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Category: These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Small pieces of fiction

Periods, and how to write them

Periods, and how to write them

No, not the punctuation mark. Yes, the other thing. Periods tend not to show up in fiction, probably for the same reasons that urine and shit don’t show up in fiction. They’re quotidian elements that don’t really add anything to narrative unless they’re indicating sickness or a dramatic turn — pregnancy, miscarriage, sudden reproductive potential, and so on. But the fact is that unless your novel or short story takes place in a span of less than 28 days, your…

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iD: a functional Kindle edition, and some reviews.

iD: a functional Kindle edition, and some reviews.

It’s true! You can buy it here without issue. Enjoy. The reviews seem to say that you might. Tor.com liked it: The world that Ashby envisions is fascinating, filled with strange ideas, nifty technology, and some rather mature implications. Asimov might have given his robots the Rules, but Ashby doesn’t shrink back from exploring a world where disposable, artificial, life-forms who must obey or die, have become relatively commonplace. Where they can be enslaved or killed at a whim, where…

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iD drops today!

iD drops today!

Today sees the launch of my second novel, iD: The Second Machine Dynasty, from Angry Robot Books. If you’d like to get a jump on reading it, there’s a massive excerpt over here at Tor.com. I’ve also blogged quite a bit about the process of writing this book. If you’re curious, you could check out my Big Idea piece at Whatever, where I talk about how losing my passport and PR card prepared me to write iD, and an interview…

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Escape from LA: the rest of the story

Escape from LA: the rest of the story

Does anyone else remember The Rest of the Story, radio personality Paul Harvey’s daily syndicated segment? It started in 1976 as a collaboration between Harvey and his son, who wrote all the bits. They were a trifle over-wrought, but Harvey’s voice had a way of making them seem colloquial, like he was a neighbour relaying a bit of town lore over the back fence. I have vivid memories of listening raptly to each segment beside my mother in her white…

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I wouldn’t be a writer without Ursula K. LeGuin.

I wouldn’t be a writer without Ursula K. LeGuin.

A while back, my Twitter pal Damien G. Walter wrote a Guardian column on Ursula K. LeGuin’s upcoming short story collections. He takes a very specific perspective on LeGuin’s stories in context, situating LeGuin within the speculative literary canon as a disquieting moralist, a shit-disturber of the highest order who tricks the brain into thinking by first twisting the heart into feeling. I agree with that sentiment, but I don’t think that’s the whole of LeGuin’s genius or her technique….

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New story: “Photographic Memory”

New story: “Photographic Memory”

Today is Day Zero of the Intel Developer Forum, where I’ll be on two panels regarding futurism and science fiction. I’m also very pleased to announce that one of my stories, “Photographic Memory,” is now available in The Tomorrow Project Anthology: Imagining the Future and Building It. “Photographic Memory” is a story inspired by two things. The first is this piece by Jennifer Kahn for the New York Times, called“Can You Call A Nine-Year-Old A Psychopath?”. When I first read…

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The canonical “vN” review & interview post

The canonical “vN” review & interview post

For weeks, my mom has been asking for a central location where all of the reviews for vN can be housed. This will help facilitate her bragging. (You’re welcome, Mom. I’ll update this as I find more.) Note: Most of these reviews are already included at my publisher’s vN page. The blurbs are there, too. Or you could visit the Goodreads page on the subject. Or the Amazon page. vN has also been listed at Kirkus and Ranting Dragon as…

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More posts about women and robots

More posts about women and robots

So, I wrote a guest post for the Qwillery’s Debut Author Challenge, and it’s called Gynoid Trouble: The heroine’s journey is the transition from object to subject. More specifically, the gynoid heroine’s journey is the transition between “automaton” to “autonomous”. From a piece of consumer technology to one who can never be owned. As Rei Ayanami says, “Wastashi wa anatta no ningyo ja nai; watashi wa anatta ja nai mono.” I am not your puppet; I am not your thing….

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About those DARPA robots…

About those DARPA robots…

DARPA has decided it would like a humanoid robot sometime in the near future, and is willing to pay you to build it. Here are the reasons I’m excited about this news: I’m writing a series of novels about humanoid robots. (Scroll down for some most excellent blurbage.) DARPA has agreed to allow unpaid teams to enter the Grand Challenge competition. This means that hackers/makers/NewAesthetes/kitbashers can get in on the fun. You there, in your garage! This means you! Hie…

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