Who can forget those scenes in Count Zero where they all stand around eating soup?

Back in the 1980s, the giant German sf publisher Heyne tried out an experimental partnership with a soup company Maggi (they're still around), and it was bonkers. Read the rest

Kickstarting a gorgeous slipcased edition of Crime & Punishment, illustrated by Dave McKean

The next tranche of Beehive Books' Illuminated Editions are being crowdfunded now: three gorgeous, slipcased, deluxe illustrated hardcovers, including a new edition of Crime & Punishment, illustrated by Dave McKean, well-known for his work on Sandman (he also did the original cover for my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town); the books are $100 each, and are superb. The other two titles are The Blazing World, illustrated by Margaret Cavendish; and Peter Pan, illustrated by Brecht Evans. Read the rest

What is a "general strike," and is it time to have one?

A couple of days ago Teen Vogue published an article about "resistance, rebellion, and revolution" (see Cory's post about it). Today, Teen Vogue has another excellent article along the same lines. It's written by Kim Kelly and is called General Strikes, Explained. With the Trump Shutdown threatening to disrupt functioning society, it's a good time to read this.

A general strike is a labor action in which a significant amount of workers from a number of different industries who comprise a majority of the total labor force within a particular city, region, or country come together to take collective action. Organized strikes are generally called by labor union leadership, but they impact more than just those in the union. For example, imagine the scenario if thousands in your town or city — no matter what their job was or whether or not they were in a union — got together and decided to go on strike to protest police brutality, as happened in Oakland, California, in 2011, after Iraq veteran Scott Olsen was critically wounded by local police when they stormed the Occupy Oakland encampment. The community declared a daylong general strike that ultimately saw thousands of people shut down the Port of Oakland (which was more of a symbolic protest, but still it got the job done).

Image: MicroOne/Shutterstock Read the rest

Denver's legendary Tattered Cover bookstore "breaks up" with Audible

The Tattered Cover is one of the nation's great independent bookstores, ranking with New York's Strand, Portland's Powell's, and Salt Lake City's Weller Books; now in an open letter, the store has "broken up" with Amazon division Audible, the largest player in the audiobook market, citing the company's mandatory DRM, proprietary formats, algorithmic opacity, and diversion of local book sales into the pockets of distant investors in a massive, uncaring corporation. Read the rest

Kickstarting a monthly zine that celebrates 1923 works that entered the public domain this year

This month, for the first time in a generation, America's public domain grew, as the 20-year freeze created by the 1998 changes to copyright law finally thawed. Read the rest

Teen Vogue explainer: what are "resistance, rebellion, and revolution?"

Teen Vogue continues its excellent tradition of radical reporting with Lucy Diavolo's explainer on the definitions and relative merits and demerits of "resistance," "rebellion" and "revolution." Read the rest

Revealed! The cover of RADICALIZED, my next book of science fiction

On March 19, Tor Books will release my next book, Radicalized, whose four novellas are the angry, hopeful stories I wrote as part of my attempt to make sense of life in our current moment. Read the rest

Hugo Award nominations are open

If you attended the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose last year, or if you're signed up to attend or support the next Worldcon in Dublin, Ireland, you're eligible to nominate for the Hugo Award; you should have received an email this week about it with a link to follow. Read the rest

Medieval book opens six ways, revealing six different texts

A XVIth Century book held in the National Library of Sweden's collection features a "sixfold dos-a-dos binding," meaning that the book could be opened in six different ways to reveal six different texts ("devotional texts printed in Germany during the 1550s and 1570s,including Martin Luther, Der kleine Catechismus"), with the hinges doubling as latches. Read the rest

The latest Facebook scandal might explain why Amazon wrongfully banned book-reviewers

Yesterday, we learned that Facebook granted extraordinary user-data access to a handful of blue-chip companies, including Amazon. Read the rest

The new Neuromancer cover is amazing

Designed by Jon Gray and available for pre-order next week (ISBN: 9780441007462): Gibson loves it. Read the rest

Scenes from the Bangalore Literature Festival

I still have Indian dust on my shoes from the city of Bangalore, where I spent almost a week at the international literary festival.

I was mind-boggled at the scale of this national Indian event: literature, politics, activism, feminism. There was music and even street art, but what a crowd. Sixteen thousand highly literate participants, roaming from one outdoor stage to another, and engaged with every atom of their souls.

