Archive Page 2
May 25th, 2013 by jdsawyer
If you envision science-fictiony science projects as children that come in generations, then the generation that gave birth to SETI is a pretty impressive generation indeed. The minds behind it are contemporary with (and sometimes, identical to) the minds that came up with ways to find black holes, with nanotechnology, with asteroid mining, with AI, with digital communications, and with dozens of other technologies we live with every day.
As aspiration, SETI is wondrous. I love it. Can’t get enough of it, in fact. And you can’t find a better spokesman for a fringey-science area than Seth Shostack, who is a seriously grounded guy and a major mensch (and a pleasure to listen to). And it’s predicated on things like The Drake Equation, and on the grandest notion in all of science (and science fiction): That the universe might just be teeming with intelligent life, and no matter how far we grow, an infinite horizon will still lie before us.
But as science? It’s kind of like that kid in your first grade class who looked promising, was ultra-cute and really smart, and then wound up sort of lazing through life living in his parent’s garage and working on his guitar licks hoping he’ll be the next Slash. SETI hasn’t accomplished much. A few promising (and unreplicated) data points aside, they haven’t found anything yet.
The interesting question for me is: Why? Or, as Enrico Fermi put it, the most important question we must face is: “Where is everybody?”
Continue reading ‘Sufficiently Advanced? Thoughts on SETI’
May 24th, 2013 by jdsawyer
Okay, you guys asked for it. To go with the taco meat, here’s the salsa recipe:
5 or 6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 fresh jalepeno, minced
1 Poblano pepper (a milder chili with a different kind of flavor than the jalepeno–sometimes marketed incorrectly as “pasilla” which is why I’ve linked to wikipedia, which has a photo)
1 lime, juiced
2 shallots, minced
0-3 Chile’s de árbol (for heat), minded ultra-fine
1 bunch of cilantro, minced (Note: Not everyone can eat cilantro. Some folks have a gene that makes it taste like soap. If you have that gene, do not include cilantro).
Chop everything to a fine-to medium-fine consistency, except for the tomatoes, which are better if left slightly chunky. Mix in a bowl. Add the lime juice and a tablespoon or so of salt. Cover and let stand ~20 minutes. This will leach moisture out and allow the flavors to marry. Eat on chips, tacos, use as a basis for guacamole, etc.
Note: The best way to get really amazing variations with salsa is by experimenting with different peppers. Each type of pepper has its own flavor and reacts with the other vegetables in a unique way.
The second best way is to play with the texture. Puree’d into a picante sauce, this recipe is very different from serving it as a moderately chunky salsa. Experiment
This concludes your recipe for today. Enjoy!
May 24th, 2013 by jdsawyer
It’s no coincidence that food shows up frequently in my books, and often in a starring role. Cooking is one of my passions. Every once in a while I share a recipe on this blog, usually in response to someone asking for it. That time has come again.
Continue reading ‘Taco Seasoning Recipe’
May 22nd, 2013 by jdsawyer
The end of May is upon us, summer is coming, and with it the opportunity for beach reading, vacation reading, and campfire-side reading. What better way to celebrate the summer than with your favorite hard-boiled Bay Area Private Eye, Clarke Lantham?
Lantham is the first of several treats I’ve got lined up for you this summer and he comes gift wrapped with three major events hitting between now and the fourth of July.
- Silent Victor in Paperback
That’s right. At long last, the fourth and most current Clarke Lantham novel will be coming in paperback next week, with all the car crashes, alien abductions, conspiracy theorists, spies, science museums, gunfights, international incidents, murder, mayhem, nipple jewelry, and hardcore snark you’ve come to expect from a Lantham novel. Four hundred pages long, this breathless thrill ride will keep your ass glued to that beach towel long after the tide comes in to sweep you away.
- And Then She Was Gone blog serialization
Many of you discovered this blog through the podcasts, which means you may not have had your first taste of Lantham. Well, your wait is just about over. In celebration of item 3 on this list, and to build anticipation, starting next week I will be serializing the very first Clarke Lantham Mystery, And Then She Was Gone on this very blog. Each episode will cover between 1500 and 3000 words, and will post in html and as an epub (which will also go on the podcast feed). The book will stay up until a month after the entire book has finished its serialization, so those of you following along will be able to read it all the way through (even if you come in late). New installments will post every Tuesday and Thursday, ideally positioned to help you get through the middle part of your work week. The entire process should take ten to twelve weeks, so I can keep you on tenterhooks all summer long. [insert evil laugh here]
I might even do some Dealing In episodes to augment the experience, so sharpen those death threat skills and get your comment-rants ready!
