A free eBook about the Game of Life

Front cover of Conway's Game of Life eBook.Remember the cellular automation Life? I covered it in previous blog entries John Conway’s Game of Life and also Portable Life in C. Well, Associate Professor Nathaniel Johnston (in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada) and Dave Greene wrote a book/eBook about Life. It’s N. Johnston and D. Greene. Conway’s Game of Life: Mathematics and Construction.

The 474 page eBook is free on this page or you can buy the coloured hardback book. On Amazon that’s a modest £59.99! The PDF is 93 MB in size.

Ever since Life was publicized in Scientific American in the 1970s, it’s held a fascination for many including myself. I wrote a program (in Basic) 45 years ago to run it, but it was quite slow. One of the fastest I ever saw was written in 6502 assembly language running on an Acorn Atom. A very comprehensive and fast open source Life is Golly, written in C++ and is scriptable in Python or Lua.

But back to the book. If you are a real life afficionado and know the difference between a Glider and an Oscillator then this book/eBook is definitely for you. It’s a detailed look at Life from an academic point of view.




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