We’re going to hit. We’re aiming to hit, we’re going to let the lesser monster devour us before the greater one devours it in turn. We’ll lower Eriophora by her own bootstraps, sink through roiling bands of hydrogen and helium and a thousand exotic hydrocarbons, down to whatever residual deep-space chill Thule’s been hoarding since […]

Posted in: fiblet by Peter Watts 27 Comments

The Locus of Our Discontent.

Huh. Will you look at that. Turns out Locus did a reader’s survey of the best SF and Fantasy novels of the 20th and 21st  Centuries (discussion ongoing over at Tor.com). Let us gloss over the fact that the 21st Century isn’t quite done yet, which kind of weakens the relative weight of that list’s […]

Posted in: writing news by Peter Watts 13 Comments

And So Another Build Begins.

So many eons, slept away while the universe wound down around him. He’s dead to human eyes. Even the machines barely glimpse the chemistry ticking over in those cells: an ancient molecule of hydrogen sulphide, older than suns, frozen in its hemoglobin embrace; an electron shuttled sluggishly down some metabolic pathway two weeks ago. Back […]

Posted in: fiblet by Peter Watts 13 Comments

Deep Convictions, Shallow Roots.

(Being an English edit of a column that appeared in Nowa Fantaskyka a few months back) You’ll remember that I recently returned from a trip to Sweden. While I was there, by a curious coincidence, I happened to read a Swedish study from the Public Library of Science: “Lifting the Veil of Morality: Choice Blindness […]

Posted in: sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 30 Comments

Overthinking Apocalypse

There was more, of course. Prof. Piotr Dembowski of the University of Maryland, talking about how difficult it had been to crack the GRM. Someone else from Simon Fraser, reporting that something like Firebrand (“it’s always hard to tell when dealing with encrypted genes”) was showing up in some microbe — Bacteroides thetasomethingorother — that […]

Posted in: biotech, fiblet by Peter Watts 20 Comments

It’s a Twin Peaks Christmas, Charlie Brown!

I was never much of a family person during my first five decades; anyone familiar with the family of my childhood will understand why I spent a half-century running in horror from the prospect of having to deal with another one of the fucking things. As a result, I’m a bit of a virgin when […]

Posted in: misc by Peter Watts 16 Comments