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Category: These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Small pieces of fiction

¡Junior Numero Diez y Dos en Año de la Mejor Ciencia Ficción!

¡Junior Numero Diez y Dos en Año de la Mejor Ciencia Ficción!

Es verdad. My story “The Education of Junior Number 12” is in The Year’s Best Science Fiction 17, edited by Kathryn Cramer and David G. Hartwell. You can read the full table of contents here, at Kathryn’s site. This is really special, for me. First, it’s really cool to be in an anthology with my friend and classmate Karl Schroeder. Second, check out the other names on that list. I mean, damn. Those aren’t just good science fiction writers, they’re…

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Happy V-Day! Here’s a snippet of vN.

Happy V-Day! Here’s a snippet of vN.

Last week, I gave my first reading of vN for the fine people of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, (AKA the ChiSeries to those in Toronto). I was really proud to be asked, because it’s one of my favourite regular events in the city. I was also happy that we went with a Valentine’s Day theme for the evening, because then all the pieces I selected could be about human/vN relationships. Here is another snippet, from the novel’s prologue, that is…

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The Reputation Society

The Reputation Society

I’m in another book this year, and it’s called The Reputation Society: How Online Opinions Are Reshaping the Offline World. I wrote a chapter in it based on what I’d learned from fan studies, what I’d learned in foresight studies, and my experiences as a science fiction writer. In fact, I wrote a little story for the book, in addition to the essay I included. Because the book is about reputation, I wrote about Japan, fallen women, and high school….

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vN nuts and bolts

vN nuts and bolts

The swell chaps at Angry Robot Books (AKA my publishers) have posted the premise of vN: Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot. For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive. Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive,…

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If you’re feeling generous…

If you’re feeling generous…

The nominations for the Hugo Awards are open, and if you like, you could nominate my work for a couple of things: Best Novelette: The Education of Junior Number 12 Best Fan Writer: For my work at Tor.com Naturally, it goes without saying that I think you should nominate Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, by David Nickle, for Best Novel. But I’m biased.

A little less conversation

A little less conversation

I’ve recently had a breakthrough of sorts regarding my novel vN. Basically, it involved the need to cut a lot of material. One thing that always bothered me about the journey my main character Amy takes is that it was a bit too long, and didn’t go enough exciting places. More importantly, the exciting places that it did (and still does) go didn’t reveal enough of the world where she and I were spending so much of our time. There…

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Today is a good day for finger-wagging.

Today is a good day for finger-wagging.

In a rare coincidence, two pieces of mine are up at SF Signal and Tor.com, respectively. Thanks to Paul and Bridget, the editors, for allowing me to rant at my leisure. The first is a piece on how to raise stakes for characters in post-Singularity or post-Scarcity novels. Snip: I belong to a genre writing workshop that’s lasted for over twenty years, and its collective wisdom is that the “literature of ideas” excuse is just that — an excuse. Listening…

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Some words I (re)wrote the other day:

Some words I (re)wrote the other day:

“I didn’t know it was so bad,” Amy said. “I really didn’t. I swear. I just couldn’t stop myself.” “I know,” the guard said. “I used to work corrections before I got this job, and that’s what kids in your situation always say, organic or synthetic.” Amy hugged her knees. She supposed organic kids wanted to curl up in a little ball in this situation, too. “There won’t be a trial, or anything?” “Of a kind. Tests, probably. Lots of…

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Another tidbit from my thesis:

Another tidbit from my thesis:

I’ve been having a great time writing the scenario for my thesis. I turn in another draft tomorrow, and I’m excited to be discovering some interesting new ideas in the process. Brandy caught herself wishing for one of those fancy intent detectors while interviewing Jorge Rivera. As it was, her layARs only displayed his heart condition as a pulsing red glow on his left side, and a vaguely yellow aura surrounding his head in a cautionary halo. The rest of…

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From my design thesis on the future of border security:

From my design thesis on the future of border security:

As part of my thesis for the Strategic Foresight & Innovation program at the Ontario College of Art and Design, I’m writing fictionalized scenarios on the future of “service as security” in the customs clearance context. Here’s a snippet: The communications training had gone a long way to preparing her for the transformation. Part of the qualifying exam asked multiple-choice questions about customer service. For the most part, a teenager working a retail job could answer them, but Brandy remembered…

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