December 1st, 2007 | researchmaterial
December 1st, 2007 | brainjuice
I do an irregular podcast here, called The 4am. It’s composed entirely of music by bands and musicians. If I like it, I play it, basically. I’ve done six episodes so far, and they’ve been downloaded a total of 34000 times. You can find them all here.
It doesn’t survive without new music. If you think you’d like to be on the podcast, please email me your music (mp3, 128k or better) at email@example.com. That email address is only used for the podcast.
Tell your friends if you like. But I can only play mp3s sent by the artists themselves. if you send me mp3s from bands you really like, I just have to delete them. Okay? Thanks.
November 30th, 2007 | researchmaterial
The Science Fiction Writers Of America have occasionally been a source of amusement to me, as they essentially comport themselves as enemies of art and the future. After their last major balls-up — involving the misuse by one Dr Andrew Burt of DMCA to cause a website to remove works SWFA actually had no jurisdiction over — they disbanded the “epiracy” committee Dr Burt ran and put together an exploratory committee to make an informed, expert recommendation on the SWFA’s official policy on copyright and file-sharing. Charlie Stross let himself get talked into joining that committee and working on the formal report.
The recommendations of the committee are here.
Committee chair John Scalzi is less pissed off than Charlie. Scalzi offered himself as a write-in candidate for SWFA president earlier this year, saying of the current incumbent, Michael Capobianco:
I believe that based on what I’ve read from him Mr. Capobianco is fundamentally afraid of the changing publishing world, and the changes in the world of speculative fiction, and that this fundamental position will cause him to make his tenure as SFWA backward-facing and defensive, rather than forward-thinking and innovative. This will make SFWA even more irrelevant to working writers — that is, the people who are shaping science fiction — than it already is.
Simply put, the professional organization of speculative fiction should not be headed by people who believe their job is to hold back the future… I believe similar things about Andrew Burt, who is the fellow running for Vice-President…
I am not a member of the SFWA. Well, I’m not American, for a start. Charlie’s a member because he has, obviously, an interest in writing and selling sf in America. I imagine he’s reconsidering the utility of that membership tonight.
I imagine this story will go ballistic once Cory gets around to writing about it…
November 29th, 2007 | mobilesignals
My mailing list, Bad Signal, has been down for 24 hours. No idea when it’ll come back — the guy who runs it does it for free, and is usually terminally busy, so it could be a while. Not a big deal, but if anyone was wondering why I wasn’t inseminating their inbox…
November 28th, 2007 | Work
The FREAKANGELS webcomic goes live mid-February 2008. However, the online community bolted on to it goes live today. Whitechapel lives at http://www.freakangels.com/whitechapel
It’s a little different from my two previous boards. It was conceived of as a discussion area for FREAKANGELS, and it’ll still serve that. But I decided I just wanted a place that reflected all of my interests. It’s not a comics-centric place, though there’s plenty of space for that. But I’ve also created space for Second Lifers, the steampunk/retropunk crowd, the people who like following the mad science and signs of the apocalypse, music and art etc.
Whitechapel doesn’t require you to use your full real name, as The Engine did, but it does need a real email address to work (in case you need your password re-sent, which we can’t do for you).
Anyway. That’s where you can find me now, when I’m not here giving you hideous things to look at. Spread the link as far and wide as you like. All are welcome.
Except that bloke standing behind you. Yes, him. I don’t like the look of him.
November 27th, 2007 | brainjuice
Is it me, or are they getting some things right? The website’s woken up nicely. And how can you not love a magazine that calls itself “Gothic Fantasy & Phantasmagoria For The 21st Century”? This is, I suspect, where the Neo-Victorian aesthetic breaks back into print from where it’s been laying and mutating in the internet and club communities. And I’ve just noticed that the current issue apparently features illustrations by Molly Crabapple and Star St. Germain. Hell, I may even have to get myself a subscription…
November 25th, 2007 | photography
November 24th, 2007 | researchmaterial
A feral Matrioshka Brain is a dangerous place. The wild evolution of self-replicating machines makes it a playground for Darwin – and deadly for anyone that tries to venture in. But if you’re scavenging the ruins of dead civilisations, there’s really no other place to go.
November 24th, 2007 | people I know
It is as if your two best friends in the world, who also happen to be symbiotic twins, suddenly turn into sizzling ultraviolet sunbags. The pain moves at the speed of hurting straight to your neuromatrix, and immediately your cerebellum attempts to find an exit. But it is no use. The only destination is the House of Delirium at the corner of Oh, My God I?m Going to Die.
November 24th, 2007 | researchmaterial
Putin has signed the decree for construction of a new Russian-soil cosmodrome capable of handling human spaceflight by 2018. The launch centre, in Russia’s Far East region of Amur, will be called Vostochny.
In 1994, Russia agreed to rent the Baikonur base from Kazakhstan ? which became an independent state after the collapse of the Soviet Union ? for an annual fee of $115 million (?87 million). According to the terms of an agreement signed in 2004, the lease of the base should continue until 2050. But the agreement came under threat in September, after an uncrewed Proton rocket crashed near a city where the Kazakh president happened to be visiting…
November 24th, 2007 | about warren ellis/contact
The entire article is behind a paygate, but the two available paragraphs (bold type is mine) are mindbending enough:
In August, radio astronomers announced that they had found an enormous hole in the universe. Nearly a billion light years across, the void lies in the constellation Eridanus and has far fewer stars, gas and galaxies than usual. It is bigger than anyone imagined possible and is beyond the present understanding of cosmology. What could cause such a gaping hole? One team of physicists has a breathtaking explanation: “It is the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own,” says Laura Mersini-Houghton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
It is a staggering claim. If Mersini-Houghton’s team is right, the giant void is the first experimental evidence for another universe. It would also vindicate string theory, our most promising understanding of how the universe works at its most fundamental level…