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