<em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time.
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July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
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A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
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Greg Ruth
Showing posts tagged: Internet click to see more stuff tagged with Internet
Wed
Jul 23 2014 1:00pm

According to Lock In, How You Feel About the Internet Now is How You’ll Feel About Robots Later

Asimo robot Lock In John Scalzi

It’s funny, although John Scalzi’s Lock In is primarily a crime procedural thriller it features a very detailed future, with a complexity of worldbuilding that is normally reserved for high fantasy and hard sci-fi. You find out more than just how the tech works. You see how it has impacted our culture legally, socially, and financially. And most importantly you see how it would alter the mundane details of our day to day lives. This sense of the future is an extremely important aspect of Lock In. After all, you need to know what the future is like for there to be any stakes to the story. What dramatic use is there to saving something the reader doesn’t understand?

In essence, Lock In needs to make you care about the maintenance and existence of robots and the humans who require them. Scalzi bridges this gap by subtly evoking another technological leap that has shaped our lives in the present day: the internet.

[Read more]

Tue
May 27 2014 12:00pm

You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet

They say that the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ordered a group of children to be raised without any human interaction so that he could observe their “natural” behavior, untainted by human culture, and find out the true, deep nature of the human animal.

If you were born around the turn of the 21st century, you’ve probably had to endure someone calling you a “digital native” at least once. At first, this kind of sounds like a good thing to be—raised without the taint of the offline world, and so imbued with a kind of mystic sixth sense about how the Internet should be.

But children aren’t mystic innocents. They’re young people, learning how to be adult people, and they learn how to be adults the way all humans learn: by making mistakes. All humans screw up, but kids have an excuse: they haven’t yet learned the lessons the screw-ups can impart. If you want to double your success rate, you have to triple your failure rate.

[Read More]

Wed
Feb 19 2014 4:10pm

Loki Writes Slash Fiction... Because Of Course He Does

Loki: Agent of Asgard, Al Ewing, Lee Garbett

We were wandering ‘round the internet today, minding our own business, when this panel from the recently debuted Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 comic popped up, and our lives suddenly seemed richer and full of promise.

Loki, brother of Thor, spy for Asgard, god of mischief, has written slash fan fiction. It’s Cap/Iron Man, right? We are going to peruse Archive of Our Own for the rest of the day and unearth it. Farewell, noble friends.

Via Tumblr.

Fri
Sep 6 2013 3:45pm

Bob Orci Blows Up At Star Trek Fans For Not Adoring Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness Bob Orci criticism

In the creative life, there are certain rules about how you handle criticism—no matter how unfair it may seem. Golden Rule Number One tends to be just this: Don’t rise to the bait.

Unfortunately, it would seem that Robert Orci (responsible for the rebooted Star Trek screenplays with Alex Kurtzman), forgot that golden rule the other day. Which led to some serious online ugliness that it would be nice to forget.

[Let’s take some deep breaths...]

Thu
Jan 31 2013 2:00pm

Grammar Fight! Star Trek Into Darkness Title Sparks Tussle on Wikipedia

Wikipedia Editors and Star Trek Fans are Fighting Over Grammar in Star Trek Into Darkness and it is Fascinating

As brilliantly highlighted in a recent installment of the web comic XKCD; the title of the latest Star Trek film has precipitated a grammar smack down on a Wikipedia talkpage between whether the “into” in the title Star Trek Into Darkness should be capitalized. Most of this “controversy” probably would have never occurred if a colon had been present in the title. So what’s the big deal?

Grammar snobbery is something we enjoy at Tor.com (we recommend the Merriam Webster Ask the Editor Series for a more fun, relaxed take on grammar) especially when grammar outrage gets to silly levels.

[Engage! Or stop. Stop engaging.]

Tue
Jan 29 2013 10:30am

If There Must Be a Girls Parody, We’re Glad It’s “Robots”

'Robots', a parody of HBO's Girls

If there must be a parody of Girls—and there must, because you don’t win a trunkful of Golden Globes when you’re under 30 without some blowback—then we’re glad it comes in the form of “Robots.”

“Robots” does what it says on the tin, re-imagining Girls if the main character was a robot and not Lena Dunham. But oh, what a perfect re-imagining it is. You don’t even have to have seen the show to get in on the joke.

Watch below while we eagerly await robot parodies of AMC and HBO’s entire line-up.

