Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Physics updates

Has your GPS ever failed you? Perhaps it told you to turn in 100 feet or so, but once you were past a corner, on your way to the nearby next cross street, it decided you'd gone too far. Perhaps, at some critical juncture, it just failed to say anything, because reflections from nearby buildings confused it with too many signals. Or perhaps you were indoors, hoping for intra-building guidance, and -- of course -- there was no signal.

And it works!
Then be of good cheer (especially if you're in Japan)! Read up (from IEEE Spectrum) on "Japan’s Plan for Centimeter-Resolution GPS: A $1.2 billion system of satellites and ground stations would give unprecedented accuracy," then begin to anticipate the same functionality appearing in your neck of the woods. Doing pretty much anything for the first time is the hard part.

(Don't get me wrong ... I'm not down on present-day GPS. It's a wonderful service, and the technology beneath the hood is fascinating. I'm merely in favor of it becoming even better.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Of philosophy and planetaria

I was recently invited to review an issue of Sci Phi Journal, the new periodical that approaches science fiction from a philosophical perspective. I finished the magazine a few nights ago (full disclosure: I received the March 2015 issue as a free ebook, not that getting it for free will affect my comments) and I'm going to share my thoughts.

First: it's always great to see a new genre publication. Sci Phi Journal is professionally assembled, with a mix of familiar authors and others new to me. Like Analog, the genre magazine in which my own short works most often appear, Sci Phi Journal offers both fiction and essays (and in this issue, as it happens, a story and an article by two Analog regulars who aren't me). The artwork throughout is nicely done.

Where Analog tends toward stories of an adventure- or problem-solving nature, Sci Phi Journal leans (as the name suggests) toward philosophical themes. Most stories conclude with something of a discussion guide -- for a tête-à-tête between you and the author -- about the issues raised by that story. Most of the fiction in this issue was science-oriented, but one, "Bunny Rabbit" (E. J. Shumak), was of the fantasy persuasion.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Catching up

From the Department of Miscellaneous and Sundry (and saved for a rainy, er snowy day when a blog topic didn't jump out at me) ...

Home, cluttered home
Geologists, biologists, and others divide Earth's long history -- about 4.5 billion years -- into ages, epochs, and periods. Each marks a major shift in the nature of the planet. We humans, despite our grand airs ("homo sapiens sapiens ... twice wise? really?) are newcomers. Still, we are remodeling the place. And so, some scientists wonder: "Are we there yet? Scientists prepare for change of epoch."

What do you think? Has the Anthropocene epoch begun?

In a related vein, "Nation’s Historians Warn The Past Is Expanding At Alarming Rate."

Monday, March 9, 2015

Fools' Experiments -- and other authorial goodies

Fools' Experiments, a novel of artificial life, artificial intelligence, and hubris -- and, as it happens, my most popular solo book -- has become relatively difficult to find.

Bummer, right?

The new cover
No longer! Phoenix Pick (an imprint of publisher Arc Manor) has just re-released Fools' Experiments in trade paperback and multiple ebook formats.

What is Fools' Experiments about? I'm glad you asked. 

"Lerner’s physics and computer science background serve him well for this pulse-pounding yarn about the creation of the first artificial life form inside cyberspace."
— BookPage Notable Title 

“Viruses and worms have come to be an important ‘feature’ of our network landscape. And yet this is just the beginning. In FOOLS’ EXPERIMENTS, Edward M. Lerner gives us a fascinating view on how awesome these threats could soon become.” 
— Vernor Vinge, Hugo award-winning author of Rainbow’s End

Or even more succinctly, as the tagline puts it: We are not alone, and it's our own damn fault.

This being an unabashedly commercial post, here are the Amazon links for the new Fools' Experiments paperback edition and Fools' Experiments Kindle edition. (Other etailers will also offer the novel, of course, in print and non-Kindle ebook formats. And your favorite brick-and-mortar bookseller will be happy to order the new print edition for you -- tell him or her ISBN 978-1612422343.)

And in other authorial news:
  • Tomorrow (March 10) is the final day to nominate works for the 2015 Hugo awards. Support your favorite authors.
  • Many of you participated in the recent book bombing (see "I've been book bombed! (And that's a good thing)". I hope you enjoyed "A Time Foreclosed."
  • MANY of you made your way to last week's free Kindle download of "Championship B'tok" -- a novelette which, by an amazing coincidence, is eligible for a Hugo nomination (see "B'tok (and ka-Boom)". I hope you enjoyed it. The ebook has returned to -- IMO, a still quite reasonable -- 99 cents.
  • Now I'm off to pore over the page proofs for InterstellarNet: Enigma. That's my latest novel (see "InterstellarNet redux"), of which "Championship B'tok" forms a key segment. The pub date isn't yet set, but late spring or early summer seems about right. I'll post about it when I know.
A final thought before I go ... please consider helping me get out the word. You might repost, share on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, or tweet about the  new release of Fools' Experiments. And there's always workd of mouth. Icons for sharing are immediately below this post (and its labels).

Sunday, March 1, 2015

B'tok (and ka-Boom)

I'm delighted -- and more than a little surprised -- to be bringing you this update to last Wednesday's "book bomb." So as not to bury my lead: "Championship B'tok," my novelette that's in the running this year for a Hugo award, has become available online. And we'll come to that. First, some context ...

Plan A become B
In author Larry Correia's widely circulating book bombing of recommended Hugo candidates, "Championship B'tok" could only be mentioned. Apart, alas, from its magazine appearance (Analog, September 2014 issue), "Championship B'tok" simply wasn't available. For those curious about my writing, Larry's post pointed instead to my time-travel novella, A Time Foreclosed

Well. A lot of you went out and bought A Time Foreclosed, to which I say (a) thanks! and (b) I hope you enjoyed it.