DAVID BRIN's world of ideas WRITING & science fiction Is SF truly "the literature of change"? Can it help teach? What are the tricks of the trade and methods of good storytelling? What controversies roil the genre of exploration? legislating the FUTURE? West Virginia delegate Ray Canterbury proposed legislation to teach science fiction in the classroom to "stimlate interest in math and science." search for EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE Where is everybody? POLITICS for the 21st CENTURY Ever-changing and always paasionate, my blogs and articles are not limited by the absurd so-called "left-right political axis"! economy PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE Taxes? our PINTERESTING world Browse articles about science, tech, transparency, and what kind of future awaits us. science & space Expanding our horizons: As an astrophysicist, Brin has studied our solar system and beyond. media, film & games Videos, podcasts, games, speeches and TV appearances... and more podcasts galore! will we ever ACHIEVE a POSITIVE-SUM SOCIETY? COLLAPSING societies
OMNI Magazine Collection : Free Texts From Wikipedia: OMNI was a science and science fiction magazine published in the US and the UK. It contained articles on science fact and short works of science fiction. OMNI was launched by Kathy Keeton, long-time companion and later wife of Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione, who described the magazine in its first issue as "an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal". The magazine was initially edited by Frank Kendig, who left several months after the magazine's launch. In its early run, OMNI published a number of stories that have become genre classics, such as Orson Scott Card's "Unaccompanied Sonata", William Gibson's "Burning Chrome" and "Johnny Mnemonic", Harlan Ellison's novella "Mefisto in Onyx", and George R. OMNI entered the market at the start of a wave of new science magazines aimed at educated but otherwise "non-professional" readers. International editions of OMNI magazine were published in at least five markets.
10 of the Greatest Essays on Writing Ever Written If there’s one topic that writers can be counted on to tackle at least once in their working lives, it’s writing itself. A good thing too, especially for all those aspiring writers out there looking for a little bit of guidance. For some winter inspiration and honing of your craft, here you’ll find ten great essays on writing, from the classic to the contemporary, from the specific to the all-encompassing. Note: there are many, many, many great essays on writing. “Not-Knowing,” Donald Barthelme, from Not Knowing: the Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme. In which Barthelme, a personal favorite and king of strange and wonderful stories, muses on not-knowing, style, our ability to “quarrel with the world, constructively,” messiness, Mallarmé, and a thief named Zeno passed out wearing a chastity belt. “The not-knowing is crucial to art, is what permits art to be made.
Political agency and changing the world In her Guest of Honor speech at Denvention, Lois Bujold said: In fact, if romances are fantasies of love, and mysteries are fantasies of justice, I would now describe much SF as fantasies of political agency. All three genres also may embody themes of personal psychological empowerment, of course, though often very different in the details, as contrasted by the way the heroines “win” in romances, the way detectives “win” in mysteries, and the way, say, young male characters “win” in adventure tales. But now that I’ve noticed the politics in SF, they seem to be everywhere, like packs of little yapping dogs trying to savage your ankles. Not universally, thank heavens—there are wonderful lyrical books such as The Last Unicorn or other idiosyncratic tales that escape the trend. I’d never thought about this before, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It is, of course, possible to find exceptions to “fantasy of political agency,” as Bujold herself does above.
Behold the incredible places where we'll build cities in space Another thought provoking article at io9. Europa is a must-go-now destination. Forget about the very entertaining film of the same name, I want to see a global effort to send a submersible probe, outfitted with a drill to find passage beneath it's icy surface, and I don't want to wait twenty years for this to happen. The exploration, militarization and colonization of our solar systems jurisdiction is "crucial" to the survival of our species. I like the idea of planetary bases, but if radiation is one of our largest enemies, maybe a synthetic atmosphere is a nice goal. If we create an artificial atmosphere, wouldn't that be the best shield to deflect radiation and even meteors? And yes, I know this is fanciful thinking, but so was the Star Trek communicator 40 years ago. Hmmm...
Writers and critics on the best books of 2013 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw (Fourth Estate) is a brilliant, sprawling, layered and unsentimental portrayal of contemporary China. It made me think and laugh. William Boyd By strange coincidence two of the most intriguing art books I read this year had the word "Breakfast" in their titles. Bill Bryson The Compatibility Gene by Daniel M Davis (Allen Lane) is an elegantly written, unexpectedly gripping account of how scientists painstakingly unravelled the way in which a small group of genes (known as MHC genes) crucially influence, and unexpectedly interconnect, various aspects of our lives, from how well we fight off infection to how skilfully we find a mate. Eleanor Catton My discovery of the year was Eimear McBride's debut novel A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing (Galley Beggar Press): in style, very similar to Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, but the broken ellipses never feel like a gimmick or a game. Shami Chakrabarti Sarah Churchwell Jim Crace Roddy Doyle
Evan Selinger: What Sci-Fi Can Teach Us About the Present and Future of Information Combine growing attachment to smartphones with advances in cutting-edge goggles (think Google Glass), and what do you get? Acceptance of augmented reality (AR), which supposedly became ready for "prime time" last year. With the technology out of the incubator and in our living rooms, Silicon Valley's mouthpieces are becoming increasingly comfortable generating hype about the exciting new world it will create. Get ready, they say, for a "more information-rich, more navigable, more interesting, more fun" existence. Equating more with better is an old advertising trick. Persuasive jingles need desirable products, or at least evocative references to them. With so many changes to look forward to, Evernote CEO Phil Libin speculates that soon it will seem "seem barbaric" to look at the world without AR lenses. Maughan and I began to exchange ideas about technology when he contributed to a recent article I wrote for The Atlantic: "Augmented Reality Racism." So, how does this transfer to AR?
