Karl Schroeder's "Stealing Worlds": visionary science fiction of a way through the climate and inequality crises

Karl Schroeder (previously) is literally the most visionary person I know (and I've known him since 1986!): he was the first person to every mention "fractals" to me, then "the internet" and then "the web" -- there is no one, no one in my circle more ahead of more curves, and it shows in his novels and none moreso than Stealing Worlds, his latest, which is a futuristic roadmap to how our present-day politics, economics, technology and society might evolve. Read the rest

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: a sweet, simple picture book about gender identity

Theresa Thorn (co-host of the excellent parenting podcast One Bad Mother and Jesse Thorn (proprietor of the excellent Maximum Fun podcasting network) have a transgender daughter; Theresa has written a beautiful, sweet picture book about gender identity based on her experiences with her trans kid: It Feels Good to Be Yourself. Read the rest

"The Grand Dark": Kadrey's latest is a noir, dieselpunk masterpiece that's timely as hell

Regular readers will know Richard Kadrey (previously) from his bestselling Sandman Slim series, but as much as I love those books, I think I love his latest, "The Grand Dark" -- a noir/dieselpunk novel set in a fictionalized weimar city in a brief, hectic interwar period -- even more. Read the rest

The Church of the Subgenius's Salvation Pack is the best $35 I ever spent

A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear Subgenius founder, the Reverend Ivan Stang, interviewed on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) and to discover that the Church of the Subgenius was selling a $35 Salvation/Membership/Ordainment kit that was chock full of goodies. Read the rest

Neal Stephenson's next book is a science fiction novel with a fantasy novel stuck inside of it

Neal Stephenson's next novel is Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, an 880-page Stephsonian brick of a novel that has ample room for two novels, and that's because Stephenson actually stuck a second novel inside the first one. Read the rest

Magical Women: a new anthology of feminist science fiction by women from India

Factor Daily's Gautham Shenoy (who reviewed the Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction) reviews Magical Women, a new Indian feminist science fiction anthology edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan. Read the rest

Terminator bookends and tankard

The bookends ($79) are the clear winner here, but the robot hand tankard ($58) is pretty sweet too; they're made of painted resin (with a stainless steel insert in the tankard), pre-order now for July shipping. (via Geekologie) Read the rest

The Reality Bubble: how humanity's collective blindspots render us incapable of seeing danger until it's too late (and what to do about it)

Ziya Tong is a veteran science reporter who spent years hosting Discovery's flagship science program, Daily Planet: it's the sort of job that gives you a very broad, interdisciplinary view of the sciences, and it shows in her debut book, The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions that Shape Our World, a tour of ten ways in which our senses, our society, and our political system leads us to systematically misunderstand the world, to our deadly detriment. Read the rest

Lent: Jo Walton's new novel is Dante's Groundhog Day

I love Hugo and Nebula-Award winner Jo Walton's science fiction and fantasy novels (previously) and that's why it was such a treat to inaugurate my new gig as an LA Times book reviewer with a review of her latest novel, Lent, a fictionalized retelling of the live of Savonarola, who reformed the Florentine church in the 1490s, opposing a corrupt Pope, who martyred him (except in Walton's book, and unbeknownst to Savonarola himself, Savonarola is a demon who is sent back to Hell when he is martyred, then returned to 1492 Florence to start over again). Read the rest

Luna: Moon Rising, in which Ian McDonald brings the trilogy to an astounding, intricate, exciting and satisfying climax

Back in 2015, the incomparable Ian McDonald (previously) published Luna: New Moon, a kind of cross between Dallas and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, with warring clans scheme and fighting on a libertopian lunar colony where the only law is private contracts and you're charged for the very air you breathe; McDonald raised the stakes to impossible heights with the 2017 sequel Luna: Wolf Moon, and now, with the final volume, Luna: Moon Rising, McDonald proves that he despite the wild gyrations of his massive cast of characters and their intricate schemes, he never lost control. Read the rest

Kickstarting "The Inverter," a backwards watch with a beautiful, exposed movement

The Inverter is a kickstarted, sub-$500, 34mm automatic mechanical watch built around Citizen's Miyota Calibre 9000 movement, augmented with a custom module that makes the watch run backwards, so that it can be mounted so that the movement is exposed (beneath a sapphire crystal), with the back of the watch becoming its "face." Read the rest

"A Fire Story": a moving, beautiful memoir of the Calistoga wildfire in comics form

In 2017, cartoonist Brian Fies lost his northern California home in the Calistoga wildfires; in the days after, working with the cheap art supplies he was able to get from a surviving big box store, he drew A Fire Story, a strip about how he and his wife barely managed to escape their home ahead of the blaze, and about life after everything you own (and everything your neighbors own) is reduced to ash and slag. The strip went viral, and in the months after, Fies adapted it into a deeply moving, beautiful book. Read the rest

Wil Wheaton and R Stevens's mashup tee: Trek Side of the Moon

From the fevered imaginations of Wil Wheaton and R. ("Diesel Sweeties" Stevens: The Trek Side of the Moon tee: $28. Read the rest

Skull fence-toppers for your haunt or garden

The Build Cave is a California-based prop-maker whose Etsy store is focused on decor for haunters with an emphasis on haunted, vintage elevators (!!), and which includes these delightful resin skull fence-toppers designed to be affixed to PVC pipe verticals and painted; they're $95/dozen. (via Creepbay) Read the rest

Snailiens and other delights from Ravendark Creations

Arend Smith -- AKA Ravendark Creations -- is an Etsy seller who sculpts beautiful monsters in a variety of materials, ranging from the Snailien (3.75" x 4.25" x 7", resin, $150) to the Miskatonic Bookworm (6.5" x 6" x 11"; resin, chicken quills, epoxy, many finishes available, $275) which is also available as a Chrysalis (9.75" x 4.5" x 4.75", custom finishes available, $150); to massive custom piece like this massive apoxie/bronze/iron octopus (6" - 10'!) -- or a wonderfully/horribly squishy Silicone Cthulhu Octopus Lovecraft Pet (5" x 2", $50, many finishes available). Read the rest

A smaller jet cowling chair, made from a less-cursed plane

Back in 2017, Andrea wrote about Plane Industries gorgeous chairs made from the cowling of the (now notorious) Boeing 737's jets; now, the company has followed up with a smaller, more practical chair, this one fashioned from a BAe-146's jet cowling, still featuring the company's "high gloss shell and dark Alcantara interior." Read the rest

Stackable desktop microterrariums

Level Scapes' desktop microterrariums are matchbox-sized, stackable sealed boxes with miniature ferns and mosses that only require water and sunshine; they're $39 for a set of six (25% of with the coupon code yankodesign). (via Yanko Design) Read the rest

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