The machine needs you broken and compliant. But...
Subtle psychological terror transforms boring slasher movies into nightmare fuel that will keep you up all night wondering...
When science and horror hold hands you get mind-bending stories
Get past your "oneitis" for that perfect article, story, book, or course.
Dark synthwave music found on Bandcamp
You don't live in a free democracy when you're treated like an incapable 5 year old
We're long past the heady days of 90s optimism.
Science wants to explain what it can't even explain.
The gas giant orbiting this dead star really makes you wonder what else could be there
What's going on with all these simulations of simulations?
Dark synthwave music found on Bandcamp this week
Why clever AI machines will never be free
You can't be free if you aren't free to express yourself...
Humanism isn't a total wash but it's less reliable than a Ford Pinto
The missing ingredient to liberty isn't electing better politicians
When theory meets practice it's always a catastrophe
Dark synthwave music found on Bandcamp
Ancient Greek self-help lessons for creative writers and artists
You think we understand things? Nice try.
Nobody ever did anything great by chasing the herd
Your mind isn't a mini-scientist whipping up theories from observations
When your heroes believe in nothing, your culture is on its last legs.
What you're really seeing when you look at space pictures
You don't understand much about people if you haven't spent any time wondering about people.
A hard-won lesson from academia
You'll discover cryptids before geeks will code a superintelligent machine out of Bayes's theorem
Nerds get all bent out of shape over this author's moderately critical comments on AI
What can you say about a world where you can't say anything?
Cyberpunk can't be dead when it's right outside
It's a billion-dollar distraction cult full of bitter people
Not quite the contradiction you might think.
Nothing to see here, just a mysterious radio source at the center of the galaxy with no explanation
Why Alan Moore believes The Killing Joke turned heroes into angsty anti-heroes
What it looks like when the future is like the 90s
Create and curate a rock-solid shock-proof head-game
Why art has a purpose far beyond simple entertainment
You start to notice the same "tracks left in the snow" by successful people in any category
Spoiler alert: it's never for your own good
Why is it that hardline Science Believers fall for the most shameless mysticism?
When you change your point of view you change everything
Watch this brown dwarf break all the rules
This altruism isn't effective... and it's not even altruistic. What a ripoff.
The old myth of the struggling romantic artist who can't compete with the carnival-barkers just won't die... we won't let it
In which I riff on the Bigger Vision animating the lifeless universe around here
You may not find ET there but it's a pretty cool idea to play with
This publishing consultant takes a shiv to the pretty lies propping up the latest disruptive gold-rush
Even the most pretentious creative can benefit from business acumen
A lesson from this communist hero that even the most exploitative fat-cats must know
I don't care that they took their helmets off OMG scientists so stupid rite? It's still a great watch.
Forget about your craft. You've got to think bigger.
Who wants to live forever?
Pulp authors prose proves prescient
Keep your nose clean and your opsec tight
With spaceships and cool monsters and stuff too
The writers, musicians, and artists who survive and thrive understand the business
Having an implant wired into your brain might do a lot more than speed up your communication...
Forget the "franchise"... there's surprising depth in this classic 80s sci-fi action/horror
They don't sell reader relationships or personal brands, either.
That's far too ambitious a title for what you're about to read
Don't think you're exempt from systems thinking just cause you're a writer or artist or creative
There's a total breakdown between the experts and the artists... and you get to pay for it with sub-par stories
What words mean is more than "word games"
Inspiring stories have far more power than feel-good comfort food
And I don't mean the 8 foot tall albino bodybuilder in the flight suit from Prometheus
Just write the next book... sorta.
How this physicist's harmless question opened the gates for an existential crisis of cosmic proportions
Strike first, strike hard, no mercy. John Kreese got nothing on these aliens.
Think twice before getting excited about this ambitious project to rebuild human beings in the image of machines
There's good business reasons besides the privacy paranoia
Shameless pandering it might be... but the keen-eyed will get a free education in selling to a hungry niche
Interstellar menace or life-giving gardens for space travelers?
You're supposed to trust "The Science"... but what is that and what makes it an authority?
You find yourself at the bottom of a shocking number of remarkable science fiction stories
RP continues to flog this horse well into rigor mortis
Space opera assumes that aliens will be people, but maybe that's not what intelligence looks like
There's no realistic way to send human beings to live on other planets... but that doesn't matter to storytellers
Why the incurious and self-indulgent personality will always fail
These "pulp tales" still entertain even when there's no surprises
Writing to the market's demands can work, for awhile. But you won't build a career unless you do this...
In which RP lectures the reader on the hidden dynamics of your life and business
Sub-created worlds are vital to speculative stories, but nerds ruin storytelling with obsessive worldbuilding
How nerdish obsessions ruined storytelling
Most "space opera" is sword & sorcery with a futuristic aesthetic
What John Carpenter's cult classic shows about the futility of giving into fear and paranoia
The Hubble telescope peeps up the universe's dress and shows us a miracle
Free will isn't what you should be worried about
Physicists may talk a big game but it's all show
Genre boundaries were put there to sell books in bookstores, not tell you how to write a story
The human mind finds great pleasure in connecting the dots... and nothing gives you more dots than a good conspiracy theory
The hidden secret is in the 'name'
You must be ruthless in selecting the quality and sources of your attention
Who you hang around with can make or break your goals
Authors care too much about what unimportant people think
Keep your head clean and clear with the inspiring music of 80s
How these simple techniques used by all the top writers can help you create more works, faster
If you write fiction, you've got the skills to be a top-flight self-promoter. But few authors are willing to do it.
The surprising depth in this little-known gem by a legendary film-maker
Peter Watt's grimdark nihilism mixes the best of SF speculation with unlikeable people and a depressing message
What happens when sci-fi storytelling gets taken over by superstitious materialists
The market doesn't know what it wants... but your readers know what they love
The moralizers wanted to eliminate 'adventure stories' and gave us garbage moralizing with shallow characters instead
You aren't going to grow an audience by writing a newsletter that nobody wants to read
Cyberpunk isn't dead, but it has changed since the heyday of the 80s style
When we study humans as if they were machines, we lose everything that makes a life worth living.
When the writers try to critique everything, they're only telling bad stories
The gatekeepers aren't looking out for the writers.
Atheism has a place in speculative fiction but it shouldn't be the default assumption
Don't pack your bags just yet...
Lots of people could be watching you right now (and they aren't in Silicon Valley for once)
What happens when books become a customer acquisition tool?
Why listening to fans is a horrible idea for any creator
When writing characters becomes an exercise in virtue signaling, you've lost the plot (and your readers)
What you think you're doing when you write... and what you're really doing
"Write to the market," say the experts to the writer. "There's a hungry crowd out there. Give them what they want and your book will be successful." The lesson is that, what worked before will continue working as we move ahead. Keep writing those zombie vampire romances topping the charts
Why the business of writing isn't really about getting a book deal with a publisher
What happens when fanboys and bean counters take control of the writer's imagination?
Fiction needs real good guys & bad guys.
The hidden conflict in all science fiction stories
Solving the problem of space travel isn't about getting the right rockets.
In which I explain who this site is for, what it's for, and why you might care.