The Minus Faction Omnibus is finally here!

What the fr@^k is a ‘soft launch’ anyway? Research into purchasing behavior confirms my personal experience that in a market filled with many alternatives, readers tend to choose books with a demonstrated readership over those without. And since they don’t have a perfect window into that, they use the number of reviews as a proxy measure. Not so much the aggregate star rating, mind you … Continue reading The Minus Faction Omnibus is finally here!

AI and the future of humanity

The question posed to me was whether there’s cause to be optimistic about AI. My answer is that that’s an oversimplification almost to the point of farce. To be clear, I’m not anti-AI. Also to be clear, I am talking about AI in the classic sense, rather than the kinds of algorithmic “intelligence” that get so-labeled today. I am referring to a genuinely creative machine … Continue reading AI and the future of humanity

Babylon Eternal

“The Bible tells us that after the kingdom of Solomon was divided and so fell to the Babylonians, the author of the prophetic Book of Daniel was taken captive, along with a number of other Hebrew youths from many notable families — hostages you might say, to insure against future revolt. They were sent to study the Babylonian sciences — what the Hebrews called ‘the black arts’ — under King Nebuchadnezzar … Continue reading Babylon Eternal

Do you know the story of Salamongue Greymouth, Waspkeeper of Hell?

“No? I’m not surprised. His story was left out of the canon of the world religions. It taught the wrong lesson for the priests, you see. “Salamongue was a minor angel who, in the great conflagration, spoke against patience and understanding, choosing instead to condemn his rebellious brethren with fire and damnation for daring to question the divine. Not openly of course. He spoke only … Continue reading Do you know the story of Salamongue Greymouth, Waspkeeper of Hell?

The Problem with “The Three-Body Problem”

From a recent review of Cixin Liu’s Nebula Award-nominated and Hugo Award-winning “The Three-Body Problem” on Big Think: “Why We Should Really Stop Trying to Contact Aliens” by Robby Berman Cixin’s writing is beyond smart — it’s brilliant — and it’s science fiction of the best kind, with mind-boggling ideas and perceptions, and characters you care about. His concept of the dark forest, though presented … Continue reading The Problem with “The Three-Body Problem”

No such thing as a good ugly woman

I’m sure many of you have seen where the NY Times put together an interactive chart that asked people to rank all the characters in Game of Thrones on a good-evil/ugly-beautiful axis. The results should be of interest to storytellers. There is a clear bi-lobed cluster. You could argue of course that this is the result of the show’s producers rather than a statement on … Continue reading No such thing as a good ugly woman

The Strange Uniformity of Madness

After coming across some references to Posadism, I recently got sucked into the art and philosophy of the ectocultures (my term). I don’t mean the Occupy movement or Anonymous, but the real deviants, people who either were (or maybe should have been) institutionalized. There is almost no coherent categorization, except that they’re all highly conspiratorial, anti-rational, and often invoke alien or demonic powers (or both). … Continue reading The Strange Uniformity of Madness