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Archive for the ‘Upcoming Events’ Category

Cyberpunk Day in LA with Bruce Sterling

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
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The Rudy’s Podcasts feed has my talk on my Journals from May 1, 2015. Click the icon:

(For older podcasts, see my archival podcasts page.)

Video of the USC Cyberpunk day panel is still to come.
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My April 30, 2015 blog post:

I’m giving a talk about my Journals 1990-2014 on Friday night at 7:30 above Logos Books in Santa Cruz. Details in this image below. “Santa Cruz College” is just a manner of speaking, the sponsoring group isn’t “really” a college.

Last weekend I was at the University of Southern California in LA for a day of talks, panels, and workshops about cyberpunk. My old pal Bruce Sterling was there too, also Mark Pauline of SRL, famed for his “bad robots.” The pioneering VR maven Scott Fisher—now a film school dean at USC—hosted the event, and eventually his group will be posting some video.


[Photo by Karen Marcelo]

In the afternoon they played a “Techologies of Cyberpunk” compilation video with about a hundred clips from Hollywood movies showing people’s minds being removed from their brains and/or being implanted into robots.

I like to claim that my 1982 book Software was the first SF novel to talk about this precise idea—although sometimes people argue with me about this. Somewhat in the same ballpark, the ancient movie Metropolis has a cool scene with a woman’s body-shape being copied onto a robot in a lab amid showers of Tesla coil sparks.

But I do think Software was the first novel where (a) A human’s mind is extracted and stored on a computer, and then (b) The mind is copied onto a robot body. (I once got involved in a comment thread debate on this somewhere on this blog, but I can’t find that thread today.)

I’m issuing a new second edition of my Complete Stories this week, including all my stories from 1976 right up to 2014. You can browse the whole book online, and you’ll find buy links there as well…it exists in Kindle, generic EPUB ebook, and in (two volume) paperback form.

In LA, we stayed in the downtown Standard hotel. The downtown of LA is a lot livelier than it was a few years ago. A few blocks are as bustling as Manhattan, and with all these 1950s tan-brick office buildings. The LA Library is very cool, with weird languages on the front steps.

Bruce and I took a walk one morning, and were pleased to see a movie shoot in progress. The extras and the two actors were fleeing from something up in the sky, maybe a monster, maybe a UFO. The cameraman was using, incredibly, nothing but a Canon 5D SLR camera, mounted on a rack with a good directional mic. Another few years you’ll be able to make hi-def movies of your life, just walking around with a “third-eye flat-cam” on your forehead.


[Photo by Bruce Sterling]

We came across a huge wall of conduit pipes—later someone told me the pipes are stuffed with internet fibers. Like an Aztec monument, kind of.

We also saw a cool poster advocating quake preparedness. Note that those cracks in the ground spell “QUAKE.”

Bruce and I were basically taking pictures of all the same things. Similar sensibilities. Great to see him. He gave a good talk on cyberpunk at the meeting, saying something about the style being characterized by crammed sentences and eyeball kicks…and then he somehow got into a rap about Lafcadio Hearn, an expat writer like Bruce.

Bruce has a good Tumblr blog going these days…the pictures kind of clarify his in-person word avalanche.

Dig these rails laid down for a dolly camera shoot. Stairway to the heaven of media omnipresence.

Harking back, here’s a nice water tank I saw near Occidental, California, a few weeks ago.

Another shot of me and Chairman Bruce, this one by Scott Fisher.

And here’s Bruce, USC Prof Henry Jenkins, and Scott Fisher.

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“Dangerous Pass,” Journals, SF Scenes, Talk & Panel

Monday, April 20th, 2015
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Today’s eye candy, my latest painting. This one took me about thirty hours, a lot of layers and detail.


“Dangerous Pass” oil and acrylic on canvas, April, 2015, 40” x 30”. Click for a larger version of the painting.

I painted Dangerous Pass to help previsualize a scene in my novel Million Mile Roadtrip. My chracters are on an endless world, and they’re migrating from one Earth-sized basin to the next. They have two flying mascots, one is a UFO named Nunu, the other is a blobby creature who calls herself Meatball. My party includes Villy and Zoe in front, being lovers, with Villy just a bit uneasy, and Villy’s younger brother Scud is in back. The cadmium-red Scud is on the alert, and he’s noticing that the stones in this mountain pass are…alive. The composition and vibe of this painting were inspired by Peter Bruegel’s Conversion of St. Paul.

My 828 page book, Journals 1990-2014 is on sale now
* Paperback ($24.95) Amazon.
* (Kindle) ($4.95) Amazon.
* (Kindle and EPUB) ($4.95) via Transreal Books

And you can read a hefty free sample of the Journals as an online webpage.

I’ll be giving a one or two hour talk on the Journals at the so-called “College of Santa Cruz” group on the 3rd floor of the Logos Books building on Pacific Ave in Santa Cruz at 7:15 on Friday, May 1. The door is in the back of the building. Talk title, “Rewriting My Past.”

Oh, and another upcoming event, on Friday, April 24, I’ll be on a Cyberpunk Panel at the University of Southern California in LA. Bruce Sterling, Marc Pauline, and other fellow droids will be there too.

We spent Easter with our son Rudy Jr. and his family. Got a nice big collection of eggs. And endless line. Love the bare feet in this photo, so human.

