April 2015 Archives

Not too long ago, someone in the twittersphere asked, "Whatever happened to psi? It used to be all the rage in science fiction."

The answer, essentially, was that John Campbell died and nobody believes in that crap any more. And anyway, it's fantasy.

Now here's the thing. If you accept Clarke's Third Law, which boils down in the common wisdom to "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," you kind of have to ask, "Do we believe psi is crap because it really is crap, or do we just not have the technology to detect or manipulate it?"

Hi! This week, for a change, I'm handing over the soapbox to a new guest blogger—one who's been publishing books almost since I was in high school: Judith Tarr.

Her first fantasy novel, The Isle of Glass, appeared in 1985, and went on to win the Crawford Award. Her space opera, Forgotten Suns, has just been published by Book view Café. In between, she has written historicals and historical fantasies--including World Fantasy Award nominee Lord of the Two Lands—and epic fantasies, some of which have been reborn as ebooks from Book View Café. A short story, "Fool's Errand," a prequel to Forgotten Suns, appeared in the January/February 2015 issue of Analog. She lives in Arizona with three cats, two dogs, and a herd of Lipizzan horses.

OK, here's an idle thought (and a question) for you ...

A couple of weeks ago at the British Eastercon I found myself on a panel discussion about vampires. (Hey, I've been trying to get the hell away from being Mr Singularity Guy for years now; what's your problem?)

Anyway, there I was sitting with Freda Warrington and Jim Butcher, and our moderator opens up by asking, "what makes vampires sexy?"

And I suddenly realized I had come to the right place for an argument. Because ...

Vampires are not sexy. At least, not in the real world.

So IO9 ran a piece by George Dvorsky on ways we could wreck the solar system. And then Anders Sandberg responded in depth on the subject of existential risks, asking what conceivable threats have big enough spatial reach to threaten an interplanetary or star-faring civilization.

This, as you know, is basically catnip for a certain species of SF author. And while I've been trying to detox in recent years, the temptation to fall off the wagon is overwhelming.

(Warning: some links lead to to triggery ranting. As James D. Nicoll warns: "memetic prophylactic recommended".)

By now, everybody who cares knows that the nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards reflect the preferences of a bloc-voting slate with an agenda—and their culture wars allies. But, interestingly, a new Hugo-related record has been set: for a Finnish publisher few people have ever heard of is responsible for no fewer than nine nominated works.

The Clean Reader debacle got me fucking thinking.

I am fundamentally opposed to blue-nosed bowdlerizing gobshites, puritanical prudes, and nattering slobberdonkeys who advocate censorship. And piss on you if you want to conscript my books into fighting your culture war.

And it seems to me that there's too little goddamn swearing in the world. Hell, even in my books.

So I am pleased to announce that I have negotiated an exclusive ebook distribution deal for all of my titles. Henceforth my titles will only be available for purchase through the new ebook reader app Dirty Reader:

dirty fucking reader, yeah!

Dirty Reader uses advanced NaughtyWords™ artificial intelligence technology to scan a corpus of text and detect the optimum location in which to insert a metric fuckton of cuntybollockspoofacefucknuggets to enliven your reading experience and bring it closer into line with the author's state of mind after spending 180 consecutive working days alone in the office except for a sullen, intermittently incontinent cat, wrestling with a buggy word processor while fending off dumb-ass editorial emails and bloody inane suggestions from Marketing. It's enough to drive anyone to drink, and indeed, "novelist" is right up there with "farmer" and "quality assurance engineer" in the alcohol consumption career stakes.

Dirty Reader debuts today, April the toad-felching first, 2015.



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