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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.54.37 AM


Sherwood Nation selected for Silicon Valley Reads 2016

I am really excited to reveal this bit of news that I’ve been holding onto. Sherwood Nation will be Silicon Valley’s 2016 community reads book, along with Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta. Hooray!

9781618730862_big iu-1

In all, I’ll be visiting the Silicon Valley (San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, etc!) for a total of between twelve and twenty events in 2016. The first will be the Silicon Valley Reads kick-off on January 26th. Here is info on the kick-off.

iu-2There is something so weirdly ironic about posting this news from here, deep in the Oregon desert  at a two week writing residency where internet is as scarce as water. I’m researching a book about archaeology, in which the height of technology is the Clovis point.  And a fearsome, game-changing technology it was, thirteen thousand years ago. I also find it interesting that after a career in tech, my first visit to the Silicon Valley will be for literature, to talk about a book that, because of the collapse, is essentially devoid of digital technology.

At any rate, I can’t wait, and I look forward to talking about the book with all those new readers.

Playa at Summer Lake

I’m here for two weeks to get serious on this book.  So far it is working, with some scattered anxiousness and various bits of fretting.

Summer Lake is incredible – a seasonal lake. When you’re in the middle of it, you feel like you’re on a different planet. 

There’s drought here, of course, like everywhere in the west. And so the lake disappeared a little earlier. In the center of it, there is not a thing alive. No insects, no birds fly over, no other human can be seen. Eerie.

Also I’ve made some friends.

Here’s a 360 I made from the center.