ZOMFG MosesTablet!

Paul Raven @ 27-01-2010

Jamais Cascio pretty much nails my feelings on the imminent sermon from Mount Cupertino:

Yes, I’m sure it will be wonderful, whatever it turns out to be. I’m also sure it’ll be overpriced, packed with glossy proprietary software and matched by more affordable (and more open) hardware within six months… but hey, I’m just one of the haterz, yo. I can live with that.

If you want a less partial and more sensible response, Charlie Stross has a post detailing what he hopes to see from Jeebus Jobs later today, including this important point:

Finally, if I’m going to ask for a pony, I’d like Apple to pursue a more enlightened policy towards folks who want to, er, compute on the computing device they just bought. The iPhone OS is locked down tight because under the hood it’s a kluge; if you jailbreak it you discover to your horror that everything runs as root, and there’s even a hopelessly weak root password (“alpine”) on what is actually a networked UNIX box as powerful as a mid-1990s Sun workstation. I’ll settle for a virtualized sandbox if inecessary, instead of a fully implemented security system — but please can I have a shell, a python interpreter, and some elbow room? (Not likely, but I can hope …)

Not likely, indeed. But hey, there’s only a last few hours left before the product specs get spuffed all over the intertubes like joyous geek ectoplasm, so there’s still time to get some dreaming done… feel free to catfight in the comments if you’re so inclined. 🙂


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Leonard Richardson launches Thoughtcrime Experiments

Paul Raven @ 06-01-2009

Heads up, writers! Leonard Richardson – the chap who wrote the rather excellent story “Mallory” that we published here at Futurismic last year – has decided to put together his own anthology, Thoughtcrime Experiments, and he’s looking for five  stories to populate it.

The full submission guidelines are on the Thoughtcrime Experiments webpage, but the basics are as follows: the stories should be between three thousand and ten thousand words in length, and accepted pieces will be bought for $200; Leonard would “prefer you send [him] a story you’ve already written and pounded the pavement for and acquired a couple rejection slips for.”

And as to style… well, this is why he’s asked us to announce it here at Futurismic:

I like science fiction at lot, especially science fiction set within fifty years of the present. It’s not as likely I’d pay $200 for a fantasy story, but if you’ve got a fantasy story set between 1959 and 2059, send it in. I’m not going to pay $200 for a horror story, unless it’s a really original parody or something.

More specifically, I like stories that engage with the pop culture of the past, present, or future. I like stories that use the alien to illuminate the everyday, or vice versa. I like hard SF that requires a degree to understand, provided it’s the computer science degree I actually have. I like farcical ridiculous gonzo pastiche.

So there you go. Check your trunk of stories and send something in – what have you got to lose? Good luck!


SHINE – Jetse de Vries and Solaris Books to produce a positive science fiction anthology

Paul Raven @ 29-10-2008

Well, it looks like all those who’ve been so negative about the positive science fiction manifesto will get a chance to see whether or not it can work in the real world. Jetse de Vries, former Interzone fiction co-editor (and a writer in his own right) has pitched and sold an anthology of positive sf to Solaris Books. Here’s the press blurb:

Shine is a collection of near-future, optimistic SF stories where some of the genre’s brightest stars and some of its most exciting new talents portray the possible roads to a better tomorrow. Definitely not a plethora of Pollyannas (but neither a barrage of dystopias), Shine will show that positive change is far from being a foregone conclusion, but needs to be hardfought, innovative, robust and imaginative. Most importantly, it aims to demonstrate that while times are tough and outcomes are uncertain, we can still bend the future in benevolent ways if we embrace change and steer its momentum in the right direction.

There’s a separate Shine anthology blog/website which Jetse intends to become “an open platform for optimistic sf”, and there are guidelines for those interested in submitting stories for consideration – the reading period isn’t until late spring next year, so there’s plenty of time to polish up your piece before sending it off.

I’m happy to say that, while we’re not involved in any material way, Futurismic is proud to stand behind Jetse and Solaris on this project, and we’ll be giving it whatever support we can; I hope some other science fiction venues will see the merit in supporting people who are trying something new, even if it doesn’t necessarily line up with their own personal tastes.

That said, it seems even the strident ladies of io9 are divided on the merits of dystopian science fiction… maybe Shine will win over the hardcore? We’ll just have to wait and see… 🙂


Possible downtime and weirdness ahead

Paul Raven @ 17-07-2008

Greetings, Futurismic readers! Just a quick heads-up – we’re in the process of migrating hosts again, which means that DNS changes are a-propagating as we speak.

Hosting being the brick-wall nightmare that it is, there’s more than a chance that things may go slightly awry, and Futurismic may seem to disappear or break in the process; rest assured we’ll be working hard to make sure there’s minimal disruption, but if you see some weird result when you try to visit, you’ll know what has happened.

With this in mind, THE CONTACT AND FICTION SUBMISSION FORMS HAVE BEEN DEACTIVATED so we don’t lose any important emails. We’ll switch ’em back on as soon as we’re able to.

Thanks for your patience – we’ll be back soon!