Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Fantasy for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads

Ooh! It's released as of today. (In paperback, anyway. E-formats to follow). It is:
Amazon link
Fantasy for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads, edited by Judith K. Dial and Tom Easton.

"Want something to read while you sit down for just a few minutes on the bus or in a waiting room? Here's just the thing -- Forty authors, forty stories, mostly under 2,000 words, mostly reprints. Grouped according to their themes--death, fairy tales, love, magic, and myth. You'll also find the usual suspects -- dragons, ghosts, gods, the undead, weres, and witches.

"Just remember--one sitting, one read! Others are waiting!"

(I'm pleased to disclose: among the forty entries is one of the rare fantasy stories by Yr. Humble Blogger. That's "Chance of Storms.")

Monday, September 10, 2018

Forward the (Faster Than?) Light Brigade

About that subject line:

by John Charlton (1847–1917)
It was impossible, as I sat down at the keyboard to blog, not to channel the Tennyson poem. Not after I'd noticed that this would be my 600th post!

Who'd a thunk it? Certainly not me. At least when (back in 2008! Almost exactly ten years ago!) I began blogging. 

So. Herewith: a small cheer. A medium huzzah. A hearty pat on my own back. Perhaps, even, a woo7.

And how might you observe the occasion? Perhaps by checking out some of the 599 previous posts in the blog archive.

Next post: something more SF and Nonsense-typical  ;-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fingers flying ...

Have you been following, over at The Grantville Gazette, the "company man" story arc ? That's my SFnal homage to Dashiell Hammett's acclaimed -- and nameless -- "Continental op."

A beginning (of sorts)
First (May 2017) came "The Company Man." Next (September 2017) was "The Company Dick." And now, I am pleased to report, I've signed the paperwork from TGG for "The Company Mole." In the latest story, our nameless hero(?) confronts the direst -- and lengthiest -- phase yet of increasingly ominous circumstances. In fact, this latest tale will be split across two issues of the zine. Look for it in the November 2018 and January 2019 issues.

And -- with great enthusiasm -- I'm also happy to report finding myself a good 60 pages into the company man's climactic adventure: "The Company Bane." Woo7!

Monday, August 27, 2018

My visit to The Innovation Show

It was recently my privilege to be on The Innovation Show: "an international show for innovators." Host Aidan McCullen and I discussed a lot:
  • Augmented humanity
  • Cyborgs
  • Robots
  • Genetic therapy
  • Brain/machine interfaces
  • Autonomous weapons
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Super intelligence
  • Neural networks
  • Dystopia
  • The future skills of humanity
  • What we (humans) do when everything becomes automated
Let's just say, it was a busy three-quarters hour :-) 

The impetus for this interview? That would be last spring's release of Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction. (And in forty-eight minutes, we covered no more than a third of the topics in the book!)

Curious? Then check out the podcast at "The Science behind Science Fiction with Edward M.Lerner: Augmented Humanity, AI, Superintelligence."

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Because what could *possibly* go wrong?

This article about the much-touted Tesla 3 -- an electric car for the masses (or, anyway, such members of that group as happen to have a spare $35K+) -- is, IMO, well worth reading.

I grant you: it is pretty.
I don't think I care to add anything beyond ... I'm not ready for this.

See "Behind the wheel of a Tesla Model 3: It’s a giant iPhone — for better and worse."

And I believe my reticence is for reasons beyond that I'm an Android guy :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What's up, Doc?

Astronomical news, of course :-)

Neutrinos are amazing particles. They interact so weakly with more familiar matter that it took decades to decide a neutrino had any mass at all. Aim a beam of neutrinos at a light-year thickness of lead, and half the neutrinos will emerge out the far side.

Our neighborhood neutrino factory -- aka, the Sun -- spits out a torrent of these particles. "Theoretical calculations say that about 65 billion neutrinos pass through every square centimeter region of the Earth's surface every second." (*) So how amazing is it that one neutrino recently made big news?
(*) "Nobel neutrinos

Blazar saddles?
IMO, pretty amazing. Because this extremely high-energy neutrino was correlated to a particular event: a blazar -- aka, an active galactic nucleus -- about four billion light-years (and years) distant. 

This correlation marks the first step toward a third type of observation in the nascent science of multi-modal astronomy. That is, in addition to traditional observations (using, from longest to shortest wavelengths: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-ray, and/or gamma-ray electromagnetic radiation) and -- for a very few years now -- gravitational-wave observations, we can now foresee combining neutrino observations. In a word: awesome.

For more on this particularly fascinating neutrino detection, see "Why a 4-Billion-Year-Old Particle That Hit Antarctica Is Such a Big Deal."

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Curioser and curioser

Among the terrific -- and the terrible -- aspects of the web are the many odd articles that one somehow happens upon. Setting aside the disinformation among them, and the ulcer-inducing pieces, and the hoary repetitions, we're left with ... fascinating time sinks. Herewith, several such:

In the beginning?
How did life on Earth begin? There's lots of speculation, and precious little by way of answers. (I'm talking about biology here, not theology.) One theory is that life didn't begin on Earth, but arrived from elsewhere. That's the Panspermia ("all seeds") explanation. What if primitive life drifted to Earth from another star system(s) and, once here, then evolved?  

And almost as speculatively, what if humans could hibernate? What if, to conquer the vastness of the void between stars, humans could be put into -- and revived from -- some kind of suspended animation?

In seeming -- but certainly, incomplete -- support of both these "what ifs," consider: "Siberian Worms Frozen In Permafrost For Up To 42,000 Years Defrosted Back To Life." The ability of any terrestrial life to survive millennia frozen makes both Panspermia and human hibernation seem slightly less impossible.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The short and the short of it

My posts of late have focused on books and book reissues. I'm overdue with reporting what's new with my writing at shorter lengths ....

Let's start with the sale of a guest editorial to Analog. That's "Dystopic? Or Myopic?" (The first draft was for what I expected to be a post in this space -- but as it kept growing, I decided to redirect.)

Words leaking out of fingertips :-)
Next comes a short story: "I've Got the World on a String." As it happens -- and no spoilers here -- this story also involves some venting. "String" will appear in Galaxy's Edge.

And I've got another newly completed piece of short fiction out looking for its home.