[“Robots”]

Wed
Oct 24 2012 11:00am

You Are Not Anonymous: On Internet Privacy and the War On Trolls

You Are Not Anonymous: On Internet Privacy and the War On Trolls

The web has been buzzing over the past several months due to the unmasking of some well-known internet trolls. A large portion of the online community has thrown up their hands in a collective sigh of relief, but a sizable number are enraged – by bringing the names of these people to light, real life identities have been comprised and people’s lives have been altered for the worse. And in the name of privacy, people have picked up their virtual boxing gloves and started winding up the good old one-two punch.

Yet it seems that this anger stems from the internet’s greatest fallacy, one the internet itself has long encouraged: the notion that the world wide web is somehow private in the first place.

[Keep away from those chat rooms…]

Tue
Oct 16 2012 10:00am

Ada Lovelace, Through the Centuries

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day with this illustration of Ada Lovelace, through the centuries

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, and to celebrate this computeering pioneer, we thought we’d ask artist Scott Brundage to illustrate Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, as she works through the centuries, inspiring, creating, and perfecting the very device that the modern first world now cannot live without.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Lovelace’s life, read Ay-leen the Peacemaker’s tribute. Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Mon
Oct 8 2012 3:00pm

All Alone in the Night: When Babylon 5 Invented 21st Century Fandom

Babylon 5 and the beginning of 21st century fandom

Fan chatter about TV shows like Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, and Mad Men often revolves around the various spoiler-filled turns in long-game plot arcs. But the word “spoiler”—at least in the way we use it in relation to television—is relatively new. Though it’s possible fans of a bygone era of soap operas were afraid of other fans ruining the outcome of the previous day’s episode, the vehemence of these protests were probably not as serious as they are now. Notably, fans of 20th century soap operas didn’t have the internet.

But way back at the end of the last century, one of the first sci-fi fandoms did have the internet, complete with online spoilers! That fandom was centered around Babylon 5, and though we don’t talk much about Babylon 5 now, the narrative structure of the show, in tandem with internet discussion, essentially created the model for TV fandom today.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 1 2012 10:00am

Steampunk Week 2012 on Tor.com

Steampunk Week 2012 on Tor.com

One of the first major blogging events we’ve done on Tor.com was for steampunk, and every autumn with the turning of the leaves, the H.M.S. Stubbington gets its engines stoked for another bout of gears, cogs, and 19th-century know-how. Now, Year Four into this brass madness, the question comes to mind: “Why does steampunk still matter?”

[Read more about what we’re featuring this week]

Tue
Sep 18 2012 1:15pm

Homestuck is the First Great Work of Internet Fiction

Homestuck is the First Great Work of Internet Fiction

What is Homestuck? Since the success of its Kickstarter, that’s what everyone has been asking. What is Homestuck? Well, that is the rub; in fact, “let me tell you about Homestuck…” has become an internet meme in its own right.

First off, let me say this: what Homestuck is and what Homestuck is about are two entirely different things, but they usually get lumped into the same breath, which really confuses things.

Don’t get me wrong; Homestuck is confusing on its own. Homestuck starts slow, with a measured mundanity punctuated by petty struggles wrought in epic terms…which provides only a baseline to be shattered by the surreal. For a story that is so big it contains worlds… and underworlds. The level of detail and complexity can certainly be maddening, even brutally so, but that is what the MS Paint Aventures Wiki is for. I’ll try to express in my own clumsy way what Homestuck is, and what Homestuck is about, but in all honesty, the only way to understand it to experience it for yourself.

[Read more]

Thu
Aug 2 2012 3:00pm

Technology Isn’t the Bad Guy: H+: The Digital Series

We joke about it all the time. One day, we’re all just gonna have chips in our heads and we won’t need things like TV or computers anymore. But what if that actually happened?

That’s the starting point for a new web series produced by Warner Bros. and Bryan Singer called H+: The Digital Series, which launches next week. Although, “web series” is a bit of a limited term. Web experience, more like, as H+ is going to be hugely interactive, allowing viewers to watch episodes out of order, edit them together differently, and create their own experience of the world, much like the characters are able to do with their web experiences in the context of the show.

I had the chance to speak with H+ star, Alexis Denisof (Angel, Dollhouse), and producer, Jason Taylor (Bryan Singer’s Bad Hat Harry Productions), about this unique and exciting sci-fi project.

[Humanity goes offline. Survival goes on.]

Fri
Jul 27 2012 10:00am

When Sword and Shield Are Not Enough: Geek Girls and Trolling

Let’s start this article off right: I’m not here to make an attack on men, male writers, or male nerds. I’m not here to present a soap-box argument about the ills of the world and the dangerous political atmosphere that faces women today. I’m not even here to critique or attack works of fiction, be they literature, film, or video games that have portrayed women in unfortunate ways in the history of geek culture. This article is not about any of those things, and though there is a forum for all of those discussions, this isn’t it. Instead, this article is going to discuss something near and dear to my heart. We’re going to talk about the dangers of geek culture and trolling.

