Sightings in the Wild

A couple of links to keep the pilot light going:  SF Signal has posted another installment of their Mind Meld series, this time asking various skiffy writers about their literary influences (and about who they influence in turn).  I’m in there, nestled amongst a dozen others.  I’m also evidently featured in an upcoming piece on home-built computer games (via the amazing Jim Munroe‘s “Artsy Incubator” program) in the next issue  of the alt-culture zine Broken Pencil, which won’t be out for a couple of months;   also in a couple of Israeli outlets which are so not-out-yet that I haven’t even fielded their interview questions yet.  I’ll keep you apprised.

In the meantime, here’s the course outline for Matt McCormick’s “Philosophy of Mind” course at Cal State Sacramento, which features Blindsight as required reading.  I’ve been lurking in that course’s online forum.  There was a time I considered actually posting to it, but I think I’ll keep my mouth shut for now.  Those guys are smarter than I was at their age.  Some of ’em are even smarter than I am at mine.

There’s other news in the making, most of it bad, but I’ll keep it more or less to myself until the cement has actually hardened around the Glyphs of Doom.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Wednesday February 25 2009at 08:02 am , filed under interviews, public interface . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

10 Responses to “Sightings in the Wild”

  1. Consider the following to be a pure fan comment:

    It’s good to see that your book is being farmed out in a course on the mind. I personally have been recommending it to anyone I can get my hands on that has a mind (unfortunately in short supply). So far I’ve turned 3 people on to it, and all 3 of them loved it. 2 of them even bought it. My father who has read approximately 3425 science fiction books told me he thought it was the best hard sci-fi book he’s read in the last decade, and from him that’s about as high praise as you can get. So keep up the good work, I think serious sci-fi is woefully underated thought form.

  2. Wait wait wait…

    An indie game? Made by Peter Watts!?

    Are you just trying to make me write a post about you?

  3. Hi PW and all. So far the students are giving me some very positive feedback on Blindsight.

    We are working our way through Patricia Churchland’s Brainwise. It turns out that there are lots of interesting connections between brain research cases she discusses like hemispherectomies, and stuff in Blindsight (Siri Keeton’s brain problems.)

    My syllabus is here:

    And the online discussion forum for my students is here:


    Matt McCormick

  4. Sorry about the bad news. It sucks that you’re having trouble selling State of Grace.

    So what was the soul-crushing day-job you gave up to write full-time?

  5. I certainly hope the glyphs of doom do not form something like “No Dumbspeech for you, ever” though given the circumstances it’s hard to think it could be anything else.

    But whatever the outcome I must…not cry…we’ll always have the Channer vent won’t we?

  6. testing approval system

  7. Hi Peter, nice blog, just found it.
    Long time fan, we had an email exchange sometime in the past (check my e-mail address). I like to keep myself to myself. Private, like.

    Here’s what I suggest for marginally adding to your blog’s online visibility:

    1. get this wordpress add-on, install and configure it:

    2. log into your WP admin section, then click on settings (lower left menu if you use WP v. 2.7). There you’ll find a “permalinks” section. Click radio button for “custom structure” and type in the field: /%postname%.html. Make sure your .htaccess file (should be in your blog’s top-level directory, where index.php and wp-config reside) is writable by the server (chmod 777, for instance). After saving changes you should deny public writing rights on this file.

    To greatly increase visibility:

    3. Build more links towards your blog/site. I’ve added some on a few of my own websites, but I can’t add to other people’s without becoming a spammer. I hate those people. Avoid submitting your site to web directories, they won’t do you any good.

    You probably knew some or all of these things, so sorry for the unsolicited advice. But I think these are things that should be done – more people should read your stuff.

    Just stumbled over your books on today. They look good, these people are doing a very good job.

    Please delete my comment after reading it. I guess I’m just too lazy to write an e-mail.

    Keep rockin’.

  8. /delurk
    First, thank you for writing.
    Second, pleasepleaseplease don’t tell us that there will be no Dumbspeech.

  9. Alehkhs Said:

    An indie game? Made by Peter Watts!?
    Are you just trying to make me write a post about you?

    Don’t get too excited — this was just a teensy weekly living-room get-together that Jim runs every year, and my game — while cool in its own right — never got past level 1.5 because of time constraints. It had some nice elements, though. The first level was a top-down view of this ragged-eared cat who the player drove around a meadow hunting mice, while Jethro Tull’s “And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps” played in the background. Each successfully-hunted mouse would get torn apart in grisly fashion, and the cat would become a wee bit fatter and a wee bit slower (so unlike other games, you actually got worse with practice). Once the cat had devoured too many mice he exploded in a Peckinpawesque eruption of blood and guts (think Monty Python’s wafer-thin mint), and the player would graduate to level 2, in which he assumed the role of a maggot crawling around in the remains of the cat from level 1, feasting on decomposing flesh and trying to avoid being eaten by crows.

    But as I say, I only got halfway through that level.

    Johan Larson Said:

    So what was the soul-crushing day-job you gave up to write full-time?

    Marine biologist. Studying the collapse of Steller sea lion populations in the North Pacific, which just happened to coincide with the incursion of the US fishing industry into their stomping grounds. It might have been a wee bit less soul-crushing if all our funding hadn’t come from, you guessed it, the US fishing industry. You’ve never seen a boss more eager to pin ecological collapse on killer whales and sexually transmitted diseases — on anything, really, so long as it wasn’t the commercial fishery…

    John Said:

    First, thank you for writing.
    Second, pleasepleaseplease don’t tell us that there will be no Dumbspeech.

    First, you’re more than welcome.
    Second, at this point it really isn’t up to me.

  10. John Said:
    Second, pleasepleaseplease don’t tell us that there will be no Dumbspeech.

    Peter Said:
    …at this point it really isn’t up to me.

    Keanani Says:
    As I had posted over in the Dumbspeech category – Dumbspeech (2)…why can you not self-publish?

    Someone has rights to your “creative intellectual property” and therefore you cannot release your next book unless they allow you to? Does someone else have rights to “State of Grace” above you?
    (Except, of course, Purple Hamsters)