Life on Mars… and beyond

The question of how we would respond to the possible discovery of alien life is one of the themes of Sea of Dreams. In fact, it was the initial impetus for writing the book. I started it because I wanted to explore how it was that we would understand something that had some of the […]

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Thoughts on ‘Speculative Fiction: Androids and the Prometheus Myth’

Just after writing about Elon Musk and his ‘summoning the demon’ quote about AI, I found this blog by Stephie Dror, Speculative Fiction: Androids and the Prometheus Myth. It’s a different reading of the whole AI/android versus humanity trope in science fiction. I hadn’t thought about it being an analogy for the struggle between parents […]

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Summoning the demon

Recently, Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Space-X, distilled his concerns about artificial intelligence as an existential threat in this quote, With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control […]

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Mark-making in the digital age

Viewing Rothko to Richter: Mark-making in Abstract Painting at the Princeton Museum of Art, I was struck by the concept of mark-making and what the making of mark signifies. The exhibit explored the ways in which certain abstract artists in the postwar period explored the form of painting. More specifically, the exhibit engaged with how […]

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Morning in the desert passage

The sun fanned slowly across the side of the mountain, spreading its light unevenly at first. As she sat there watching it, more and more of the mountain was illuminated until only the deepest crevices and caves retained the night’s shadow. Where she knelt on her small mat in the soft sand sliding down into […]

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Adaptation not annihilation

I have been visiting Jordan for the first time. A relative of mine, who has lived here for a year, said the country is the fourth poorest in terms of water in the world. He was saying how they get a monthly water delivery to the tanks on their roof. If you run out of […]

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The Mitchell Theorem

[This story is a riff on “The Clock That Went Backward” by Edward Page Mitchell] During my early teens, I was sent, for a week each summer, along with my step-mother’s son Henry, to stay with our Aunt Eva on Mount Desert Island. Every June, after the school year was over, my dad would drive […]

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Global history

In this weekend’s FT, there was a review of Juergen Osterhammel’s ‘The Transformation of the World’. The book describes the global history of the 19th Century with a focus on how it marked a complete reinvention of the social, political and economic relationships on the planet. Implicit in this argument is the idea that this […]

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