We also went to our grandson’s third birthday party at Rudy’s house. They have a toy plastic play house and they put up a towel so the kids could “fish” by holding a line over the towel and getting, maybe, a kid-drawn paper fish in the clothespin at the end of the line. This image is like a Fairyland tollbooth.

Sylvia and I stayed in downtown SF for two nights for my 69th (!) birthday. At the cute Hotel Boheme in North Beach. We hit the recently refurbished Coit Tower. This mural is bird related.

Another shot of son Rudy’s patio. I like the plants and the toys. It’s like a diorama of life in the early 21st century. All the picture needs is people.

The top of Coit tower has a nice open feel, with high arches and the open sky. Some of the little windows around the bottom open up and you can breathe in that high ocean-scented air.

Branches on the floor of an old growth redwood grove. Like calligraphy.

We saw this on another trip, this one up to Occidental, CA—a spot I’d never visited, between Sebastopol and Bodega Bay. A friend of mine, Roger House, and his wife Marylu Downing let us use their AirBnb cabin for two nights. (More photos of this trip in a later post.) I got to know Roger as he proofread the Journals. He has a great eye for typos. And another of my friends, Michael Troutman did copy-editing and fact-checking, helping to get the proper names spelled right, as well as picking up the remaining typos.


View from Coit Tower. Click for a larger version of the panorama.

SF really isn’t a very large city, but it’s a gem.

I always like getting out of the house.

It’s good to finally have the Journals done.

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Reading with Robert Shults at Borderlands

Friday, November 7th, 2014
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On Saturday at 3 pm, I read my recent story “Laser Shades” at Borderlands Books in San Francisco. I appeared with Robert Shults, who recently launched his fascinating photo book, The Superlative Light. See the account of his project in the New York Times.

I taped today’s event. The audience included Jude Feldman of Borderlands, plus my wife Sylvia, my son Rudy, and our granddaughters Jasper and Zimry. To make today’s podcast fun, I taped Jude talking about the history of Borderlands, followed by Robert’s rap about his book of photos of the Texas Petawatt Laster Lab, followed by my story, “Laser Shades,” and then a little more talk about the technology of lasers. With Jasper and Zimry pushing in whenever they could. Kind of a cinema verite podcast, you might say. (57MB, 47 min).

You can play it right here.

Or go to my Rudy’s Podcasts feed.

Here’s Robert and me at the Rosicrucian World Headquarters in fabulous San Jose, California.

My story was written to fit into Shults’s book. The book contains lovely and sinister photos of the Petawatt Laser Lab in Austin, Texas. And my story is about a guy who uses a superpowerful laser to try and raise his dead wife from the dead.


“Laser Shades,” oil on canvas, February, 2014, 24” x 20”. Click for a larger version of the painting.

While I was working on the story, I wasn’t quite sure about how to end it, and then I made my new painting as a way of previsualizing a big scene. The guy in the painting is wearing special laser-proof shades and he’s (rather unwisely) holding a fetal “egg” in the path of a yottawatt laser beam. A yottawatt is about the power of the Sun. That zapped egg is going to hatch out some kind of weird person, so look out!

I have an older recording of me reading “Laser Shades” online also. Recorded in my home studio.

You can play it right here.

Or go to my Rudy’s Podcasts feed.

But don’t just listen at home, come on out and meet me and Robert Shults. Borderlands Books Cafe on 870 Valencia Street in the Mission district of San Francisco, 3 pm Saturday, November 8.

The saucer is waiting for you.

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Lit Crawl: Dark Lords of Cyberpunk—Recap & Podcasts

Friday, October 17th, 2014
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I organized a reading as part of Lit Crawl in San Francisco on Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 8:30 to 9:30 at Haus Coffee, on 24th Street near Folsom. Many thanks to Erica of Haus Coffee who helped us settle in.

Our session was called FLURB: Dark Lords of Cyberpunk, and was also listed as session #97: FLURB: Astonishing Misfits. Here’s the official Lit Crawl schedule and map.

The readers were me, Richard Kadrey, and John Shirley. We’re all cyberpunks, and we all published stories in the Flurb webzine that I edited and published through 14 issues a few years back. Samples of our work in Flurb are my “Tangier Routines,”, Kadrey’s “Trembling Blue Stars,” and Shirley’s “Bitters.”


[Photo by Wongoon Cha, whose story “Procrastination” was in Flurb as well.]

I read a San Francisco B-movie-type story called “The Attack of the Giant Ants.”

Richard read “Surfing the Khumbu,” about a cyberpunk woman who brings down satellites with her mind…and gets high off this. You can find this story online in Infinite Matrix.

John read the Flurb story “Bitters” mentioned above—it’s about a guy who eats brains to get high.

Here are podcasts of our three readings, each about fifteen minutes long.

(Note that Feedburner only shows my most recent podcasts. For older audio files, see my Podcasts page, which runs back to 2005.)

“The Attack of the Giant Ants” is scheduled to appear in print on the webzine Motherboard this month. It was inspired the Blondie song of the same name, and by the vintage movie, Them. Thanks, by the way, to editor Claire Evans for help in bringing the story to a level of full gloss.

Richard Kadrey read a second story as well, a horror tale about a serial killer who’s propitiating an Egyptian god.

John Shirley’s bravura reading / performance was ill, sick, and wondrous.

Many thanks to the enthusiastic listeners who turned out and tuned in. After the readings, they could only formulate one question: “What were you guys like as kids?”

And a closing thanks to the cute and very California-girl Laurie from Lit Crawl who helped coordinate the event.

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