressive […]

  15. It it intentional that the story takes place at winter (according to code exactly at 1-1-2000, according to text just in any period when DST is not used)?

    Comment by ja, bo ja — 2016-05-11 @ 4:00 pm
  16. Good question — the new year is certainly significant, as a point when our appreciation of time is heightened. As for winter? Well, it’s only winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2016-05-11 @ 4:48 pm
  17. […] intended to be skimmed. One of the most well-known NaNoGenMo submissions, Nick Montfort’s 2013 World Clock recounts fictional events from around the world for each minute of a day. One section reads: ‘It […]

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