David already posted about the amazing TBD Catalog, which is filled with "design fiction" about the devices of the future; but I just read it and I need to rave about it.
What makes TBD so great is the incredibly layered and witty way that it comments on the hot technological questions of today by imagining a hype-ish, Skymall-esque catalog to sell them. Every bit of the book is brilliant -- not just the gadgets, but the ad copy (some of which feels like it was machine-generated or -translated), the spreads where all the art is glitched, or replaced with infringement notices stating the art isn't available in your region, to the delicious, delicious fine-print, each line of which is a cautionary tale about the problems, crises, opportunities and disruption that will attend a world where drones walk the dog and everyfuckingthing is crowdsourced.
TBD genuinely feels like an artifact from a semi-dystopian, utterly plausible, terribly absurd future. It's Terry Gilliam's Brazil by way of the home shopping network, with a dash of Ghosts With Shit Jobs thrown in for good measure. It's one of the best science fiction books of the year, and it doesn't have a plot, or characters.
This isn't just a brilliant antidote to banal futurists' forecasts -- it's also the most magnificent toilet-side reader since Randall Munroe's What If. It's $23, and worth every penny.
The next installment in the SFinSF reading series features Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland; it's this Sunday, Jan 20, doors at 6, event at 6:30, $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds), at the The American Bookbinders Museum (355 Clementina).
On March 19, Tor Books will release my next book, Radicalized, whose four novellas are the angry, hopeful stories I wrote as part of my attempt to make sense of life in our current moment.
My most recent essay film, Visual Disturbances, premiered in the open access journal [in]Transition yesterday. This open access journal features peer reviewed academic video essays and showcases a wide variety of film and media analysis. Visual Disturbances uses some cutting-edge eye tracking visualizations to explore how film audiences both perceive and mis-perceive movies.
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