Kathryn Cramer remembers her late husband, David Hartwell, a giant of science fiction

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Kathryn Cramer was married to David Hartwell for decades, and though they'd been in the midst of "a collaborative divorce" for four years, they were still close friends and still married. Read the rest

Very sad news about science fiction titan David G Hartwell

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David Hartwell, a senior editor at Tor Books, cofounder of the New York Review of Science Fiction, legendary collector, raconteur, critic, anthologist, and fixture in so many fo science fiction's scenes and fandom, is in the hospital with a "massive brain bleed" and is not expected to live. Read the rest

Howto: make your own fantastically detailed Star Trek: TOS bridge playset

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David Weiberg handed down his childhood set of Star Trek: original series action figures to his eight-year-old son, and then the two of them built a fantastically detailed, correctly scaled replica of the original Enterprise's bridge to go with them. Read the rest

Her Universe will start publishing science fiction novels

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Her Universe makes amazing, nerdy women's fashion (for example, and also). Read the rest

Transreal Cyberpunk! Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling's book of annotated, seminal cyberpunk fiction

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Rudy Rucker writes, "Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling's collection of nine jointly written stories is out in ebook and paperback: Transreal Cyberpunk!" Read the rest

2016 is the year of the telepathic election, and it's not pretty

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Charlie Stross describes the "the fusion of twitter, facebook, and other disclosure-induction social media with always-connected handheld internet devices" as "telepathy" for election campaigns, which are now able to attune their messages and tactics to the lizard-brains of the electorate. Read the rest

Trump Casinos lost millions every single year that Donald Trump ran it (but he's still rich)

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When confronted with the fact of his four bankruptcies, Donald Trump argues that he was just being a shrewd businessman, restructuring his affairs to maximize profits. But when The Donald took one of his companies public, we got an unprecedented look into his fiscal incompetence. Read the rest

A day in the life of a public service serial killer's intern

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It's a good week when we get two new short stories from political science fiction wunderkind Laurie Penny: on Monday, it was The House of Surrender, about a prison in a world without coercion; today it's "The Killing Jar," about the intern to a serial killer employed by an English town council: "Since serial murder was first recognized as one of the English Fine Arts, the trick has always been to keep it original." Read the rest

San Franciscans: see Kim Stanley Robinson and Cecelia Holland on Jan 17

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The SF in SF reading series is back with a fantastic pair of readers: Kim Stanley Robinson (author of Aurora and interstellar colony skeptic) and historical novelist Cecelia Holland. Read the rest

Scenes from a non-coercive prison

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Laurie Penny's new science fiction story "The House of Surrender" is a bittersweet little mindbomb about rape (trigger warning), coercion, prison, and what a society without locks would do with the people who hurt others. Read the rest

Petition to name a new element in Terry Pratchett's honour

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Now that the International Union of Applied Chemistry has recognised four new elements, the race is on to decide what to call them. Read the rest

The annual WELL State of the World, with Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky

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Jon Lebkowsky writes, "Bruce Sterling and I are at it again... State of the World 2016 started today and runs for two weeks." Read the rest

Intel futurist Brian David Johnson heads to ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination

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Brian David Johnson (previously) is the futurist and theorist who used design fiction to help the company think about how its products would work in the future (I wrote him a story about the painful death of passwords). Read the rest

Year of the Sex Olympics: 1968 BBC television play predicted reality TV

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I have not yet watched this 2-hour BBC television play, called Year of the Sex Olympics, but it sounds good. It's a science fiction story that predicts a world in which the masses are pacified by pornographic, humiliating, and violent reality TV shows.

From Wikipedia:

In the future, society is divided between 'low-drives' that equate with the labouring classes and 'hi-drives' who control the government and media. The low-drives are controlled by a constant broadcast of pornography that the hi-drives are convinced will pacify them, though one hi-drive, Nat Mender (Tony Vogel), believes that the media should be used to educate the low-drives. After the accidental death of a protester during the Sex Olympics gets a massive audience response, the Co-ordinator Ugo Priest (Leonard Rossiter) decides to commission a new programme. In The Live Life Show, Nat Mender, his partner Deanie (Suzanne Neve) and their daughter Keten (Lesley Roach) are stranded on a remote Scottish island while the low-drive audience watches. Mender's former colleague, Lasar Opie (Brian Cox), realising that “something got to happen”, decides to spice up the show by introducing a psychopath, Grels (George Murcell) to the island. When Grels goes on a murderous rampage, Ugo Priest is horrified when the audience reacts with laughter to the slaughter and The Live Life Show is deemed a triumph.

The costumes, sets, and makeup are great. Read the rest

Help identify the science fiction legends in these thrift-scored pix of the 1956 Worldcon

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Cate writes, "I came across a collection of snapshots at a thrift store and recognized the historic nature of the photos, which documented the 14th World Science Fiction Convention. I purchased the photos from a thrift store in Santa Barbara, California on December 31, 2015. I am looking for help to identify attendees featured in the photos." Read the rest

Mumia Abu Jamal on science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek and American imperialism

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Jamal is serving a life-sentence for a widely deplored conviction for killing a police officer. Prison Radio recorded this insightful interview with him about the role that Star Wars and Star Trek both played in the American consciousness. (via Kersplebedeb) Read the rest

Science fiction: what if game companies could get rich on bots, instead of players?

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MVP -- Patrick Miller's "game dev short story" -- is a cleverly told piece of science fiction about a game dev team that hits on a weirdly compelling, unlikely and eerily plausible commercial strategy: optimizing their game for gold-farmers' bots. Read the rest

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