Job Security

We can’t go home again. I already said that, didn’t I? It’s true enough, most of the time. They told us going in: you will be lost in time and space. You’ll be past the point of no return long before your first gig even begins. You will wake up serving people centuries dead and […]

Posted in: fiblet by Peter Watts 22 Comments

Fear Me.

Look at this title-page from a recent technical publication. Look at the Institutional affiliation. Look at it, bitches: That’s right. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. The Black Ops Capital of the western hemisphere. The guys who sell their obsolete cast-offs to IMF. Now look at this extract from the actual report (you may have to click […]

Posted in: misc by Peter Watts 9 Comments

Us and Them

I’m not going to dwell on the The Big Paris-Hilton Scale moment that’s been all over the science blogs for the past day or two, since let’s face it, Venter’s new artificial genome is really just another incremental step on the path, and besides, I already mentioned that guy recently. So instead, a potpourri of […]

Posted in: writing news by Peter Watts 13 Comments

"They’re Really More Guidelines than Actual Rules" — or, The None That Got Away.

I know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but the world is still turning to shit. The Bush administration recently gave the US Navy the go-ahead to kill as many whales as they want to in their hunt for tewwowists in diesel-powered submarines, and screw the California Supreme Court. It’s finally been officially admitted that nobody’s […]

Posted in: In praise of biocide, rant by Peter Watts 5 Comments

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

A physicist walks into a bar and says “Hey, I got this particle-wave duality thing all figured out”. And his buddies look over the numbers, and sure enough, they parse. “But it’s still bullshit,” one of them says. “It has to be.” And the others all nod in agreement. “But the numbers,” the physicist says. […]

Posted in: astronomy/cosmology by Peter Watts 17 Comments

Scramblers in the Shallows, Light in the Deeps

This is a short, stunning clip that starts with deep-sea glowsticks and segues to shallow-water cephalopods. The first part gives you a taste of Beebe Station; the second (including the Two-Faced Squid!) demonstrates some camo tricks that make scramblers look like amateurs. No new information here, but beautiful. Try to ignore the creationist idiot in […]

Posted in: biology, deep sea by Peter Watts 16 Comments


One of the bits of chrome I drizzled throughout the rifters books were “Tactical Contacts” (“ConTacs”, in the vernacular): contact lenses that acted as a kind of personal GUI, feeding information to the wearer and using the roving eyeball itself as a kind of trackball pointer. Yves Scanlon wore them sometimes; Patricia Rowan would have […]

Posted in: relevant tech by Peter Watts 3 Comments

A Farewell to "Gerbils"

Three bits of news today. The smallest item is that “Repeating the Past”, the short-short that appeared in Nature last December, has been recruited for David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer’s annual Year’s Best anthology. The medium item is that, after months of negotiation, I have reached an agreement with Fleuve Noir in France to produce […]

Posted in: writing news by Peter Watts 15 Comments

The Church of the Buttered Nose

So you start the day as you always have: you wake up to the feel of a claw piercing your internasal septum. You get out of bed, stumble down the hall, feed the cats. Pee. Open the blinds. Wander back into the kitchen; nuke a couple of muffins; mix up a bowl of oatmeal; smear […]

Posted in: ass-hamsters, misc by Peter Watts 10 Comments

Here We Go Again

Well, looky here. Blindsight is on the preliminary Nebula ballot. I don’t really know much about the mechanics of that process — how “preliminary” turns into “beta”, when “beta” turns into “final” — beyond the fact that the award seems a bit too in-house inbred for John Clute’s many people’s liking. I’m not a member […]

Posted in: writing news by Peter Watts 9 Comments