I'm heading to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival where I'm appearing with the wonderful Ada Palmer on August 12th at 845PM (we're talking about the apocalypse, science fiction and hopefulness); from there, I'm heading to the 76th World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California, where I'll be doing a bunch of panels, signings and a reading. Read the rest
Pablo Defendini (previously) writes, "Fireside Magazine’s editor, Julia Rios, is part of The Mexicanx Initiative, a scholarship fund John Picacio put together for sending Mexicanx and Mexican-American sf/f authors to Worldcon. A few of the Mexicanx Initiative authors decided to create an anthology to commemorate the occasion, and had been planning on subsidizing the cost of printing and shipping themselves. When Fireside got word of this last week, we decided to pitch in, and we put together a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $1500 they needed.
"Well, we blew past our funding goal, and we decided that any money left over would be split evenly among all the participants (Fireside isn't making a cent off this). So now we're trying to reach a stretch goal of $7500 by the end of the campaign this Friday, so that we can not only cover their production costs, but pay every author, artist, designer, translator, and editor who donated their work a SFWA-qualifying pro rate."
A small but vital genre of homebrew portable computers is the "cyberspace deck," in which hackers create DIY, special-purpose computers inspired by the ICE-breaking console-cowboy decks of William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive). Read the rest
Snow Crash blew my mind when I read it in 1992. It wasn't just Stephenson's fantastic depiction of a global shared virtual reality universe (the Metaverse) that enthralled me, it was his detailed, often-funny world-building -- the United States government shrunken to a useless, paralyzed knot of red tape, Mafia-owned pizza delivery service, America broken up into corporate franchises, paranoid suburban enclaves (burbclaves), skateboard couriers with electromagnetic harpoons to latch onto cars for free rides, hyperinflated trillion-dollar bills being replaced with quadrillion dollar bills (billion dollar bills are cheaper than buying toilet paper)... The novel is a combination of sharp cultural commentary and old fashioned scifi adventure that's as fresh now (I re-read it a few years ago) as it was when it came out over 25 years ago. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and pick up the Kindle edition for $2.
Elly Blue (previously) writes, "Will toilet paper be a valuable commodity after society collapses? Who will help you with your reproductive rights in the coming patriarchal dystopia? Why are humans so obsessed with gender? Are bots human? These questions and many more are answered with bicycles (and feminism!) in the eleven stories found in Bikes Not Rockets, the fifth volume in the Bikes in Space series. More relevant than ever, stories in this genre inspire visions of a future beyond the narrow status quo." Read the rest
Harlan Ellison, essayist, editor and short story writer, has died in his sleep at the age of 84. Read the rest
Author Hugh Howey is a favorite with many of the Boing Boing staff. We first fell in love with his Wool series of stories, which won Kindle Book Review's 2012 Indie Book of the Year Award and is being developed as a movie by Ridley Scott. Today, Amazon is selling Howey's collection of stories in a volume called Machine Learning for just $2 in the Kindle edition. Even better, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free. Read the rest
The University of Amsterdam's Institute for Information Law is soliciting English-language essays from 8,000-15,000 words dealing about ""our possible data-driven future, where data has been firmly established as an economic asset and new, data-driven smart technologies can change the way we live, work, love, think and vote." Read the rest
Cyriak Harris is writing a novel titled "Horse Destroys the Universe." Cyriak has been creating strange animated GIFs and videos for more than a decade so he made a promo animation for his book-in-progress. Guess what? It's incredibly weird and amazing. From the novel description:
Life was simple for Buttercup the horse. Chewing grass in a field, gazing dreamily at passing clouds or standing at a hedge to watch the world go by. Perhaps a light nap followed by a gentle canter and more grazing, and then off to the stable for a programme of psychological tests designed to expand the boundaries of horse consciousness.
For Betty and Tim, life was also simple. Or at least as simple as life could be when you are scientists conducting neurological experiments on a horse. That is until the day they discovered their horse was conducting an experiment of its own.
Life became rather more complicated after that for Tim, Betty and Buttercup, and the ensuing struggle for control over one horse's destiny results in an intellectual arms race that takes all three of them to the edge of reality and beyond. It is a struggle that threatens to shake the foundations of civilisation and unravel the fabric of time and space. Can anyone stop this horse from destroying the universe?
Pledge on Unbound to support the completion of "Horse Destroys the Universe"
I'm in the home stretch on CRYPTO WARS, the third Little Brother novel; and making good progress on RADICALIZED, a short story about suicide bombers and US health care; you can follow my progress and sponsor my work on the Clarion Write-a-Thon, which raises funds to subsidize the tuition at the Clarion Writing Workshop, which I graduated from in 1992 and donate to every year. Read the rest
Joey from Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination writes, "Frankenbook is a collective reading experience of the original 1818 text of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein. The project is hosted by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, The MIT Press, and MIT Media Lab. It features annotations from over 80 experts in disciplines ranging from philosophy and literature to astrobiology and neuroscience; essays by science fiction authors, scientists, and ethicists; audio journalism; and original animations and interactives. Readers can contribute their own text and rich-media annotations to the book and customize their reading experience by turning on and off a variety of themes that filter annotations by topic; themes range from literary history and political theory to health, technology, and equity and inclusion. Frankenbook is free to use, open to everyone, and built using the open-source PubPub platform for collaborative community publishing." Read the rest
The Maximum Fun podcast network (home to such shows as Judge John Hodgman (previously), Oh No Ross and Carrie (previously), and Sawbones) has just launched its most ambitious project to date: a science fiction sitcom about life in a domed city in a monster-haunted wasteland called Bubble, and it's hilarious. Read the rest