Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Energizing! Explosive! Not to mention, Millennial!

Publishers and authors work on different time lines. And so, two books completed nine months apart can -- and in this case, will -- be published one month apart. Just a few days ago, covers for both new novels (covers that, with total objectivity, I think are keen) appeared on Amazon. The covers having gone public, I thought: why not show off them off here?

First up: Energized, a near-future technothriller about energy shortages, alternate-energy sources, and the assets available to us in space. The large foreground object -- if you weren't certain -- is a solar power satellite. (Aside to Analog-reading visitors: this novel is an updated version of the recently concluded serial of the same name.)

Look for Energized in July 2012.  (I'll have more to say here about the novel as that date approaches.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hacked off

It's not only me.  The list of folks being hacked -- about which we all should be hacked off -- is depressingly long. And no, this post isn't about the latest sorry litany of identity thefts or compromises of credit-card databases (as maddening as those incidents are).

It's about matters far worse.

A major factor in my novel Fools' Experiments (2008) was a hostile entity -- in this case, an artificial intelligence -- wreaking havoc on the physical world via the Internet. Born to cyberspace, the AI didn't understand the physical world, but -- justifiably ticked off, for reasons I won't go into here -- it undertook to compromise networked resources that it found to be well-protected. Someone obviously valued them.

If only network-accessible resources were well protected ...

Fast-forward merely three years. From PC Magazine: "Illinois Water Utility Pump Destroyed After Hack." On the same incident, also see, from Physorg.com: "Foreign cyber attack hits US infrastructure: expert."

And the SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) interface that provided the hacker with access to the physical-world pump? SCADA devices are common things -- widely at risk, at least in principle, to more such meddling.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time traveling -- the old-fashioned way

None of us can travel to the past (as I've blogged: Trope-ing the light fantastic (time travel)), but that doesn't stop a person from wondering ....

I recently vacationed in England -- that's the Houses of Parliament to the left -- and my sightseeing tended toward the historical. Not exactly time travel, to be sure, but it sure carried my imagination far into the past. And I brought home some great (IMO) photos to help carry you there:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fleet of Worlds (at last)

I've blogged regularly about the Fleet of Worlds: the physical (however fictional) place; the most recent book in the series; the various species known to the Fleet's alien denizens, the Puppeteers; the exotic technologies used there (and elsewhere in Known Space); and relationships to Larry Niven's novel Ringworld and its series.

But I've never blogged about Fleet of Worlds the novel, even though it kicked off the Fleet of  Worlds series (more on that below) and is among my most popular books. Fleet of Worlds was released in 2007 -- but I didn't begin blogging till 2008. I never saw a reason to look back

Till now. Today, Tor Books (Larry's and my publisher) re-released Fleet of Worlds as a trade paperback.

What is Fleet of Worlds about?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Worrying about the right things?

What brings eyeballs to many a website (or, in Ye Olde Days, sold printed newspapers) is trouble. Something that has, or might, or inevitably must, Go Wrong.

The retractions (if any) or stony silence when disasters don't come to pass are less obvious. Is it any wonder that anxiety is the natural mood?