Related Topical Blogs: Alan Turing, Synthetic Humans, and Future Mexico
I edit an online magazine, SF Around the World, as well as maintaining a series of topical blogs that relate to various aspects of Luck and Death at the Edge of the World. Click a banner to go there.
SF Around the World
SF Around the World gathers news, links, video, and other items of interest related to speculative fiction. It emphasizes SF that comes from outside traditional, English-language, American and European sources, although it deals with SF from anywhere and everywhere. Speculative Fiction, in this case, is broadly construed to include science ficiton, fantasy, horror, and less identifiable forms of imaginative fiction.
The Turing Centenary
The Turing Centenary: Alan Turing was a mathematician. He is widely regarded as having invented the theoretical underpinning for the programmable, multi-purpose computer and his codebreaking work was critical to the Allied victory in World War II. Turing was also gay at a time when engaging in gay sex was a criminal act. After the war he was charged criminally, pleaded guilty, was forced to undergo “chemical castration” in order to avoid prison, and lost his clearance to do high level government work. Two years later he committed suicide. In Luck and Death a conscious artificial intelligence — which normally lives within the security system of a wealthy man’s estate — is temporarily placed in a human “shell” (a synthetic human body) and chooses one that is a simulacrum of Alan Turing.
June 23, 2012 was the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth and 2012 was the official Alan Turing Year, with events in twenty countries. The Turing Centenary counted down the days until the centenary, and now counts down to his bicentennial, with posts about his life, his work, and his modern legacy in the science, the arts, and society.
Homo Artificialis: the synthetic human bodies that appear in Luck and Death are the natural extension of current trends in robotics, artificial intelligence, the creation of synthetic organs (both built and grown), as well as systems that map human experiences and capacities through artificial means (such as the various forms of brain imaging). Homo Artificialis is concerned with the actual, current scientific work that could lead to the creation of synthetic human bodies or entirely synthetic life that can interact with humans as peers. The intermediate step of radical life extension — which allows the prolonged use of our natural bodies — is also covered.
Once & Future Mexico
Once and Future Mexico: A large part of the story in Luck and Death takes place in Mexico City, but of course this is the Mexico City of the future. I’ve been to Mexico several times — including a stay in Mexico City at a time of high political drama — and I was in its thrall from the first moment. I’m a gringo who now lives in Brazil, but Mexico still has a claim on part of my heart and it found its way into this story.
This blog investigates where Mexico is headed and what a future Mexico might be like, which means exploring its history and culture as well (the best futurists are always part historian). It also examines Mexican science fiction.
I have no particular expertise with regard to Mexico — this is my way of learning about what the country might become and how its future is represented in film and literature while providing interesting links and downloads for anyone who wants to join me. (Once and Future Mexico is in English because I don’t yet speak Spanish.)