Changing Our Minds: “Story of Your Life” in Print and on Screen.

  Spoilers. Duh. We share a secret prayer, we writers of short SF. We utter it whenever one of our stories is about to appear in public, and it goes like this: Please, Lord. Please, if it be Thy will, don’t let Ted Chiang publish a story this year. We supplicate thus because whenever Ted […]

Posted in: fellow liars, ink on art by Peter Watts 26 Comments

SOMA

“If there’s an afterlife, is my place taken? Is heaven full of people who would call me an imposter?” — Simon Jarrett, upon realizing that he is a digitized copy. Ever since the turn of the century I’ve had a— well, not a love/hate relationship with video games so much as a love/indifference one. I’ve […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 37 Comments

Zounds, Gadzooks, and Fucking Sisyphus.

“Those who know what’s best for us Must rise and save us from ourselves.” —Neil Peart, 1981   Did you know that Blindsight contains 73 instances of the word “fuck” and its variants? I’ve recently been informed of this fact by a high-school teacher down in a part of the US that— well, in the […]

Posted in: ink on art, politics, writing news by Peter Watts 54 Comments

The Dudette With the Clitoris, and Other Thoughts on Star Trek Beyond

I used to be a huge Star Trek fan. I watched TOS reruns repeatedly and religiously in high school. Even watched the cartoons. Bought the James Blish episode adaptations, then the (better-written) Alan Dean Foster ones, then an endless series of mostly-forgettable tie-in novels (a few written by the likes of Joe Haldeman and Vonda […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 32 Comments

The Physics of Hope.

Okay, one more before I pack.  Since it came out in NF a long time ago: I never liked physics much. I’m not just talking about the math. I don’t like what modern physics tells us: that time is an illusion, for one thing. That we live in a reality where everything that ever was, […]

Posted in: astronomy/cosmology, ink on art by Peter Watts 21 Comments

Books and Banana.

Here’s the latest in an intermittent series of self-related roundups from around the world, which— while perhaps lacking a certain focus— culminates in what has to qualify as The Best Author Photo Of All Time. But let’s start small, and build to it: It’s only a Recommended list, not a Required one, but it’s nice […]

Dumb Adult.

We didn’t have “Young Adult” when I was your age, much less this newfangled “New Adult” thing they coddle you with. We had to jump right from Peter the Sea Trout and Freddy and the Ignormus straight into Stand on Zanzibar and Solaris, no water wings or training wheels or anything. Amazingly, I managed to […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 171 Comments

Verbal, Visual

Verbal. This is going to be one of those colloidal installments containing bits and pieces too insubstantial to warrant their own standalone posts. Upcoming appearances, for one thing: over the next few months, they’re letting me out in public on three separate occasions: The BUG and I will be coappearing at the Peterborough iteration of […]

Posted in: ink on art, On the Road, public interface by Peter Watts 4 Comments

(In)Sense8

Spoilers.  Duh.   When Caitlin Sweet, Mistress of the Character-Based Narrative, complains that a TV show wallows too much in characterization— worse, that it needs more science— you know a screenwriter somewhere has seriously missed the boat. Over the weekend we binged on this Sense8 show everyone’s been raving about, curled up on Big Green […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 27 Comments

Intellectual Fortitude

In 1971, barely into my teens, I went to a movie with my dad: The Andromeda Strain, based on Michael Crichton’s bestseller, and one of the more faithful adaptations of an SF novel put to film. It’s not a perfect movie. Even back then I could see it wasn’t great on character development. There was […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 23 Comments