Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
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“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
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“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Smokopolitan nr 10
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Bifrost
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“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
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“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
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“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
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“One Spring in Cherryville”
Available in most ebook formats
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
XB-1
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“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
科幻世界 (Science Fiction World)
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“The Problem of Meat”
Grendelsong
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
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“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
World Chinese SF Association
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“The Thing in the Refrigerator That Could Stop Time”
Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest
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“Marie and the Mathematicians”
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #26
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“The Writing’s on the Wall”
Farrago's Wainscot #5
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“The Sembla”
A Field Guide to Surreal Botany
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Hatter Bones
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“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
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“The Spaces Between Things”
Electric Velocipede 17/18
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Apex Magazine, Vol 3, Issue 3
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“The Suffering Gallery”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 57
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
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“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
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“The Hands That Feed”
Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories
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“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
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“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
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“The Suffering Gallery”
The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Three
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“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
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“The Last Probe”
Launch Pad
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“Pheth’s Aviary”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 133
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
XB-1 Issue 8/2014
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Космопорт (Kosmoport)
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“The History Within Us”
XB-1 Issue 11/2014
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“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
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The Best And Worst Aspects of Cyberpunk

cover_cyber-worldOver at Tor.com I participate in a discussion about “The best and worst aspects of Cyberpunk,” with authors Madeline Ashby, Stephen Graham Jones, Cat Rambo, Nisi Shawl and Alyssa Wong. Which of course is just an excuse for me to pepper my answer with covert Blade Runner references. Here’s the lede:

Cyberpunk. It’s about cybernetics, neuroscience, nanotech, and transhumanism—and much more than that. The upcoming anthology from Hex Publishers, Cyber World, looks at how the technological changes we all face have inspired new stories to address our fears, hopes, dreams, and desires. All this as Homo sapiens evolves—or not—into its next incarnation.

Some of the most talented science fiction writers of today contributed to Cyber World, which presents diverse tales of humanity’s tomorrow. Today six of those authors answer the question “What are the best and worst aspects of cyberpunk, as either a reader or a writer?” Read their answers and tell us your own thoughts in the comments!

You can read the full article here.

 

 


On SF Creating the Future
Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot

Jason Sanford has a short but excellent post on Medium.com about the notion that science fiction does not predict the future, but in fact creates the future. In the article he cites Cory Doctorow’s Locus essay, “A Vocabulary for Speaking About the Future.” I was particularly struck by the assertion that when science fiction writers believe they are predicting the future they may in fact be inspiring. Who/what are they inspiring? Young readers who may grow up to be scientists, engineers, filmmakers, novelists, visionaries. People, in other words, who shape the future.

I sometimes read the blog The Last Psychiatrist. While the author, Alone, can sometimes come off as acerbic, if you wade through her rhetorical arguments, you will find genius buried within. While she tends to focus on the pervasive problem of narcissism in our society (and by “ours” she typically means America, or any culture that mimics or shares our value system), one of her arguments is that advertising in our culture is aspirational and not inspirational.

Note that I mention “inspiration” again. I’ll come back to that.

But first, I want to explore the difference between aspiration and inspiration. Aspiration, of course, is the “ardent wish or desire for something, chiefly that which is elevated or spiritual.” (source: Wiktionary) Whereas inspiration is “the act of an elevating or stimulating influence upon the intellect, emotions or creativity.” In other words, aspiration is the desire for something you don’t have. Inspiration pushes you to act with what you already have.

My point is that, based on my read of The Last Psychiatrist, and my take on Cory Doctorow’s and Jason Sanford’s essays, that most of Western culture (and by that I mean pop/materialist/consumerist culture) is stuck in an aspirational loop. We are desiring things we do not have, only to desire yet more things when we acquire these material items. We are left perpetually unsatisfied because a core need is not being met. I think this need is a sense of purpose. For many, religion has failed to provide that connection to a greater force. And while some gape in awe at the grandeur of the universe without need for a divine being, most cannot muster the will to appreciate that which is so unfathomable (that is, the immensity and complexity of the cosmos). For most it is easier to retire back into a sort of mindless trance, where we indulge in television and video games and ever more reclusive forms of self-numbing, because all seems utterly meaningless outside of our comfortable zone.

Well, I say, fuck that. If we cannot find meaning out there, then let’s make our own meaning right here. Let’s use the tools at our disposal, in other words, let’s inspire people toward greater things. And we can use science fiction as a backdrop to explore those grand ideas.  This is probably echoing a lot of what Jetse de Vries tried to do with his Shine: Optimistic SF anthology. And I say, let’s dream bigger. Why can’t we write stories, novels, films, video games that show the following:

o) a world without poverty, pollution,  hunger, disease that is not a frightful dystopia

o) the human race expanding into the solar system and beyond, not to conquer, but to explore and learn. Spaceships, in other words, without weapons and explosions. Yes, I’m thinking Star Trek, sans battles, but why is this view of the future considered quaint by many? It’s because we’ve been conditioned to be cynics, to believe that dystopia is the only possible future. We’ve been taught to be pessimistic. Note that I don’t mean there is a conspiracy, per se, but that our collective unconscious fears have been affecting us for a long time. It’s time we create our future worlds more consciously, the way we want them to appear, not how we fear they might.

o) a common dream for humanity, echoing what Carl Sagan says is his famous Cosmos tv series, a long-term goal for all, and with very real immediate milestones to be met. In other words, short-term inspiration towards long-term aspiration.

I believe science fiction has the tools to do all of this at its disposal now. SF can inspire us to greater things. And in fact I would argue that it is the only medium/genre/voice which has such power to shape and mold the future. Let’s not let our unconscious fears and behaviors rule us as if we are automatons, dreaming up default grotesque dystopias of corporate control and diminished individual power, of worlds smog-choked and polluted and dying, of wars and more death. Let’s consciously choose to create a different, better future, and let’s use science fiction as the tool to inspire it.*

* One last note. I do not suggest here that all stories of dystopia are bad. In fact, dystopias can often teach us how things can go wrong, and how we might avoid such a dark fate. But I think the balance of pessimistic vs. optimistic stories are skewed heavily toward the former, and a drastic shift is in order.