Recent notes

The Day I Let Liberty Down

January 2, 2017

Sixty students were seated in a Victorian chamber with high windows and oak-panelled walls, gazing at the bejewelled and bescarved whirl who was Mme. Vaillancourt, a Parisian marvel of a certain age eased from the pages of Madeline. Young men were swooning, young women taking notes.

What’s even better than seeing yourself reflected?

November 29, 2016

"A shelf of books should be a compound eye, or a distributed network of inputs feeding marvels of inaccessible insight to readers in their armchairs."

Young Man On a Train

January 20, 2016

The tedium of a long train journey to Chicago interrupted by a strange platform ritual I'll never quite forget.

The Execution of an Ant

July 7, 2015

I thought that an ant farm would be a safe and untraumatic introduction to the responsibilities of caring for other lives.

If an AI is dangerous, it’s insufficiently I

June 29, 2015

It’s not often that I am obliged to correct Stephen Hawking.

Hawking, Elon Musk, and others I rarely advise, along with Bill Gates, who should have listened, have warned that humanity’s freedom or survival will be at risk when Artificial Intelligence emerges. This is hardly a new fear; this is default science fiction. An AI’s motives for enslaving or destroying us are often thin, so we’ll just call it The Dramatically-Satisfying Case Against Letting Humans Live.


The Man Who Remembered The Moon

"A superb story... an ongoing series of surprising revelations/suppositions — surprising, yet satisfying within the rollercoaster logic of its world." - advance praise from Matthew Sharpe, author of The Sleeping Father, You Were Wrong, and Jamestown

Buy at Amazon

Professor Connected

Philosophers contend with sex, death, Nazis, one another in Professor Connected, a novel that explores the bonds of friendship that hold us together, and the invisible wires that reel us away to our fates.

Coming in Jan 2017

My Reviews at Goodreads

0 of 5 stars
Sometime in the 90s I read that Michael Crichton scheduled his days in 5 minute increments, and I was awed. I think he must have written this book with his time-management software.

In a novel where we learn that an airliner is made of ...

3 of 5 stars
I came for dystopia, felt for a while I’d been tricked into a love story with cliffs and mist, but ultimately was glad I read this clever, curious book.

If you stick with this story, and engage with its main people, you will be rewarded...