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My SFContario schedule

My SFContario schedule

This year, I will again be a panelist at SFContario, Toronto’s only downtown SF convention. It takes place November 18-20, and in addition to being a panelist I will also be presenting an Aurora award for the Best Graphic Novel in English. (Hopefully I don’t have this same scratchy throat a month from now.) Here is my schedule: Targeting the Appropriate Market – Sat. 11 AM Parkview Often selling a story is all about finding the right market. How do…

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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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Hard at work deep in the reality mines

Hard at work deep in the reality mines

Those who read my story “Ishin” in The Shine Anthology of Optimistic Science Fiction might be interested in this piece by Noah Schachtman over at the Wired Danger Room blog. What I like about this piece is that it exposes how important research framing is to actual research — you have to decide what kind of metrics you’d like to read before even conducting the experiment. It’s also outlines how DARPA projects get funding, and how little DARPA can actually…

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“The Chair” is now publicly available

“The Chair” is now publicly available

A story of mine originally published in Nature is now available online, and you can read it here. The bathroom. The toilet whines: ketone and oestrogen levels of the day’s users, medical flowcharts of drugs and dosage, the most recent ex-wife’s ovulation schedule. The chair had liked the most recent ex-wife: so fixated on the politics of accessibility that she’d signed over unprecedented amounts of control, convinced that the illusion of autonomy could somehow compensate for the frailty of her…

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The Old–>New Contract

The Old–>New Contract

Today I had lunch at Yuzu with a friend from my Strategic Foresight & Innovation program. (I ate about half of a giant, fabulous bowl of hwaedupbap.) We were discussing our design theses. You see, in between polishing my novel and writing a study on the future of media, I’m also working on my second Master’s — a foresight report on the future of border security. (It’s part of why I joined the Border Town design studio.) My classmates are…

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A rapist in every Jefferies tube: Detroit, design, and our dreams of space

A rapist in every Jefferies tube: Detroit, design, and our dreams of space

A friend linked me to this stunning gallery of photos at the Guardian of Detroit, in ruins. As noted in the margins, large swathes of Detroit now more closely resemble the set of a post-apocalyptic film than they do an actual city. Aged and beautiful buildings have been left to rot. Even the books are still on library shelves, their presence an indication of systemic failure rather than any individual mistake. Granted, anyone who watches music videos has been familiar…

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If you can smell a zombie, you can be a zombie.

If you can smell a zombie, you can be a zombie.

Lan-Caihe is real, or so Will Sargent told me via Twitter, this evening while Squid and I were doing our best impersonations of Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole at a bar near my workplace. Will was, of course, referencing this story, in which a disease called Lan-Caihe (named for an eccentric Chinese deity whose sole defining characteristic seemed to be unpredictability and capriciousness) ravages the techno-factories of Shenzhen. Snip: Lan-Caihe is a degenerative brain disorder that, like Alzheimer’s, erodes the…

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In case you hadn't heard, Peter won a Hugo.

In case you hadn't heard, Peter won a Hugo.

Unless you’ve been on an Internet cleanse, you’ve probably already heard this news. Still, I feel like commemorating it here, mostly because I CALLED IT, and I get a healthy squirt of dopamine when the things I predict come true. Dave feels the same, and has a post on the subject with a snazzy photo from the ceremony. Welcome Squid Overlords, indeed. Peter, come home soon. NOTE: Mom, you can read the winning novelette here. I must confess I totally…

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When your guidelines exclude a Hugo nominee, there’s a problem.

When your guidelines exclude a Hugo nominee, there’s a problem.

These are the guidelines for Tesseracts 15, a Canadian anthology of genre fiction that is focusing on YA stories this year. I was really excited about submitting to this anthology, until I read the guidelines. (They’re available as a PDF on the website linked above.) Snip: If yours doesn’t fit, please don’t submit it. Whatever other definitions of a story suited to a 13 and older reader you may encounter or hold, the only ones that matter to this anthology…

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New story: "Zombies, Condoms, and Shenzhen: The Surprising Link Between the Undead and the Unborn"

New story: "Zombies, Condoms, and Shenzhen: The Surprising Link Between the Undead and the Unborn"

One of the reasons I haven’t blogged very much recently is that I’ve been so damn busy. I went away for a while to a lake up north, where I worked on the story in this subject heading as well as a couple of others (I even did some foresighting work, if you can believe that). The good news is that all of the stories I was working on were requests from other people — this one came from Rudy…

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