Tag Archives: Technology

Freedom Club – Launched!

Freedom Club - KindleWell, my first Kindle novel Freedom Club has finally been launched as of early October. Many thanks to the entire staff of Hotspur Publishing. Everyone worked very hard to get this first release ready.

Also, notice the final cover design. Isn’t it great? I am thankful to everyone who voted on the two versions that were posted last month. Clearly, the one named simply, transistor man, was a clear favorite by a margin of 3 to 1.

In any event, I’m looking forward to feedback from all my readers. All comments are welcome. Well…at least the nice ones 🙂

Freedom Club – Promo Video

Not on sale until October, but thought I would share this anyway. My publisher, Hotspur Publishing, made this cool promo video. Enjoy!

C.M. Kornbluth – The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary

 Many of you may not remember Cyril Kornbluth, an outstanding science fiction writer who sadly died in the late ’50s, but his impact on Science Fiction endures until today. With the publication of a new biography by Mark Rich, I think it is time for everyone to reacquaint themselves with the life of a great writer from SF’s golden age.

Rich has spent years gathering data, and the biography covers everything from Kornbluth’s early life and member of the Futurians, all the way through to his tragic death in 1958 from a heart attack. Rich’s attention to the books detail is impressive. Not only do we get a full index, but also more than 40 pages of chapter notes.

The biography talks about many of Kornbluth’s literary accomplishments. My favorite novel by Kornbluth is THE SPACE MERCHANTS, written in collaboration with Frederik Pohl. However Kornbluth’s life work covered an impressive array of  techno, economic, and sociological issues, which even until today cause us to pause and question. As Rich puts it:

“…he expressed his commonality, moreover, by responding to the great events of the day: the concentration camp, the atomic bomb, the Red Scare, McCarthyism, the erasing of gender lines, the culpability of the intelligentsia, the tragedy of the Organization Man, and the brutalizing, numbing and dumbing-down effects of mass culture.”

I don’t know how you feel, but I don’t believe all the above issues have yet been resolved. More reason in my opinion to understand Kornbluth’s work, and the man himself.

So, if you love SF from the golden age, this biography is a must read. I highly recommend it.

The Libertarian SF Subgenre?

Is this a hot topic or what? I came across this topic recently. After which, I searched on Wikipedia and found a page that claims that Libertarian Science Fiction is a legitimate subgenre of Science Fiction.

How interesting.

I recall starting discussion on LinkedIn sometime back asking how many sub-genres exist in SF. A small war broke out with lots of opinions in every direction. Of course there is no official gatekeeper, but throughout the discussion I never saw any mention of Libertarian Science Fiction.

The Wiki article mentioned  Robert A. Heinlein‘s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress  as a good example in support. Clearly, there are elements of truth to this assessment. However, I would want to see a very long list of books  (with their author’s approval ) that demonstrate this sub-genre is really out there. Otherwise, I would just chalk up SF as a genre that leans towards this philosophy because… well, it’s interesting.

Comments are welcome. But please! Let’s not have any war over this, it’s not worth it.

Why Good Old Fashion AI is Dead

Martin heidegger

The following paper is probably the best document which describes the death of “Good Old Fashion AI”.

Why Heideggerian AI Failed and how Fixing it would Require making it more Heideggerian

Okay, it might be a bit long for the casual blog readers. But Professor Dryfus makes a compelling case for the death of traditional AI, and why its future depends on Heideggerian philosophy. In reality, the AI community now seems to recognise that to crack the secret of consciousness, we must first understand how it manifests itself in living creatures. Only then can we begin to create artificial intelligence that represents that which we can only now imagine in Science Fiction.

It’s a fascinating topic.

Bug Jack Barron – Another Great New Wave SF

Bug Jack BarronHas anyone read Bug Jack Barron lately? It was one of the great “New Wave” SF novels written in the late 60’s by Norman Spinrad. And in my opinion, it  has one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. Perhaps it wasn’t trying to be funny, but I  nearly fell off my chair as I turned the pages.

Trying to peer into the near future (20 or 30 years from Spinrad’s point of view), the book does an amazing job guessing how important the media would become by the end of the millenia. Digital democracy is painfully envisioned, and reminds one of almost any talk-show we see today.  I would even venture to say that Jack Barron (the main character) is comparable to a modern-day Jon Stewart. But if you don’t think so, pick some other TV personality. There are lots to choose

Now, this book might not be considered politically correct, as it employs a lot of 60’s language now deemed offensive. But even so, I believe its message is meaningful in today’s world. This is a great book. It deserves our attention, and one’s deep respect.

Stand On Zanzibar – They don’t make them like this anymore

Stand on ZanzibarI’m currently reading Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner, and I’m quite impressed. In my opinion they don’t make Science Fiction like this anymore. Publishers would reject this kind of avant-garde writing straight out. Why? Well, if one were to follow all the pedantic rules editors blindly follow these days, it breaks them all. And I mean all of them!

But that is exactly why I love this book. It’s true science fiction, and tries to portray a world gone haywire with overpopulation. Of course no one is up in arms over such a topic these days, but one has to awed by Brunner’s attempt to challenge and edify the readers of his time.