Underdog Overdrive

Category: ink on art, reviews

First, a PSA: In keeping with my apparent ongoing role as The Guy Who Keeps Getting Asked to Talk About Subjects In Which He Has No Expertise (and for those of you who didn’t see the Facebook post), The Atlantic solicited from me a piece on Conscious AI a few months back. The field is […]

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Terry Gilliam’s Air Canada

Category: AI/robotics, legal

Being who I am, I tend to portray my futures in the spirit of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four or Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up. Sometimes, though, reality turns out more like Gilliam’s Brazil: just as grim, but hysterically so. Take my short story “Collateral”: a tale that (among other things) asks about culpability for decisions […]

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You Are All Terminators. (I Am Not.)

Category: neuro, sentience/cognition

Way back in grad school— when VHS was a thing and computer screens were all monochrome and a 20-Megabyte hard drive was the kind of thing only supervillains could afford—a bunch of us rented “The Terminator” for the weekend and watched it between bouts of AD&D. Inevitably we came upon the iconic first-person T-800 view. […]

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A Glut in the Galleries.

Category: ink on art

It’s been a busy couple of years, too busy to squeeze in the usual Gallery Update back at the start of last year. But the fan art and the book covers and the bodily mutilations have continued even as my coverage of them lapsed—and by the time you look in on the backlog you’ve got […]

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Category: climate, In praise of biocide, politics

“We’ll go down in history as the first society that wouldn’t save itself because it wasn’t cost-effective.” — Donella H. Meadows (Or possibly Kurt Vonnegut) Well, what did you expect from a COP held in a fucking Petro State, a COP whose president explicitly denied that science justified a phase-out of fossil fuels, who in […]

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Skin Deep: the Empty, Pernicious Beauty of “The Creator”

Category: ink on art

“We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.” —Stanislaw Lem Lers of Spoi. You Have Been Warned. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first: this movie is absolutely beautiful to behold. The cinematography is first rate; the vehicle designs are perfect. The vistas of robots in rice paddies—corny as that may sound—are […]

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Promos and PSAs

Category: On the Road, public interface

Just a couple of quick announcements while I finish scribbling argumentative notes in the margins of Eric Hoel’s book on consciousness. First, there’s this guy called Guy d’Andigné, runs sfss: a classy, minimalist little site that reprints science fiction shorts from the public domain and the creative commons, ranging from Voltaire to Doctorow. He also […]

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The Worst Fucking Summer

Category: eulogy

I cannot wait for this summer to be over. It sucks so hard. Named for the body shape. And the pinto-like coloration. First it was Bean, way back in March. Never really talked about Bean here on the ‘crawl. Buns were really more The BUG’s thing and they tended to live down in the basement […]

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The Big Orange Guy.

Category: eulogy

Or “Beloved Old Goof”. Or “Barrel O’Greatness”. Or even “God” in Russian, at least so I’ve been told. His name was BOG, but it meant many things to many people. Note the past tense. Fuck I hate writing these things. I introduced you all to him back in 2012, when half his fur was clear-cut […]

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Red Team Blues

Category: ink on art

A number of years ago, while I was just beginning to figure out this whole Writing thing, I tried to classify what I saw as “successful authors”. You may know the usual names I trot out in interviews, those I cite as inspiration in developing my own voice—Delany, Silverberg, Brunner Brunner Brunner—and I won’t belabor […]

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