Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age 15 and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. First novel The Martian was a bestseller and was adapted as a popular feature film. New novel ...Read MoreRead more
ALIETTE DE BODARD was born November 10, 1982 in New York City to a Vietnamese mother and a French father. At age one she moved with her family to Paris, France, where she has lived ever since, apart from two years in London as a teenager. She attended the École Polytechnique, graduating in 2002 with a degree in applied mathematics, electronics, and computer science. She speaks both French and English ...Read MoreRead more
DAVID MARUSEK was born January 21, 1951 in Buffalo NY, and grew up all over the US. He attended UC Santa Barbara from 1969-73, earning a degree in cultural anthropology. That year he moved to Alaska, where he has lived ever since. He was married and divorced, and has an adult daughter. He has worked in construction, surveying, as a hospital attendant, and an ad salesman, but most of his ...Read MoreRead more
The final volume of Demon comes out this week and it represents the culmination of a seven year long journey that took me from self-printed minicomics to a daily webcomic to a published 4 volume series from First Second. The series has become infamous for its deranged and nihilistic sense of humor. But for me, the simple idea at the core of the book was a story of a man ...Read MoreRead more
I was there when “lifehacking” was born. It was the 11th of February, 2004, at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, held in a giant conference hotel in San Diego. I was on the committee for ETech (as we called it) and I had lobbied hard for the inclusion of a talk called “Life Hacks: Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks” by Danny O’Brien, a technology ...Read MoreRead more
Announcing the new archive page for SF Crossing the Gulf podcast.
The podcast, hosted by Karen Burnham and Karen Lord, debuted in 2012 and ran for 18 episodes over the course of two seasons, originally hosted by SF Signal (the text descriptions are still available there, but no audio). Episodes include fascinating discussions of notable contemporary hard science fiction, classic writers such as Cordwainer Smith and Olaf Stapledon, weird stories, ...Read MoreRead more
Annalee Newitz was born May 6, 1969 in Santa Monica CA, and grew up in Huntingon Beach and Irvine. She attended UC Berkeley, where she completed a Ph.D. in English and American Studies in 1998; her dissertation was published as Pretend We’re Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture (2006). She began freelance writing in the mid-’90s, and has written full-time since 1999, mostly as a journalist focusing on technology ...Read MoreRead more
James Patrick Kelly was born April 11, 1951 in Mineola NY. He earned a BA in English Literature at the University of Notre Dame in 1972, and attended the Clarion Writers’ Workshop in 1974 and ’76. He began writing full time in 1977. In 2005 he joined the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA program as an instructor.
Kelly’s professional career began with “Dea Ex Machina” for Galaxy (1975), followed by scores ...Read MoreRead more
In 1692, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the island of Port Royal, plunging over half the city into the sea and flooding what remained with a sizable tidal wave. Port Royal was infamous for its reputation as a rollicking pirate haven, and the disaster that descended upon it that day was largely tacked up to God’s vengeance. It’s always easier to blame God than poor planning or simple ignorance.
Same ...Read MoreRead more
Surely, the most unanticipated result of my 2006 article “Homo aspergerus: Evolution Stumbles Forward” (here) was commenters asserting that despite my claim, I didn’t really have Asperger’s Syndrome. I am sure those individuals meant well; on the face of it, it is daft and needlessly self-damaging to announce to the world that one suffers from a form of mental illness, so sympathetic observers might naturally be inspired to ...Read MoreRead more
Matthew Theron Ruff was born September 8, 1965 in New York. He attended Cornell University, where he studied English. His senior thesis became first novel Fool on the Hill (1988), a fantasy set at the college, and a Mythopoeic and Crawford Award nominee. He has been a full-time writer ever since.
Second book Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (1997) was a satirical SF novel, and established Ruff’s ...Read MoreRead more
Karin Margareta Tidbeck was born April 6, 1977, in Stockholm, Sweden, and grew up in the suburbs. She briefly attended university before dropping out. She worked at various jobs, including in a bookshop, and just before she turned 30, enrolled in a three-year arts program. She attended the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop in 2010.
Her debut collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? (2010) appeared in Sweden. First English-language ...Read MoreRead more
Cheating is a given.
Inspectors certify that gas-station pumps are pumping unadulterated fuel and accurately reporting the count, and they put tamper-evident seals on the pumps that will alert them to attempts by station owners to fiddle the pumps in their favor. Same for voting machines, cash registers, and the scales at your grocery store.
The basic theory of cheating is to assume that the cheater is ‘‘rational’’ and won’t ...Read MoreRead more
Janny Wurts has authored 19 novels, a short fiction collection, and 33 contributions to anthologies. Titles include the War of Light and Shadow series; standalones To Ride Hell’s Chasm, Master of White Storm, and Sorcerer’s Legacy; the Cycle of Fire trilogy; and the collaborative Empire trilogy with Raymond E. Feist.
Her paintings have been featured in NASA’s 25th Anniversary exhibit, Delaware Art Museum, Canton Art Museum, and ...Read MoreRead more
John Michael Scalzi II was born May 10, 1969, and grew up in Southern California, going to school in Claremont. He graduated from the Webb School in 1987 and attended the University of Chicago, where he became editor-in-chief of the Chicago Maroon and graduated with a philosophy degree in 1991. He moved back to California, where he became the film critic and later a columnist for the Fresno Bee. In ...Read MoreRead more
Justina Ireland was born in French Camp CA, and grew up in San Bernadino and outside Sacramento. After graduating high school, she joined the Army, got married, and later settled in Pennsylvania with her husband. In addition to writing, she works as a supervisor in logistics for the Department of the Navy.
