Dancing in the dark at Kathe Koja's DARK FACTORY

[Kathe Koja is one of my favorite writers (actually, she's two of my favorite writers!) and her latest project, am immersive, mixed-reality dance club, is so unbelievably cool that I jumped at the chance to give her a platform to tell you about it. Don't miss her Patreon! -Cory]

Stories need an audience to be fully alive. I write novels (Christopher Wild, The Cipher, Under the Poppy, Buddha Boy, among others) and write and produce immersive events and readings (The Art of Darkness, Glitter King, Night School, ALI<E, among others), and when I work I’m always considering that audience, its shared energy and engagement with the story I’m working to tell: otherwise it’s just words in a row, props in a room. Read the rest

The Convoy: a glimpse of a deepfakes future owned by James O'Keefe-style hoaxers

On Motherboard, Brian Merchant's (previously) new science fiction story The Convoy poses an eerily plausible future for political deepfake hoaxing -- with James O'Keefe-alikes running the show -- that skillfully weaves in elements of the Innocence of Muslims hoax with the current state-of-the-art in high-tech fakery. Read the rest

Mixed-reality demo displays C-3PO and R2-D2 in any room

Magic Leap continues to roll out tantalizing demos of their mixed reality technology, this time imposing the "lost droids" scene into a typical room. Read the rest

The magical future of virtual reality

In Wired, BB pal Kevin Kelly wrote a definitive feature about the current (and future?) state of virtual reality, technology that many of us first tried in the late 1980s but took nearly thirty years to be ready for prime time.

I first put my head into virtual reality in 1989. Before even the web existed, I visited an office in Northern California whose walls were covered with neoprene surfing suits embroidered with wires, large gloves festooned with electronic components, and rows of modified swimming goggles. My host, Jaron Lanier, sporting shoulder-length blond dreadlocks, handed me a black glove and placed a set of homemade goggles secured by a web of straps onto my head. The next moment I was in an entirely different place. It was an airy, cartoony block world, not unlike the Minecraft universe. There was another avatar sharing this small world (the size of a large room) with me—Lanier.

We explored this magical artificial landscape together, which Lanier had created just hours before. Our gloved hands could pick up and move virtual objects. It was Lanier who named this new experience “virtual reality.” It felt unbelievably real. In that short visit I knew I had seen the future. The following year I organized the first public hands-on exhibit (called Cyberthon), which premiered two dozen experimental VR systems from the US military, universities, and Silicon Valley. For 24 hours in 1990, anyone who bought a ticket could try virtual reality. The quality of the VR experience at that time was primitive but still pretty good.

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