I just sent out my annual newsletter… actually, the complaint I get is that they are too seldom! It’s actually been 3 years. You can view a web version of the newsletter… and go to the bottom to sign up to receive future missives!
, my first novel, came back into our hands after 38 years. We made corrections, gave it a new cover and introduction. (It’s one of my few books that never had one.)
The River of Time, Otherness and Insistence of Vision - are back! (My best work.) But above all... - Need cheering up? See my new sci fi comedy novel “The Ancient Ones.” !!!
== A great reading list! ==
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) announced finalists for the 55th Annual Nebula Awards, that will be presented in Woodland Hills, CA at the Warner Center Marriott during a (now virtual) ceremony on the evening of May 30th. Here is the list, so you can hunt down some good reads by fine authors.
Marque of Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)
A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)
"Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom", Ted Chiang (from his anthology, Exhalation)
The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga)
Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, Vylar Kaftan (Tor.com Publishing)
The Deep, Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)
Catfish Lullaby, A.C. Wise (Broken Eye)
"A Strange Uncertain Light", G.V. Anderson (F&SF 7-8/19)
"For He Can Creep", Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com 7/10/19)
"His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light", Mimi Mondal (Tor.com 1/23/19)
"The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye", Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 7-8/19)
Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat)
"The Archronology of Love", Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 4/19)
"Give the Family My Love", A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld 2/19)
"The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power", Karen Osborne (Uncanny 3-4/19)
"And Now His Lordship Is Laughing", Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons 9/9/19)
"Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island", Nibedita Sen (Nightmare 5/19)
"A Catalog of Storms", Fran Wilde (Uncanny 1-2/19)
"How the Trick Is Done", A.C. Wise (Uncanny 7-8/19)
The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Carlos Hernandez (Disney Hyperion)
Catfishing on CatNet, Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
Dragon Pearl, Yoon Ha Lee (Disney Hyperion)
Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, Henry Lien (Holt)
Cog, Greg van Eekhout (Harper)
Riverland, Fran Wilde (Amulet)
Outer Wilds, Kelsey Beachum (Mobius Digital)
The Outer Worlds, Leonard Boyarsky, Megan Starks, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile (Obsidian Entertainment)
The Magician's Workshop, Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
Disco Elysium, Robert Kurvitz (ZA/UM)
Fate Accessibility Toolkit, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry (Evil Hat Productions)
The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Avengers: Endgame, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Marvel Studios)
Captain Marvel, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Marvel Studios)
Good Omens: "Hard Times", Neil Gaiman (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios)
The Mandalorian: "The Child", Jon Favreau (Disney+)
Russian Doll: "The Way Out", Allison Silverman and Leslye Headland (Netflix)
Watchmen: "A God Walks into Abar", Jeff Jensen & Damon Lindelof (HBO)
== More sci fi news! ==
The great and mighty SF writer Catherine Asaro has posted the first part from her upcoming book The Vanished Seas.
Space Cowboy Books Presents: Simultaneous Times Episode #24 - Featuring short stories by David Brin and Jean-Paul L. Garnier. Travel through space and time with science fiction audio plays set to original music from our team of composers, RedBlueBlackSilver and Phog Masheeen.
Then consider bringing that nerdiness power to bear on saving the world! At the TASAT project!
Wanda Kurtçu reports from the recent, Dublin World Science Fiction Convention on how she served on ten panels variously related to diversity! Also about a meeting of MEGA (Melanin Enhanced Geek Alliance)! She also was the 2019 BayCon Fan Guest of Honor in May. I was writer GoH and we had a lot of fun bandying jokes and talking memes… an amazing person.
I have lectured for the Odyssey Science Fiction Workshop -- a fine (and in many ways far better) alternative to Clarion. Jeanne Cavelos will get you tuned up with all the writerly trick and skills! And donations to the fine cause of developing great science fiction authors should rank on the list for some of you!
Amid all these stories about a "2nd Mona Lisa painting by da Vinci" I am reminded of a wonderful short story -- Bob Shaw’s “The Giaconda Caper” (1978) about a psychic detective who tracks down FIFTY different versions of that famous painting, most of them still sitting on an apparatus in a cave near Pisa. An apparatus with a strangely mundane yet marvelous purpose and a stunning plot twist. You can find it in his “Who Goes Here” book (which is a novel that also includes this one short story) available on Kindle.
== Good stuff by others ==
Astronomer Andrew Fraknoi published a very short and amusing “sci fi” story about a SETI scenario.
This thoughtful end-of-year essay by Dan Wang begins with a riff that makes important points about the recent “trade war” with China, implicitly agreeing with my point that we (America and the West) will do better by stimulating our own innovation (and insisting on a full decade of benefit from each item of IP, than with all the world’s ultimately self-defeating tariffs:
“The US responded to the rise of the USSR and Japan by focusing on innovation; it’s early days, but so far the US is responding to the technological rise of China mostly by kneecapping its leading firms. So instead of realizing its own Sputnik moment, the US is triggering one in China. … China finds it politically intolerable that the US has an at-will ability to cripple major firms like ZTE and Huawei. It’s now a matter of national security for China to strengthen every major technological capability.”
The author then goes on to a stimulating discussion of Philip K. Dick, Liu Cixin and Olaf Stapledon.
“PDK’s novels feature smart—and often even brilliant—elites, who feel hemmed in by forces they cannot understand. PKD’s novels are good at depicting the frustrations of elites, whose only satisfaction comes from toying with the fates of smaller characters. They have good reactive instincts and can manage problems that flare up, but lack the confidence that they can affect larger outcomes, and thus have no real sense of initiative beyond petty matters. That’s the story of an elite in Hong Kong, and I worry that US elites are giving in to the same tendencies. They are well-meaning and well-educated, but also risk-averse and pessimistic: retail sanity and wholesale madness.”
Much more of interest. huh.
In the November 2019 issue of LOCUS there's an interview with L.X. Beckett - who has taken the lessons of "The Transparent Society" to heart (or reinvented them). Beckett writes in her interview: "An argument can be made that mostly it's not so much our privacy we care about, except in a few circumstances. It's unequal privacy. I'd be willing to let my life live under that microscope, and let anyone have my whole transcript - if I knew that I could call up any corporate transcript, or if I had those board meeting minutes, or if every time some guy ignored a person saying, 'no, stop!' it actually went into a record somewhere.
"In Gamechanger, the buzzword for that universal lack of privacy is 'mutually assured disclosure.' Everything goes into the Haystack and it's generally assumed that 99% of the information is boring. You still have a form of privacy, just because you're not interesting enough, usually, for anyone to bother reading - the data is going to get used when you and your sister have an argument and she needs to prove that she was right."
Interesting and more intimate than the way I reached the same conclusion, in Earth.
== Videos of brin-blather ==
(1) The “Neo” Project aims to create a vividly beautiful film,
combining science and art with optimism. They feature my blather
about peering into the future. Vivid imagery and remarkable sound editing.
(2) The XPrize Foundation FB-posted a well-produced video
of me explaining the concept of the self-preventing prophecy,
and how we gird ourselves through science fiction to face tomorrow's perils.
(3) Video of my talk on the future of A.I. to a packed house at IBM's World of Watson congress in Las Vegas, October 2016. A punchy tour of big perspectives on Intelligence, as well as both artificial and human augmentation.
There’s an audio version of Sundiver on Audible, which is distributed on Audible via Recorded books, and which you can find here. But again... you could use a laugh right about now! Yes, you. I can tell, even from here. This might help!
Bee seeing you.