Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Friend Cliff / New Science Fiction

I've known Cliff Pickover (his home page - his Wikipedia entry - his Twitter feed - his corporate page - his Amazon page - his Reality Carnival blog) for, sheesh, I think 25 years now? I got to know him via the "SFIDEAS FORUM" when I joined Big Blue, and over the years he and I have collaborated on a number of patents and stuff. It's nice to have old (as in "long time") friends. The strange thing, though, is that during all of that time, I've only met him face-to-face twice.

Still, I classify him as one of my oldest and best friends. In case it's not obvious, Cliff has a fairly substantial writing career going alongside his day job, and of late he's been making a pretty big splash with his "science" series of books: The Medical Book, The Physics Book, and The Math Book. I'd love to see these as interactive eBooks someday.

Basically, he's got that Stephen King "If I don't write I'll die!" thing going on. I'm slightly jealous: I've always figured I had a good novel or two in me. But I find it difficult just to get motivated to write a blog post like this, much less a 500 page book (or a 1500 page trilogy)(my understanding is that these days a lot of publishers won't even talk to you unless you're willing to do a trilogy).

Oh well, I'll live. These days I have no idea how one would go about getting published. All of the free stuff on the web, plus Amazon and other self-publishing options, eBooks ... the business has changed a lot, and it's not done yet, either.

All that said, both Cliff and I like Science Fiction a lot. This morning we were talking about some new writers and swapping some URLs and I thought I'd share a few of them here.

The Fluted Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - This is from his short story collection Pump Six And Other Stories, which I highly recommend. Be forwarned, Bacigalupi's visions of the future are not entirely pleasant.

Hell Is The Absence Of God by Ted Chiang - Hugo and Nebula winner, 2002.

Exhalationby Ted Chiang - Hugo winner, 2009.

Understand by Ted Chiang - Hugo nominee, 1992.

What's Expected Of Us by Ted Chiang

((Lots of Ted Chiang, I know, but damn he's good. These stories and more by Ted Chiang are in his collection Stories Of Your Life And Others, also highly recommended).

That's all for now. Hope you enjoy the stories!

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