Worst Date Ever.

“Catch.” He turned, flinched, brought his hands up barely in time to catch the box sailing towards him. It might have held a large pizza, judging by size and shape; maybe three of them, stacked. Scasers, adhesives, bladders of synthetic blood nestled in molded depressions under the lid. Some kind of bare-bones first-aid kit. “Fix […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, fiblet by Peter Watts 70 Comments

Technepathy

You’ve probably heard about the rat-brain network by now — it showed up in the popsci threads back at the end of February, provoking breathless comparisons with Vulcan mind melds and The Matrix. And I gotta say, the coverage certainly sucked me in: an actual (albeit rudimentary) network of brains, linked together to solve problems? […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, neuro, sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 19 Comments

Breathing Metal

Those of you familiar with Blindsight‘s Scramblers may remember this quirk about their physiology: they didn’t keep all their metabolism on the inside. “I don’t think Rorschach’s magnetic fields are counterintrusion mechanisms at all. I think they’re part of the life-support system. I think they mediate and regulate a good chunk of scrambler metabolism… If […]

Me or the Manuscripts

2012 ended pretty well: pursuant to last month’s little squee about Blindsight placing in the Top Ten of the Past Twelve poll over at Locus, turns out that I also showed up on the comparable lists for Best 21st Century Short Story (“The Things”, at #4), and barely squeaked into the top ten for Best […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, writing news by Peter Watts 40 Comments

The Deal with Dumbspeech.

As some of you may recall, back on May 10, 2010 I clambered onto the ‘crawl to announce the signing of a contract for the sidequel to Blindsight. As of Nov 2 2011, I announced that I’d handed in the manuscript. In between (and occasionally afterward), I dropped what occasional fiblets I could without giving […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, writing news by Peter Watts 43 Comments

Break Fast.

Sengupta threw a video feed onto the wall: Rowdy voices, flashing lights, a mag-lev table wobbling at an insane angle thanks to some drunken asshole trying to dance on the damn thing. Impromptu footage of a campus bar; the student ambience would be a dead giveaway anywhere on the planet but Brüks was pretty sure […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, fiblet by Peter Watts 62 Comments

Bright Eyes.

It was a window in the crudest possible sense: a solid pane of transparent alloy, set into the rear bulkhead.  You couldn’t zoom it or resize it or lay a tactical false-color overlay across its surface.  You couldn’t even turn it off, unless someone on the other side brought down the blast shield.  It was […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, fiblet by Peter Watts 45 Comments

The Point at Which We Start to Lower Our Expectations

I handed in Echopraxia (aka Dumbspeech) yesterday. Hold your applause; I still don’t think it’s ready. I am very happy with parts of it. Other parts are so clunky I’d have to kill you if you saw them. A couple of elements have become gratuitous in light of recent changes to the story; they’re still […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, writing news by Peter Watts 35 Comments

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

“Believe me.” Moore smiled faintly. “There are worse things than extended unconsciousness.” “Your zombie switch.” It was out before he could stop it. The Colonel didn’t say anything for a very long time. Then: “Just as a general rule, you probably shouldn’t take everything Sengupta says as gospel.” “Okay,” Brüks said slowly. “What about that […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, fiblet by Peter Watts 22 Comments

Jump Start

“Close your eyes.” Brüks obeyed; the insides of his eyelids glowed brief bloody red as the laser scanned down his face “Word of advice,” Moore said from the other side. “Don’t tease the zombies.” Brüks opened his eyes. “I wasn’t teasing him, I was just chat—” “Don’t chat with them either.” The Colonel ran his […]

Posted in: Dumbspeech, fiblet by Peter Watts 41 Comments