Literary culture persists in this part of the world, where people still believe that leafing through books is a transformative spiritual experience that can change the world.

Authors of the first world, beset with Internet and economic crisis, often seem like plastic vanity-toys kept past their sell-by date, but maybe what they lack most keenly is a creative readership. As a passionate reader, I often claim it is more difficult to read a book well than it is to to write one. As a less passionate writer, I know that even one ideal reader is enough to motivate a decent book.

The beautiful literary carnival -- held on the broad, leafy grounds of one of Bangalore’s finest hotels, an oasis of glamor and privilege -- contrasted with the crooked streets of Bangalore where the sacred cows, pariah dogs and torrents of honking traffic live with a passion for survival. This was not my first visit to India, so I was ready for the epic scale of grandeur and abject poverty, but it was still a culture shock.

The jet-set’s digitized skyscrapers tower like phantoms over vast bazaars seething with a seize-the-day human vitality. Read the rest

Europe's massive plan to require open access for all science gets two new backers: Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation

In September, a consortium of 11 of Europe's largest science funders announced, "Plan S," whereby they would no longer fund research unless the grantees promised that the results would be published in an open access journal, which anyone could read and copy for free. Two more funders quickly signed up after the announcements, bringing the total to 13. Read the rest

Swedish ISP punishes Elsevier for forcing it to block Sci-Hub by also blocking Elsevier

The Swedish ISP Bahnhof has a strong historic commitment to free speech, so when the notoriously corrupt science publishing giant Elsevier (previously) sought to force the ISP to censor connections to the open access site Sci-Hub (previously), the ISP went to court to resist the order. Read the rest

New issue of Faesthetic, the lavish and mindbending art 'zine

Boing Boing pal Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler has published the fifteenth issue of his long-running print 'zine Faesthetic, the exquisitely-produced visual wunderkammer of art/illustration/design. Faesthetic #15 is themed "Convergent Visions" and I was delighted to contribute an essay about the Voyager Golden Record as an iconic artifact of futures thinking. The issue features work by all of these incredible creators: Christan Mendoza, Jon Contino, Adam Griffiths, Adrian Cox, Alex Barrett, Caitlin Russell, Chris Nickels, Dang Olsen, Elaine Miller, Gabrielle Rosenstein, Janne Iivonen, Prate™, Jeremyville, Jim O’Boyle, John Szot, Josh Row, Julian Glander, Justin Harris, Karen Ingram & Nicola Patron, Kyle Knapp, Leanna Perry, Loc Huynh, Maggie Chiang, Marta Piaseczynska, Max Löffler, Okell Lee, Pedro Nekoi, Tara McPherson, Thayer Bray, Bryan C. Lee Jr, and Alison Conway.

Buy Faesthetic for just $10. Here's the story behind this edition:

The idea for “Convergent Visions” took root in the halls of South By South West in 2017. After a mind-boggling keynote delivered by biochemist Jennifer Doudna, Faesthetic publisher Dustin Hostetler and creative director Karen Ingram bumped into Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW. This chance meeting sparked a conversation between Karen and Dustin that became a collaborative effort with the 2018 SXSW Art Program.

“Convergent Visions” probes various areas in science and technology through an artistic lens. Overarching themes include Design, Health and Wellness, Social Impact and the Intelligent Future become realized through the creativity vibrating and flowing from the minds and fingers of 30 international artists and designers.

With a nod to Donna Haraway’s characterization of the emerging and many-tentacled epoch of the Chthulucene, “Convergent Visions” showcases the visions of these talented creatives.

Read the rest

Printer refuses humor magazine because "Christian owners" want to protect "the kids"

Solderer writes, "Old-school humor Magazine The American Bystander was dropped by its printer, citing prurient content (i.e. humor). Publisher Michael Gerber describes the ongoing situation in terms that would doubtless please Benjamin 'Fart Proudly' Franklin." Read the rest

A sensible, free guide to negotiating book contracts

The Authors Alliance is a nonprofit that advocates for authors, libraries, readers and scholars (I'm on their advisory board); they've done a ton of great work, notably a tool for authors to claim their copyrights back from publishers, even when the original contract specified that the rights were signed away "in perpetuity." Read the rest

More posts