Projects & Personnel

These links are subject to change without notice: I'll add new ones as I find them, delete old ones that die off or, worse, become too conventional.  These are not necessarily The World's Biggest This or Canada's Only Native-born That or the Most Hyped other thing. These are just a few alphabetically-arranged folks—some of whom are famous, some of whom merely deserve to be— carving out their niches with their own inimitable style.

Elizabeth Bear:  This woman is the final fucking Cylon. She has to be. The only way Ursabelle could be churning out so many goddamn books — and really good books, too, not the kind of cookie-cutter drivel I'd be releasing if I worked at even half her pace — would be if there were multiple and insomniac copies of her, endlessly burning out, endlessly resurrecting. The fact that she hates Battlestar Galactica, as far as I can tell, is a clear case of doth-protest-too-much and only cements my case. An oddly unflattering picture of her resides somewhere on this website.

Cliff Burns:  one pissed-off dude from the prairies. Articulate, talented, and frequently enraged, this guy makes me look even-handed (which I actually am, come to think of it) and mild (which I like to think I'm not). And as far as I know, he's the only guy to hae a Weapon of Literary Preservation named after him

Cory Doctorow:  Why even link to this guy, you wonder. Everybody knows him already, it's not like he or boingboing are any kind of secret. Why link? Because I knew way back before his ascension, and I'm hoping a little of his glory may rub off through association. I'm not proud.

Nalo Hopkinson:  This is the woman who climbed into the future and saw way too many white guys in spaceships, and did something about it. The woman's prose is wondrous, as are the worlds she invents (even the dystopias). We disagree about much, Nalo and I (although I suspect our views on authority figures are in synch), but it's good to have such an eloquent and easygoing opponent in the whole sociobiology debate.

Guy Gavriel Kay:  I'm not much of a fantasy reader, I confess. I therefore include this name not for what it is, but for what it isn't. In a "community" in which people too often scramble over one another in a frenzy of self-promotion shouting "Look at me! Look at me!", Guy Kay has become a world-famous, best-selling author of speculative fiction simply by letting his works speak for themselves. He didn't even launch the beautifully-designed website I'm pointing you at (that was one of his fans). I take this hope from the man's example: that it is possible to succeed in this business without thumping your chest.

David Nickle:  About goddamn time this guy set up a page. Dave is a journalist on the Toronto City Hall beat, but his site focuses on even darker writings. His horror fiction kicks ass. He is working on two novels that dive head-first into everything from parasitic gods to the spirit-walking of giant squid, and I am oh so glad that they haven't come out yet because when they do, you will forget all about me. Dave is also responsible for most of the mistakes in my past three novels, and is one half of "The Girly Men", a middle-aged duo of early-morning long-distance runners known for the feelings of pathos they instill upon those met in their travels.

Karl Schroeder:  An unusually thoughtful purveyor of big-budget space opera. His character development can be a bit thin — a common complaint against hard-sf overall — but the dude's world-building and sense-of-wonder go all the way to eleven. The politicosmos he envisioned in Permanence is at least as rich a story-telling environment as Niven's "Known Space" or Vinge's "Zones", maybe even a bit richer. And I'd have given my left testicle to have written Sun of Suns.

Alison Sinclair:  Another scientist who fell from grace and ended up writing science fiction.   To push the parallel even further, she has also written an underwater novel (albeit her ocean is on a different planet), and has also been blessed with gorgeous cover art. There's one major difference between the two of us, though: Alison's postgraduate degrees are in subjects that are actually useful in the real world (biochemistry and medicine). I've learned to use this to my own advantage: whenever I want to know something about disulphide bridges, I buy her a beer. Beats research.

Bruce Sterling:  I can't figure this guy out. The paradoxes only begin with the fact that he's an environmentalist from Texas. The man's mailing list cites an ongoing litany of environmental disaster and political buck-passing that would make any reasonable person want to slit their wrists—and yet his "Viridian Movement" reeks of such optimism that it would seem more at home with the gosh-wow scientific naivete of sf's Pollyanna Brigade, if only it wasn't several orders of magnitude more thoughtful. Oh, and just in case you've been living in the Himalayas for the past couple of decades, the man is also one of science fiction's bona fide Big Names.

Strange Frame:  The twisted brainchild of a bunch of Island-dwelling reprobates including GB Hajim, Shelley Doty, and Dawn Richardson. (I serve in a much smaller capacity as a kind of arms-length consultant.) If they ever get this thing off the ground it could be the most radical and adult sf vision to ever make it to television, animated format notwithstanding.

Isaac Szpindel:  Rumor has it that Steven Spielberg based the Sam Neill character in Jurassic Park on real-life paleontologist Jack Horner. Likewise, somebody must have based the character "Buckaroo Banzai" on this Szpindel guy. What we have here is a medical doctor/neurologist who's got a resumé worthy of Vic Frankenstein (and I mean that in a good way); a multilingual screenwriter; a television producer; a martial-arts expert; and, no shit, an electrical engineer. Oh, and did I mention he also writes science fiction?  Fortunately he's also somewhat shorter than me, which allows me to retain at least some shreds of my usual self-importance when we're in the same room.



