Putting the life back in science fiction


21st Century Space: two views

I’m supposed to be writing about the upcoming election right? Because my job as an American citizen at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history is to help spread all the psychological warfare tactics being deployed by all sides to get us to be afraid and either vote or not.

Screw that. By the way: Vote! That’s all I’m going to say right now. It’s not that I’m not busy with local politics (hence the silence on this blog). Rather, it’s that I suspect that your adrenal glands are getting worn out by the psywar, so I wanted to give you a little respite. Over the last month, I’ve read two very different visions of space for the 21st Century, and I wanted to share them.

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Dystopia or Utopia: Either way it hurts
April 10, 2020, 2:05 am
Filed under: disasters, futurism, Hot Earth Dreams, Uncategorized

I’m doing fine, asymptomatic at the moment and hoping to stay that way until a working vaccine shows up.  Hope you’re the same, or better yet, that you had a mild case and are now immune.

Anyway, good wishes aside, I wanted to say something I haven’t dared say for weeks: as bad as this crisis is, I suspect it’s a training wheels exercise for what we’ll have to do to deal with climate change.  What I think right now is that if we seriously try to flatten the curve on greenhouse gas emissions, that effort is going to be like what we’re going through now, but longer and more thoroughly disruptive.  It pretty much has to be if we’re going to avoid a mass extinction.

However, if you’re an artist looking for inspiration out of the darkness, that isn’t a bad thing. Continue reading



The inevitable Covid-19 post
March 20, 2020, 6:14 pm
Filed under: disasters, Hot Earth Dreams, livable future, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

There’s not too much I can say about Covid-19, but there are some things that need to be said.

First, stay safe.  This is going to go on for months, and it’s unlikely we’re going to go back to things they were the way before even after there are effective vaccines, treatment, and herd immunity. Continue reading



Predictions for 2020 and beyond
December 30, 2019, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s almost the end of the year, so here are some predictions for 2020 and the 2020s.

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A Panglossian Cli-Fi Alt-History, for the holidays
December 14, 2019, 10:54 pm
Filed under: alt-future, science fiction, Uncategorized

Just some positive thinking–what’s happening to me?–for the holidays.  This is another in my series of alt-histories I wish someone else would write, and it’s kind of in the spirit of DC’s famous Watchmen comic.

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2019 Predictions. How badly did I do?
December 14, 2019, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Back on December 27, 2018, I posted a set of predictions.  I haven’t posted much since then, because I’ve been annoyingly busy with conservation work, fighting a bunch of leapfrog sprawl developments in San Diego County.  Most of that I can’t really talk about due to litigation issues, but I can at least go over the predictions I made a year ago and score how well I did.

Here they are. Continue reading



Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis and Alt-History

Just a quick note for those who, like me, need to fiddle for a few hours while the world burns.  Oh wait, that’s not quite what I meant, but anyway, if you want a distraction, here’s one: the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis.

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The anarchist lich cult of intergenerational wealth
June 6, 2019, 11:55 pm
Filed under: American politics, book, economics, Legacy Systems, Speculation, Uncategorized

Time to use the blog to take a break from real life.  With our overheating hot local economy, there are numerous and problematic developments going through.  Since I work on conservation issues for an NGO, I’ve my energy the last three months dealing with all these projects, writing letters and testifying.  It’s basically something new every week.  I won’t get a serious break until the next recession, looks like.  Or until I write a blog entry.

Anyway, I haven’t been completely busy, and I have had time to read.  This isn’t a book review, more of an impressionistic rant based on some of the stuff I’ve been reading.  In part as opposition research, in part as research for how to write a wealthy villain, in part because it sounded cool in a radio interview, a few months ago I read (and recommend) Brooke Harrington’s Capital without Borders.  It’s a sociological study of wealth managers, the profession that helps the super-rich hide their money through offshore financial centers.  Prof. Harrington did a really neat study: she embedded herself in the community by taking (and passing) the wealth management training and certification course, interviewing as she went.  She was quite open about what she was doing, but because she has exquisite people skills and put in her time in the trenches studying with the rest of the students, passing the tests and getting credentialed, she got wealth managers to open up to her and to talk about their world and the clients they serve.  Her book is a very lucid exploration of an industry that prides itself on discretion and secrecy.  This book necessarily is about the nuts and bolts of how things work.  Anecdotes are used to illustrate more than titillate, and all of the identifying details are stripped off. Continue reading



The Blue Sky Tipping Point
February 25, 2019, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Altithermal, climate change, deep time, Hot Earth Dreams, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Got some new climate science to talk about, yay! Actually, it’s not good news, but it is fairly solid model evidence for tipping point, up around 1200 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere (as I write this, we’re around 410.81 ppm).

The cause of the tipping point is Continue reading



Predictions for 2019
December 27, 2018, 5:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Although I didn’t realize that my last post was July 14.  I’ve been busy with stuff I can’t talk about (not writing a book, sadly) and family issues.

It being the end of 2018, what to predict for 2019? Continue reading