Announcements, Appearances, and Add-ons

Some ominous developments in the politics of the Canadian Surveillance State recently. A postmortem on Echopraxia waiting in the wings, now that the dust has settled. But in the meantime a bunch of links have been piling up, little self-aggrandizing things that, in isolation, weren’t important enough to warrant their own blog posts (they might have warranted announcement on facebook, but I try to avoid facebook for anything beyond luring eyeballs to the ‘crawl). Only now they’ve piled up, and some of them are going stale, and shining a light on these things is part of the job description.

So today, we scour the fridge for leftovers and the makings of Link Salad:

  • There’s this thing called the Campaign for the American Reader, administrated by a dude named Marshal Zeringue. CAR promotes books. One of the ways they do this is via  “The Page 69 Test”.  It doesn’t always work very well. It kind of depends what’s in page 69. In the case of Echopraxia, not much.
  • CAR also as a somewhat more forgiving shtick called “My Book, the Movie”; I did it back in 2009 for the rifters trilogy, and Marshal just posted the Echopraxia edition the other day. (I’d like to thank all you guys for chipping in when I asked for advice on this one, by the way. It proved really helpful. Tilda Swinton as Valerie is a stroke of genius, although Sengupta remains a bit problematic.)
  • Albedo One has a fairly in-depth interview with me in their latest issue, during the course of which  I had to look up the meaning of “pantropy”. Some of it revisits material covered in other interviews; some of it’s brand spanking new. You might want to check it out.
Among other things, I reminisce about partially-dismembered sea lions.

Among other things, I reminisce about partially-dismembered sea lions.

  • Our buds over at Starship Sofa just dropped their latest podcast, which contains a performance of a story I coauthored with Laurie Channer over ten years back. With the exception of a cheesy video on seal-fisheries conflicts that came out back in the nineties, “Bulk Food” is the closest I’ve ever come to documentary. Some of the names have been changed. Slightly.
  • If you’ve been paying attention to the sidebar, you may have noticed that I’ll be appearing at SFContario in a couple of weeks. I’ll blog my schedule once it’s finalized, but at this point it looks like I’ll be doing five panels and a reading. Said reading is slotted for a solid hour; any thoughts as to whether I should drone on for the whole 60 minutes or keep myself to 30 and do a Q&A on the back half? Only those who actually plan on attending need respond— and I’m guessing there won’t be very many of you, given that SFContario is taking place the same weekend that the Toronto International Book Fair invades the Toronto Convention Center to present the likes of Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Anne Rice— oh, and a certain up-and-comer by the name of Caitlin Sweet.  (No, really, no need to apologize— I’d be down there myself, albeit only as an attendee, if I wasn’t already committed to this other thing. Between this and getting squeezed by World Fantasy a couple years back, SFContario can’t seem to catch a break. You guys have fun, though.)
  • A few days further on, I’ll be giving a reading at Concordia, in Montreal. Time and place remain fuzzy from this range, but at least the Unholy Trinity of Atwood Gibson & Rice won’t be performing across the street. I don’t think they are, anyway.
  • For those of you looking for a little more of a challenge, the Russian iteration of Popular Mechanics recently posted an interview with me, conducted between those times when I was inadvertently breaking chairs outside St. Petersburg. (I don’t know how far I’d trust Google Translate on that page, though— it serves up an exchange in which Blindsight seems to get described as a bestseller, which I don’t remember and which comes as news to me. At least, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten any royalties from those guys…)
One of these things is not like the others.  The Russian Popular Mechanics has a different emphasis than what I was expecting. Why, it's almost like the American Popular Mechanics...

One of these things is not like the others. The Russian Popular Mechanics has a different emphasis than what I was expecting. Why, it’s almost like the American Popular Mechanics…

  • An illo from "Giants".  Once again, that famed sunny Polish optimism just shines through with every brush stroke.

    An illo from “Giants”. Once again, that famed sunny Polish optimism just shines through with every brush stroke.

    Finally, a few website updates: a couple of new bits of art in the gallery (including the first based on the Sunflowers story “Giants”), and new pull quotes from  Echopraxia’s second professional “meh” review that I know of  (this one coming from Strange Horizons; the first hailed from The Register, a couple of months ago). I can’t really complain; even the meh reviews use words like “brilliant” and “rewarding”— they just don’t think it measures up to Blindsight, and I’m actually kind of surprised at how little of that I’m getting.  (More on that a couple of posts down the road.)

I think that pretty much catches us up on the thumping of tubs. Next time we’ll be back to thumping on the Dystopian Drums of Doom.

This shot of last night's sunset doesn't actually have anything to do with the text. It just reminded me how cool it is to be living on a world orbiting a binary at the edge of the Trifid Nebula.

