Monday, March 29, 2010

InterstellarNet: Origins

Some of my most popular novels are collaborations set in what colleague Larry Niven calls Known Space. KS brims with strange aliens and exotic locales, making it a great setting for storytelling.

Below the radar, I've been developing my own star-spanning series. The original InterstellarNet novelette, about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and First Contact -- ran in Analog in 2000. Related stories appeared in Analog, Artemis, and Jim Baen's Universe. But magazine issues go out of print, and readers keep emailing to ask where they can find one story or another. I've had no good answer --

Until now.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Webifying company

I don't often find myself mentioned alongside Ray Ozzie (chief software architect at Microsoft), Marc Andreessen (inventor of Mosaic, the first popular web browser, and cofounder of Netscape), and Stephen Chen (cofounder of YouTube).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Attack of the killer potatoes

No ... not an obvious takeoff on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (not -- hat tip to Jerry Seinfeld -- that there's anything wrong with that).

Nor anything to do with Frankenfoods (channeling Popeye, thinking of a really giant sweet potato trundling down the street, booming "I yam what I yam.")

So what am I yammering (sorry!) about?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Caveat reader

I've commented in the past about matters of privacy, mostly in relation to RFIDs.  Now's the time to say something about privacy on this blog. To keep it short and sweet:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Virginia Festival of the Book

The Commonwealth of Virginia hosts a great literary event every year: the Virginia Festival of the Book. (Great but stealthy -- although I've lived in Virginia for the run of the festival, I managed to be unaware of it for its first fourteen years.)

Charlottesville (charming home of UVa and Monticello -- I had more nice things to say in this post) hosts the festival, in venues around the downtown pedestrian mall and across town. The festival offers five days (March 17-21 this year) of mostly free activities centered on literature. For the past six years running, the festival has drawn 20,000-plus attendees.

And this is of more than academic (groan) interest.

Monday, March 8, 2010

An open letter to James Cameron

Disappointing news last night ...

I would certainly like to see an SF film get Oscar "Best Picture" recognition. You, Mr. Cameron, of course have far better reason than I to be disappointed.

That said, I don't believe Avatar deserved to win. For me, the film was too much an instance of technique trumping tale. As in, "Let's see ... how can I showcase 3-D?" The plot was minimal, predictable, and unoriginal. (Re the last-mentioned, think Dances with Wolves in space.)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Water, water everywhere

And not a lunar mission in sight.

News of 600-million metric TONS of ice found at the lunar north pole, just one month after the Obama administration decides to kill off the Constellation program and any prospect of an American crewed mission to the moon.

Oh, how icily ironic.

(Full disclosure -- that's Alaskan ice, not lunar polar.  The lunar "pictures" involve radar imagery.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The big picture

I had the great pleasure last year of attending Launch Pad, the NASA-funded astronomy program for authors.

Mike Brotherton -- astronomer, SF author, and impresario of the Launch Pad program -- has begun taking applications for the 2010 program.

If you're an author -- and the crowd was most assuredly not limited to SF types -- consider this post a ringing endorsement.

Official Launch Pad information
and application form are here.  But don't wait -- the application window closes on March 31st.

(Andromeda Galaxy photo attribution)  

(Horsehead Nebula photo attribution)