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Category: Life

The way out is through: on being stranded in America

The way out is through: on being stranded in America

I just spent the past few days at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, talking about what it means to do science fiction prototyping, and promoting The Tomorrow Project: Imagining the Future and Building It. I’m really proud of my story, “Photographic Memory,” and I’m proud of the panels I did while in San Francisco, especially the one with Genevieve Bell and other members of the Labs crew. People from the audience were coming up to all of us…

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A medicine for melancholy: my memories of Ray Bradbury

A medicine for melancholy: my memories of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is dead. I learned of this today via Twitter, and my eyes welled up with tears immediately. My mother, hearing the news, invited me to call her at work so we could commiserate. I came to Bradbury’s work in the third grade, or thereabouts. I suspect my godmother was responsible. Her husband was a fan, and had even interviewed Bradbury, once. (He was the nicest guy, by all accounts.) My godmother was laissez-faire when it came to my…

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Bits and pieces

Bits and pieces

It’s been a crazy week. I wrapped up some stories for a client, snagged another contract, and ate delicious cake at a belated birthday celebration. (My birthday was last week. I turned 29.) Oh, and did my taxes. On time. Like a 29-year-old. I was also interviewed at Civilian Reader regarding vN. What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you? I’m very short. Like, five feet. It’s the thing that tends to surprise people when they see me…

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My Ad Astra 2012 Schedule

My Ad Astra 2012 Schedule

This weekend, I’ll be at Ad Astra, my local SF convention. (Well, one of them.) While I’m there, I’ll be on a bunch of panels. Here’s the list: Saturday, 10am, Floor 2 Salon 2, The Future of Food (with Leah Bobet) Saturday, 2pm, Floor 2 Salon 1, Reading (with David Nickle) Saturday, 7pm, Franklin, Food in Fiction Sunday, 1pm, Floor 2 Salon 3, Sequels: How Do They Work? (with Peter Watts) Sunday, 3pm, Franklin, Community vs. The Big Bang Theory…

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Words to remember in the New Year

Words to remember in the New Year

From this piece by Umair Haque in, of all places, The Harvard Business Review: …So consider this: when you fail, and fail big — forgive. Forgive the people around you. Forgive yourself. Examine the past, but don’t let it imprison you. You can dwell on your failure for years, and turn a trauma into a crisis. Or you can gently remember that mistakes aren’t the end of the world, but the beginning of wisdom — and firmly step forward into…

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In security

In security

Since my story “Surfaces” appeared on BoingBoing, I’ve been thinking even more about the role the security industry has played (and continues to play) in my life. One of the more discomfiting aspects of writing “Surfaces” was understanding that I could only choose between depicting an invisible and ubiquitous model of border security, or a highly visible and personally invasive model. I knew there was little to no middle ground. I knew this because I had just spent months researching…

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If you see something, say something.

If you see something, say something.

I posted this comment following John Scalzi’s thunderous post regarding Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno’s culpability in the continued rape of pre-adolescent boys by Jerry Sandusky, a member of the Penn State football coaching staff. In the thread that followed, someone asked how Mike McQueary, the graduate student that observed the rape-in-progress and reported it to Paterno, should have interrupted it. After all, mightn’t Sandusky have retaliated, and hurt the child further? Personally, I find that prospect doubtful….

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A story about why we need harassment policies

A story about why we need harassment policies

I was at dinner with some friends on Tuesday night, discussing the sad sack of fail who ruined many a party at the 2011 World Fantasy Convention in San Diego by getting drunk and sexually harassing some of the women in attendance. Some of the women I was eating with said it wasn’t that bad, and that when a man harasses you, you’re just supposed to twist his thumb or take his hand away or yell at him loudly enough…

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Recipe: Smoked Salmon Quiche

Recipe: Smoked Salmon Quiche

From Food Quiche is easy to get wrong. Too often, it’s the rubbery thing left under a heat lamp at your hotel’s pre-paid buffet dinner. And it’s easy to see why: quiche is cheap, it’s easy, and it gets rid of whatever you have in the refrigerator. It’s an omelet inside a pastry crust. What could go wrong? Everything, apparently. That’s why people don’t learn to like it until they’re the ones making it. A couple of weeks ago, I…

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Recipe: Autumn Squash Risotto

Recipe: Autumn Squash Risotto

From Food Before making this, I had never made a real risotto, before. I was always intimidated by it, and reading recipes did nothing to ameliorate my anxiety. The ideal creamy-but-toothsome consistency was notoriously elusive. There was a lot of butter and cream and cheese. Also, there were multiple pots and pans at work: one for the rice, one for the vegetables, and so on. For such a simple thing, it looked like so much work. Enter duck.