WoW! Pandemic!

Today’s post comes on the heels of a) me answering backlogged questions from XFire’s gaming community, and b) grumbles from the peanut gallery about the recent lack of shiny techy science-speak on the ‘crawl. It just so happens that today’s subject combines elements of both, and holy shit is it cool: a paper in Lancet […]

Posted in: a-life, biology, science by Peter Watts 13 Comments

The Lost Chat: Gaming Edition

LightSol: Have you ever larped or role played any other way in your life? Got into AD&D in a big way during grad school. LightSol: Has one of your novels made into a game? Not professionally. Once, a long time ago, some fan made an online Starfish sexual-abuse role-playing game with rules like “No character […]

Posted in: public interface by Peter Watts 8 Comments

Back in the Saddle

I guess it’s kind of official — my short story “The Eyes of God” is going to appear in that Solaris anthology I was cringeing about the other day. Dave Nickle thinks it comes a wee bit close to being pro-pedophile, but hey — at least I’m officially writing again. I wonder if NAAMBLA publishes […]

Posted in: public interface by Peter Watts 7 Comments

You Take What You Can Get

Snagged from some online promotional pdf from Tor; looks like the trade paper is officially set for March ’08. The lurid red border seems to be absent this time around, and the title font actually looks quite cool; one can only hope they gave it a different colour than the split-pea soup tint of the […]

Posted in: public interface, writing news by Peter Watts 15 Comments

We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Carbon

Okay, now here’s a paper to kick your paradigms a little off-kilter: self-replicating, mutating complex structures built from inorganic dust, kick-started into a form of rudimentary “metabolism” by charged plasmas. For want of a better word, Life. Inorganic life. Spawned from starting conditions reasonably common in deep space, if I’m to believe the commentary. Of […]

Posted in: extraterrestrial life by Peter Watts 6 Comments

Housekeeping

In between not doing the paying stuff I’m supposed to be doing and checking out the various articles and links you folks have sent my way over the altruism essay (thanks for all of that, btw — there was a lot of good stuff in there and it actually changed my thinking somewhat), I managed […]

XFire PrePostMortem

I’m just decompressing after one hellaciously frenetic hour answering questions, along with Mssrs. Vinge and Stross, on XFire. The way it worked was, attendees asked questions in one chatroom; XFire staff selected some to paste in a separate room; we authors selected the ones we wanted to answer from that room, and posted said answers […]

Posted in: public interface, writing news by Peter Watts 9 Comments

Selfish Bastards, Every One

Now and then I’ve fielded questions — in interviews, private e-mails, maybe even here in the ‘crawl — about my reductionist take on human nature. In particular, a lot of folks are not comfy with my dissing of altruism, which (if it ever does arise in a population) is likely to get weeded out real […]

I’m not dead yet.

Just another couple of placeholders while I shovel sand against the tide. Placeholder #1: the observation of a certain correlation in the skiffy community: Group A: “Blindsight would definitely be my choice for the Hugo, if I were voting. Which I’m not.” Group B: “Blindsight is good/crappy/great for wrapping fish, but it didn’t get my […]

Posted in: whinge by Peter Watts 19 Comments