Readercon 24, Where did we go from here?

Last year at Readercon, there was an emotional dust-up over a sordid harassment incident, in addition to a scary and unexpected medical emergency for one of our favorite editors. At this year’s Readercon, we were spared this additional drama, and found ourselves sailing through a very mellow and enjoyable con. Of course, it was great […]

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Soviet Pop Dirvishes: Ensemble Birch

On BoingBoing there is a link to this “hypnotic folk dance,” which only one commentator identified correctly as Nadia Nadezhdin’s ensemble Birch founded in 1948.  (Thanks, Terry di Paolo!)  However, it is worth pointing out that the name of this particular piece, Прялица, means “spinning jenny,”  as in spinning of thread for weaving cloth.  This should […]

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Three Gems of Metahistorical Science Fiction

It is rather hard to believe, but by pure chance the last three novels I read in sequence were all Metahistorical narratives–not in the sense of Hayden White or Gaian ecology…  What I am referring to in the case of these three books is a Metahistory as a condition, or perhaps even a technique, for […]

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Encapsulated Man

“Behold the astronaut, fully equipped for duty: a scaly creature, more like an oversized ant than a primate — certainly not a naked god.  To survive on the moon he must be encased in an even more heavily insulated garment, and become a kind of faceless ambulatory mummy.  While he is hurtling through space the […]

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21st Century Bag of Tricks

The modern day shaman — the serial start-up entrepreneur — carries around a fascinating collection of baubles and tools. The old school shrunken heads, shark’s teeth, eagle feathers, ointments and herbs are certainly no more fetishistic than today’s gadgets, cables, and protective sleeves. This fascinating anthropology study belongs to Joi Ito, which I stumbled across […]

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Ten Years Until My New Brain

How is it that my brother, Po, marooned out in the wilds of the high desert at Canyon Blanco is first one to tell me about the synthetic brain news?    Here I am, wired up to the ears with wireless routers zapping me and servers buzzing underfoot…only a beer cap toss from a major data […]

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