Hey cats and kittens. For those of you who haven’t yet found your way into the strange world which launched this site, I am pleased to announce that Kindle editions of Tales From The Radiation Age are now on sale at Amazon for just $1.99.
No, seriously. A buck-nine-nine. Which means that, for less than a cup of one of your fancy-pantsy coffees, you can get 575 pages of giant robots, dinosaur attacks, temporospatial shenanigans, whiskey drinking, hookers, mad scientists and bar fights. 575 pages of a world gone wrong–a joyous apocalypse that gives a big, fat middle finger to all your miserable, gray-faced dystopias. 575 pages of spies, grifters, pretty girls, semen-thieves, train-robbers, idiots and madmen, all just trying to get by in a future where the folks with the brains are far more dangerous than the folks with the guns. Most of the time, anyway.
Want a taste before you go blowing all your folding money on a bunch of silly words from the likes of me? Of course you do. Like the man says, the first one is always free…
Here’s your free sample right here…
Because you’re totally into the mating habits of giant sea bass, the flight patterns of American crows, robot submarines and prion disease transmission, right? Of course you are. Who wouldn’t be. But the problem is, how can you make sure that the vital and necessary research into the neural mechanisms of behavioral variation in Temnothorax ants gets done before they… I don’t know. Grow huge and attack Manhattan or something.
Well do I have a solution for you. Experiment.com is a crowdfunding site that allows you to back specific research projects with your own cash. So if, for example, you think chemically sterilizing mosquitoes is more important than tracking Magellanic penguins, you can now vote with your wallet.
The crazy thing is how little most of these projects are asking for. The crew investigating pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed? They need $1,175. The guy looking at microbes in the Greenland ice sheet wants just $3,000 to get him to Greenland so he can spend a month on the ice (though he’d really like another $5,000 for an infra-red gas analyzer).
So if you happen to have, like, thirty bucks just burning a hole in your pocket, maybe throw a little in the direction of science, huh? Because, seriously? Someone has to go to Greenland to look out for the microbes. Just be glad it’s not you.
Fund Science You Believe In [Experiment.com]
Contrary to the perceived wisdom of the past many years, it’s not the lack of fresh, healthy food in America’s “food deserts” that’s making people obese and shortening their lives, it’s just being poor.
Slate ignored the hype and took a look at the numbers. Here’s the nut of what they discovered:
It’s easy to understand why Michelle Obama and other influential figures have promoted fresh food initiatives: Bringing a bounty of fresh produce to impoverished “food deserts” is a lovely idea. But the idea isn’t borne out by evidence. Study after study has shown that the fresh-food push does nothing to improve the health of poor people, who continue to live markedly shorter and sicker lives than better-off Americans.
Continue reading “Food Deserts” Are Not Making Us Fat, Slow And Dead
Anyone who has ever watched Futurama already knows how much robots love beer. But that taste for delicious alcohol had to come from somewhere, right?
As things turn out, it comes from Barcelona, Spain, where scientists have developed the first ever beer-tasting electronic tongue.
Continue reading Robots Love Beer
Today is a good day for book geeks. The 2014 Campbellian Anthology is currently available for download in myriad forms, for all possible electronical book-reading widgets.
Don’t understand why you should be excited about this? Let me ‘splain. This is basically the long list for writers nominated for the 2014 John W. Campbell Award For Best New Writer–a sampling from 111 different authors who crossed the first, biggest hurdle and had their first book published in the last 2 years. These are the best debuts out there, and though full books aren’t included (I believe they took basically the first 3 chapters from most nominated books), the whole thing clocks in at a staggering 860,000-plus words of world-shattering awesomeness. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?
This is a limited time deal, so get on over there and download your copy soon. And if I may take just a moment for crass self-promotion, my own debut novel, A Private Little War, is one of the books selected. So if you haven’t read it yet, you’ll get a chance to check out the first three chapters for free. Nice, right?
2014 Campbellian Anthology [Stupefying Stories]
So I just got word that the completed version of my Kindle serial, Tales From The Radiation Age, is being put up for one of Amazon’s 20 For $2 promotions. Which basically means that you can get it in its full digital version (no waiting for serialized episodes to be delivered, from the first word all the way through to the last) right this very minute for just $2.
A sweet deal? Yes it is. For the amount of dinosaurs, giant robots, bar fights, whiskey drinking, bad language and prostitutes you’re getting, I think it’s a steal. And if two bucks just seems to dear to you, think about it this way: You’re only paying $1 for each parallel universe the story covers, about 75-cents for each buried Max Headroom reference, 66-cents for every triceratops ridden and a nickel per mad scientist.
I have also just received my box of official paperbacks (the physical book won’t be on sale until March), and I’m trying to figure a good way to give them away. They’re cool. The design is gorgeous. And even if you hate the story, the thing is big enough to make a good doorstop or bludgeoning weapon, should the need arise. So Keep your eyes on this space for your chance at scoring an early, signed copy.
Amazon’s 20 For $2 [amazon.com]
Tales From The Radiation Age [Get it cheap right here]
Editor’s Note: I did this post a while back for Richard Ellis Preston’s excellent blog, A Bag Of Good Writing. He asked me to lay out the differences between steampunk and dieselpunk because I had (rather accidentally) written a dieselpunk book with A Private Little War and he’s well known for turning out fine steampunk tales. What began as a small conversation ballooned into a bit of a manifesto, and since I like a good manifesto now and again (because they mean you care about something, and caring is a fine tonic against snark and cynicism), I figured I’d reprint it here. Please to enjoy…
Let me begin by saying that I love all you Steampunks. I truly do. I love your airships and your fancy goggles, your aether and your flywheels. I’m not just saying this because I’m writing here, in one of the bastions of steampunkery, but because I really am a fan. Corsets and cogs, pipeworks and pistols—I get the attraction to both the physical details of the setting and the joyously weird, post-modern frisson of plunking an evolved and of-the-moment characters down into a place where their very modernity drives the style and conflict.
But mostly I love you cats for your victory. Among all the various and scattered blank-punk sects out there, it is the steampunks who have moved the cultural needle the furthest. And I know this because, in the course of putting together my most recent book, the Kindle serial, Tales From The Radiation Age, I had no less than three people (one publishing professional, one working writer and one of my early readers) come to me and ask, “Hey, uh, you gonna put any of that steampunk in this book? Because people really seem to be into that these days…”
Continue reading Steampunk vs. Dieselpunk: Choose Your Fuel