“A Quiet Place”: UNCWISHes and Dream Logic.

This column spoils John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place”. (Not to worry, though. The screenwriters got there first.) You Have Been Warned.   A monster movie hailed as serious drama. Ninety-five percent on Rotten Tomatoes. “Deeply affecting.” “A superb exercise in understated terror”. “A bold experiment in fear.” And to top it all off, it’s the […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 46 Comments

Annihilation

Spoilers Follow. Spoilers for the movie “Annihilation”. (The following review might also go down easier if you’ve read the book.) I’ve always been amazed that Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy became a massive best-seller. Truth is, I’m kind of amazed it even made it past the small presses. Don’t take this as a criticism of […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 71 Comments

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