It's too late to do anything about sudden oak death, which has already killed 1,000,000 trees

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Phytophthora ramorum is a mold, related to the Irish Potato Famine pathogen, that causes some oak and tanoak trees to split open and bleed out all their sap, something called "sudden oak death." Read the rest

From beyond the grave, Terry Pratchett orders Neil Gaiman to adapt Good Omens for TV

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After several false starts, including one that involved Terry Gilliam and a groat, Neil Gaiman has announced that he will personally adapt he and Terry Pratchett's oustanding, comedic apocalypse novel Good Omens as a six-part TV series. Read the rest

Kickstarting interactive theater about the Uber for Everything apocalypse

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Tassos writes, "I’m one of Coney, who make all kinds of play where the audience can take meaningful part. I’m writing and game-designing REMOTE, a new piece of ticklishly interactive theatre, exploring the limits of human agency inside big pervasive systems of capital and technology." Read the rest

A bowel-loosening long-term geopolitical weather report

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The idea that global politics are a terrifying blend of natural disasters, belligerence, and deadly military potential isn't unique to this decade, but holy fuck, did it ever just get weird. Read the rest

Smash the State: a 1971 Ladybird book

A image from the Boing Boing Flickr pool by Flamenco Sun. Read the rest

Disney World after humanity's demise

Eledoremassis02's "manipulated photo" series Life After Disney is a series of gorgeously decayed visions for what Walt Disney World will look like long after humans have disappeared from the scene. Read the rest

Sandman Slim: Killing Pretty

James Stark's returned to LA from hell's gladiator pits and has been tearing things up ever since -- but what do you get for the monster who has everything? Killing Pretty has the answer. Read the rest

Building a wattle-and-daub hut with your bare hands

Primitive Technology's handyman starts with a stone axe and a fire-stick, then painstakingly builds up a 2m^2 hut with a bed, fireplace, chimney and thatched roof. Read the rest

Neal Stephenson's Seveneves: five thousand years of apocalypse and rebirth

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Neal Stephenson's no stranger to ambition, but his new novel Seveneves stretches to lengths (and heights) that beggar the imagination.

Excerpt from Neal Stephenson's forthcoming novel Seveneves

Neal Stephenson's posted the first 26 pages of his forthcoming novel Seveneves, "a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years." Read the rest

Interactive tour of nuclear arsenals since WWII

Explore how many nukes there are in the world, and where they are, courtesy of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' interactive Nuclear Notebook -- a useful way to discover whether some friendly superpower has stashed nukes in your harbour. Read the rest

David Graeber and Thomas Piketty on whether capitalism will destroy itself

Graeber wrote the magisterial Debt: The First 5,000 Years; Piketty, of course, wrote the essential Capital in the 21st Century -- in a must-read dialog, they discuss their differences and similarities and offer views on whether capitalism will collapse. Read the rest

Funding available for makerspaces' open anti-asteroid initiatives

Alex sez, "Spacegambit is a hackerspace space program that funds cool space projects around the world. We're now working with NASA on the Asteroid Grand Challenge, with the aim of getting more makers involved in detecting asteroid threats to human populations and figuring out what to do about them. We're running our open call at the moment (closing on 20 May) and looking to fund open-source projects linked with hackerspaces/makerspaces/fablabs/etc." Read the rest

Expiration Day: YA coming of age novel about robots and the end of the human race

Expiration Day is William Campbell Powell's debut YA novel, and it's an exciting start. The novel is set in a world in which human fertility has collapsed, taking the birth-rate virtually to zero, sparking riots and even a limited nuclear war as the human race realizes that it may be in its last days. Order is restored, but at the price of basic civil liberties. There's a little bit of Orwell (a heavily surveilled and censored Internet); but mostly, it's all about the Huxley. The major locus of control is a line of robotic children -- all but indistinguishable from flesh-and-bloods, even to themselves -- who are sold to desperate couples as surrogates for the children they can't have, calming the existential panic and creating a surface veneer of normalcy.

Expiration Day takes the form of a private diary of Tania, an 11 year old vicar's daughter in a small village outside of London. Tania's father's parishioners have found religion, searching for meaning in their dying world. He is counsellor and father-figure to them, though the family is still relatively poor. Tania is a young girl growing up in the midst of a new, catastrophic normal, the only normal she's ever known, and she's happy enough in it. But them she discovers that she, too, is a robot, and has to come to grips with the fact that her "parents" have been lying to her all her life. What's more, the fact that she's a robot means that she won't live past 18: all robots are property of a private corporation, and are merely leased to their "parents," and are recalled around their 18th birthday, turned into scrap. Read the rest

Text adventure based on Jeff VanderMeer's novel Annihilation

Jeff VenderMeer writes, "The Fourth Estate, my UK publisher, has put together a cool site that takes the main premise of my novel, Annihilation, and creates a text game around with, with images and video as well. Now you too can join an expedition into the mysterious Area X, supposedly a pristine wilderness, but hiding a lot more than that. Overseen by the secret agency, the Southern Reach, which has its own secrets to hide."

Previously: Talking with Jeff VanderMeer about his new novel Annihilation Read the rest

Tobias Buckell's "System Reset": tense, taut hacker tale

IO9 has published Tobias Buckell's tense, taut technothriller story "System Reset." It's a story about hacker/bounty hunters, taken from the pages of John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey's new anthology The End is Nigh, the first of three volumes that deal with pre-apocalypses, apocalypses, and post-apocalypses, in order. Read the rest

Crovel II: an extreme multi-purpose field-shovel tailor-made for zombie-killing

Thinkgeek's Read the rest

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