Smarter Than TED.

(A Nowa Fantastyka remix) If you’ve been following along on the ‘crawl for any length of time, you  may remember that a few months back, a guy from Lawrence Livermore trained a neural net on Blindsight and told it to start a sequel. The results were— disquieting. The AI wrote a lot like I did: […]

Posted in: AI/robotics, ink on art by Peter Watts 10 Comments

Seeding Utopia. Like, Today.

Hey, Torontonians: There’s this local thing I’m a part of: “The Multiversity Collective” (which might not strike some of you as the coolest name on the block, until you learn that we narrowly avoided being called “Multiversity Our Strength”). Remember that “Toronto 2033” book that came out from Spacing a while back? That was the […]

The Oxymoronic Earth

(A Nowa Fantastyka remix) Lers of Spoi. You Have Been Warned.   “The Wandering Earth” is the most successful movie I almost never heard of. It’s China’s second-highest grossing movie ever. Globally it’s the 3rd-highest grossing film so far this year, and the 2nd-highest grossing non-English movie of all time. Yet I blinked and missed […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 18 Comments

The Belligerence of Stoneburner

Meet two of the most remarkable hominins to ever cross the threshold of the Magic Bungalow: Those in the know recognize them as the custodians of the World’s Ugliest Cat, but they are more widely known as the Industriogothronica1 duo Ego Likeness. Donna Lynch is also a poet and a horror writer and a Stoker […]

Posted in: blindsight, ink on art by Peter Watts 9 Comments

The Understated, Underrated Genius of Counterpart.

There was a time when I lamented the cheesiness of televised science fiction. Sure, Star Trek and Babylon 5 played with cool ideas—  ideas you wouldn’t encounter anywhere else on the broadcast landscape— but why, when recommending them to the uninitiated, did I always have to start with “If you can look past the acting/writing/production […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 23 Comments

Sunflowers, Hamsters, and Elderberries: Bifrost Does Watts.

In an inexplicable yet welcome bit of ego-boo, the current issue of the French Magazine BiFrost (#93) is infested with stuff about (and in a couple of cases, by) me. “ZeroS” is in there, in French. So’s my afterword from Beyond the Rift. There’s some kind of reader’s guide to the Sunflowers Cycle, and an […]

Posted in: ink on art, interviews by Peter Watts 15 Comments

The Weakest Link.

I first wrote the following back in 2014, one of my columns for Nowa Fantastyka.  Such columns— generally a longer version of them, actually, since the NF pieces are limited to 6K characters including spaces—  often make it onto the ‘crawl eventually.  Apparently, though, “The Weakest Link” never did these past four years. It would […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 40 Comments

“A Quiet Place”: UNCWISHes and Dream Logic.

This column spoils John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place”. (Not to worry, though. The screenwriters got there first.) You Have Been Warned.   A monster movie hailed as serious drama. Ninety-five percent on Rotten Tomatoes. “Deeply affecting.” “A superb exercise in understated terror”. “A bold experiment in fear.” And to top it all off, it’s the […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 46 Comments

Annihilation

Spoilers Follow. Spoilers for the movie “Annihilation”. (The following review might also go down easier if you’ve read the book.) I’ve always been amazed that Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy became a massive best-seller. Truth is, I’m kind of amazed it even made it past the small presses. Don’t take this as a criticism of […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 71 Comments

Offred of Dune.

For a writer who grew up in an age when his chosen genre was routinely derided in polite company— when even impolite company could be forgiven for thinking that SF boiled down to megablockbusters about snarky sapient raccoons and alien-punching fighter pilots— it doesn’t get much better than waking up to find that a big […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 27 Comments