Publishers & Publications

Again, this is nothing comprehensive. In fact, with one or two exceptions you'll notice that I've failed to mention any of the big names. These are only the outlets with some degree of personal relevance to me. In that light, I'm kind of embarrassed at how short the list is. I should really get out more.

Tachyon Publications:  A small press out of San Francisco, operating under the direction of a domestic shorthair cat named Clyde. They wear balloons on their heads. They publish the works of old giants like James Morrow, and of younger ones like Brandon Sanderson (the latest of which just won the Hugo for Best Novella). If they hadn't approached me to release the first English-language collection of my short stories to come out in this century, I would have approached them.

On Spec:  A stylish, fine-looking product, but hollowed-out from its halcyon days when it was less afraid to take risks. The current editor shies away from anything that might be considered "controversial" or "offensive", perhaps because so much of On Spec's lifeblood comes from government funding agencies. Cover art that rocks: safe stories tending more to the "literary" end of the scale.  If you're writing doesn't rock the boat, this is a good place to submit; if you're more than one standard deviation from the mean, you should probably shop your stories elsewhere.

Edge/Tesseract Books:  a small Canadian sf publisher out of Alberta. Edge recently engulfed Tesseract in an act of friendly cannibalism, inheriting the latter's backlist (including my own short-story collection Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes). I have to say I like Edge's enthusiasm—they say wonderful things about Monkeys and its author, which is a nice change from Tesseract (which didn't even list me on their site until the last month or two of their existence).

Tor Books:   the biggie.  New York sf publisher, winner of the Locus Readers Poll thirteen years running, yadda yadda yadda... Myself, after eight years experience — for the time being, I'll just maintain a diplomatic silence.

Solaris:  More venerable than the others, by far. Refuses to die after endless bureaucratic shit-kickings. Kept alive by the likes of (among others) Élisabeth Vonarburg, Joël Champetier, and Yves Meynard. The premiere Quebecois sf publication; I've even appeared in it myself once or twice. However, the site is entirely in French, so if you want a properly nuanced understanding of what these people are up to, you better have a way better grasp of the language than I (or even Babelfish).



Deep-sea links

If you came here via the Starfish or ßehemothroute, you may have at least a passing interest in the deep sea.   Although I took some oceanographic liberties when writing those books, one thing I didn't make up is that the abyss is a deeply weird, wonderful, and lethal place.  To get a taste of just how weird, wonderful, and lethal, check out the following links. They lead to but a tiny sample of the available deep-sea sites:

The VENTS Program:  one-stop shopping for up-to-date info on the oceanography and geology of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, brought to you by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration and its affiliates.  A beautifully-constructed candy-store of information:   you can download 3-D animations of actual recorded eruptions of the Axial Seamount, or watch computer simulations of smokers in action.  I had to relocate the setting of Starfish twice to avoid being dated by the jewelry on this site.

Adaptations to the Deep Sea: a lecture by Dr. George Somero of Stanford, part of the Bioforum series presented by the California Academy of Sciences.  Don't be put off by the academic affiliations:  this is an illustrated, hyperlinked presentation aimed at teachers, and dumps its info with a minimum of jargon.  Covers everything from deep-water enzymes to giant tube-worms to why abyssal fish are generally such lazy slackers.

The Official William Beebe Web Site:  Just what it says.  William Beebe was a real guy who went really deep in a really big ballbearing called a bathysphere, and saw a really big sea dragon back when everyone just knew they were only a few inches long.  Beebe Station, obviously, is named in his honour.  The Beebe Web Page is a more comprehensive homage.

Paul Yancey's Deep-Sea Page: Yancey's a west-coast college professor and deepwater biologist.  His page provides a good introduction to the macrofauna of the open sea, from the surface layers right down to the mud in the trenches.  Even better, for people like me, he doesn't mind if you scam his images for your own use, just as long as you credit them.

Giant Squid and more Giant Squid: Just because giant squid are So. Damn. Cool.



Assorted Science Links

Technovelgy: an elegant and addictive site that discusses real-world benchmarks in science and technology, in the context of how well (or poorly) science fiction has seen them coming. Or maybe it discusses science fiction benchmarks in the context of how well the real world has lived up to them. Either way, you can get lost in this place for hours.

Science and Nature: the world's most "respectable" science journals. With all that that implies.

New Scientist: Not so respectable, perhaps. But much cooler.

Public Library of Science: the next-generation vanguard of scientific journals.  Online, peer-reviewed, and open-access.  Each technical paper comes with a layperson's summary on its arm, so everyone can groove to the latest work on (for example) digital evolution, or robots operated via direct neural link.

