This week I decided to pursue the follow-up questions from last week, and address some more philosophical questions about what our neuroscience answers mean!
I’ve run into two exciting new websites in the last week, both related to short stories of science fiction & fantasy. Perhaps some of you out there can enjoy, or even contribute to, one or both sites!
First up is Curious Fictions, a new online aggregator for short SFF fiction. It’s got a searchable database of stories that have all appeared in professional-quality markets, and the option for readers to pay as they go, tip-jar style. If you’re an author with qualifying stories, the setup process is as simple as can be – and if you’re a reader, perhaps you’ll find some new stories to love!
Second is SFFreviews.com, a new website for reviews of short SFF fiction. They’ve got a distributed model, where volunteers sign up to write short reviews of the stories at one favorite magazine. This could be a great place to learn about brand new stories (unlike the reprints at Curious Fictions), or if you want to share the love and expand the conversation, you could sign up to review one of the magazines they’re still looking to cover!
NeuroThursday is back, picking up a reader’s dare: can I actually write “Harry Potter and the Principles of Neural Science?” It turns out I can! It’s about surprise and novelty in the brain!
I have my schedule for Archon 41! I’m participating in 3 panels, moderating a fourth one, plus a a reading. If you’re anywhere in the greater St. Louis area, come on down and say hello!
Space Colonies and Planetary Chauvinism
Saturday 9/30, 13:00 – 13:50, Great Rivers A (Gateway Center)
Should our major effort be settling on worlds or building inside out worlds in free space? Can we do both?
Benjamin C. Kinney, Christine Nobbe (M), Bob Perry
The Mystery of H.P. Lovecraft
Saturday 9/30 15:00 – 15:50, Marquette B (Gateway Center)
Why do so many fans read and enjoy H. P. Lovecraft while others find faults in his writing?
Benjamin C. Kinney, Mr. Brian Katcher (M) , John Jacobs, Shawntelle Madison
Short-Story Podcasting for Writers, Readers, and Voice Actors
Sunday 10/1, 10:00 – 10:50, Salon 6 (Gateway Center)
Podcasts are a huge opportunity to publish and listen to short fiction, and engage with the fan community. They can also provide an avenue into audio book narration and voice acting. Join us to discuss the podcasts we love, how to build a recording setup, and the path to publication.
Benjamin C. Kinney, Setsu Uzume
Author Readings with Benjamin C. Kinney, Jim Pyre, and Jimmy D. Gillentine
Sunday 10/1 12:00 – 12:50, Cahokian (Gateway Center)
Benjamin C. Kinney, Jim Pyre, Jimmy D. Gillentine
Editing: Behind the Scenes
Sunday 10/1, 13:00 – 13:50, Marquette A (Gateway Center)
A chance for new authors to understand what happens to stories after they’re submitted.
Benjamin C. Kinney (M), Mr. Brian Katcher, Mr. Adrian Matthews, Rich Horton
NeuroThursday is back from its summer break to talk about “muscle memory” – that is, skill/procedural memory – and how you can improve it!
Looks like I forgot to announce this in the Worldcon whirl: my short story “The Hammer’s Prayer” will be appearing in Diabolical Plots, the magazine that brings us all the almighty Submission Grinder!
I’m delighted to sell this story to one of the best new pro markets on the internet. I struggled long and hard with this tale: I had to set it aside for 4 months at one point so my subconscious could figure out how to produce an effective tale out of the theme and imagery rattling around in my head. But produce I did (with a lot of beta readers and revisions), and soon you all can read my tale of secret golems, contagious with the gift of animation.
Well, not soon. More like December 2018!
List of all NeuroThursday episodes, in chronological order.
- Neolithic Trephination
- Brain Energy Consumption
- The 10% Myth
- The Discoverer of Neurons
- Handedness Across History
- Left/Right Brained
- Mirror Neurons
- Brain Variability
- Hand Dominance
- Maps in the Brain
- The Arm’s Complexity
- Precognition and Evidence
- Sleep and its Deprivation
- Déjà Vu and memory
- Placebos and their Efficacy
- Artificial Neural Networks
- Marijuana Safety
- Power Poses
- Fluidity of Memory
- No Teleportation
- False Memories
- Phantom Limb Pain
- Muscle Memory in the Brain
- Harry Potter and the Principles of Neural Science (aka Novelty in the Brain)
- Harry Potter and the Theory of Neural Science (aka Philosophy of Neuroscience)
If I’ve fallen behind on updating this list, click the NeuroThursday link under the “Categories” down on the right to see some recent episodes.
This week’s NeuroThursday is on a topic from my postdoctoral research in amputees: phantom limb pain. What is it, what causes it, and why is it so awful?
Story release day is upon us! I’m pleased to offer you all The Setting of the Sun, a short tale about the passage of time, in all its swiftness and languor.
It came out today in Compelling Science Fiction, a wonderful new pro magazine showcasing “plausible science fiction” – defined as SF that doesn’t break suspension of disbelief for scientists and engineers. (A term I find superior to the traditional “hard SF,” which is notoriously subjective and hard to define.)
This story is in competition for the Guinness record on “longest timeline-to-wordcount ratio,” as a 1300-word story that covers nine hundred million years of time.
A few additional notes below…
The first story I ever sold, “The Wind and the Spark,” is now available again! It’s part of the latest science fiction anthology from Digital Science Fiction. The original magazine has long since closed, so this is now the only place you can find my tale of steampunk technological mysteries, inspired by an obscure corner of historical neuroscience.
Available from Amazon right here!