Friday, February 11, 2011

Creative Destruction

Updated 7-29-2023. 
The book was republished by ReAnimus Press in December 2022. The latest Amazon links are: hardbacktrade paperback, and Kindle. Below, original cover is shown.

"Creative destruction" was economist Joseph Schumpeter's capsule description of capitalism. In a few words: good ideas and well-run companies ride roughshod over past-their-use-by-date ideas and badly run companies. Wealth from failed businesses and industries shifts to more productive uses in new enterprises.

(Contrast with: Uncreative destruction, as when governments bail out imploding companies, throwing [your] good money after bad. Seen any of that recently?)

We saw -- and continue to see -- a great deal of creative destruction as work shifts from labor-intensive processes onto computers and the Internet. As Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve) once observed (citation), "From the development of the textile loom two centuries ago to today's Internet, output per hour has increased fifty fold."

(Disclosure: here we segue to a commercial announcement.)  My first collection of short fiction was computer-themed.  I named it, appropriately enough -- or, anyway, so I think -- Creative Destruction.

The title story (i.e., "Creative Destruction") is set in my InterstellarNet universe, about which I've posted before. The original/standalone novelette-length version of "Creative Destruction" (versus the expanded version that forms a section of  InterstellarNet: Origins) was in a year's best anthology and also serialized in the daily newsletter of  Telcom World 2003. (That's not just some random techie gathering. Telecom World is sponsored annually by a United Nations agency, the International Telecommunication Union.  Speakers are folks like IT corporation CEOs and national telecom ministers.)

The longest story in Creative Destruction is "Survival Instinct," a novella about artificial life.  Expanded and updated, "Survival Instinct" became the core of the novel Fools' Experiments.

Those two stories originally appeared in Analog.  Four others also first appeared in Analog, one first appeared in the anthology Future Washington, and one was original to the collection. You'll find full details about Creative Destruction on my website and reader reviews on Amazon.

Creative Destruction isn't new -- in fact, it came out in late 2006 -- so you may wonder why I bring it up now. Thank my publisher. Following the release of my second collection, (Countdown to Armageddon / A Stranger in Paradise), they just decided to offer a discount for both collections bought as a set. It seemed worth mentioning here. (Naturally you can buy the books separately, and both are also available for the Kindle and Nook.)

Since I'm being entirely self-promotional this post, I'll mention that SFcrowsnest, a premier British spec-fic website, recently released its "hyper hundred" for 2010. In a list including SF, fantasy, and horror titles, compiled from reader votes, I'm quite happy to see Small Miracles appearing at 47. And once I knew to look, it turned out that Fools Experiments was #8 on the 2009 list.

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