You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts
is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials
, heartbreaking eulogies
, and agonizing run-ins with fascists
) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting
science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed
2006 novel Blindsight [full text]
-- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room
, the Philosophical Zombie
, Chernoff faces
, and the myriad quirks and blind spots
that haunt the human mind.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Aug 25, 2014 -
Step 1: Compose your post to MetaFilter: Description: An inspirational Holiday Tale
from Peter Watts
. Step 2: Justify using the words "inspirational", "holiday", and "Peter Watts" in the same sentence:
I'm grading on a curve. Step 3: Do you want to warn us about any pictures?
Yes, I'm warning you. (Remember last time
?) Seriously, some animal lovers may want to skip this.
posted by maudlin
on Jan 6, 2012 -
: "We come here today in defiance of biological reality. We know that mammals are not monogamous (except for a few species of meadow vole with abnormally high levels of endogenous oxytocin) ..."
: "Your vows make it clear why I love you: your intellectual rigour, and your honesty, and your eloquence, and the way you leaven these with profanity – they’re the very things that I fell for, even before you made an x-rated cephalopod reference on a rooftop patio ..." [more inside]
posted by memebake
on Aug 30, 2011 -
Blogging the Hugos: Decline
, part 2
, part 3
), is a series of blog posts covering some dystopian trends in recent Hugo nominees and itself winner
of the of the BSFA award for non fiction. Meanwhile the 2011 Hugo finalists have been announced
, with Mefi favorites featuring strongly: In Best Novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects
by Ted Chiang (previously
), In Best Short Story The Things
by Peter Watts (previously
). Doctor who features heavily under Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (too many posts to mention
), but has strong competition from Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury
posted by Artw
on Apr 24, 2011 -
Peter Watts on Vampire Domestication (embedded Flash video, must click to start).
The mythical corporation FizerPharm ("Trust. Profit. Deniability.") share their detailed research into the evolution and possible commercial applications of Homo sapiens whedonum.
You will learn: How and why the "crucifix glitch" came about. Why you should run from a blushing vampire. How many kilograms of human are needed to make one kilogram of vampire. How vampires resemble two year old humans, domestic shorthaired cats, and lungfish. And why "survival of the fittest" should be reconceptualized as "survival of the least inadequate". [more inside]
posted by maudlin
on Dec 24, 2006 -