First novel Vengeance Bound, a YA fantasy about a girl with a psychic link to the Furies, ...Read MoreRead more
I have spent an inordinate amount of time this year Being a Writer, and far less of it doing the writing part. Oh, the words get done. In fits and starts and large binge sessions, I squeeze out stories in a few days and large swaths of whatever novel is in progress over a week at a time.
But an increasing amount of my waking hours have been spent reviewing ...Read MoreRead more
Cory Efram Doctorow was born July 17, 1971 in Toronto, Canada. He attended alternative schools and worked at SF specialty store Bakka Books, but dropped out of high school at 17 and briefly moved to Mexico to write. He dropped out of four universities in two years, and worked as a CD-ROM programmer, website designer, volunteer in Central America, CIO for a film company and an ad agency, founder of ...Read MoreRead more
Sam Joshua Miller was born February 7, 1979 in Hudson NY. He attended Rutgers University, where he studied cinema studies and Russian language and literature (and met his future husband).
Miller began publishing stories in ’zines and online in the early 2000s, and attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop in 2012. In recent years he’s published a slew of award-quality short fiction, including Shirley Jackson Award winner ...Read MoreRead more
The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. ...Read MoreRead more
The legendary musician, producer, and weirdo Brian Eno has many notable accomplishments and high among them is the production of the ‘‘Oblique Strategies’’ deck, a deck of cards emblazoned with gnomic and hard-to-parse advice that is meant to shake your creative rut: ‘‘Fill every beat with something,’’ or ‘‘Infinitesimal gradations’’ or ‘‘Do nothing for as long as possible.’’
My favorite of these – first learned from Bruce Sterling – is ...Read MoreRead more
Catriona Sparks was born September 11, 1965 in Sydney Australia. She studied film making and photography at the City Art Institute, and worked as a media monitor, political photographer and graphic designer for many years, as well as traveling through Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia, the South Pacific, China, and the Americas.
Sparks began publishing short fiction in 2001, and has since published around 70 stories, including Ditmar Award winners ...Read MoreRead more
Scott H. Andrews is a writer, editor, chemistry lecturer, musician, woodworker, and connoisseur of stouts. His literary short fiction has won a $1,000 prize from the Briar Cliff Review, and his genre short fiction has appeared in Ann VanderMeer’s Weird Tales and in On Spec. He is editor-in-chief and publisher of the four-time Hugo Award-finalist fantasy e-zine Beneath Ceaseless Skies and its five-time Parsec Award finalist podcast. Scott lives in ...Read MoreRead more
John Joseph Vincent Kessel was born September 24, 1950 in Buffalo NY. He received a dual BA in English and Physics from the University of Rochester in 1972, an MA in English from the University of Kansas in 1974, and a PhD in English from the University of Kansas in 1981. From 1979-82 he was a copy and news editor at Commodity News Service in Kansas. In 1982 he began ...Read MoreRead more
Heather Shaw is an editor, writer, performer, mother, lindy hopper, and bookkeeper living in Berkeley CA with her husband and son. In addition to editing Persistent Visions, she has in the past edited poetry, erotica, catalog copy, and technical manuals. Her fiction has appeared in nice places like Strange Horizons and The Year’s Best Fantasy, and she’s performed everywhere from small stages in San Francisco to the Lollapalooza poetry ...Read MoreRead more
I brought my dogs to a new dog park this weekend, one frequented by experienced dog owners who enjoyed socializing their dogs. The park I usually go to is less frequented, with fewer dogs, and the owners are all worried and anxious sorts. Their dogs tend to be unsocialized, which contributes to their own fear about their dog’s potential behavior, and then their anxiety gets to the dogs, too, making ...Read MoreRead more
Ellen Janeway Klages was born July 9, 1954 in Columbus OH. She attended the University of California at Berkeley in 1972, but dropped out in her sophomore year, spent time as a camp counselor and working at a book factory, then returned to college, graduating from the University of Michigan in 1976 with a philosophy degree. She worked at a pinball arcade and as a photographer before moving onto various ...Read MoreRead more
Paul Gaetan Tremblay was born June 30, 1971 in Aurora CO, and grew up in Beverley MA. He attended Providence College in Rhode Island, graduating in 1993, and in 1995 obtained a Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Vermont (1995). He became a math teacher and junior varsity basketball coach for a private high school after graduation. He began publishing with ‘‘King Bee’’ (2001), and most of his early ...Read MoreRead more
Spill Zone is about what we’re left with after our family is destroyed.
It’s about two sisters, Addison and Lexa, who’ve lost their parents and hometown in an event called the Spill. The older sister, Addison, is left with the task of raising and providing for Lexa, which is in some ways like trying to keep a culture alive. Every family is its own world, after all. Only the people ...Read MoreRead more
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’’ To this day, especially in times of ‘‘disaster,’’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
In ...Read MoreRead more
Mithila is a glorious kingdom ruled by philosopher kings in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. Millennia later, say in an alternate universe, it’s a decolonized terrain beset with intolerance and violence, a symbol of a civilization in decline.
Science fiction and fantasy that draws its power from actual science and history—a scientific spirit based on evidence, logic and rationality—could be a fluid and powerful language of protest in the new era ...Read MoreRead more
Rovina Cai is a freelance illustrator from Melbourne, Australia. She creates intriguing images that make you linger, hungry to know the story behind them. Her work is often inspired by the past; from fairy tales to gothic novels, these stories resonate with her because they bring a little bit of magic and wonder to the present day. Rovina has worked with an eclectic range of clients, including The Folio Society, ...Read MoreRead more