Science Fiction Does Something Way Better Than Predict The Future Isn't it plausible to say it has created the future as well. SciFi has influenced so many people, maybe influenced some to the point where they wanted to create what they have loved for so long. Examples are everywhere, especially with our latest technology. Ofcourse it does that. Influence and inspiration is such a prime mover that it is bound to have consequences, both in the negative and the positive. Pick up a book like Stand on Zanzibar, and do a little research, and it is easy to find examples of people who took inspiration from there to ideas, and ultimately to processes of creation. But even on a more general / collective level, perspectives that become internalised by social dynamics, the group level of human perception, pave the road for those groups to create conditions and circumstances that follow (and fill) anticipations and expectations created by what and how groups internalise concepts.
50 Books That Define the Past Five Years in Literature Five years ago this month saw the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 in English — which made it one of those rare moments when you could walk into a coffee shop, step onto a bus, or enter a bookstore and find someone raving about or devouring an ambitious novel that topped a thousand pages. Bolaño’s posthumously published book topped almost every year-end list and signaled yet another shift in literary tastes, creating larger audiences for works in translation, historical storylines, and narrative complexity. The years since the publication of 2666 have been a strange but undeniably excellent time to be a fan of literature. Open City, Teju Cole (2012) It’s hard to believe that Cole only has only published a novella and this novel on the life and times of a Nigerian immigrant student, and not volumes and volumes of his prolific writings for such publications as The New Yorker, Granta, and the New York Times, but a novel this wonderful and fully realized will do (for now).
20 Essential Books About the Next Step in Human Evolution Hm, I dunno. Natural (as in, not being directed by humans or a third party. It seems many of the examples on this list are not of the natural sort) evolution is something that one can't really predict. Though considering that humans are the only species with the concept of genetics and evolution, (well, as far as we know...) to what degree does "natural" evolution really apply to us? I'm left thinking about a couple things.
The Matrix Virtual Theatre Matrix Virtual Theatre Wachowski Brothers Transcript Nov. 6, 1999 Welcome to the first live Virtual Theatre presentation in the world! Tonight you'll be able to watch The Matrix with special guests Andy and Larry Wachowski, the creators of the film. WachowskiBros: Hi! ILoveNatPortman says: Can you give any information on the sequels, or even confirm their existence? blindrocket says: Do you practice Martial Arts? AgentMartin says: Why didn't you both do the commentary on the DVD, time restraints? Hiryu says: Which Anime inspired you the most and why? AgentMartin says: Is there anything in The Matrix which you weren't too happy with; wished you could have done differently? blindrocket says: Would you consider yourselves computer nerds? AgentMartin says: Were you excited about DVD as a medium for your movies to go to the homes of the masses? Enigma says: What is the role or faith in the movie? Peter says: Will there be a directors' cut of The Matrix with any deleted scenes or out-takes?
The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list | Books | The Observer 1. Don Quixote Miguel De CervantesThe story of the gentle knight and his servant Sancho Panza has entranced readers for centuries. • Harold Bloom on Don Quixote – the first modern novel 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68 On the Road Jack Kerouac The Beat Generation bible.• Read more about Kerouac and his coterie in the Beats week special• David Mills' response to Beats Week 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. Who did we miss? So, are you congratulating yourself on having read everything on our list or screwing the newspaper up into a ball and aiming it at the nearest bin?
Firefly & Lessons in Contract Law | The Legal Geeks Firefly was wickedly creative, well-written and had fantastic humor. Spaceships and wardrobe that ranged from Western to Steampunk to Chinese aside, Firefly presented excellent Contract formation issues. Contract formation consists of 1) Offer; 2) Acceptance; 3) Consideration; and 4) Performance. In the world of Firefly , it was often 1) Offer 2) Acceptance 3) Gunfight (also known as breach). Consideration in Contract Law involves something of “value” being given up by a promissor to a promisee in exchange for something of value given by a promisee to a promissor (Nice summary in Wikipedia ). Since the old idea that consideration can be a peppercorn, a sword fight does not seem too crazy in a future with space cowboys fighting an oppressive regime. The Train Job was the second episode in the series. The heist was a success, with the exception the Captain and Zoe were stuck on the train and ultimately needed to be “rescued” by Inara after being detained in town. Captain Malcolm Reynolds