- He Ain’t Heavy a.k.a. Lantham #5
This is the biggie, the one I’m really excited about. The fifth Clarke Lantham Mystery, He Ain’t Heavy, is coming at the end of June. In this one, Lantham faces down tech billionaires in his most disturbing adventure yet, one that brings him face-to-face with his own mortality (and lack of cooking ability) and plunges him headlong into a world of venture capitalists, arms dealers, corrupt cops, Evangelical social activists, rambunctious puppies, surly sherrifs, and mexican drug lords. If you thought And Then She Was Gone was fast paced, if you thought Silent Victor was perverse and twisty, if you thought Smoke Rings was emotinoally harrowing, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Paperback and ebook releases are scheduled for the same day, and we’ll have the facility to do pre-orders for signed books (both singles of book five and complete sets, all signed), which I’ll update you on as the time draws nearer.
More news soon. Enjoy your various conventions–and look for me in the bar at Baycon, where I’ll be sneaking in an appearance!
April 22nd, 2013 by jdsawyer
Hey Everyone –
Due to extenuating circumstances, I won’t be able to make Balticon this year. I’ve sent refunds to everyone who ordered photo sessions. Hopefully we can do it next year!
April 19th, 2013 by jdsawyer
Yesterday, I wound up in a protracted philosophical argument with Gail Carriger about the relative utility and desirability of cats and dogs. While normally such conversations between cat people and dog people devolve into “this is my species, that’s yours, let’s not kill each other about it” (or into actual violence), this conversation took a different path.
Since both Gail and I are academically bent (and I do mean “bent”), we wound up debating the relative merits of dogs and cats, and their inherent fitness for different purposes. Then, as is the wont of the academically bent, we formulated our conclusions into a proper theory. Here it is.
The Theory of Domestic Animals as Sorted by Suitedness for Purpose
The evidence shows that people interested in interactive television, mobile fuzzy furniture, a belligerent work distraction, or an incentive to attempt developing their telepathic abilities would be best served by the purchase of a feline of a color scheme that compliments the interior decor.
The evidence further shows that people who in search of a sidekick will be best served by the purchase of a canine with a compatible temperament and a coat suited to the local climate.
Now you know. And knowing is…well, you know.
April 18th, 2013 by jdsawyer
Despite a complete lack of exertion on my part (due mainly to being so busy I forgot to send in the programming survey), I will indeed be at the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition. My lone panel is on publishing at 1pm on Sunday the 28th, though I may get slotted in elsewhere.
If you’re going to be there, give me a shout!
April 12th, 2013 by jdsawyer
This post contains language you might not want your boss to read over your shoulder. It’s a comparative taxonomy of two subspecies of four-letter excrement. You have been warned.
Continue reading ‘On Equine Excrement’
April 10th, 2013 by jdsawyer
Note: Due to extenuating circumstances, I will not be able to make Balticon after all this year. The offer is withdrawn, all of you who were kind enough to order a session have received refunds. Hopefully next year!
I’ve now missed two straight Balticons, much to the chagrin of many of you who start asking me about it this time of year. This year, I’m on the cusp. I’ve been invited on programming, and am very excited about going, but…
Continue reading ‘Your Photos Will Send Me To Balticon’
April 5th, 2013 by jdsawyer
Clarke Lantham, the hero of my detective series, lives and works around the San Francisco Bay. One of the features of the books that draws frequent comment is how much the Bay itself is a character in these stories.
Truth be told, it’s an intentional feature. I’ve been a lot of beautiful places in my life, even lived in a few of them (and some ugly places too), but there is something about the San Francisco Bay that can keep a soul fascinated for eternity.
If you’ve wondered what it is, and you want a taste, check out this video. It may explain a few things. Set aside about five minutes to just watch and enjoy. Moments of great beauty deserve undivided attention.