Time-travelling ex-postman Harley Byrne's ongoing mission is to capture and make available for download “all the world’s music, ever.”
In this newly rediscovered chapter from his lost memoirs, Byrne describes in full his mission to Manchester, 1952, to record the secret computer music of Alan Turing - war hero, mathematician, inventor of hands-free umbrella.
"At midnight, we carried the spinster’s sleeping body back up the lane to her cottage. Acknowledging the lateness of the hour, Turing consented to my staying with him but, pretending not to shiver, announced his intention to sleep out on the open lawn. Plainly, I had not yet won his trust, so as we brushed our teeth, I decided to seduce him. I just had one thing to check: his nimble movement, his wiry physique: could my arch-enemy, Being, mistress of disguise, have followed me here to interfere with my mission? I tugged at Turing’s awkwardly-fitting hair, but it held true: he gave me what novelists describe as a matter-of-fact look, and I let him go. For once, it seemed, I had given my nemesis the slip. But when I reached for Turing’s underpants, he rapped my knuckles hard with his toothbrush and I knew that I must sleep alone."
With new illustrations by Elly Strigner, Listlessness In Early Automated Composition Devices was launched at the end of Alan Turing Year (2012) as part of the celebration of his centenary and can be downloaded for free in many of the popular ebook formats.