Sunday, November 29, 2020

2020 Stuff

Fiction

'Oh God, the Dogs!' is a short story written in response to the Chilean SF author Elena Aldunate's 'Juana y La Cibernética,' translated into English for the first time by Ana Baeza Ruiz and Elizabeth Stainforth and published in a dope little Riso zine from Desperate Literature and Do the Print in Barcelona. Cover design by Terry Craven. 'Oh God, the Dogs!' is also a companion (species) piece to 'Cat, I Must Work!' (Big Echo, 2016).

'Please Don't Let Go' is a short story about worker's comp, medico-legal reporting, and super powers. It was published this year in Fireside Fiction, with an audio version by Hollis Beck. Thanks also to Kate Dollarhyde and Chelle Parker.

Nonfiction

Foundation 137, 49.3 (Winter 2020) contains my essay about Cory Doctorow, credit theories of money, and the entrepreneur considered as a kind of cryptid. 'Estranged Entrepreneurs and the Meaning of Money in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.'

Visualising Uncertainty: An Introduction (AU4DM 2020) by Polina Levontin, Jana Kleineberg, me, et al. 

Games

Sad Press Games. The Shrike is a game about fantastical voyages aboard a skyship. It's in early access. There's also a voyage generator and a solo playtest tool for The Shrike. The Sorcerer Sends for a Sandwich is a mini-RPG about snacking while you conquer the world (see also 超级大坏蛋召唤零食). Heterotopia Hooks is set of roll tables for generating ideas for postapocalyptic and/or solarpunk settlements. It was made for the David Graeber memorial games jam, and is partly a spin-off of Fury Road Trip, another mini-RPG forthcoming in early 2021.

Editorial

Two issues of Vector, 291 (co-edited with Polina Levontin) and 292 (co-edited with Polina Levontin and Rhona Eve Clews, a special issue on SF and contemporary art).

Publishing

Sad Press poetry published chapbooks by Vahni Capildeo, Mai Ivfjäll, Helen Charman, and Nicky Melville. We might just squeeze in another before the end of the year, but more likely we'll have two more books out in early 2021.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Algorithmic governance fiction

 This is a question really. I have written some fiction on the theme of algorithmic governance (algorithmic governmentality, algocracy), like:

These are stories that are trying to explore the friction you experience living in automated processes that have a particular model of who and what you are, and creates affordances and nudged based on that model. I'm sure there are lots of works like this out there and I'd like to make a list. Suggestions welcome, and/or I'll expand this when I think of more.

For example:

There is also another SFF trope that is adjacent to this, which you might call AI takeover, which is much more to do with automated processes behaving in unexpectedly anthropological ways. There are obviously overlaps, but I think mostly I'm interested in something else here. As Janelle Shane of AI Weirdness puts it (I'm paraphrasing), the risk is not that AI won't do what we ask, but that it will do exactly what we ask. I think what I'm looking for is Algorithmic Governance Weirdness, a subset of AI weirdness.