by wjw on February 19, 2019

IMG_5113More boxes of books have arrived.  They’re coming faster than I can give them away!

Be that as it may, this photo should tell you that the revised edition of The Praxis is finally in print!  (It’s been available as an ebook for some time.)

It’s the “Author’s Definitive Edition.”  It says so right there on the cover!

It will be followed in due course by the revised editions of The Sundering and Conventions of War.

So how much of this definitive edition, you might ask, is actually new?  And the answer is, well, not a lot.

You see, my deadlines on the original three books were severe, and the writing suffered.  So I’ve generally cleaned it up, which may be more like copy-editing than a revision, but so be it.  In any case, it should read more cleanly.

I’ve corrected some scientific and technical errors.  (Hint: never use a ten-year-old astronomy text as your primary research.)

I’ve fixed a plot problem that, so far as I know, nobody else even noticed.

On the other hand, it’s a handsome trade paperback, so you’ll want it for that reason alone, particularly if you’ve read the original mass-market paperback to death.

And if you’re a collector, you’ll want to collect the new edition.

So as for whether you’ll pick up the new edition, I’ll leave that to you and to your conscience.

I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.


Black Beret

by wjw on February 16, 2019

Motored up to Santa Fe last night to see the (seemingly) immortal Richard Thompson, OBE, and his current four-person trio.  I donned a black beret in tribute.

Pardon the amateur quality of the video (not by me), but it has the virtue of showcasing Thompson’s phenomenal guitar skills in a song that is a tribute to his guitar heroes.  Here he plays like Django, Les Paul, Chuck Berry, Hank Marvin, and (now and again) Richard Thompson.

Also, check out the phenomenal drummer Michael Jerome, who follows Thompson through every shift in style.



Abandoned Carcass

by wjw on February 12, 2019

Shoshana Zuboff takes aim at surveillance capitalism.

. . . the digitization of everything was giving technology firms immense social power. From the modest beachheads inside our browsers, they conquered, Blitzkrieg-style, our homes, cars, toasters, and even mattresses. Toothbrushes, sneakers, vacuum cleaners: our formerly dumb household subordinates were becoming our “smart” bosses. Their business models turned data into gold, favoring further expansion.

Google and Facebook were restructuring the world, not just solving its problems. The general public, seduced by the tech world’s youthful, hoodie-wearing ambassadors and lobotomized by TED Talks, was clueless. Zuboff saw a logic to this digital mess; tech firms were following rational—and terrifying—imperatives. To attack them for privacy violations was to miss the scale of the transformation—a tragic miscalculation that has plagued much of the current activism against Big Tech . . . 

“Forget the cliché that if it’s free, ‘You are the product,’” she exhorts. “You are not the product; you are the abandoned carcass. The ‘product’ derives from the surplus that is ripped from your life.” The worst, though, is still to come, she argues, as tech giants shift from predicting behavior to engineering it. “It is no longer enough to automate information flows about us,” she warns; “the goal now is to automate us.”

Abandoned carcasses unite!  You have nothing to lose but the illusion that you are a living, breathing being possessed of free will!



by wjw on February 8, 2019

Presenting a video in which I and about a dozen other writers discuss the collaborative project that is Wild Cards.



by wjw on February 8, 2019

I’ve been trying to work hard and mostly failing, so I might as well listen to Pink Martini and surrender to the mood.

The chorus is a riff off the French composer Poulenc, and translates as follows:

I don’t want to work

I don’t want to lunch

All I want is to forget

And I want to smoke

Except that I like lunch and don’t care for tobacco, that pretty much describes my present.  In my current mood, I’ll settle for 50%.


Sea Smoke

February 4, 2019

My home town of Duluth was hammered last week by the Polar Vortex, and so of course there were various photos of frozen eyelashes and stalled cars and people bundled up like the Michelin Man.  (Fortunately it didn’t last.  In a single day the temperature went from -31 to +31.  That’s Fahrenheit, of course, since […]

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Cover Reveal

February 1, 2019

Here’s the cover  for Quillifer the Knight, which I am reliably informed will be released in October 2019. Unfortunately Greg Manchess wasn’t available for the new cover, but the excellent Alejandro Colucci stepped in and did a splendid job.

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Now Hear This!

January 29, 2019

Friend of the blog Allen informs me that the audio book of Metropolitan is now available, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller. I’m sure City on Fire was recorded at the same time, so probably by the time you finish listening to this one, the sequel will be available.  So there’s no reason to hesitate! Find it on […]

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January 29, 2019

I would like to report further on my trip to Los Cabos, but there isn’t a great deal to report on.  I wrote every day, but other than that, I relaxed.  I spent a lot of time sitting under umbrellas, reading or watching the whales cavort just offshore.  In addition, I spent a certain amount of […]

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Hasta la Vista

January 26, 2019

Last night in Cabo.  My friends have been terrific, the hospitality was wonderful, the drinks pretty great.  (Never had a tequila that tasted like pecan praline before.  You’d think that would be bad, but you’d be wrong.) I’ll be returning to the world tomorrow, but in the meantime I’ll be enjoying the last of my […]

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