Peter Watts (previously
) is a brilliant bastard of a science fiction writer, whose grim scenarios are matched by their scientific speculation; in his latest, a novella called The Freeze-Frame Revolution
, Watts imagines a mutiny that stretches out across aeons, fought against a seemingly omnipotent AI.
The latest Humble Bundle features the books of the most excellent Tachyon Press, with a who's who of my favorite SF writers and collections, from Ellen Klages and Jeff Vandermeer, to Bruce Sterling and Peter Watts, to Patricia McKillip and Brandon Sanderson, and even me!
Read the rest
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an authoritarian war criminal who is part of the worldwide surge of trumpist leaders and hopefuls, including Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte; Hungary's Viktor Orbán; Russia's Vladimir Putin; South Korea's Park Geun-hye; France's Marine Le Pen; the UK's Nigel Farage, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and others -- bound together by xenophobia, a lack of transparency, violent suppression of opposition, and savvy use of the internet. Read the rest
Trump is a climate denier and he's packing his administration with climate deniers; as Peter Watts pointed out, Trump "seems to think that the laws of politics and of physics somehow carry equal weight, that he can negotiate with the heat capacity of the world’s oceans ('Okay, we’ll cut our bitumen production by 15%, but then you have to increase your joules/kelvin by at least 5…')." Read the rest
Blue writes, "Peter Watts has be stricken with debilitating pain, loss of range of motion and motor control. Watts' doctors remain baffled despite a battery of tests, and Watts has reached out to his fans to ask for their theories and ideas as to what might be causing his illness." Read the rest
David Hartwell, a senior editor at Tor Books, cofounder of the New York Review of Science Fiction, legendary collector, raconteur, critic, anthologist, and fixture in so many fo science fiction's scenes and fandom, is in the hospital with a "massive brain bleed" and is not expected to live. Read the rest
Back in 2009, SF author Peter Watts had dinner with a retired investment banker from TD who described the bank's "vulnerability index" -- a numeric score that expresses how desperate you are for your paycheck and thus the extent to which you can be reliably expected to forego your dignity and principles to keep your check intact. Read the rest
The subject of this paper grew up with a normal cognitive and social life, and didn't discover his hydrocephalus -- which had all but obliterated his brain -- until he went to the doctor for an unrelated complaint. Read the rest
From rats whose brains have been hardwired together to technology for reading your visual cortex, the possibility of brain-to-brain communication may not be so far-fetched. At Aeon, Peter Watts surveys the latest research, ties it to conjoined twins, and wraps it all up with questions of consciousness. Read the rest
Marine biologist/US police brutality survivor/science fiction writer Peter Watts, in a brilliant vignette that, I hope, will be part of a novel someday: Read the rest
David Nickle's horror novel Eutopia
confronts the racial overtones of Lovecraftian fiction head on, revealing a terrifying story of the American eugenics movement and the brutality underbelly of utopianism.
A reader writes, "SF author Peter Watts writes about the ever-encroaching assault on our privacy and how relocating their arguments from the Internet to meatspace illustrates how ridiculous they are, and reasons to be cheerful because of the governments of the 'free world''s determination to eliminate the last shreds of our privacy." Read the rest
This is the stuff that I woke up to today. Can you believe it? Read the rest
Locus magazine has published its annual recommended reading list, which signposts the best in science fiction and fantasy from the previous year. Read the rest
Science fiction writer and biologist Peter Watts gave a spectacular talk to the Symposium of the International Association of Privacy Professional, called The Scorched Earth Society: A Suicide Bomber's Guide to Online Privacy (PDF); Watts draws on his two disciplines to produce a stirring, darkly comic picture of the psychological toll of the surveillance society.
Watts is the writer who was beaten, maced, and convicted of a felony for asking a US border guard why he'd walked up behind his rental car and opened his trunk without any discussion or notice. His take on surveillance and its relationship to control, authoritarianism and corruption is both sharp-edged and nuanced. And his proposal for a remedy is provocative and difficult to argue with. I only wish I'd been in the room to give the talk, as he's a remarkable and acerbic storyteller. Read the rest