Silicon Valley III, return of Ben

I’m heading back to Silicon Valley for another week of events. If you’re at any of the following, please say hello. It’s possible I will deputize you as a Sherwood Nation-ite and provide you a badge.

Sherwood Nation patch

In addition to high schools, I’ll be doing the following:

March 7 –  The Tech Museum – 6 – 7:30pm: “Could it happen here?” Panel with
• Dr. Brian Green, Assistant Director, Campus Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Assistant Director of Engineering, Santa Clara University
• Jim Fiedler, Chief Operating Officer, Water Utility, Santa Clara Valley Water District
• Moderated by Barbara Marshman, Editorial Page Editor, San Jose Mercury News

March 8 – Santa Clara County Office of Education – 10 – 11:30 –  “Chance of Rain: The impact of climate change in our lives”  followed by a signing until 11:30 a.m. Books will be available for purchase.

March 8 – West Valley Branch Library – 4pm

March 8 –  Morgan Hill Library – 7pm

March 9 – Pearl Avenue Branch Library – 5:30pm

March 10 –  Evergreen Valley College, Montgomery Hall – 2pm

March 10 –  Tully Community Branch Library – 5:30pm

Also: The Silicon Valley Reads kick-off video is out, in case you’re curious.

As well as my on-stage discussion with Dr. John Farnsworth at Santa Clara University

Have a great week.



Sherwood Nation events, reader’s guide, etc.

Silicon Valley is treating me well. Here’s a general newsy update:

The interview with Santa Clara University’s John Farnsworth was awesome. Afterward science librarian (and more) Shannon Kealey  showed us the library’s Automatic Retrieval System.

West Valley College’s Maryanne Mills played the Sherwood Nation soundtrack as the audience filed in. And they had printed out the reader’s guide, which I’d completely forgotten about. I keep wishing I had a picture on hand of ‘Gato-ing’, which the reader’s guide has. Download the Sherwood Nation Reader’s Guide here. Lenore Harris was an excellent interviewer.

At Milpitas Library I had my first experience of presenting to a group which had all (or at least, nearly) read the book already. The discussion was far-ranged and much deeper because of it.

Speaking of libraries, this list of holds and availability for the book is pretty much the funnest thing an author can see… if you can’t reserve a copy, the Recycle Bookstore in Campbell has copies, as do many others in the valley. And there’s always online.

I have a lot of people to thank on an ongoing basis here, for rides and assistance and introductions, and I’m sure I’ll lose track of some. But thanks to Jack Lucas (a former mayor and one  of the Silicon Valley Reads  board members, selfie below), Tyre, and Chris Brown.

Jack Lucas and I, taking the scenic route back to Campbell, CA

Silicon Valley Reads kick-off on KLIV 1590, other formats

The kick-off event for the Silicon Valley Reads program with Emmi Iteräntä and I was recorded by the Common Wealth Club. If you’re in the Silicon Valley area, it will play tonight at 7pm  on KLIV AM 1590 

Alternately, you can listen to it at your leisure on the Common Wealth Club’s podcast (a podcast I recommend highly) – January 28 show.

Or on the Common Wealth Club’s website.

Emmi, Sal Pizarro, and I had a really great time doing this show — I hope you enjoy it.

New hypothesis for Fermi’s Paradox

Fermi’s Paradox: If there are so many potentially habitable planets, where are all the aliens?

On Gizmodo today, there’s a new, interesting hypothesis to answer Fermi’s Paradox, called the “Gaian Bottleneck Hypothesis.”

— essentially:

  • life takes a long time to develop, from single-celled molecules to complex life.
  • It is rare to find a planet’s atmosphere that is stable long enough  for this to happen

If true, three things:

1) our planet is a rare, rare anomaly (ie:  treasure)

2) this means the ‘Great Filter’ — planetary extinction — is ahead of us yet

3) there’s going to be a booming job market for xenoarchaeologists! Can’t wait to get my degree.


Novel progress tends to be fairly boring for onlookers. I doubt muralists have these kind of target doodads. All the same, passing up 65k words felt like a big milestone for me.

Scrivener helps me out here.

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