The Cygnus Solution.

I think Ontario Power Generation is trying to sell us on the idea of feeding nuclear waste to swans.  At least, that seem to be the subtext of this ad I just got focus-tested on (click to embiggen)… Probit seemed curious as to my reaction… Then they asked some questions to assess my Tree-Hugger Quotient: […]

In Vicarious Defense of R. Scott Bakker

For a while, a few years back, I thought I might have an evil twin. I kept running into people at cons who’d met him: Man, he coulda been your clone, they’d say. He’s tall and gangly and kinda sardonic — smaller in the nose, maybe — he’s writing this book about the neurological impossibility […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 342 Comments

Pretending* I Am A Republican

I am not, nor have I ever been, a citizen of the US (hell, these days I’m not even allowed to visit the place). Even in theory, though, the thought of being a Republican is not one that appeals to me. I’ll grant you that Obama’s record on privacy, civil rights, and transparent government is […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 73 Comments

The Excesses of Philip K. Dick

Happy new year, mammals. I’m too busy meeting next month’s Nowa Fantaskyka deadline to get a proper post into the queue today, and I’m undecided which subject to settle on anyway:  the one where we explore the irony of launching an eradication program against a species that’s just been taken off the Endangered Species list, […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 19 Comments

Looking for DVR advice

I’m looking for a no-strings-attached DVR — basically the digital incarnation of a VCR, capable of accepting input from cable, composite, what-have-you and storing it on a hard drive (I don’t care whether it has a DVD burner or not, so long as I can read and copy what’s on the drive).  What I’m finding, […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 22 Comments

Maybe Bart Simpson was Wrong

Maybe you should have a cow.  Or at least, maybe someone else should have one at your expense. Today marks a departure for the ‘crawl:  its very first Guest Blogger.  You should check out what he has to say; it might just help delay that inevitable moment when the angry underclass rise up to kill […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 2 Comments

Pole Dancing

When you go 28 hours without remembering to eat, it’s a safe bet that something’s going right. Just got back from Poland last night.  From Zielona Góra, specifically: a city of 120,000 embedded in the woodlands near the German border. I was there for Bachanalia Fantastyczne, one of perhaps twenty cons held in that country […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 27 Comments

Containing Within It the Seeds of Something that Will Not End Well.

Stray beams of setting sunlight glint off Azrael’s skin but night has already fallen two thousand meters below. Moving through that advancing darkness, an unidentified vehicle navigates mountainous terrain a good thirty kilometers from the nearest road. Azrael pings orbit for the latest update but the link is down, interference squelching half the spectrum. It […]

Posted in: fiblet, Uncategorized by Peter Watts 45 Comments

The Final Lap

Last of my panels: Fermi/Drake, which, despite its Disneyfied title— and despite being held at 11am on the last bloody day of the con— was so jam-packed we had to move to a larger room halfway through the session.  It was the panel on which I talked the least, and learned the most.  I’m trying […]

Whiney, Shiney, Cerebrospiney

So much happened during my absence on the Island. Worldcon, for one. For another, a big honking propane storage facility blew up in the northwestern ‘burbs of Greater Toronto, provoking howls of outrage from concerned citizens who wanted to know how such a dangerous facility ended up in the heart of a residential area. (And […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Peter Watts 17 Comments