Hugo 2014: The Novels

Monday, July 28th, 2014

This year for the first time I’m making a real effort to read all the Hugo nominees. First up: the novels.

The Right Books

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Third Flatiron has published my short story, The Right Books in their summer anthology Master Minds. You can read it on Kindle, DRM-free Pub, or just plain paper.

Master Minds cover: human kissing robot

After 20-some-odd nonfiction books, and probably hundreds of articles, this is my first published work of fiction so I’m pretty psyched about it. More to come!

Children of Star Trek

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Children of Earth just finished on BBC America last night, and despite having to get up at 5:15 A.M. this morning for a marsh census, I couldn’t avoid staying up to watch it. Wow. Russell T. Davies surpassed himself and reached new levels of creepiness with this one.

Sadly it was marred by an ending that would have embarrassed a Star Trek TNG writer. Torchwood might as well have saved the day by reversing the polarity on the deflector shields. It was that bad. I can think of at least five preferable and more plausible endings: (Light spoilers follow)

Star Trek Has Jumped the Shark

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

OK. I can’t hold my mouth any longer. Star Trek is dead and J.J. Abrams killed it. The latest movie has finally put Star Trek in the ground far more effectively than Star Trek V ever did. Although technically a good movie (unlike Star Trek V)–well plotted, well shot, and adequately acted–it has destroyed the franchise. More seriously, it has destroyed the entire Star Trek universe.

Lots of folks and critics seem to have liked this movie, and indeed liked it more than almost any other Star Trek movie/episode; and that’s the key point. The people who never liked or cared about Star Trek before, didn’t really notice or care what Abrams just did to the characters and universe they grew up with. They just admired the modern special effects, the well-plotted action, and the better-than-the-original-series acting. But those of us who did love Star Trek since 1966 because we had been able to see beyond the bad makeup and the occasionally corny dialog to the real heart of the show? We walked out of the movie with a very bad taste in our mouths that for once didn’t come from the popcorn. Spoilers follow.

Neal Stephenson Returns

Monday, July 7th, 2008

It’s out September 9 according to Amazon. I don’t have any other details yet, but I’m digging.

Battlestar Galactica: Wow

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Was that a spectacular episode of Battlestar Galactica Friday night or what? I was on the edge of my seat the entire hour. And the scene where the Galactica “arrives” at New Caprica? I know it’s just special effects, but it was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that, and it totally surprised me. The whole episode just set new standards for what a sci-fi show can look like. If not for the Cylons and laser beams, you’d think you were watching the nightly news from Iraq, not fiction. If you aren’t watching this show, start now. There hasn’t been anything this good on TV in years.