Much research in the natural language field has been carried out on news, given the large amount of annotated data now available for this genre. Certainly, the ability to analyze the facts of real world events, enabling systems to answer questions and summarize the events of the day is an important application. As research has moved to analysis of new genres, whether fact, opinion or fiction, new approaches to existing applications have arisen and opportunities for new applications have emerged. In this talk, I will present research in my group at Columbia as it has moved from news to scientific articles to online discussion forums to novels. I will touch on summarization, open-ended question answering, social influence and social networks.