"madeline ashby"

That's Trump: a Pete Seegeresque anthem

Madeline Ashby (previously) writes, "This is a protest song in the vein of Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger, written by the wonderful John McDaid (previously, and it's great."

Read the rest

How I grilled the best steaks I've ever eaten

It's been nearly a year since I moved from London to Burbank, and in that time, I've been slowly iterating through various online tutorials to be better at charcoal grilling, something I had almost no experience with when I got here. Read the rest

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

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.

Can a sexbot be a murderer?

Paolo Bacigalupi's new short story "Mika Model" is a detective tale about a murdering sexbot. Read the rest

Pwning Tomorrow: the Electronic Frontier Foundation's first science fiction anthology

Today, EFF published Pwning Tomorrow, a science fiction anthology featuring stories by 21 celebrated authors, including Bruce Sterling, Neil Gaiman, Lauren Beukes, Pat Cadigan, Madeline Ashby and Charlie Jane Anders (I have a story in there too!). Read the rest

Canada's spying bill is PATROIT Act fanfic

Madeline Ashby writes, "I wrote this column about Canada's Bill C-51, which would allow Canada's spy agency CSIS to detain people for simply 'promoting' terrorism, promises it can wipe terrorist content from the Internet, expands no-fly lists, and is basically a piece of Patriot Act fanfic. I thought you guys might like to know that years after Bush left office, his fans are trying to keep the tradition alive." Read the rest

License Expired: an unauthorized James Bond anthology

Now that the James Bond novels and character have entered the public domain in most of the world (but not the USA), David Nickle and Madeline Ashby teamed up to edit "License Expired," an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for the Canadian press Chizine. Read the rest

Madeline Ashby's Hieroglyph story: "By the Time We Get To Arizona"

The Hieroglyph anthology was created by Neal Stephenson, challenging sf writers to imagine futures where ambitious technological projects improved the human condition. Read the rest

Cory's London Worldcon schedule

I'll be joining thousands of fans and hundreds of presenters at Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, later this week. I hope to see you there! Read the rest

Warren Ellis: "Lich-House," a short story

The white room is bleeding to death.

A white vestibule, with white floors and white walls and a lit white ceiling. The only other color is red. A crack in one wall, exposing a raw fistula in the bioelectric packeting. Blood leaks from the hole, down three inches of slick white wall, to pool on the floor. A broken heart in the interstitial net of veins and wires that makes our houses live and breathe.

Somebody has murdered the house.

Bruce Sterling: "From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter," a short story

I wasn’t too chuffed about the weird changes I saw in my favorite start-up guy. Crawferd was a techie I knew from my circuit: GE Industrial Internet, IBM Smart Cities, the Internet-of-Things in Hackney hackathons. The kind of guy I thought I understood.

I relied on Crawferd to deliver an out-there networked-matter pitch to my potential investors. He was great at this, since he was imaginative, inventive, fearless, tireless, and he had no formal education. Crawferd wore unlaced Converse shoes and a lot of Armani. He had all the bumbling sincerity of a Twitter Arab Spring.

"Social Services," a short story by Madeline Ashby

I want my own office,” Lena said. “My own space to work from.” Social Services paused for a while to think. Lena knew that it was thinking, because the woman in the magic mirror kept animating her eyes this way and that behind cat-eye horn-rims. She did so in perfect meter, making her look like one of those old clocks where the cat wagged its tail and looked to and fro, to and fro, all day and all night, forever and ever. Lena had only ever seen those clocks in media, so she had no idea if they really ticked. But she imagined they ticked terribly. The real function of clocks, it seemed to her, was not to tell time but to mark its passage. Ticktickticktick. Byebyebyebye.

iD: a sequel to Madeline Ashby's excellent debut novel vN

Last year, I reviewed Madeline Ashby's smashing debut novel vN, a novel about robots, perverts and power. Now I'm delighted to see that Madeline has a sequel out, iD. She's written about it for John Scalzi's Big Idea:

