Worldcon 75 Schedule

Less than three weeks until the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki!

If you want to know where I’ll be, check out the appearances list of Escape Artists staff!

My two panels are:

  • Superintelligence (Thursday noon, 2014)
  • Critiquing: how to give and how to receive (Thursday 8pm, 209)

You can also find me at:

  • Escape Artists fan meetup (Wednesday 3pm, fan lounge)

Otherwise, I’ll be around acting excited!

Science Interview: With Me!

Want to learn more about what I do as a scientist? An interview with me went up today in the Science News and Information section at the up-and-coming pro SFF magazine Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores! The interview contains some discussion of my own research, but also a chat about how to get the public engaged in science, the big challenges of modern neuroscience, and how I squeeze science and writing into one life.

CRES is a great little publication, I’ve had stories appear there myself – but the science content is free for all to read. But if you enjoy it, consider a subscription to support their work and get access to all their great fiction!

Social & Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Last fall, I attended the 2016 Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology conference (SoCIA, pronounced like “social”), a small academic conference on the big questions about life beyond Earth! The conference topic extends across a wide range, from social and ethical questions such as “What are our ethical obligations to alien life?” and “How can we leverage the popularity of astrobiology to improve science education?” to theoretical questions within science such as “What exactly is ‘life’ anyway?” and “What can be predicted about how extraterrestrial life might evolve and develop?”

Sound exciting? Well, that conference was only the start: SoCIA will return April 13-15, 2018, at the University of Reno in Nevada!

You don’t have to be an academic to present. In fact, the organizers would love to have some contributions from science fiction writers who want to tackle and discuss the future of humanity’s contact with alien life! Last year the speakers ranged from astronomers and biologists to social anthropologists and philosophers, plus two keynote speakers: one space simulation veteran and the former NASA historian.

If you’re a writer who’d like to contribute to the cutting edge of debate about the ramifications of real-world contact with extraterrestrial life (microbial or otherwise), consider submitting an abstract! 300 words, due date August 15. There’s no website yet for the 2018 conference1, so email me or leave a comment here and I’ll forward you the full info.2

Putting the Science in Fiction

My friend and fellow writer Dan Koboldt has just announced the sale of his nonfiction book, “Putting the Science in Fiction,” to Writer’s Digest Books.

An astute reader may notice that I don’t normally push other peoples’ books on this blog. But this one is a special case – because I’m going to have an essay on it! It’ll be based on Seven Things Authors Should Know About Cybernetics, my contribution to his Science in SF, Fact in Fantasy blog. But like all else in the book, the article will be expanded and deepened, so there’ll be plenty of new material – and ways to draw it together and apply it to your writing – when the book comes out in Fall 2018!

Publication: Cyborg Shark Battle

Today’s the day, my friends: time to unleash Cyborg Shark Battle (Season 4, O’ahu Frenzy) upon the world!

The anthology Cat’s Breakfast is now available for purchase in ebook, and a trade paperback will be available from that same link in a few days.

I’m thrilled to be able to share this story with you all at last. It’s got ridiculous social rituals, backstabby social dynamics, reality TV, and brain-machine interfaces. In other words, a recounting of my time in graduate school, only with more reality TV and less-dangerous animals.

As silly as this story may sound, I actually consider it hard SF. It extrapolates modern trends and technologies into entirely plausible directions of new profit…

P.S. If you sign up for my mailing list soon, the June newsletter will contain a free teaser excerpt!

Story Sale: Setting of the Sun

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve just sold “The Setting of the Sun” to Compelling Science Fiction!

Compelling is a new professional science fiction market with a focus on hard SF, and this story should fit right in: it’s full of cosmology and chronology, told from the point of view of a Dyson swarm across nine hundred million years of history.

Did I mention the story is only 1300 words long? Yeah.

Coming August 1, 2017!