Science News: Kind of the John Kerry of science journalism.

SciTech Daily: Worth the visit just for their links collection.



Assorted Interviews

These only list interviews that are a) still available online, and b) all about me (as opposed to cameo-interview roles in stories about other issues). It's not comprehensive, but there's only so many original things you can say in one of these things anyway. Even the short list risks overlap overload...

Extrapolation 48(3), December 2007. A tag-team interview by Imre Szeman and Maria Whiteman, actually done for the most part in 2006, but not published until a year and a half later. It's an interview for an academic journal, and as such is somewhat more in-depth than most (i.e., nobody shut me up when I went on too long). As most of the interview was conducted before Blindsight came out, it's a fairly rifters-heavy piece., April 2007. Comprised of outtakes from the previous SciFi interview, I actually like this one a bit better for its edgier focus on the character of Siri Keeton.

SF Diplomat, February 2007. In which I prove that no matter how wordy and comprehensive the book review, I can be wordier still in the follow-up Q&A. It's a good interview, with meaningful questions and (if I say so myself) thoughtful answers. I just hope I don't come across as a verbose windbag..., February 2007. Not so much an interview as a summary of one, formatted for's own (somewhat more popular than mine) newscrawl.

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, December 2006. The Angry Man Interview, the reaction to which continues to mystify me because: a) my remarks regarding Blindsight's artist, my editor, and Tor's art department were all quite complimentary in terms of overall performance (I made it quite clear that it was only the Blindsight issue I was complaining about); and b) I scrupulously refrained from airing any truly dirty laundry, merely answering the questions as they were put to me and going no further. I thought I was being diplomatic to the point of concealment. And yet I seemed to rock everyone back on their heels with my "bracing honesty"/"childish tantrum-throwing". You be the judge.

SFRevu, October 2006. A meaty little companion piece to their review of Blindsight. I rather like this one, although when I said "where I come from" I meant "academia", not "Canada" as the interviewer parenthetically infered. This interview also features a picture of me wearing a commemorative t-shirt in which (when clicked to full size) the first half of the phrase "Jethro Tull" is clearly visible. (WARNING: the accompanying review of "Blindsight" gives away somewhat more in the way of plot details than some might consider prudent.)

Meme Therapy, August 2006. Rob Sawyer got a bit huffy about this one. The MT guys also solicited my capsulised thoughts on a couple of other topics — undersea cities and the search for extraterrestrial life — which they bundled into "Brain Parade", their popular skiffy-writers-on-the-street interview series.

Challenging Destiny, November 2004. With David Switcher and James Schellenberg, over beers.

The Agony Column, July 2004. With Rick Kleffel.

Tähtivaeltaja, late 2001. With Hannu Blommila. This links only to an excerpt of the complete interview, which was somewhat longer and is evidently available only in hardcopy. Won't matter for most of you anyway. It's all in Finnish.

The Voyageur, June 2001. With Karen Bennett of the USS Hudson Bay sf fan club.



CC Backlisters

This site only offers pdf and Html versions of my backlist; a few other folks, however, have transcribed my books into a wider range of formats, with varying degrees of success. Here are the ones I know about.

Starfish and Maelstrom at Html, iSilo, and Plucker.

Starfish and Maelstrom at Many formats here: pdf, eReader, .doc, Plucker, zText, iSilo, iSiloX, ocketbook, TCR, iPod Notes, and Librie. I don't know what a lot of those formats even are— and I'm equipped to check out even fewer first-hand— but those I could check out were glitchy indeed, with layout and special characters hacked to mush.

Starfish and Maelstrom at Publish And Be Damned. Essentially a mirror site for freelit, they didn't transcribe but just grabbed my pdfs, which suits me just fine.

The Whole Damn Novel Backlist, courtesy of Each novel is formatted for a variety of phone browsers, which is very cool. I note, however, that these guys solicit donations via a Paypal link — which, technically means that they could be making money off an author's work even if the author doesn't. This goes beyond the context of the Creative Commons license under which I've freed my stuff, i.e. people are welcome to copy and distribute as long as they make no money off the effort. If they do make money, damn right I'd want a share— and to anyone who might want to help rectify this disparity, I can only point out that I, too, have a Paypal link...



Alter Ego

A few landmarks relevant to my ongoing relapse into Academia. I've buried these links way down at the end because most of you won't care about them. Really, they're only of interest to stalkers.

The Brooks Lab, University of Toronto. Under whose auspices I slice and dice.

Parasites-R-Us. The future site of an online parasite database being developed by the Brooks Lab. At the moment there's nothing there but a Splash page and a Manifesto, but you'll see my sticky fingerprints all over both.

Paul Hebert, University of Guelph. The guy who pioneered the DNA barcoding technique. Everything you'd ever want to know about said technique.