This shot of last night’s sunset doesn’t actually have anything to do with the text. It just reminded me how cool it is to be living on a world orbiting a binary at the edge of the Trifid Nebula.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Wednesday October 29 2014at 11:10 am , filed under ink on art, interviews, public interface, reviews . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

15 Responses to “Announcements, Appearances, and Add-ons”

  1. On the topics of con talk/readings but unrelated to SFContario, have you consider doing your excellent corporate failed zombie-project talk live sometime? preferably without any introduction/explanation.

  2. From The Register blurb,

    a bleak dystopic future-Earth where we didn’t bother with any solutions to pressing issues like climate change and population growth.

    these guys are living in an alternate present.

  3. Markus: On the topics of con talk/readings but unrelated to SFContario, have you consider doing your excellent corporate failed zombie-project talk live sometime?

    Actually, that’s how I premiered it. It was my keynote address when I was GoH at a local con, just before Blindsight came out. I sprang it without warning.

    I also gave an encore presentation at Readercon that year or the next, upon request.

  4. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is going to have a conniption:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-declares-evolution-and-big-bang-theory-are-right-and-god-isnt-a-magician-with-a-magic-wand-9822514.html

  5. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/23/1418895111 Chlorovirus is able to make people stupid.

  6. The Thing, the musical.

    Second piece of media to feature the Thing as a narrator, after our esteemed host’s story.

  7. whoever,

    Not sure where you get this…I was raised in a devout Catholic household, went to Catholic private schools, was taught by honest-to -goodness nuns, the whole nine yards, and grew up understanding that evolution and astronomy and the geologic origins of the Earth were real things, not in conflict with the religion I was being taught…in the early 1970’s and 80’s. To be clear, I am not a practicing Catholic and have little sympathy for the Catholic Church, but it has often supported science and scholars. I wish more people would take history of science courses and stop imagining that current (highly evangelical) US mainstream Christian rejection of academia is, like, the way all religions have always treated the pursuit of knowledge throughout history.

  8. Yukon Val says, “I was raised in a devout Catholic household (snip) I wish more people would take history of science courses and stop imagining that current (highly evangelical) US mainstream Christian rejection of academia is, like, the way all religions have always treated the pursuit of knowledge throughout history.”

    Seconded. Driven to Presbyterian church services as a child by a physics professor dad – I got no messages that science was the enemy of Christianity; it just revealed God’s majesty in His Works, etc, etc, etc. This crazy ignant hate of science by certain protestant sects is an embarrassing feature of the last 30 or so years.

  9. SharkyTron,

    Or maybe stupid people swim in lakes with their mouths open.

  10. Peter Watts: Actually, that’s how I premiered it.It was my keynote address when I was GoH at a local con, just before Blindsight came out. I sprang it without warning.

    I also gave an encore presentation at Readercon that year or the next, upon request.

    Excellent, not even giving people the chance of having the context from reading blindisght makes it even better :).

  11. Yukon Val,

    Yeah, but this is the Pontiff himself. The problem of infallibility means it has been very difficult for him to actually say these things because that would mean prior popes weren’t infallible and that would mean that he isn’t either. Not at all the same thing as what is taught in school.

    Would also point you to Dawkins debate with a cardinal {I think} but since he’s gone off the rails himself, I won’t.

  12. whoever:
    Yukon Val,

    Yeah, but this is the Pontiff himself. The problem of infallibility means it has been very difficult for him to actually say these things because that would mean prior popes weren’t infallible and that would mean that he isn’t either. Not at all the same thing as what is taught in school.

    Would also point you to Dawkins debate with a cardinal {I think} but since he’s gone off the rails himself, I won’t.

    Dawkins has always been ‘off the rails’. He completely fails to appreciate the benefits religion and religious morality provides.

    But I suspect you had some other failing of his in mind.

  13. whoever,

    Popes have been disagreeing with each other/changing Catholic Church doctrine for…a very long time, in public and on record. The c. church, like all other churches and like all religions, changes over time. That was my point. Infallibility has never stopped Popes from changing the Church…it actually ensures that any changes a Pope announces/makes must be deemed correct. They come from an infallible source, after all. You can search the relevant documents here, if you like. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/

  14. And…that last comment was mine. I am insufficiently caffeinated, apparently.

  15. Two things…well one Thing…one vampire…on my Wattsian backburner that I should have submitted to AMA, but got distracted or something.

    1} Interesting theory in The Thing, re The Things interview, about Blair being taken over pre-going postal. Bit I don’t think so. I think the point was Blair understood what the thing was capable of and it made him snap. Believe this was the host’s theory.

    2} Re Wattsian vampire extinction era. Perhaps not schooled enough in architectural history, but why just before recorded history? Think that places it 3000BC or so. Noted that the symbol tau began use in 500-300BC or so in Greece. Guess not necessary that the crucifix glitch be that wholly traceable, but seems like the legends would have to be based on something that sapiens could identify to pass down to Bram Stoker.

    {Was why I set that short later.}