By GuyHasson | Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 10:00 am
Guy Hasson is an SF author and a filmmaker. His latest books are Secret Thoughts by Apex Books and The Emoticon Generation by Infinity Plus. His 45-minute epic SF film, The Indestructibles, which he wrote and directed, will be released on the web in a few weeks, and his start-up New Worlds Comics will go live in July.
Keep It Stupid, Simpleton
A New Trend In High-tech, Gpo Analysis, Labels Sf Readers As Stupid
A Guest Post written by Guy Hasson
A few days ago, I got a phone call from an unknown caller.
“Am I speaking to Guy Hasson?” The woman was cordial.
“Yes,” I said, wary.
“I read your guest post in SF Signal,” she said as if we’re old friends. “The one about the zombies.”
“I’m sorry, what?” Strangers don’t usually call me about these things. There’s a reason God created email.
“And I saw no one left any comments,” she continued.
I received an email from a student at Stanford working on a forecasting project. He was asking for examples of corporation-produced videos showing the future that could be traced back to science fiction that appeared about two decades before them. The idea is not that science fiction predicted the future, but rather science fiction inspired people to realize that future. The theme here is “tracking the curve of SF optimism”.
I suggested that you, dear readers, would be a better reference than I could be…so I will let him explain it…and let you offer some suggestions.
Diane Turnshek is an astronomer whose short fiction has been published in Analog Magazine and elsewhere. She teaches astronomy and experimental physics lab at Carnegie Mellon University and at the University of Pittsburgh “The Physics of Science Fiction” as well as astronomy. She’s a contributing author of Many Genres/One Craft, a 2011 award-winning book on writing. She has taught college writing classes, helped organize science fiction conferences, founded Alpha, the genre workshop for young writers, and ran the 2007 SFWA Nebula Awards in NYC. Diane has four stellar sons and an out-of-this-world boyfriend.
I am on Mars, at least that’s what it looks like here in the high desert of Utah. Six of us are living in the Mars Desert Research Station, a two-story cylindrical habitat 30 feet across with steep ladder stairs between floors. Our bunks are 4 by 11 feet and we share one bathroom. Why am I here for Christmas instead of home with my four children? For science.
We are pioneers, studying how humans could live on another planet. We’re in full sim. We eat rehydrated/dehydrated food, suffer a 20-minute lag time with communications, travel outside the Hab in spacesuits and ride ATVs in the red desert. We each pay for our travel and a flat fee for food and lodging, but what we get back is invaluable. We have forwarded the progress of science, taking humanity one small step closer to striding onto the surface of Mars.
By Ramez Naam | Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 10:00 am
Ramez Naam is a professional technologist, and was involved in the development of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook. He was the CEO of Apex Nanotechnologies, a company involved in developing nanotechnology research software before returning to Microsoft. He holds a seat on the advisory board of the Institute for Accelerating Change, is a member of the World Future Society, a Senior Associate of the Foresight Institute, and is a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He is the recipient of the 2005 HG Wells Award for Contributions to Transhumanism, awarded by the World Transhumanist Association. Nexus, his first novel, is available in trade paperback the US and Canada on December 18th and in ebook format worldwide on the same day. It will be published in paperback in the UK on January 3rd.
The Science of “NEXUS” by Ramez Naam
Nexus is a work of fiction. But to the best of my abilities, the science described in the science fiction is fully accurate. While the idea of a technology like the Nexus drug that allows people to communicate mind-to-mind may seem far-fetched, precursors of that technology are here today. Read the rest of this entry
Jennifer Pelland lives outside Boston with an Andy, three cats, an impractical amount of books, and an ever-growing collection of belly dance gear and radio theater scripts. She’s garnered two Nebula nominations, and many of her short stories were collected in Unwelcome Bodies, put out by Apex in 2008. Her debut novel, Machine has just been published.
Google on your Glasses
Back in 2004, I started work on a novel that I jokingly pitched as my “Google on your glasses” novel. After years of rewriting and shopping it around, Machine finally came out earlier this year. Now I hear that Google is talking about doing just that — putting your browser right in front of your face. Damn, I should have patented the idea back when I had the chance.
Seriously, though, this is an idea that we should have all seen coming. I already walk around every day with a hand-sized device that makes phone calls, takes pictures and video, plays games, and lets me connect to the internet to look up any damned thing I please. Long gone are the days of drawn-out arguments in the car over who’s right about some obnoxious fact. All the passenger needs to do is whip out her phone, look the obnoxious fact up, and crow over her victory (why yes, I’m the passenger in this scenario). Of course the next step is to turn this same device into something more wearable and omnipresent. And, of course, it’ll bring about some interesting societal changes along with it.
Did I say “interesting”? I probably meant to say “disturbing.” Or maybe I meant equal parts of both. Because while it will be awfully cool to have instant access to a literal world of data, it also means the death of privacy. Read the rest of this entry
REVIEW SUMMARY: A fun way to learn more about both superheroes and science.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Building off of his acclaimed university science course, James Kakaios uses superhero powers, trivia, and nerdy questions to explore the fantastic through the lens of science and physics.
MY REVIEW: PROS:Fun and light; never dwells on a single topic long enough to wear out its welcome; eases you into the science and the math; James Kakalios knows an awful lot about comics. CONS: Easy or not, the math might put some people off. BOTTOM LINE: A wealth of information about superheroes, science, and physics. A fantastic way to introduce someone to science who thinks they aren’t interested in the topic. Read the rest of this entry
It’s really remarkable and exciting to learn about the research that’s happening on robots and artificial intelligence these days. It doesn’t get as much press as I feel it should, except when it manifests in odd and surprising places.
Siri, for example. One might argue that Siri — the conversationalist voice which comes with the iPhone 4S — isn’t true artificial intelligence, but frankly, I think it’s a matter of degrees. We humans are difference engines pulling from vast mental databases of information and past experience, making our decisions and our replies to the world. Is Siri any different?
Particularly when we begin taking these artificial intelligences with their responsive abilities and find a way to funnel the vast amount of information, personality, and life on the Internet into them (and find a way to make it USEFUL information. The Internet is many things, but considered as a mind, it’s a crazy person) we’ll very shortly find ourselves with some incredible intelligences.
From Intel: “The Tomorrow Project engages in ongoing discussions with superstars, science fiction authors and scientists to get their visions for the world that’s coming and the world they’d like to build.”
Here’s a trailer for the documentary Vintage Tomorrows (featuring Cherie Priest and Cory Doctorow) which aims to show what Steampunk can teach us about the future.
By JP Frantz | Thursday, April 1st, 2010 at 12:12 am
The 2010 New York International Auto Show kicked off today and among all the awesomeness (like this kick ass 556 hp Cadillac CTS-V Sports Wagon) was this new oddball crossover from Nissan, the 2010 Juke. Most of the styling is decent, different, but decent. However, the front is very, uh, striking. It reminded me of something. Something stealthy that carries around a pocket nuke just in case. See for yourself:
Truly a car only the Governator could love. Preferably when sighted down the barrel of his .50 caliber modded Hummer. Smeared with mud. Ohhhh yeah.