Archive for May, 2010

D.C. LAUNCH PARTY FOR MACHINERY OF LIGHT, Wed. June 2nd/ Balticon schedule

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I’m about to head off to Balticon, but before I do I wanted to invite those of you in the Washington D.C., area to the launch party for THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT!

When: Wednesday, June 2nd, 7 p.m.

What: Reading at Borders Books and Music (1828 L St.) followed by afterparty at the Science Club bar (1136 19th St.)

Who’s invited:  Everybody.  So bring friends/lovers/feline companions/random strangers on the street.  Captain Zoom and Ajax will be doing shots and snorting catnip all night long.  You want to see if you can keep up with ‘em, now’s your chance.

And now I’m off to Balticon.  But first, here’s my schedule:

Saturday, 4 p.m. Reading

Saturday 8 p.m.  Balticon launch party with fellow scribes Benjamin Tate, Jeri Smith-Ready, and Laura Anne Gilman.

Sunday 4 p.m.  The Heinlein Panel

So see you there or see you Wednesday! And if you’re looking for beach reading this weekend, why not bombard your brain with the energy weapons of MACHINERY OF LIGHT.

THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT reviews: “brute force of genius”

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Here at AutumnRain HQ we’re monitoring the first reviews and mentions as we battle our way up the charts one last time.

Lincoln Cho at January Magazine writes that, “for me it all came together with the third book, The Machinery of Light . . .it’s taken me this long to really begin to understand the brute force of the genius at work here.

Jeff Vandermeer chronicles the release for Omnivoracious, citing “Williams’ hybrid military SF/cyberpunk/espionage” as an example of “intelligent, exciting near future SF” and mentioning that futurist Jamais Cascio has cited the Autumn Rain trilogy as one of the outstanding examples of posthuman science fiction.

Tony Smith at Starship Sofa lets me hold forth about the weirdness inherent in having relationships with imaginary people (i.e., one’s characters).

D.B. Grady interviews me over at PopSyndicate, in which I reveal why I write, what’s next and how I got here in the first place.

David Durica chats with me at SciFiOverdrive on the finale of the trilogy.

David Brendon of Barnes and Noble South Africa gives his initial impression of first book MIRRORED HEAVENS.

Only the Best Scifi gives their final impression on the same, and also becomes the first reviewer yet to realize that there’s a deeper meaning as to why these books are written in present tense.

Andrew Liptak calls MIRRORED HEAVENS a “unique, high-octane vision of the future.”

Tia Nevitt lets me weigh in on what it’s like to finish a trilogy.

Jessica Strider of World’s Biggest Bookstore talks with me about advice to writers and my not-so-secret crush.

Mentatjack indulges me as I talk about the technology behind the books in general and O’Neill cylinders in particular.

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review interviews me about space warfare and cyberpunk.

SFNovelists gets my take on saying goodbye to characters.

But you don’t have to say bye to them just yet—get THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT right here!

Gamma World

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

My post on vintage RPG Gamma World is now up at Check it out, and feel free to weigh in on the discussion!

And thanks to everybody for their support of THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT launch yesterday—more details later this week!

The Autumn Rain trilogy concludes

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

In stores today.

T-minus one till MACHINERY/back-cover text revealed

Monday, May 24th, 2010

One day till MACHINERY OF LIGHT hits bookstores, and the Autumn Rain trilogy concludes. Feline units Ajax and Captain Zoom can barely contain their excitement. Back-cover text as follows:

September 26, 2110. 10:22 GMT. Following the assassination of the American president, the generals who have seized power initiate World War Three, launching a surprise attack against the Eurasian Coalition’s forces throughout the Earth-Moon system. Across the orbits, tens of thousands of particle beams and lasers blast away at one another. The goal: crush the other side’s weaponry, paving the way for nuclear bombardment of the cities.

As inferno becomes Armageddon, the rogue commando unit Autumn Rain embarks on one last run. Matthew Sinclair, an imprisoned spymaster, plots his escape. And his former protégé Claire Haskell, capable of hacking into both nets and minds, is realizing that all her powers may merely be playing into Sinclair’s plans. For even as Claire evades the soldiers of East and West amid carnage in the lunar tunnels, the surviving members of the Rain converge upon the Moon, one step ahead of the Eurasian fleets but one step behind the mastermind who created Autumn Rain—and his terrible final secret.

