Offred of Dune.

For a writer who grew up in an age when his chosen genre was routinely derided in polite company— when even impolite company could be forgiven for thinking that SF boiled down to megablockbusters about snarky sapient raccoons and alien-punching fighter pilots— it doesn’t get much better than waking up to find that a big […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 27 Comments

Promises, Promises

Yeah, it’s been a while. There’ve been deadlines: stories to complete, talks to give. Mostly met now, for the time being. I’m never deadline-free but the pressure’s off for a month or so. I’m back. There’s Bulgaria to report on, the usual crunchy science if I can get caught up.  Today, though, I’m going to […]

Posted in: art on ink, ink on art, writing news by Peter Watts 51 Comments

Proof of Principle

Dateline Munich. Scribbled in a near-coma while sitting in a chair which has been designed by aliens who obviously never looked at a human body. Which is to say, at an airport… Something slipped under my radar last week. I was nose-deep in “Freeze-Frame Revolution” and the upcoming Ratio talk, and when I looked up […]

Posted in: ink on art, On the Road, writing news by Peter Watts 11 Comments

Oprah’s X-Men: Thoughts on Logan

Lers of Spoi. You have been warned. There’s always been a contingent of X-Men fans who insist on seeing Mutant as Allegory, a metaphor—albeit a heavy-handed one— for prejudice and disenfranchisement. Mutants routinely get invoked as a sort of Other Of The Week: stand-ins for unwanted immigrants, untrusted ethnicities, oppressed orientations. I’ve never been a […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 37 Comments

Westworld, Season 1: A Story We Tell Ourselves.

  Huge honking spoilers. Spoilers for everything right up to the season finale. You have been warned. Westworld ended its first season over a week ago. Most of the reviews, postmortems and retrospectives have long since gone to bed. It’s taken me somewhat longer to put this together— not just because paying gigs come before […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 49 Comments

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 Chiang […]

Posted in: fellow liars, ink on art by Peter Watts 42 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