Sunday, December 27, 2009

Are We Alone for 12/28/09 - Time's Mysteries Part I: Marking Time

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Time's Mysteries Part I: Marking Time

ENCORE: Time’s a mystery, yet we’ve invented clever ways to capture it. From sundials to atomic clocks, trace the history of time-keeping. Also, discover the surprising accuracy of nature’s dating schemes – from the decay of carbon to laying down tree rings.

Plus, why the “New York minute,” stretches to hours in Rio de Janeiro: cultural differences in the perception of time.

You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Flash Fiction Friday For Dec. 25, 2009

Flash Fiction Friday - The latest stories and news from
Have a great read!

Jeff Carlson: A Lovely Little Christmas Fire

Posted on behalf of Jeff Carlson:

My latest story for Asimov's, "A Lovely Little Christmas Fire," has just been released as a podcast by the talented crew at Starship Sofa along with amazing new cover art by Tom Bevan. You can find it, and links to the podcast, here at Our narrator for this wacky holiday adventure is the indomitable Amy H. Sturgis, who does yet another bang-up job with the story's high tech action and romance. May your Christmas be merry and bright... and not overrun by genetically enhanced termites! Jeff

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Are We Alone for 12/21/09 - Journey to a Black Hole

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Journey to a Black Hole

A massive black hole lies at the center of our galaxy, a monster hunkered down in the Milky Way’s innermost sanctum. Here, the bizarre laws of General Relativity take over, as the physics we know break down. And our spaceship is headed straight for it.

Join us on a special dramatized 26,000 light-year adventure to the Galaxy’s hulking heart of darkness. We explore a cosmos held together by gravity – discover why it’s not really a force – and try to avoid getting too close to a black hole, the ultimate expression of gravity.

This program is part of the traveling exhibit: “Black Holes, Space Warps and Time Twists,” a production of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Find out more at:

Voices: Roland Pease, Lilia Roman, Roe DeVasto, Doug Vakoch, Patrick Porter, Gary Niederhoff

You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 new for Dec. 13, 2009

Here are some scrapes of recent posts at
Happy reading!

Are We Alone for 12/014/09 - A Man, A Planet, A Tenal: Panama!

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - A Man, A Planet, A Tenal: Panama!

While the Kepler spacecraft hunts for habitable planets beyond the solar system, we’ve let one of our own planets slip away! Find out why Pluto’s demotion to dwarf status created a public uproar as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson reads us his hate mail. From third-graders!

Also, how we might find Earth-like planets… the possibility of life on Saturn’s moon Titan… and TED Prize winner Jill Tarter’s vision for finding E.T.

And, the man who made it all possible: 400 years of Galileo and the telescope. Part of our series for the International Year of Astronomy.

You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, December 11, 2009

'Daybreakers' Trailer

Check out this HD trailer for "Daybreakers" courtesy of Hollywood Streams:

Flash Fiction Friday For Dec. 11, 2009

Flash Fiction Friday - The latest stories and news from
Have a great read!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Big News From Jeff Carlson

Posted on behalf of Jeff Carlson:

There’s a gorgeous photo on my blog in case you haven’t been to your local Barnes & Noble, where Plague Zone is being racked on the “New In Paperback” towers nationwide. This kind of display space is hotly contested, especially during the holidays, so it’s sweet indeed to see my publisher getting behind the book.

You can find my blog at

In the same entry, I’ve posted several links to recent essays and guest blogs about the book and the writing life. Or you can also find ‘em right here:

Are We Alone for 12/07/09 - Feather Knows Best

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Feather Knows Best

Encore Presentation: Can animals think? Merely asking the question was once thought ridiculous. But studies that range from chimps to birds to sea creatures have prompted scientists to reassess the cognitive capabilities of our animal friends. These results challenge not only our idea of intelligence, but man’s unequivocal perch at the top.

Learn the secret communication between camouflaging cuttlefish… how the smarts of Alex the parrot turned “birdbrain” into a compliment… and why brawn sometimes trumps brains in evolution.

Plus, why – after billions of years of evolution – our brains just barely work!


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flash Fiction Friday For Dec. 04, 2009

Flash Fiction Friday - The latest stories and news from
Have a great read!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Are We Alone for 11/30/09 - Skeptic Check: Vaccines: Give 'Em Your Best Shot

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Skeptic Check: Vaccines: Give 'Em Your Best Shot

As the anti-vax campaign rages, parents are just saying “no” to vaccines. But now the incidence of childhood diseases such as whooping cough are on the rise.