[Trolling starts like this...]

Wed
Jul 18 2012 10:00am

Have We Lost The Future?

This isn’t a proper writeup of the Readercon panel of this name that I was on this weekend, it’s more a series of reflections of things around it. The description of the panel was:

Where science fiction once looked to the future as the setting for speculation, nowadays the focus seems to be on alternate pasts, fantasy worlds, or consciously “retro” futures. We’re no longer showing the way to what things might be like. We discuss whether this is connected to the general fear of decline and decay in the English-language world—or has science fiction simply run out of ideas?

Jim Cambias, the moderator and proposer, had stats from recent Hugo nominee lists compared to older ones that did show a decline in actual future-based SF. I think this combines with futures we can’t get to from here — steampunk, John Barnes’s The Sky So Big and Black, Ken MacLeod’s The Execution Channel, Stirling’s Lords of Creation series, etc. — to reflect an actual problem in current SF.

But of course, it’s more interesting than that.

[Read more: I have a question for your twelve-year-old self]

Mon
Apr 2 2012 5:30pm

Geek and Sundry: A YouTube Channel For the Geek Masses

One of the highlights of last month’s WonderCon was the panel announcing Felicia Day’s latest foray into New Media. She, along with producing partners Kim Evey, Wil Wheaton, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, and Mike Richardson, has created a new YouTube channel with a full slate of geek programming.

This new endeavor, Geek and Sundry, launches new shows TODAY!

[Wanna hear about the slate?]

Fri
Feb 24 2012 12:00pm

DotCon: The Convention Experience You Can Have In Your Jammies

Love cons, but hate things like spending money, or... you know... going somewhere? Well have I got news for you!

Today is the first day of Dot Con, the first geeky pop-culture convention that is held entirely online. Using the magic of streaming services — like Justin.TV and UStream — and Twitter, Dot Con seeks to bring the con experience right into your own home! It’s an intriguing idea, and to be honest, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t been done more often.

[Read more]

Tue
Feb 14 2012 2:30pm

Wheel of Time Ebook Art, Forthcoming Novels & More Cool Things Being Auctioned at Con or Bust

Interested in advance copies of forthcoming novels by N.K. Jemisin or John Scalzi? Rare books and signed books by authors such as Vernor Vinge, Lois McMaster Bujold,  Neil Gaiman, and Brandon Sanderson? Indian speculative fiction in English translation? How about snacks from Hawaii, Israel, or the UK; homemade candy and cookies; knitted goods? Or, perhaps, a print of one of the new Wheel of Time ebook covers?

They’re all currently being auctioned online at Con or Bust, the assistance fund I run that helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons.

[Learn more]

Wed
Feb 8 2012 12:30pm

Want More Battlestar Galactica? Watch Some Portlandia

Shows like Community and The Big Bang Theory might have the obvious lock on SFF geek cred, but Portlandia is quickly catching up to these network shows in regards to introducing funny concepts with recent SFF.

Take this Battlestar Galactica read-through, for example. This scene features Edward James Olmos, James Callis, and two Ronald D. Moores in a bizzare read-through of a fan-created Galactica script. We can’t explain the perfection of this (especially not the ending!) without ruining it, so just watch:

Tue
Feb 7 2012 6:00pm

What if the Empire From Star Wars Was British?

Along with being a rather momentous anniversary for Charles “Chuck” Dickens, it’s also comedian Eddie Izzard’s 50th birthday! In celebration, let us view his 1999 bit about what it would be like if the Empire in Star Wars was completely British. “The Rebels are here?! Do they want tea?”


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and stronger than a small pony but not stronger than the Force. Paradox!

Mon
Feb 6 2012 7:00pm

Watch a Trailer for a Live Action Movie of Thundercats

What would a live action Thundercats movie look like? WormyTV took this question quite seriously and created a pretty convincing edit trailer for a Thundercats movie.

There’s a lot of great SFF movies in the mix here, starting with that first shot straight from Masters of the Universe. Indiana Jones, the Riddick series, the X-Men films, Farscape, Galaxy Quest, Star Trek VI, Garfield (for Snarf, obviously), The Lord of the Rings, Troy, and more are all used to great effect.


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and loves kitties but is on the fence about Thundercats.