Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

It’s a Ubik Kind of Day

Frolix-8 blogger “Palmer Eldritch” runs a regular feature called “Which Philip K Dick Story Are We In Today?,” comparing the day’s news items to various PKD stories.

A Scanner Darkly“The state tells its people that the cameras are there for their benefit and to prevent crime, but the crime they are preventing is insurrection.”

We Can Build You“We want the computer to learn you, adapt to you.”

Now Wait For Last Year“You’re creating chemically activated time bombs.”

Faith of our Fathers“If they can’t find a book that uses clean words, they shouldn’t have a book at all.”

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Books & Authors March 30th, 2007 by Chip
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Twitter: Offering New Ways to be a Smartass

By now Twitter has filtered through teh intartubes sufficiently that most of us have at least heard of it. For those of you who are thinking, “Hey! She spelled ‘the’ wrong up there!” a quick recap may be in order: Candy bar : fun-size candy bar :: Blogging : Twitter

Chris Livingstone of Not My Desk has decided that each of his updates will take up the entire 140 characters allotted and will end in a cliffhanger.

I am at work. Chatting on IRC. Drinking coffee. Ignoring my workload. Ignoring my cellphone. Looking at the comet that’s COMING RIGHT AT US

Link (via Slumbering Lungfish Dybbuk Hostel and All-Night Boulangerie)

(Incidentally, why are we so eager to know exactly when complete strangers start marinating flank steak that we’re willing to subscribe to their feed? I can tell you right now that if my neighbors came over every 20 minutes and told me what they were doing I’d be filling out the restraining order paperwork.)

Posted in Computers & Internet, Humor March 30th, 2007 by Chip

Hugo and John W. Campbell Award finalists, 2007

Winners will be announced in the Japan Worldcon:


  • Michael F. Flynn, Eifelheim (Tor)
  • Naomi Novik, His Majesty’s Dragon (Del Rey; also, Voyager, 1/06, as Temeraire)
  • Charles Stross, Glasshouse (Ace)
  • Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End (Tor)
  • Peter Watts, Blindsight (Tor)


  • “The Walls of the Universe” by Paul Melko (Asimov’s, April/May 2006)
  • “A Billion Eyes” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, October/November 2006)
  • “Inclination” by William Shunn (Asimov’s, April/May 2006)
  • “Lord Weary’s Empire” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s, December 2006)
  • Julian: A Christmas Story by Robert Charles Wilson (PS Publishing)


  • “Yellow Card Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Asimov’s, December 2006)
  • “Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth” by Michael F. Flynn (Asimov’s, December 2006)
  • “The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald (Asimov’s, July 2006)
  • “All the Things You Are” by Mike Resnick (Jim Baen’s Universe, October 2006)
  • “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” by Geoff Ryman (F&SF, October/November 2006)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Books & Authors, Conventions & Fandom March 29th, 2007 by Gandalara
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Venus Rises – Original Vidcast

An actor with this “internet serial” contacted the O*W*C and pointed us toward the site. It’s definitely one of the more polished amateur (in the non-pejorative sense of the word) endeavors I’ve seen. Check it out.


Posted in Computers & Internet March 29th, 2007 by Chip
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March Madness Sweeps Innsmouth

I like Defective Yeti.

“WOOHOO, Dagon’s going all the way this year!” exclaimed Barnabas Marsh. “Cthulhu fhtagn, baby!” Others, however, were more skeptical of the hometown hero’s chances. “I dunno,” slurred Zadok Allen, “Shub-Niggurath fieldin a gud team, whut with her thousand young an’ all. We’ll be lucky to mak’it past the Eldritch Eight.”


Posted in Humor March 29th, 2007 by Chip
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I Find Your Lack of Postage Disturbing

Star Wars Stamp SetAlready planning the launch of R2D2 mailboxes, the US Postal Service has announced that a set of 15 stamps commemorating the Star Wars movies will be released in May. Fanboys people will be able to vote on their favorite from the set, which will be reissued as a single stamp.


Update: Fark picked up this article, and several people commented. These were some of my favorites:

I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I met you I was but a clerk. Now, *I* am the postmaster.

If you only knew the power of the dark self-adhesive side…

Greedo mailed first.

You needn’t worry about your postage. If stamps are all that you love, then that’s what you’ll receive.

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more packages will slip through your fingers.

You don’t want to send a letter. This is not the mailbox you’re looking for.

Help me, Obi-Wan Postmaster. You’re my only hope.

Posted in News March 29th, 2007 by Chip
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I am not making this up …

Norman Spinrad — on YouTube.

Posted in Computers & Internet March 28th, 2007 by Gandalara
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Planetary Orbit Clock

Planetary Orbit ClockJoining the ThinkGeek Binary Watch in the category of “cool but completely impractical timepieces” comes this clock which mimics planetary orbits to tell time.

Link (via Neatorama)

Posted in Ephemera March 28th, 2007 by Chip
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Cartoon Laws of Physics

Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter intervenes suddenly. Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone pole or an outsize boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the stooge’s surcease.


Link (via Dooce)

Posted in Humor March 27th, 2007 by Chip
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Retrocausality Experiment in the Works

Okay, this one makes my head hurt a little. There’s nothing in the known laws of physics to preclude the idea that the present can influence the past (or the future the present), and now there may be a way to see if it’s possible.

Researchers are on the verge of experiments that will finally hold retrocausality’s feet to the fire by attempting to send a signal to the past. What’s more, they need not invoke black holes, wormholes, extra dimensions or other exotic implements of time travel. It should all be doable with the help of a state-of-the-art optics workbench and the bizarre yet familiar tricks of quantum particles. If retrocausality is confirmed — and that is a huge if — it would overturn our most cherished notions about the nature of cause and effect and how the universe works.


Posted in News, Science March 26th, 2007 by Chip
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