Readers of vN wanted to know more about New Eden Ministries, the church that developed the vN for post-apocalyptic mass production. Now they will. They wanted to know more about Mecha, the city in Japan built by and for robots. Now they will. They wanted to know how Amy thought she could just start orphanages for unwanted robots in the middle of the ocean, without any repercussions from the human world. They’ll see how that turned out.

iD

The Big Idea: Madeline Ashby Read the rest

Rudy Rucker's new short story: "Apricot Lane"

One of my favorite science fiction writers Rudy Rucker has a new short story posted at Institute for the Future's Web site. The story, titled "Apricot Lane," was part of a large forecasting project my IFTF colleagues and I just completed called the Coming Age of Networked Matter, which lies beyond the Internet of Things. To help make this future tangible, we commissioned some of our favorite writers of speculative fiction -- Cory Doctorow, Rudy Rucker, Ramez Naam, Bruce Sterling, Madeline Ashby, and Warren Ellis -- to write short stories tied to our research theme.

Rudy's story is a romance amidst the Quarpet, a pervasive platform that enables a networked life of gossiping shoes, attention-sensing furniture, and automatic micro-payments everytime you enjoy anything. Just don't run out of money. To hear Rudy talk about the story, watch the animation above with art by Daniel Martin Diaz. To read Apricot Lane, and learn how you can win a limited edition print anthology of all the stories, visit the story page at IFTF: "Apricot Lane" by Rudy Rucker"

Previously:

"By His Things You Will Know Him" by Cory Doctorow Read the rest

"By His Things Will You Know Him," a short story

“My father kept things. I mean, he didn’t like to throw things away. Nothing.” I looked into his eyes as I said these words. I’d said them before, to explain my spotless desk...

Locus Awards 2013 ballot announced: a guide to the best sf/f in 2013

The 2013 Locus Awards final ballot has been announced, and as ever, it is a fabulous guide signposting some of the very best work published science fiction and fantasy in the past year -- a perfect place to start your explorations of the year's books.

I am very honored to have been included on the ballot; my novel Pirate Cinema made the Best Young Adult novel list, which is a particularly strong category this year:

* The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown; Atom)

* Pirate Cinema, Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen)

* Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)

* Dodger, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)

* The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, Catherynne M. Valente (Feiwel and Friends; Much-in-Little ’13)

See the full ballot after the jump.

2013 Locus Awards Finalists

Read the rest

vN: a science fiction novel about robots, perverts, power and privilege

vN, Madeline Ashby's debut novel, drops today. I'm an immense fan of Ashby's work (I actually published her first story) and vN did not disappoint. The novel is set in a medium-term future where a race of self-replicating robots ("von Neumanns" or vNs for short) have been engineered to act as servile helpmeets by an apocalyptic Christian cult that wanted to leave behind a kind of relief mission for the unbelievers and heretics who'd be left behind by the Rapture. The vNs are engineered with a "failsafe" so that they cannot harm humans or allow humans to be harmed (sound familiar?). Even being in the same room as a human who has cut himself can send them into catatonia, and sometimes it's permanent.

The failsafe turns vNs into pathetic servants, sex-slaves, and whipping-posts. A nascent robots' rights movement has legitimized marriage between humans and robots, but these relationships are fraught by their vast power-divide. Meanwhile, all robots must watch their diets -- once they eat enough, they automatically bud off copies of themselves. Vast, vagrant hordes of vNs from uncatalogued clades and variants roam the landscape, scouring dumpsters and junkyards for electronics to consume. The copies that emerge aren't perfect -- rather, these "iterations" are randomly varied next-generations, and evolution is fast emerging every imaginable kind of robot.

Amy, the protagonist of the story, is the "daughter" of a robot and a human. Iterated from her robot mother, she is kept on a near-starvation diet to prevent her from growing up too quickly, and is sent to a human kindergarten where she must be treated with kid gloves -- one schoolyard fight or scuffed knee and she could end up bluescreened, catatonic at the sight of a human in distress. Read the rest

Next page