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 […]

Christmas Cards.

So before I disappear for the holidays (or more accurately, before the holidays give me an excuse to feel less guilty about my continued dereliction of the ‘crawl), I thought I’d leave you with an assortment of visual stocking stuffers that have been piling up over the past few months. Behold, and click to embiggen: […]

Posted in: art on ink, blindsight, Dumbspeech, rifters by Peter Watts 19 Comments

No Brainer.

For decades now, I have been haunted by the grainy, black-and-white x-ray of a human skull. It is alive but empty, with a cavernous fluid-filled space where the brain should be. A thin layer of brain tissue lines that cavity like an amniotic sac. The image hails from a 1980 review article in Science: Roger […]

False Prophecy

(…being another reprint of a months-old Nowa Fantaskya column, because I’m still in Vancouver and haven’t yet had time to do my epic comparison of Fury Road and Kingsman) I’ve been called a prophet now and again. Articles about neuron cultures running robots or power grids generally provoke a comment or two about the “smart […]

Posted in: blindsight, sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 36 Comments

Tick…tick…tick…

A reader going by the handle Sylvain linked me to a cool paper a few days back; it’s something I would have killed to have had back when writing Blindsight. Are you ready for this? A tick that turns its victims into vegetarians. Look to Commins et al for the peer-reviewed details; the tl;dr version […]

Posted in: biology, blindsight, scilitics by Peter Watts 12 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 […]

Pics for Posterity.

So, here’s a nice surprise in my In-box: prototype cover for next year’s Finnish translation of Blindsight from Gummerus. The artist is Jussi Kaakinen, and I think he’s done a terrific job. Oooh, and just after I finished posting this the first time, a courier showed up at my door with a box of these: […]

Posted in: blindsight, ink on art, public interface by Peter Watts 22 Comments

Coincidence? You Decide!

   New York Times (NYT), LaChance et al1(L) Blindsight endnotes (BSE), “Vampire Domestication: Taming Yesterday’s Nightmares for a Better Tomorrow” (VD)   Dr. Tishkoff’s team interprets these divergent DNA sequences as genetic remnants of an interbreeding with an archaic species of human … the geneticists estimate that the archaic species split from the ancestors of […]

Posted in: blindsight, evolution by Peter Watts 19 Comments

The Good with the Bad

Here’s a break from all the mutilation-fetish stuff that’s been spreading across the ‘crawl lately: some good news to mitigate the bad.  As some of you have noticed, Tor.com has recently released the results of their (admittedly unscientific) readers poll for the Best SF/Fantasy books of the past decade, and Blindsight hasn’t budged from its […]

Posted in: art on ink, blindsight, writing news by Peter Watts 29 Comments

Sarasti Lives

Or did, anyway. Or at least something did. Those of you who’ve checked out the Vampire Domestication Talk might remember the slide from which this inset was taken: a timeline of hominid ancestry, showing the recent divergence of the vampire lineage and its subsequent extinction/reintegration into the human baseline. While the fusion of separate species […]

Posted in: blindsight, evolution by Peter Watts 244 Comments