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Archive for September 16th, 2005

New Lifebox Website , Writing Notes , New CAPOW, Podcast (?) of a New SF Story

Friday, September 16th, 2005

I got my first printed copy of The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul. It looks great. If you want to help me out, please go on Amazon and advance-buy a copy now. The sooner they get some sales, the better off I’ll be.

WARNING. Some negatively energized individual at a place called the “Reed Business Group” (specializing in “business to business services”) wrote a horrible review of my Lifebox book for Publisher’s Weekly, and Amazon has a contractual deal with PW that they print the PW reviews first. The attack is so uninformed and inaccurate that I’m guessing there’s something about my politics that teed-off this little b-to-b drone, who takes umbrage at my having met Tim Leary. Help me out of this minicrisis by ordering the book now, lest the Pig smother my Magnum Opus in its cradle. That CA image above shows my crying towel…

There’s better comments and reviews on the Lifebox web site, which I’ve been spiffing up of late. In the process I made a nice new build of my CAPOW program with about a 100 Meg’s worth of good pattern files to load; the big *.CAS pattern files have multiple CAs in them. You can download the new build of CAPOW by using the Download Software button on the Lifebox page.

The first CA group shown today, was “The Kind Rain.CAS,” the next is “AintPaint.CAS,” and the one below is “LuckyNumber.CAS.” Each of these images goes with one of the short-short stories that separates the chapters of my Lifebox book.

One other bonus on the newly upgraded Lifebox web site: a 66,000 word PDF of my writing notes for the book!


My blog's not broken, I’m just distracted. I got a new IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad X40, and getting that working the way I wanted took some time. It’s a nice machine. While it was on its way, I could check its progress from Shanghai to Oakland to Los Gatos. The computer stork flying here from China.

I’ve been driving around a lot, going to Fry’s for this and that. I picked up a SONY IC recorder, it records about 2 and a half hours of stereo onto a chip that I can then, after a number of intricate computer acrobatics convert into an mp3 file.

If I took pictures of my California surroundings with the energy I bring to foreign countries would it look interesting? Gosh, look at all those cars.

I saw a cute baby in Starbucks. Kicking and rocking and reaching for his hanging toys. I’m hanging out in coffee shops more, now that I have the laptop.

I was planning to record my lecture in my philosophy course at SJSU yesterday, but of course the switch was off for the first half. But I did get a file of me reading a draft of a new SF story I’m working on, “Chu and the Nants”. I had posted the 35 Meg stereo 128 kbps MP3 of me reading a new SF story and discussing it with students here for a few days, and got some feedback from my helpful readers about how the audio sounded (not great) and how I might upgrade posting an mp3 on a RSS enabled site into a true podcast. But now (Sept 23, 2005,) having mailed off the story last week, I learn the story has been accepted by Asimov's SF Magazine (hooray!), so I don't want to muddy those waters by leaving the low-fi draft-version audio up.

By the way, “Chu and the Nants” is, in a way, an Answer Song responding to a concept in Stross’s Accelerando that really bugs me, to wit, the idea that it might be “reasonable” to grind Earth up into a Dyson sphere of nanomachines capable of running us all as agents in a virtual Earth that’s “just as nice.”

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