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Writing free culture fantasy with free software

The collaborative spirit of the free software and hacker movements lends itself to writing fiction as well. I write free culture fantasy stories with free software tools. Crafting characters and settings that can be used freely by other authors and artists promotes creativity and is a useful way of teaching people about the principles of freedom.

Since I use plain text and a Git-based workflow, anyone can freely read, modify, and share my stories. They can learn from edits I have made or propose improvements. Plain text formats like Markdown and Shanty make writings portable across most computers.

We can create a storytelling community that allows cross-pollination between creators and disciplines (e.g., novels, songs, and video games) and changes us from consumers to creators.

Presented by: Seth Patterson

Seth Patterson grew up listening to radio dramas and his mom reading novels from the 1800s. He got his love of writing from his dad, who is an editor. In high school, he completed One Year Adventure Novel. He has been in love with writing fiction ever since.

He studied cybersecurity in college, which taught him how to think like bad guys to defend against them. Thinking like bad guys comes in handy for writing fiction too. He also discovered free software and free culture in college.

Seth writes free culture fiction, using tools like Nano and Markdown.


2 weeks, 2 days ago

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video · LibrePlanet 2024 video · FSF · LibrePlanet 2024 · LibrePlanet · lp2024 · libreplanet-conference


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.