How to get a signed, personalized copy of Walkaway sent to your door!

The main body of the tour for my novel Walkaway is done (though there are still upcoming stops at Denver Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, the Burbank Public Library and Defcon in Las Vegas), but you can still get signed, personalized copies of Walkaway! Read the rest

Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland's DODO novel mashes up D&D, time-travel and military bureaucracy

While all of Neal Stephenson's -- always excellent -- novels share common themes and tropes, they're also told in many different modes, from the stately, measured pace of the Baroque Cycle books to the madcap energy of Snow Crash to the wildly experimental pacing of Seveneves. With The Rise and Fall of DODO, a novel co-written with his Mongoliad collaborator, the novelist Nicole Galland, we get all the modes of Stephenson, and all the tropes, and it is glorious.

Steven Boyett on Fata Morgana, his new WWII/alt-history mashup novel

Today on John Scalzi's Whatever blog, Steven R Boyett (author of the classic fantasy novel Ariel) writes about Fata Morgana, the new alternate history/WWII novel he's just published with Ken Mitchroney. Read the rest

Bruce Sterling: science fiction won't make the future better

Bruce Sterling is one of the foremost advocates of design fiction and the use of science fiction as a tool for understanding and influencing the world, but despite yesterday's long, positive article praising many of the projects he's involved with, he's skeptical of the idea that science fiction makes the future better. Read the rest

A legal victory for the kickstarted Star Trek mashup censored by Dr Seuss's estate

Last October, the Dr Seuss estate used legal threats to halt a wildly successful crowdfunded Seuss/Star Trek mashup called "Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go," whose contributors included comics legend Ty Templeton and Tribbles creator David Gerrold. Read the rest

How science fiction writers' "design fiction" is playing a greater role in policy debates

Science fiction writers have a long history of intervening/meddling in policy, but historically this has been in the form of right-wing science fiction writers spinning fanciful superweapon ideas like Ronald Reagan's Star Wars system, or the writers who pitched in with the GW Bush team after 9/11 to design the brutal, endless "War on Terror" we're currently mired in. Read the rest

Sci-Fi Sundays: The Original Science Fiction Stories, March 1957

This is such a wonderful cover. The look on the lady's face, the ridiculous zero-G fighting, and the bullets in the ray-gun are all fantastic. As I was looking over all the details on this cover though, I began to see a different story.

Look at their clothing. The style is about what you'd expect from 50's science fiction, with tight boots and over-alls. Her outfit has some common traits from the 50's including a shape that lends itself to a bullet bra, and a waistline that looks impossible. That waistline is what shifts the narrative in my mind though. See all those dials and indicators? how the heck are you supposed to read those? Wait a sec! Those guys in the background are probably just reading each other's belts! That certainly makes her look a tiny bit more malicious with her hand-canon. 

Publication: The Original Science Fiction Stories

Issue: March 1957, volume: 7 No. 5 

Cover art: Emsh from Saturnalia

The table of contents states that there are illustrations from Emsh, Freas, and Orban. However, I don't see any stories that carry the illustrator credit for Kelly Freas. Usually there's a line on the title page somewhere. There are a number of illustrations in this issue that are simply uncredited, and at least one of them bears his obvious signature. 

Orban for Galactic Gamble

Orban for Galactic Gamble

Orban for The Quest

The caption that goes along with this picture is "I saw the other side of the moon...". This is especially interesting to me. Read the rest

Chicago! I'll see you tomorrow at Printers Row!

