Naomi Kritzer's "Catfishing on the CatNet": an AI caper about the true nature of online friendship

Back in 2016, Naomi Kritzer won the Hugo award for her brilliant, endearing story Cat Pictures Please, in which an AI with an insatiable craving for cat pictures explains its view on the world and the way that it makes humans' lives better; now Kritzer has adapted the story into her new novel, the equally brilliant, superbly plotted YA thriller Catfishing on CatNet. Read the rest

Podcast: Jeannette Ng Was Right, John W. Campbell Was a Fascist

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my new Locus column, "Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist,"which revisits Jeannette Ng's Campbell Awards speech from this summer's World Science Fiction convention. Read the rest

Raising legal funds to defend an online sf shared world that's been stolen by a Russian trademark troll

SCP Foundation is an online shared world whose members create delightful fiction, movies, games and other media. It's a sprawling, global, friendly phenomenon, licensed under Creative Commons. Read the rest

Crowdfunding to help science fiction great Mike Resnick pay off the medical bills from a near-death experience

Mitch Wagner writes, "Talented and prolific science fiction writer and editor Mike Resnick, who has written extensively over the course of a long career about colonialism and its legacies, with a particular focus and love for Africa, has had a near-death experience and started a GoFundMe to pay off his medical expenses. I'm a huge fan of Resnick, particularly his novel Santiago and African stories, and I'm saddened to learn about this." Read the rest

Thanks to an article about why science fiction great John M Ford's books are out of print, they're coming back

John M Ford -- AKA Mike Ford -- (previously) was a spectacular and varied science fiction writer who performed brilliantly across a wide range of genres and formats, from RPGs (GURPS, Paranoia) to licensed Star Trek fiction (his "How Much for Just the Planet" effectively created Klingon fandom) to fantasy novels like The Dragon Waiting, which grip and delight the reader in ways to rival George RR Martin or Ursula K LeGuin. Read the rest

San Diego's wonderful Mysterious Galaxy Books has lost its lease, needs a buyer ASAP to stay afloat

Mysterious Galaxy is a wonderful, longstanding science fiction bookstore, host to readings for the Clarion Workshop, designated bookseller for Comic-Con signings, and much more. Read the rest

Amazon PR accidentally confirms the existence of a fictional dystopian Amazon technology

The New York Times has been publishing a series of "Op-Eds From The Future," giving fiction writers a chance to imagine our hellish circumstances to come. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz at SF in SF, November 10

This Sunday, November 10th, see the wonderful science fiction writers Charlie Jane Anders (previously) and Annalee Newitz (previously) in conversation with Terry Bisson at the always-great SF in SF lecture series; doors open at 6PM at the American Bookbinders Museum (366 Clementina Alley) ($10/$8 students) with a post-show podcast from Somafm, and books on sale from our friends at Borderlands Books. Read the rest

Jeannette Ng was right: John W Campbell was a fascist

My latest Locus Magazine column is Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist, which revisits Jeannette Ng's Campbell Awards speech from this summer's World Science Fiction convention. Read the rest

The Porch of Doom: a Halloween haunt that sends visitors to a billionaires' Mars where they are expected to do all the dirty work

Pete Tridish and pals made a hell of a Hallowe'en haunt this year: on their "porch of doom," trick-or-treaters were sent to a Mars colonized by billionaires where they were expected to mine Mars rocks and put them in Amazon Mars boxes at a sweatshop Amazon Mars warehouse; Pete notes that the haunt was partly inspired by my 2011 young adult novella Martian Chronicles, which was recently podcast in two parts by the excellent Escape Pod podcast! Read the rest

Spectacular, robotic cardboard sculptures

Greg Olijnyk works as a 2D graphic designer, but his hobby is creating unbelievably wonderful 3D science fictional cardboard sculptures that sport motors and lights that animate them (some use photovoltaic cells for power, too). Read the rest

William Gibson's The Peripheral is on sale today as a Kindle edition

William Gibson's 2014 novel, The Peripheral, is on sale today as a Kindle edition for just .

Book description:

Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which she’s trying to avoid. Her brother Burton lives on money from the Veterans Administration, for neurological damage suffered in the Marines’ elite Haptic Recon unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She made more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but she’s had to let the shooter games go.

Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things are pretty good now, for the haves, and there aren’t many have-nots left. Wilf, a high-powered publicist and celebrity-minder, fancies himself a romantic misfit, in a society where reaching into the past is just another hobby.

Burton’s been moonlighting online, secretly working security in some game prototype, a virtual world that looks vaguely like London, but a lot weirder. He’s got Flynne taking over shifts, promised her the game’s not a shooter. Still, the crime she witnesses there is plenty bad.

Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, irrevocably, and Wilf’s, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the past can be badass.

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Crowdfunding "Vital," an sf anthology about the future of health care

"Vital: The Future of Healthcare" is a crowdfunded anthology of short science fiction stories about the future of health care, with contributions from top writers like James Patrick Kelly, Seanan McGuire, Annalee Newitz, Paolo Bacigalupi and Caroline M. Yoachim (they're also open to submissions!). Read the rest

Beautiful boxed set of two Octavia Butler novels

Seven Stories press just released this gorgeous boxed set of Octavia E. Butler's Parable novels. It's available today and would make a great gift for any reader.

This boxed set pairs the bestselling Nebula-prize nominee, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, which together tell the near-future odyssey of Lauren Olamina, a "hyper-empathic" young woman who is twice as feeling in a world that has become doubly dehumanized. In Sower, set in California in 2024, small walled communities protect from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of "Paints," people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. It is into this landscape that Lauren begins her journey, traveling on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown. The book has an introduction by feminist, journalist, activist, and author Gloria Steinem.

Parable of the Talents celebrates the classic Butlerian themes of alienation and transcendence, violence and spirituality, slavery and freedom, separation and community, to astonishing effect, in the shockingly familiar, broken world of 2032. It is told in the voice of Lauren Olamina's daughter –– from whom she has been separated for most of the girl's life –– with selections from Lauren's journal. Against a background of a war-torn continent, and with a far-right religious crusader in the office of the U.S. presidency, this is a book about a society whose very fabric has been torn asunder, and where the basic physical and emotional needs of people seem almost impossible to meet.

Read the rest

Primary Sludge: "close fiction" from German utopian writer Sina Kamala Kaufmann

[Last spring, I ran into Nikola Richter at the Republica Festival in Berlin; she told me about Sina Kamala Kaufmann, a celebrated German climate activist and sf writer whose debut short story collection, Bright Matter, had been published by Richter's independent publisher Mikrotext to great critical and public success. I offered to run one of Kaufmann's stories here in English as a way of exposing her work to a new audience. -Cory] Read the rest

Podcast of Affordances: a new science fiction story that climbs the terrible technology adoption curve

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my short story "Affordances," which was commissioned for Slate/ASU's Future Tense Fiction. it's a tale exploring my theory of "the shitty technology adoption curve," in which terrible technological ideas are first imposed on poor and powerless people, and then refined and normalized until they are spread over all the rest of us. Read the rest

Out today: a two-volume, slipcased edition of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, introduced by Gloria Steinem and Toshi Reagon

As part of the renaissance in interest in the glorious science fiction novels of afrofuturist pioneer Octavia Butler (previously), Seven Stories press has just released a two-volume, slipcased set of Butler's fantastic post-apocalyptic adventure novels The Parable of the Sower (with an introduction by Gloria Steinem) and The Parable of the Talents (with an introduction by Toshi Reagon). Read the rest

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