Just finished Ramez Naam’s sequel to his superb 2012 novel Nexus, called Crux. Quite a breathtaking book in terms of near future ideas and non-stop action. Picking up a few months after the events in Nexus, the sequel rushes down the same paths, with many old characters plus a few new ones. Naam has narrative talent, and clearly a third book will follow.
Since 1982 the Libertarian Futurist Society has published a print newsletter called Prometheus. I served as editor from 1994 until 2000, and have handled the duties again since 2004. On and off for many years I have tried to bring the newsletter online, both the archives and current issues. Getting the old issues online has been an arduous process. Years ago I scanned all the issues with OCR software into text files. Since then I have tried—in between the spare moments that I have—to clean up garbled text. All issues since 2005 are fairly clean in terms of OCR, but older issues remain in various stages. Since 2005 I have been able to use the desktop publishing software to print PDF copies. But getting the older issues to PDF has not really worked out for me, as either my scanning software doesn’t handle the job, or the files are far too huge.
Then I tried a new application, A-PDF from a-pdf.com. This is a Windows OS app, and I work almost exclusively in Mac OS X. However, I scanned an issue, which went fairly quickly, and then in one click of a button converted the images to PDF. I was simply amazed. My goal now is to scan the remaining issues all to PDF, continue to clean up the OCR text, and then publish the entire set of over 100 issues online as both PDF and searchable content. If you are looking for an app that scans documents and generates a PDF, this might be one of the best solutions out there.
Over at Wired, and interview with Margaret Atwood. Also, some notes from a panel on political fiction, with contributions from other writers.
This puts my small collection to shame.
A few years ago, when the number of Discworld books were below 20 and I was scouring used book stores for some of the early books, I bought only paperback. Since then, I have a few hard covers, but I still usually wait for the paperbacks, despite their awful covers. If I had the money, I could scrap all those books and get the collector’s library. Each volume is only 10 quid, which means they’ll be devilishly hard to get in the US.
New comic book plans to continue where the movie Serenity left off. Nice to see the story still lives.
This list is brilliant and spot on. A neat way to recognize some of the interesting and anti-autoritarian characters in film and TV.
I’ve been following Scott Bieser’s serialized online graphic novel, Quantum Vibe, since day one. This month the first volume of his panels was published as a book, available from the usual sources. Weighing in at 236 pages, the first volume focuses on Nicole, a young woman, often irresponsible and prone to drink and scenes, who embarks on a new career and life of adventure after getting dumped by her flake boyfriend.
In the aftermath of her depression and self-indulgance, she is fired and forced to look for new work. She interviews for a job as personal assistant to a peripatetic inventor/businessman, Dr. Seamus O’Murchadha, who has a bold and ambitious project that needs a pilot and all-around gopher. Young Nicole at first is overwhelmed, bt later accepts, and begins a journey that will take her from the sun and outward, with stops along the way at various planets and orbital stations. Continue reading
From the remarkable people at Subterranean Press, news about a vast anthology in the worlds of grandmaster sf writer Poul Anderson. Multiverse contains stories by writers like Greg Bear, Nancy Kress, Gregory Benford, and many others. Currently available as a pre-order, it will be available in limited and trade editions.
With surveillance ever-present and opponents of war and worse turning into that which they once opposed (a la Animal Farm), and our dear leader learning to love Big Brother, it is no wonder that sales of George Orwell’s dystopian future are spiking. A variety of sites have jumped on the meme of huge sales spikes for 1984, and it seems Obama’s legacy will be tightly linked to Orwell’s fiction.