A number of studies have refuted the link between vaccines, autism and other chronic conditions, yet the anti-vaccine movement continues. Find out why. Also, how the media have irresponsibility framed the debate.

Plus, we panic over plague, sweat about swine flu, but don’t think twice about jumping in a car and roaring down a crowded highway at 70 mph. Discover why most of our health worries are overblown.

Also, Brains on Vacation and Hollywood Reality Check separate the facts from the phony.

It’s Skeptic Check… but don’t take our word for it!


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving & The Apocalypse

Here's a press release from Jeff Carson:

It's here! It's here! The nanotech apocalypse is coming right in time for Thanksgiving! ;>

Plague Zone releases tomorrow, but, remember, I'm not exactly Harry Potter, so the chains probably won't be knifing open their boxes of books at 12:01am tonight.

I expect Zone will be widely shelved and available by Black Friday and this Thanksgiving weekend (at least, I certainly hope so), but it is a December book and sometimes stores take a little time to unload. Zone will definitely be available online at the stroke of midnight.

Exciting stuff.

Those of you in the Bay Area, a last reminder: I'll be at the giant Borders in Pleasant Hill at 2pm on Saturday 11/28 for our big release party and then at Book Lovers in Sacramento at 1pm on Saturday 12/5. I know this weekend especially is right in the middle of the holiday madness, but there will be free cookies as well as autographs. That's right. Free cookies. If you don't come, I'll eat 'em all myself.

Pleasant Hill Borders
120 Crescent Dr.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Book Lovers Book Store
5800 Madison Avenue, Ste. W
Sacramento, CA 95841

Thank you.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are We Alone for 11/23/09 - Carbon Your Enthusiasm

Image for Are We Alone weekly radio show
Are We Alone - Carbon Your Enthusiasm

Bond it to oxygen and it’s the scourge of climate change. But earthly life wouldn’t be possible without carbon, and maybe that’s true for alien life, too.

And carbon has other exciting forms: tiny diamonds may be evidence of a catastrophic comet impact 13,000 years ago. And, chalky carbonates may point to a once-habitable Mars.

So get cozy with carbon. Find out if you could swap it for silicon in DNA. Plus, the conundrum of calculating a carbon footprint.


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New anthology: Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls

Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls, the first anthology from Book View Press, the e-book publishing arm of Book View Cafe, includes stories by Nancy Jane Moore, Vonda N. McIntrye, Sylvia Kelso, Amy Sterling Casil and Jennifer Stevenson.

Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls is available for the Kindle version and for other formats including pdf, mobi, prc, lit, lrf, epub.

Check out both this science fiction anthology and other Book View Cafe offerings at

The book description says the anthology "embraces both our pulp dream past and cutting edge future" and includes "rare reprints, hard-to-find favorites and new tales." Edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. Read it, yet? Reviews, anyone?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Special "International" issue of Apex Magazine now posted

This month we present a special “international” issue of our online magazine. Lavie Tidhar, editor of The Apex Book of World SF, guest edits this issue and brings us three excellent selections from around the globe. To round things out, Charles Tan interviews Malaysian author Tunku Halim and Lavie writes an editorial about the international genre scene.

  • Editorial: “A Celebration of World SF” by Lavie Tidhar
  • Interview: Tunku Halim by Charles Tan
  • Short Fiction: “After the Fire” by Aliette de Bodard
  • Short Fiction: “Benjamin Schneider’s Little Greys” by Nir Yaniv
  • Short Fiction: “An Evening in the City Coffeehouse, With Lydia on My Mind” by Alexsandar Žiljak


Apex Book Company - Dark SF, Fantasy, and Horror

Join the Apex newsletter!

Deep Thoughts With Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson recently wrote a guest blog for sci fi site on the subject of post-apocalyptic fiction. You can find it here

This will make good reading while your listening to the latest Are We Alone podcast:

Are We Alone for 11/09/09 - Skeptic Check: Doomsday at the Movies

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A new sci fi Christmas caper short story

Posted on behalf of Jeff Carlson:

Hi, gang, another heads-up,

Well ahead of the holidays, I have a new story entitled "A Lovely Little Christmas Fire" in one of the top genre magazines in the world. Asimov's Science Fiction is readily available everywhere. And they put me on the cover! And my publisher ran a full-page ad for PLAGUE ZONE inside! Shazammie!

"Christmas Fire" is a jolly biotech-and-special-weapons story set in Missoula, Montana, where our wicked smart heroine Julie Beauchain returns with her sidekick Thomas Highsong for another unique, sexy, mayhem-filled adventure. It's one of my favorites because this is a light-hearted action comedy unlike most of the very dark thrillers I'm known for.

