Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Con-fusion / Writing updates

Last updated November 22, 2016

A few days ago, after taking a circuitous but scenic route, I finally made it home from MidAmeriCon II (aka Worldcon 2016) in Kansas City, Missouri. I had a great time there visiting with friends old and new. I took part in four panels and attended others, gave a reading, and held an autograph session. I had wonderful conversations around the convention center, and in the dealers room, the green room, the SFWA suite, the hotel lobby, and at many a meal.

Getting goonie at the con
I'm exhausted.

Happily, today I have an easy topic about which to post: writing news.

The short story "Paradise Regained," whose sale to Analog I had previously announced, is now tentatively scheduled for the January/February 2017 issue.

Analog has since accepted, but not yet scheduled, another story, the flash-fiction piece "The Pilgrimage." (For you Analog aficionados, that'll likely be a Probability Zero feature.)

And currently running in Analog, in the September and October issues, is the two-part "Science Behind the Fiction" article about AI, "A Mind of Its Own."

As for life beyond Analog ...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Eight years! Yowza!

The first post here at SF and Nonsense appeared on August 25, 2008. That's basically eight years -- and almost five hundred posts -- ago. That first post was "So why am I here?" Looking back -- and somewhat to my surprise -- I've pretty much stuck with my topic.

Today, rather than post anything new, I invite you to explore some of (the quite a lot of) what's already here.
  • Check out the most popular posts (scroll way to the bottom for those).
  • Find a topic of interest within the tag cloud (right-hand side near the bottom), and zoom in on related posts. 
  • See what I've had to say about my books (find them in the tag cloud, or click on any of the right-hand thumbnails).
  • Look in the archives (right-hand column past the book thumbnails).
If you find something that (for good or ill) speaks to you? Comment away ;-)

In any event, have fun! I know I did.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A physics extravaganza

For today's post: exciting goings-on from the wide world of physics. We'll begin with "Latest search for dark matter draws a blank."

If only the hunt were this simple
Dark matter, you'll recall, is hypothesized stuff that (a) exhibits its presence through its gravitational effects on familiar/normal matter, for example on the rotational characteristics of galaxies and (b) doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation, of which ordinary light is an example (hence the "dark" part of the name). Dark matter is most often expected to take the form of (many) tiny particles of a type(s) yet to be observed.

Alas, after several searches, no such particle(s) has been discovered. The experiments -- including the latest, per the above link -- do not disprove that such particles exist, but they do narrow down the mass range such particles might inhabit. Likewise interesting on this topic, "Why dark matter still proves difficult to detect."

Speaking of particles not found, a much ballyhooed "bump" in the data at the Large Hadron Collider -- possible harbinger of some "new" physics beyond the Standard Model -- has been discounted as mere statistical fluke. See "New particle hopes fade as LHC data 'bump' disappears." It pays to be cautious about exciting or provocative results. (A study reporting "We didn't find anything new," on the other hand, is apt to be true.)

Likewise not found: another dark-matter particle candidate, so-called sterile neutrinos that interact only with gravity. See "Search for fourth type of neutrino turns up none." The Standard Model continues to hang in there ...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dark Secret inches closer ...

Things are cooking!

Learning from experience I won't hazard a specific date, but I'm confident Dark Secret will be released soon. Till then, here -- and much classier than my PULP-O-MIZER design -- is the publisher's cover.

More news as it happens :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Schrödinger's frog goes ...

qubit ... qubit.

(Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.)

ANYway, I'm newly home from attending the Schrödinger Sessions, an intensive two-and-a-half-day program on quantum mechanics and its applications/implications aimed specifically at SF authors. For the 2016 version of the program, about twenty authors participated.

Probability distributions of an electron in an atom
The Schrödinger Sessions is orchestrated by the Joint Quantum Institute (joint referring to a partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology), with support from the American Physical Society. That's an impressive pedigree, I think you'll agree.