Worldcon in Dublin

I’ll be in Dublin from August 15th through the 19th. I hope to see a lot of colleagues and friends there!

This is my panel schedule:

Why is it always raining in Gotham? Noir themes in SF

16 Aug 2019, Friday 21:00 - 21:50, Wicklow Hall 2B (CCD)

Noir tropes are hugely popular in science fictional settings, such as China Miéville’s The City and the City, or William Gibson’s Neuromancer. In what ways are noir tropes adapted or subverted within the genre? Is there a difference in the ways SF books, comics, and movies use elements of noir? The panel will discuss the uses of noir across SF genres and formats.

Space opera is for robots; soap opera is for people

17 Aug 2019, Saturday 10:00 - 10:50, Liffey Hall-2 (CCD)

Will humans ever live long-term in space, or is it easier to let our ‘mind children’ go to the stars, whether as uploaded minds or independent intelligences? If humans (or AI) leave for space, would we miss them?

I’ll also be staffing the SFWA desk from time to time as a volunteer. I’ll have postcard handouts for my upcoming novel Twilight Patrol and my novella The Demons of Wall Street, too!

Cold Memories

I’m delighted to announce the publication of my story Cold Memories in Nature Magazine. They gave me a fun little teaser for it on twitter, too! This is what I wrote about it for their blog:

In Cold Memories we have a traditional climate-disaster backstory. I feel this is something of an obligation for a science-fiction writer to put out at present, although I generally prefer to present more positive futures. I don’t expect the entire planet will be ruined as in the story, but I do believe greenhouse-gas emissions will continue unabated for far too long due to the intransigence of the major industrial and consumer nations. I imagine some kind of too-late technological intervention such as atmospheric particle release or catalytic carbon sequestration to be attempted eventually, with real effects. But because such interventions will probably be enormously expensive, I doubt they will occur in time to prevent hundreds of millions or even billions of deaths, upsetting the entire order of nature and horribly disrupting civilization and the survivors’ quality of life for many generations.

In this story I feel I’m being extremely optimistic about our space travel and planetary colonization capabilities. It’s been more than 60 years since the first Sputnik was launched with no great technological advances for getting off the ground since then, and for 45 years no human has travelled beyond low Earth orbit. And yet, in just over a century I’m suggesting viable asteroid colonies as far out as Neptune’s trojans. I should say that science fiction is in my view primarily the literature of optimism, and despite everything, I see this story as optimistic in its way. But, of course, I would happily trade a few million colonists on the Moon, Mars and in the asteroids for billions of lives on Earth, if only it was within my power to preserve our ecology.

2018 Sale and Publication Recap

Cold Memories (forthcoming): Read online in Nature Magazine.

Happy to be of Service (forthcoming): Listen to the Manawaker Studio podcast.

Not the Brightest of Timelines (forthcoming): Buy the Unrealpolitik anthology.

The Gaea Hypothesis (forthcoming): Listen to the Centropic Oracle reading on YouTube.

The Freighter (December 2018): Listen to the reading at Liars’ League NYC

An Infinite Series of Primes (September, 2018): Read at Apparition Lit.

The Violet Hour (May, 2018): Buy the Galaxy's Edge kindle edition at Amazon.

I Awaken From a Dream of Flight (February, 2018): Purchase the Mind Candy anthology.

This doesn’t count two drabbles (at The Drabble) and several haiku at the Asahi Shimbun.

Of the three stories published so far this year, I’m fondest of I Awaken From a Dream of Flight, the story of an AI pilot on virtual compassionate leave. The “forthcoming” items should be out in 2019.

New publications

Some new publications to crow over:

  1. Flash story at Apparition Lit: An Infinite Series of Primes. This is a bit of a homage to the great novel White Light by Rudy Rucker.

  2. Two Drabbles up at The Drabble. Second Person and The Consolations of Cosmology.

  3. Two haiku posted by the Asahi Shimbun. The formatting of their pages is a bit hard to follow, so I’ll include them here. Both were based on prompts for summertime.

bees hum and frogs chirp
idyllic urban garden ...
ouch! something stung me!

red neon allure
tail lights gleam off wet pavement
steaming new york nights