My 2 new books

I've finally published a new book, two actually. The first is a whimsical myth of the discovery of buckyballs. I wrote this 20 years ago for my bucky friends and a few weeks ago realized I should publish it for posterity.

The next is a singularity story of the oldest star in the universe. Guess where it is......only 190 light years away from us. What are the odds that the oldest star in the universe is so close to us? By the way, it's actually older than the universe.

Enjoy !

For those reading my books you'll be interested in the cover. Each cover is directly related to the contents. Unlike most you can judge my books by the cover!

A Journal for Science Fiction

There is a new journal dedicated to Science Fiction from the Museum of Science Fiction

Volume 1 Issue #1 is now available.   Here is their Focus and Scope

MOSF Journal of Science Fiction seeks to uphold the spirit of educated inquiry and speculation through the publication of peer-reviewed, academic articles, essays and book reviews exploring the interdisciplinary nature of science fiction. The journal welcomes unsolicited, original submissions from academics around the world about science fiction in all media (literature, film, television, videogames, art, oral history, etc.). Issues are published three times a year and each issue will feature 8 to 12 academic articles.


Geek's Guide to Self Publishing

I just finished listening to one of the best podcasts I've ever heard.  Episode 83 of Wired's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy. This episode dealt in depth on topics of self-publishing, with detailed information about the Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.  Guests Hugh Howie and Tobias Buckell gave outstanding information and advice on self-publishing, including how to choose between indie and traditional publishing.

I give this my highest recommendation.  The only problem here is that most people will think this is only for science fiction writers.  But everything I heard makes this a fantastic reference for anyone considering self-publishing.

Code 46 and viral driven behavior

Watched a mediocre scifi movie a few days ago, Code 46. Apart from some boring scenes setting the dreamlike mood, and some stupid sex scenes, there was one brilliant idea.

In this movie viruses have profound power over people.  A woman is given a virus which causes her revulsion when she is near a man whose genetics matches hers.

The idea that viruses modify human behavior would have been pure science fiction a few years ago, but that was before discoveries about a virus which causes rats to change their behavior such that they are more likely to be eaten by cats.

A hundred years from now will we have a long list of human behaviors which are primarly caused by viruses?

If we could purge all viruses from our bodies how many dysfunctional and destructive behaviors would vanish from our lives?

Scifi Optimists versus Scifi Pessimists

Scifi pessimists say - we'll never be able to feed 8 billion people. Scifi optimists invent algae which can fix nitrogen from the air, generate fertilizer, and live in a symbiotic relationship with roots of food plants in airborne greenhouses.

Scifi pessimists say - global warming will kill us all.

Scifi optimists invent CO2 scavenging algae which generate carbon nanotube filaments used for building space elevators.

Scifi pessimists say - the sunspots won't come back and we'll all freeze in another ice age.

Scifi optimists invent CO2 storage bins which absorb or release tons of CO2 every day for precision climate control.

Scifi pessimists say the ozone layer will disappear and we'll all fry.

Scifi optimists invent airborne ozone replenishing units staffed by extremely attractive people.

It's too bad there are so few scifi optimists.

Richard Morgan on Internecine SciFi Warfare

Richard Morgan has some hostile words for the battles ongoing within the science fiction community.

His comments are great, but we need more analysis. Why is there civil warfare inside our genre? Isn't there room enough for all of us?

1 First of all, more than anything else, this is about money. There are only so many euros to go around and everybody wants more. Anyone who shows some success is an immediate role model and target. Campy space-opera, hoky stories which appeal to NASCAR fans sells.

2 A long time ago somebody decided to call their story science fiction, ignoring the fact that the word science has an unambiguous meaning. This may have been a slur, a derogatory comment aimed at a teenager who appeared to be wasting his life. Or it may have been a wannabe, somebody writing a story about magic pixie dust. In the end the name stuck, and any supernatural and possible future story was branded "science fiction". How many bookstores make any effort to separate out fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction?

3 Most of us hope, anticipate, or desire that our story will eventually come true. Even sword wielding wizards usually represent a desire for reality. Faster than light travel, talking robots, and time-travelling hobbits are frequently dreams for a different reality than we have now. If I predict a post-apocalyptic wasteland where street urchins scrounge petrol for their dirt bikes then how could your story about a drug dealing robot with empathic wifi signals also come true?

4 For real science fiction there is almost always an idea which contradicts the canon of science. It's too easy to criticize fake science such as faster than light or time travel, perpetual motion, communications satellites, or a planetary network carrying video, voice, and real-time text messages. Some of these ideas come true, some are reasonable predictions, some are outlandish. But all of them are necessary to tell a story. In the end this is about telling a story, it's not about predicting the future. The fake science helps us tell a good story.

5 If scifi writers or readers were polled we would see even more hostile commentary towards Grisham, Follet and any host of popular authors. Derisive opinions and scathing hatred are there for the asking outside the genre.

Thanks to Neal Asher for pointing out Mr. Morgan's comments.