in reply to The science fiction writer who most personifies Perl is:
I nominate Neal Stephenson, for showing that Perl has its uses even in literacy. E.g. in his book Cryptonomicon, which contains a Perl script.
It starts with
.. and according to wikipedia it is
a precise description of (and indeed a Perl script for) the Solitaire cipher (called Pontifex in the book).
Rata (relying on 2nd-hand-information)
#!/usr/bin/perl -s Sf=Sd?-1 1,SD=pack('C*',33 86),Sp=shift; $p=--y/a-z
+/A-Z/,SU='SD=--s/(.*)US/US1/, SD=-s/U(.)/S1U/;',(SV ...