To do in San Francisco: Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz at SF in SF, November 10

This Sunday, November 10th, see the wonderful science fiction writers Charlie Jane Anders (previously) and Annalee Newitz (previously) in conversation with Terry Bisson at the always-great SF in SF lecture series; doors open at 6PM at the American Bookbinders Museum (366 Clementina Alley) ($10/$8 students) with a post-show podcast from Somafm, and books on sale from our friends at Borderlands Books.

Annalee Newitz's Autonomous: a robosexual romp through an unequal future where biotech patent-enforcement is the only law

Annalee Newitz's debut novel Autonomous is everything you'd hope for from the co-founder of IO9, a much-respected science communicator with a longstanding sideline in weird sex and gender issues: a robosexual romp through a class war dystopia where biotech patent-enforcement is the only real law remaining, where indentured humans resent the conscious, enslaved robots for making forced labor socially acceptable, and where hackerspaces become biohackerspaces, home to reverse-engineered, open source pharma and GMOs that might just save the future.

Revealing the cover and first excerpt of Autonomous, Annalee Newitz's long-awaited debut novel

We've followed Annalee Newitz's career here for more than a decade, from her science writing fellowship to her work as an EFF staffer to her founding of IO9 and her move to Ars Technica and the 2013 publication of her first book, nonfiction guidance on surviving the end of the world and rebooting civilization: now, I'm pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from Autonomous, her debut novel, which Tor will publish in September 2017, along with the first look at her cover, designed by the incomparable Will Staehle. As her editor, Liz Gorinsky, notes, "Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee's well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that's accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart." I'm three quarters of the way through an early copy, and I heartily agree.

The Singularity won't be heaven: Annalee Newitz

IO9's Annalee Newitz takes aim at the idea of the Singularity in an essay called "Why the Singularity isn't going to happen." Newitz's objection to the idea that technology will allow us to transcend human limitation and misery boils down to this: the vision of technological utopia is insufficiently weird. — Read the rest

Why we love steampunk: Annalee Newitz

Annalee Newitz tries to figure out why we love steampunk:

I think the popularity of steampunk also expresses our collective yearning for an era when information technology was in its infancy and could have gone anywhere. In 1880 we hadn't yet laid the cables for a telephone network, and computer programming was just an idea in Ada Lovelace's head.

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Annalee Newitz on "real women" ads: This Is Not My Body

Ms. Newitz opines:

It all started with those Dove ads that show all the hot, mostly naked girls in weirdly desexualized lingerie with the tagline: "Real women have curves." I can only assume it's from this sentence alone that we are supposed to guess that the women in the ad are fat or have otherwise culturally unacceptable bodies (a few are people of color, one has a large tattoo, another is sort of tomboyish).

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How Birth Control Can Help Us Reimagine The Future

Authors and former io9 majordomos Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders have a fortnightly podcast called Our Opinions Are Correct, which covers all sorts of nerd culture and science-related topics. In the December 3 episode, "Birth Control of the Future," Newitz and Anders discuss reproductive and contraceptive technologies, both real and imagined, and the various ramifications they might have on society. — Read the rest

San Franciscans! Come celebrate the launch of the EFF/McSweeney's special privacy issue with me on Dec 11!

I'm heading to San Francisco next week for a launch party on December 11th celebrating the release of The End of Trust, a collaboration between EFF and McSweeney's on internet surveillance and the future of the net; the event is at 7:30PM at Manny's at 3092 16th Street (RSVP here), and I'll be on a panel with EFF exec director Cindy Cohn, moderated by the amazing Annalee Newitz!