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“The Marsh of Camarina”
Lightspeed Magazine - Issue 121
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Weird Dream Society
More
“Very Surely Do I Not Dream”
Psi-Wars: Classified Cases of Psychic Phenomena
More
“Your Future is Pending”
Clarkesworld Magazine #158
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
2019 Nebula Awards Showcase
More
“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
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Gas Miners – Part 3

I’ve been fascinated with these clouds for some reason and so I’ve created another 3D render of the argon gas miners, in this case skimming the upper atmosphere right before they dive into the gas giant’s depths.

My friend Angus McIntyre suggested that mining a gas giant would be difficult for many reasons, not limited to: the energy needed to slow down and then again break free of the planet’s gravity, the dangerous electromagnetic fields and radiation, not to mention the intense pressures involved. I found a NASA paper from a few years ago that explored the feasibility of just such an endeavor and they basically said that, without advances in propulsion tech, the idea is probably far-fetched. Still, out of several options, including “scoopers” like those depicted above, the best option would probably be some kind of floating platform. So for my next render I hope to envision just such a setup.

Also, this render I imagine taking place some seven centuries in the future (or so), where technology has progressed far past our crude chemical rockets. Still, I do think it’s important to make things “real,” that is, based on plausible future scenarios. And so look for a floating gas platform soon


Saving Diego – A Short Story for my Patrons

 

Back in 2009 I published a short story called “Saving Diego” in Interzone magazine. It received some nice reviews, honorable mentions in various year’s best anthologies, and placed 5th in the annual Interzone readers’ poll. 

The story, about two estranged friends who meet again after a falling out on the distant plant of Gilder Nefan, a place where the religious take a psychotropic drug called “sweet jisthmus” to reach transcendent states of consciousness. 

The story has always stuck with me and I’ve wanted to write more about that world. And, in fact, I recently did. My story, “Still You Linger, Like Soot in the Air,” will be out in Lightspeed magazine this August, and takes place on the same planet. 

Because of this, I’ve decided to release “Saving Diego” as an ebook to my patrons. You will recognize the cover art from my recent 3D render “Gilder Nefan Sunset.” The cover was designed by the talented graphic designer Kris Dikeman. 

Read “Saving Diego” now by becoming a patron. You will also get two new chapters of Queen of Static every month, plus lots of extras!

 


Gilder Nefan Sunset

New art! This one is called “Gilder Nefan Sunset.”

On the distant planet of Gilder Nefan, the devout Nefanesh people smoke the psychotropic plant known as jisthmus in order to reach transcendant states of consciousness and commune with the numens, god-like alien beings mostly inscrutable to humanity. All of the buildings on Gilder Nefan are built by hand, brick by brick; no machines are used. In addition, the Nefanesh shun contrivance. There are no elevators anywhere in the city, and one must walk up dozens or even hundreds of stairs to reach the highest floors!

This art was inspired by two of my short stories. The first is called “Saving Diego” and was published in Interzone magazine in 2010. The second is called “Still You Linger, Like Soot in the Air” and will be published in Lightspeed Magazine in Summer of 2020.

I’ll be releasing “Saving Diego” as a free ebook to my patrons soon.


The Marsh of Camarina up at Lightspeed

My story “The Marsh of Camarina” is up at Lightspeed. The story takes place in the near future, when climate change has baked the world and AI has taken over most jobs. When Sita graduates from university with a useless degree and a huge debt, her career counselor suggests she try out a new type of socio-anarchic community in Canada. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“Your grades really are quite spectacular, Sita,” my career advisor Mrs. Dana Rice says to me in her deep southern drawl, an accent I’ve come to associate with my studies here. “A 3.8 cumulative GPA at Georgia Tech is nothing to sneeze at. You should be proud of yourself!”

I force a smile and say, “Thank you.” But all I can focus on is the football stadium gleaming outside Mrs. Rice’s office window. Sweeping. Enormous. Empty. Baking in the morning sun. I went to a game my freshman year and cheered on the Yellow Jackets with all the other Rambling Wrecks. But after that, I got too immersed in my studies to cheer on anything but my grades. And just like the band’s snapping snare drum then, my heart beats triple time now. Mrs. Rice didn’t call me in to here to pat me on the back for my grades.

“As you may have heard, Sita,” she says, and I brace myself, “we’ve been having some . . . difficulties placing students into jobs after graduation.”

If this were a contest of euphemisms, she’d win the grand prize. By “difficulties” Mrs. Rice means that—according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office—ninety-four percent of students graduating with computer science bachelor degrees were unable to find employment last year. Their jobs were replaced by high-level AIs, programs that could build code for a hundredth of the price of a human employee. This year—though the numbers aren’t totaled yet—is shaping up to be far worse. “Yes,” I tell her, “I’ve heard some things.”

You can read “The Marsh of Camarina” here.


Home Early

New 3D art! I call this one “Home Early.” I’ve left a few easter eggs in this one. This is my favorite render so far. It was done in Blender, Daz, and just a little bit of Photoshop touchups on the hair, pajamas, and sheets.

And coming soon: The planet of Gilder Nefan, which appears in my short stories “Saving Diego” and the forthcoming “Still You Linger Like Soot in the Air.”


Geeks Guide to the Galaxy Podcast on DUNE

On a recent Geeks Guide to the Galaxy podcast, I join guests Andrea Kail and Rajan Khanna, and host David Barr Kirtley to discuss the monumentally influential novel Dune, by Frank Herbert. This is my favorite work of science fiction, by far. Here’s an excerpt from our podcast:

“What I love about this book is that there are so many layers of manipulation—and Herbert speaks openly about this, the feints within feints within feints. Everybody is playing each other on multiple levels, even to the point that the Bene Gesserit might have been played by somebody else on an even bigger scale. … [Herbert] understands what really motivates people. In that dinner scene, every glance, every motion, where someone’s standing, it all has significance. Sometimes I’ll read a science fiction book and I’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s kind of ridiculous. I feel the author’s hand.’ But in Dune, there was never a moment where I thought, ‘Well, that’s ridiculous. That would never happen.’ He’s just an astute observer of human nature.”

You can listen to the entire podcast here.


“The Marsh of Camarina”
Lightspeed Magazine - Issue 121
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Weird Dream Society
More
“Very Surely Do I Not Dream”
Psi-Wars: Classified Cases of Psychic Phenomena
More
“Your Future is Pending”
Clarkesworld Magazine #158
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
2019 Nebula Awards Showcase
More
“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More