Tor.com has just published a new story of mine, "The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away" (the title is from "The Future Soon," a Jonathan Coulton song), which is about geek monasteries that house smart people who can't get along in the world and put them to work as coders. The story is the first Tor.com piece to be Creative Commons licensed and you're encouraged to remix it, translate it, whatever. There's already a podcast of me reading the story (also CC licensed) and PDF, Mobipocket and Sony reader files are already available.
Lawrence’s cubicle was just the right place to chew on a thorny logfile problem: decorated with the votive fetishes of his monastic order, a thousand calming, clarifying mandalas and saints devoted to helping him think clearly.
From the nearby cubicles, Lawrence heard the ritualized muttering of a thousand brothers and sisters in the Order of Reflective Analytics, a susurration of harmonized, concentrated thought. On his display, he watched an instrument widget track the decibel level over time, the graph overlaid on a 3D curve of normal activity over time and space. He noted that the level was a little high, the room a little more anxious than usual.
He clicked and tapped and thought some more, massaging the logfile to see if he could make it snap into focus and make sense, but it stubbornly refused to be sensible. The data tracked the custody chain of the bitstream the Order munged for the Securitat, and somewhere in there, a file had grown by 68 bytes, blowing its checksum and becoming An Anomaly.
Order lore was filled with Anomalies, loose threads in the fabric of reality–bugs to be squashed in the data-set that was the Order’s universe. Starting with the pre-Order sysadmin who’d tracked a $0.75 billing anomaly back to foreign spy-ring that was using his systems to hack his military, these morality tales were object lessons to the Order’s monks: pick at the seams and the world will unravel in useful and interesting ways.
The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away,
Sculptor Jud Turner (previously) sends us two new pieces: Deindustry ("a meditation on the industrial divinity of late-stage capitalism, and combines my fear of heights with my fear of over-industrialization") and Scale of Themis ("an imagined tool for the Greek goddess Themis to weigh possible civilizations against each other. The tiny differences in these two […]
Grether Labs's Science Fiction Plot Generator can sure pick 'em: "You are friends with a talking fireplace, and you are working to solve this ancient puzzle before the creatures consume you"; "You are a cyan-eyed cartographer who is finding the awful truth beneath this false utopia, and who is struggling with the terribly thick underbrush […]
Every month, Tor Books' free Ebook Club gives away a different novel to people who have signed up; this month, the selection is my most recent novel, Walkaway! Sign up between now and the 20th to get your free copy (this only works in Canada and the US; different publishers have the rights in other […]
Who said LEGO® had to be ground bound? With The Force Flyers DIY Building Block Fly ‘n Drive Drone, you can turn LEGO® and other building-block creations into fully-functional flying machines. It’s available now in the Boing Boing Store for $39.99. This kit comes with everything you need for remote-controlled long distance flight, including a […]
When businesses need big cloud projects done right, they need experts in DevOps. For the uninitiated, that’s shorthand for the framework that allows development and operations teams to work together toward the same goal – not as independent departments with their own agendas. There’s an arsenal of software that has cropped up to help in […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]