Award-winning short sf film written by an AI is pretty good

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Director Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin trained a machine-learning system with a huge pile of classic science fiction screenplays and turned it loose to write a short film. What emerged was an enigmatic 9-minute movie called Sunspring, which has just won Sci-Fi London's 48-hour challenge. Read the rest

Science fiction's Radium Age: prewar stories of postscarcity, peace and justice

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For nearly a decade, science fiction historian Joshua Glenn has waged a campaign to resurrect the "Radium Age" of science fiction: the period from 1904-1933 when writers turned their pens to "Air Battles, Antigravity, Interplanetary Voyages, Lost Worlds, Mad Scientists, Time Travel, and Utopias," before writers like Andre Norton and Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov began their careers. Read the rest

30 years on, Roz Kaveney's "Tiny Pieces of Skull, or a Lesson in Manners" is finally in print and winning prizes

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More than 30 years ago, Roz Kaveney showed a draft of her novel Tiny Pieces of Skull to Neil Gaiman, who was "saddened and horrified" that publishers wouldn't put her story of "trans street life and bar life in London and Chicago in the late 1970s" into print. Read the rest

Watchdogs 2: hacker kids led by a guy named Marcus fight the DHS in San Francisco

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Ubisoft has announced the sequel to its surveillance-themed game Watchdogs: Watchdogs 2, which features an army of young hackers in San Francisco led by a kid with a grudge named Marcus Halloway. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Rudy Rucker and Michael Blumlein at SF in SF

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Rudy Rucker, the consummate happy mutant, and Michael Blumlein, a writer of terrifying horror novels, will be interviewed by Terry Bisson, as is traditional at the SF in SF reading series, which has a new home at the gorgeous Bookbinders Museum: $10 at the door on June 12.

(Images: Rudy Rucker by Rudy Rucker, CC-BY-SA, Michael Blumlein, Flurb) Read the rest

Hot Wheels is making a Spock-leaning-on-a-64-Buick car for Comic-Con

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The classic photo of Leonard Nimoy in Spock costume leaning on the 64 Buick Riviera he bought with his Star Trek earnings will be immortalized in dinkycar, thanks to the good offices of the Hot Wheels Corporation. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman on Douglas Adams

Neil Gaiman's third book was a history of the Hitchhikers Guide the Galaxy called Don't Panic, which Adams described as "devastatingly true - except the bits that are lies." Read the rest

Deep learning AI "autoencodes" Blade Runner, recreates it so faithfully it gets a takedown notice

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Artist and researcher Terence Broad is working on his master's at Goldsmith's computing department; his dissertation involved training neural networks to "autoencode" movies they've been fed. Read the rest

Every Heart a Doorway: Seanan McGuire's subversive, gorgeous tale of rejects from the realms of faerie

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Seanan McGuire is one of science fiction's most passionate voices, no matter whether she's writing under her Mira Grant pseudonym or her own name, you always know that you're going to be reading a story that moves and inflames, illuminating the cause of the underdog and the overlooked with stories that are firmly adventures first and allegories second, the best kind of political fiction, and now, with her new novella Every Heart a Doorway, McGuire shows us that she can weaponize that talent and use it as a skewer to pin the reader, right through the heart.

Audio fandom: exploring the ambient noises of stfnal spaceships

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Spike Snell is a Star Trek fan whose thing is the ambient noise that the series' sound-designers created for the fictional spaceships, sounds that are never meant to be in the foreground, but which are always informing the viewer about both the ship's architecture and layout and its current status. Read the rest

Company Town: Madeline Ashby's tale of sex and Singularity cults is a locked-door mystery at sea

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A decade ago, I published the first Madeline Ashby story to see print, "In Which Joe and Laurie Save Rock n' Roll," in Tesseracts 11; four years ago, I reviewed her outstanding debut novel, vN, and then revelled in its sequel a year later: but now, a decade later, Ashby is an overnight success, with a breakout novel about love, labor, shame, sex and Singularity cultists: Company Town.

Star Trek: The Next Generation beachwear

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Thinkgeek's launched a trinity of Star Trek: TNG swimwear for the summer: $60 one-piece suits (sciences blue; ops gold, command red); $40 cover-up rompers; and $50 "Deanna Troi" rashies/swim shirts Read the rest

Revealed: the amazing cover for Walkaway, my first adult novel since 2009

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Next April, Tor Books will publish Walkaway, the first novel I've written specifically for adults since 2009; it's scheduled to be their lead title for the season and they've hired the brilliant designer Will Staehle (Yiddish Policeman's Union, Darker Shade of Magic) for the cover, which Tor has just revealed. Read the rest

JJ Abrams urges Paramount to drop its lawsuit over fan Star Trek movie

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Abrams directed the first two Star Trek reboot movies and is producing the third one for Paramount; he says he convinced the studio to drop its controversial lawsuit against Axanar, a crowdfunded fan-film (a suit that included a dubious claim about the copyrightability of the Klingon language) telling them that the lawsuit "wasn’t an appropriate way to deal with the fans." Read the rest

Read: Strategic Dog Patterning, a story from "Why I Hunt Flying Saucers"

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My latest book just came out: Why I Hunt Flying Saucers & Other Fantasticals. The title comes from the short story of the same name, which was nominated for an Aurora Award in 1991.

Read the rest

Charlie Stross talks science fiction and policy in DC next week

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My former EFF colleague Kevin Bankston writes, "For Boing Boing readers in the Washington DC area, here’s a great event: this coming Tuesday, science fiction writer (and Cory's occasional collaborator) Charlie Stross will be doing a happy hour interview at think tank New America. He’ll be talking about cross-pollination between science fiction and real tech and policy with Kevin Bankston, who runs New America’s tech policy shop the Open Technology Institute." Read the rest

A backer message as Earth leaves beta and goes 1.0

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"Project Earth is leaving beta," JW Alden's arch, funny short-short science fiction story in Nature, is a delightful little piece of design fiction in the form of a letter to the backers of planet Earth's crowdfunding, announcing the coming server wipe and 1.0 release ("Yes, we know you've poured time and effort into your 'lives' on Earth, and it's disappointing to lose your progress"), and a host of long overdue features: Read the rest

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