You can pre-order THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT here, but really at this point, you’re basically just ordering it.  So go for it…

Where I get my ideas

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Like any SF author, I’m often being asked this question. Unlike Harlan Ellison and some others, I’m not inclined to get snitty about it. Why should I? It’s a serious question. I’ve spoken at length about how the research that kicked off the Autumn Rain trilogy was triggered by reading some of the U.S. military’s thoughts on the impending weaponization of space.  But if you ever want to fish for off-the-wall ideas, or just blow your mind before breakfast, there are three sites that can always be relied on to deliver the goods:

1. The brainchild of maverick physicist Jack Sarfatti, this is dedicated to a discussion of the technologies which would be needed to allow mankind to expand on an interstellar basis.  Cited in the late Robert Anton Wilson’s brilliant Cosmic Trigger, Sarfatti studied under Nobel Laureate Hans Bethe, and recently authored a groundbreaking paper with NASA scientist Creon Levit that may cast dark energy in a new light. And he’s easily the most entertaining conversationalist in all of North Beach.

2.  Clifford Pickover’s Reality Carnival:  Where Cliff finds time to write the scores of books he’s written is beyond me; his daily list of news items would make a book in itself.  And when he’s not sifting for online weirdness (or keeping an eye on the good folks at Wikipedia with his blog Wikidumper), he’s pushing the frontiers of mathematics:  he’s mapped out key features of the Mandelbrot set, and has credited with dozens of patents as well.  (I’m credited with the same number of patents as my cats are, a fact I find somewhat more grating than they do.)

3. Legendary literary agent John Brockman embodies the intersection of edgy science and big publishing money.  And his Edge Foundation is the place to go to see the world’s scientists on display in a slightly more informal setting than one usually spots them in.  Kinda like the Ted Lectures, only you don’t need to sit there and watch the videos.  Which doesn’t mean it can’t be dramatic:  check out this shoot-out at high noon between Lee Smolin and Leonard Susskind on the anthropic principle.

Meanwhile, four days till MACHINERY OF LIGHT!!!!

Two new interviews

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

…the first of those in near real-time.  I’m over at fellow SF author Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog today, answering questions and weighing in on the comments.  Learn more about possible Autumn Rain movie deals, and the original MIRRORED HEAVENS cover you’ll probably never see.  And Alex is a great guy too, so you should stick around and check out his commentary on various cultural goings-ons.. .

And I also have returned to podcasters Dead Robots Society!  Thanks to Justin Macumber and his cohorts— you can listen to my rantings here

Meanwhile, 5 days until MACHINERY OF LIGHT!!

The Machinery of Light

Metamorphosis Alpha: the first science fiction RPG

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

My latest post on deals with Metamorphosis Alpha, that out-of-control generation ship adrift between the stars. The prequel to Gamma World, James Ward’s “dungeon in the sky” was out of print by the early 1980s, but occupies a deserved position in the RPG hall of fame anyway.  Check it out.

Happy birthday to the Beasts!!

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Well, Ajax turned one on Sunday, and Captain Zoom’s birthday is today, so the three of us are doing lines all day to celebrate. And what better way to kick things off than by showing the world their birthday present.. . sent to AutumnRainHQ by the awesome Jess Horsley over at . .  a cool as #$# Buck Rogers figurine! However, as you can see, getting everybody to pose proved impossible in their coked-up state; though Zoom was eventually tempted out to see if Buck’s ear contained any more snow, Ajax became super-paranoid and decided the whole thing was a trap, so he retired behind the coffee table.

But whatever.  They’re both ONE YEAR OLD, so cut them some slack, willya?  Now go buy yourself some MACHINERY OF LIGHT, and keep these beasts in turkey for a long time to come…

Robin Hood, with spoilers

Monday, May 17th, 2010

The road to this particular Sherwood was a tangled one. A spec script entitled NOTTINGHAM got the ball rolling back in 2005; Crowe signed on to play a revisionist detective-Sheriff, with Robin Hood as a bit of a rogueish lech, and Guy of Gisbourne carrying all the Bad Guy Baggage. At some point along the way, Crowe decided he wanted to be the Man in Green—or maybe the producers just realized that a $200 million movie entitled ROBIN HOOD was the safer bet.

Yet the movie’s somewhat-unorthodox roots are evident on the screen all the same. I particularly appreciated the early elimination of King Richard—so often the Deus Ex Machina in these tales, here we see him as an out-of-control brigand-king who gets what he Fucking Deserves before the audience has had a chance to start in on the popcorn. Things from there got a little tangled—while I appreciated the high politics and mistaken identities and maneuverings, the whole Magna Carta link started to feel like a bridge too far, and left me wondering what the movie would have been like had it simply stuck to a narrower Robin-Hood-as-Odysseus-trying-to-get-back-home.

Of course, if that were the case, it would have been tough to have all those castles and setpieces–and that was one hell of a final battle with the French on the Dover coast, finally answering the question of just why so much trailer footage showed horses riding around on beaches. Though in real life the only ancient/medieval invasion ever contested on a beach was Julius Caesar’s. And what I wouldn’t give to see THAT up on the big-screen…