I'm on stage tomorrow at 11:30 with Mary Robinette Kowal (free tickets here) -- we'll be talking about my new novel, Walkaway. Can't wait to see you! Read the rest

Trailer for surreal sci-fi flick, Quadrant

I'm looking forward to Quadrant, an upcoming, utterly fantastic-looking movie created by Woodrow White and David Lauer. It looks like a collaboration between Devo and Alejandro Jodorowsky. I met Woodrow on a plane a few years ago. He's a fantastic painter (who happens to be the son of artists Wayne White and Mimi Pond). Read the rest

To do in San Francisco this Sunday: Steven Boyett and Ken Mitchroney at SF in SF

The SF in SF reading series is back this Sunday at the American Bookbinders Museum, with Steven "Ariel" Boyett and Ken Mitchroney, authors of the outstanding new WWII/alternate history novel Fata Morgana. Read the rest

Chicago! Come see me and Mary Robinette Kowal at the Printers Row Lit Fest this Sunday!

The Walkaway tour is in its literary festival phase now, and my next stop is an appearance this Sunday at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, where I'll be talking Walkaway with the incredible Mary Robinette Kowal at 11:30 (free tickets here). Read the rest

Legendary rocket scientist's 1949 science fiction novel features a Martian leader named... Elon!

In 1949, pioneering rocket scientist (and Nazi) Wernher von Braun penned a science fiction story called "Project Mars: A Technical Tale" about a human migration to Mars in the 1980s. Turns out though that Mars is already populated by an indigenous civilization led by a government official given the title of... Elon. You'll recall that last year Elon Musk, who is leading the commercial space industry with SpaceX, is very focused on Mars habitation, suggesting we need to get one million people there over the next 50 years. I wonder if Elon is there waiting for Elon. From Project Mars (aka The Mars Project):

The Martian government was directed by ten men, the leader of whom was elected by universal suffrage for five years and entitled "Elon." Two houses of Parliament enacted the laws to be administered by the Elon and his cabinet.

The Upper House was called the Council of the Elders and was limited to a membership of 60 persons, each being appointed for life by the Elon as vacancies occurred by death. In principle, the method was not unlike that by which the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church is appointed. Usually the Elon chose historians, churchmen, former cabinet members or successful economic leaders who could offer lifetimes of valuable experience.

"'WTF? This 1949 Science Fiction Novel by a Legendary Rocket Designer Names the Leader of Martian Civilization as 'Elon'" (Daily Grail)

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Birmingham, I'll see you today on the Walkaway tour! (then Hay, SF, NYC...) (!)

I could not have asked for a nicer crowd than the ones who turned up for last night's event at Liverpool One's Waterstones; now I'm looking forward to today's lunchtime signing at Birmingham Waterstones, on my way to tomorrow's Hay Festival event with Adam Rutherford. Read the rest

Liverpool, I'll see you tonight on the Walkaway tour! (then Birmingham, Hay-on-Wye, San Francisco...) (!)

Thanks to everyone who came out for last night's final London event on the UK Walkaway tour, at Pages of Hackney with Olivia Sudjic; today I'm heading to Waterstones Liverpool One for an event with Dr Chris Pak, followed by a stop tomorrow at Waterstones in Birmingham and then wrapping up in the UK with an event with Adam Rutherford at the Hay Festival. Read the rest

Remembering the original, Harold Pinter screen adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale

Zachary Smith writes, "Almost 30 years before Hulu's take on Margaret Atwood's feminist classic, a less-successful adaptation was filmed in Durham, NC. Here's a well-researched look at the making of that film, and its strange parallels to the community." Read the rest

London! I'll be at Pages of Hackney tonight with Olivia Sudjic! (then Liverpool, Birmingham, Hay...) (!)

Last night's sold-out Walkaway tour event with Laurie Penny at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road was spectacular (and not just because they had some really good whisky behind the bar), and the action continues today with a conversation with Olivia Sudjic tonight at Pages of Hackney, where we'll be discussing her novel Sympathy as well as Walkaway. Read the rest

Listen: a conversation with Jeff Vandermeer about his weird biotech novel Borne

David sends us "My in-depth (and lengthy) conversation (MP3) with Jeff Vandermeer about Borne, about storytelling in the age of climate change, about biotech and personhood, and about why weird fiction is so well-equipped to address the crises we find ourselves in as a species, just went live " Read the rest

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