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Matching entries from Charlie's Diary

Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version

You thought you were rid of me. Sorry, Charlie's still on vacation for a few more days, so here's something that has nothing to do with current politics. Just to be annoying, I'm going to revisit that ever-giving fount of...

Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture

While I'd like to write SFF or rewrite Hot Earth Dreams, this year I'm stuck spending most of my energy fighting developers who decided not to let a good housing crisis go to waste and are busy clogging California with...

Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder

I'm not a Solarpunk, I just play one in real life, it seems. While Charlie's out doing important stuff, I decided I'd drop a brief, meandering essay in here for the regular crowd of commenters to say some variation on,...

Why I barely read SF these days

Being a guy who writes science fiction, people expect me to be well-informed about the current state of the field—as if I'm a book reviewer who reads everything published in my own approximate area. (This is a little like expecting...

The crazy years

The crazy years Many, many years ago, in the introduction to my first short story collection, I kvetched about how science fictional futures obsolesce, and the futures we expect look quaint and dated by the time the reality rolls round....

Dude, you broke the future!

This is the text of my keynote speech at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, December 2017. (You can also watch it on YouTube, but it runs to about 45 minutes.) Abstract: We're living in yesterday's future, and it's...

Are VR esports going to become a thing?

h2{font-size: 150%; font-weight: bold;margin-top: 30px;} ul{font-size:medium !important} This is a guest post by Virtual Reality developer Hugh Hancock, creator of VR horror RPG Left-Hand Path. In the discussion of my last post, Philippa Cowderoy and Geoff Hart brought up an...

Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory

This post is inspired by a real-life issue I'm dealing with, and there are so many possibilities, I figured it would make a great early August chew toy for the group. The basic issue is adaptation to climate change. If...

Paging Agent 007

History: is it about kings, dates, and battles, or the movement of masses and the invisible hand of macroeconomics? There's something to be said for both theories, but I have a new, countervailing theory about the 21st century (so far);...

Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit

Hi: I'm back. And a regular commenter asked me an interesting question anent the state of current US/UK politics: how much money can you make by crying fire in a crowded theatre? Note that "crowded theatre" and "crying fire" are...

Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks

The Nightmare Stacks has been reissued in paperback in the UK and as a lower cost ebook in the USA, and The Delirium Brief is nearly upon us, so it's about time for me to write my usual crib sheet...

Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?

You know exactly what I mean. It's the subgenre that that bears the same relation to Space Opera that Sword & Sorcery bears to Heroic Fantasy. But it doesn't have a name! And though I'm half a century late to the game, I think we should call it "Star Punk". Here's why.

The sudden eruption of news

Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, has just announced her intention of calling a UK-wide general election to be held on June 8th. (She will have to bypass the 2011 Parliament Act, achieve a 2/3rds majority, or call a vote of...

2117 revisited

Where are we going to be, a century from now? Let's go back and chew on this old bone again--from a different angle. Let me first eliminate from discussion a bunch of possible outcomes I'm not interested in examining. Total...

Some notes on the worst-case scenario

Confession time: I'm an optimist, especially about the ideas of social progress that emerged in Europe at the end of the middle ages and became mainstream in western politics in the early 20th century. I called the outcome of the...

And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth

So here's the final (only slightly late) installment of my predictions for 2017. Have a happy new year!...

Children and War Toys and Violent Video Games and Action Stories

Yes, I had in fact spent the afternoon teaching (my best recollection of) World War Two Infantry tactics to the son of a local clergyman and peace activist.

Just plain icky

So every so often a random news article bites me on the world-building toe. Yesterday's came via Ars Technica in the shape of a very interesting research study on cultural attitudes to traditionalism and national parasite stress (Original source). To...

Evolver

I'd like to give you a happy fun thought experiment to chew on. It's 2016. And it's been a bad year. Let's imagine that it's about to get infinitely worse for everyone, and by December 31st, 2016, the human species...

Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US

Yeah, totally boring academic title, but there's a point to it. Here in this online community, we tend to err on the side of rational analysis, and I'm going to be a stinker and point out how much politics shapes...

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