Those of you who play the “VCTB Bruce Sterling drinking game” had best steel yourselves to down your beer in one.
This time round we have the inimitable Sterling on video at the Google campus, pitching a collaboration to a dissappointingly empty and unresponsive room. He’s talking about two concepts he mentions a lot these days: ‘spimes‘ and ‘the Internet of Things‘.
And this isn’t just some blind fanboy linkage, oh no. This is worth watching for sf writers, readers and critics – because not only is the concept of the Internet of Things definitely sf-nal, but also because Sterling talks about how difficult it is for an sf writer to imagine interfaces for the ideas they create. It ties together design, technology and fiction in one pitch. The other guy doing the presentation is a rather dull speaker, so you may wish to skip through him to Sterling’s ‘Q&A’* at the end, but if you have the time I’d recommend you watch it all.
[* Actually less of a Q&A than a pitch extension, as only two people have questions – not that Sterling’s going to let that stop him putting out the message.]
There’s no need to feel jealous of Google employees for getting to see lectures and presentations by the great and the good on work time – because the Big G has decided to share the wealth and let us lowly web-heads watch the events in video form. I knew they had to be buying YouTube for a reason …
Of most interest to genre fiction fans will be videos of Jonathan Lethem, Kelly Link and Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Gaiman, and the incredibly recent visit by John “If rocks stars can tour, so can I” Scalzi.
There’s lots of others interesting people in the selection too; I’ve not watched them yet, but I’m guessing that Lawrence Lessig and Chris “Long Tail” Anderson will be well worth watching, too – whether you’re already interested in copyright issues and internet marketing or not.
Here’s another first at VCTB – the first time I’ve bothered reposting something I saw on YouTube.
Being an incorrigible science fiction reader, and leaning toward the harder end of the spectrum, I’ve heard plenty about nanofactories (or ‘replicators’, or ‘fabbers’ as they are sometimes called). But to actually see a visualisation of how one would work was pretty inspirational. Continue reading A tour of a nanofactory