You can see the cover and read more on my blog at

So run! Run to your nearest book store or news stand! The bugs are coming!!! What bugs? Why, the hyper-active gene-altered Heterotermes aureus machovsky termite swarms! Gaaaah!!! :)


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Video by Steampunk jewelry designer Daniel Proulx CatherinetteRings

Daniel Proulx, a steampunk jewelry designer, introduces the fantastic story behind his creations . See more steampunk jewelry made by Daniel Proulx :

Friday, October 2, 2009

Transhumanist film imagines the singularity

This in from A near future science fiction film that imagines the singularityhuman biology merges with machine intelligence and nanotechnology to transcend our usual limitations (aka short lifespans) premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival in Woodstock, New York.

In 2B - The Era of Flesh is Over: "Mankind stands on the verge of reengineering its biology—merging with the incredibly intelligent machines it has created. Mia 2.0 (Jane Kim), the world’s first ‘Transbeman’ and her inventor, the eccentric Dr. Tom Mortlake (James Remar), conduct a bold political experiment designed to prove that human reliance on the fragile flesh body is over and ‘eternal life‘ is at hand."

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, author of
The Singularity is Near (2005), 2B film executive producer Martine Rothblatt, and machine ethicist Wendell Wallach, author of Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong, discussed AI, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering with bioethicist James J. Hughes at the premiere. The panel was called Redesigning Humanity - The New Frontier.

See the movie trailer at It starts with a q
uote from poet Rainer Maria Rilke, "The future enters in us before it arrives."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Scientist features science fiction: enter flash fiction competition by Oct. 15

New Scientist magazine highlights science fiction in its September issue, Science fiction: The stories of now, edited by Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars trilogy). Read flash fiction by Ken McLeod, Nicola Griffith, Ian McDonald, Geoff Ryman, Stephen Baxter, Paul McAuley, Ian Watson, and Justina Robson and book reviews of Wireless by Charles Stross, Chalot Crescent by Fay Weldon, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, and Oceanic by Greg Egan.

Then, submit your own flash fiction (350 words or less) set 100 years into the future to the magazine's competition by Oct. 15.
Stephen Baxter (Ark, 2009) leads the judging. One story will be chosen for publication in a (near?) future issue of New Scientist. A selection of stories will be published at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New steampunk Web site: CoalCitySteam

Emilie P. Bush, author of the forthcoming steampunk novel, Chenda and the Airship Brofman, has a new Web site devoted to all things steampunk at Read the first chapter of Chenda and the Airship Brofman.

Sunday, September 20, 2009 Transparent aluminium is 'new state of matter' is reporting that transparent aluminium is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Below is a snippet from the article:

"Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminium by bombarding the metal with the world’s most powerful soft X-ray laser. 'Transparent aluminium' previously only existed in science fiction, featuring in the movie Star Trek IV, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion."

You can read the rest of the article here:

(Actually this article should be posted on the Science News Page, but I thought I would spread things out a bit and post it here. ~ Jim)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Broad Universe News

Just a short FYI that there is a new Science Fictions News Sites Links List and the first site added is:

Broad Universe News

An RSS read for the Broad Universe blog has also been added.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Looking for contributors for this section

A lot of effort goes into keeping the NWSFS News Blogs on Blogspot going, and we could really use some in help keeping up with all the news.

NWSFS News is currently looking for local fans or writers who are interested in participating in a news blog focused on the science fiction, fantasy, and horror fan and writing communities in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia). We specifically need help with the Blog Feeds and News, Science Fiction News Feeds, and Science News sections of this blog.

One of the nice things about using Blogspot is that "author" rights can be given to a large number of people, so anyone with a GMail Address or a Google Account can participate in the growth of this blog. If you have are interested then drop me a line and we can discuss getting you on board.

Cheers ~ Jim Cox (nwsfsnews at gmail dot com)

Sunday, March 1, 2009 - Funky Fanboy Fun!

While tripping around Digg I came across a positing about the article "Phoenix Five: A Groovy 70s Low Budget Aussie Space Opera" which just blew me away. Phoenix Five was a Australian space opera from 1969-1970 featuring the adventures of Captain Roke, Ensign Adam Hargreaves, Cadet Tina Kulbrick, and their computeroid Karl in their quest to prevent Zodian the humanoid, and his computers Alpha and Zeta from taking over the universe. If you are into campy Sci-Fi you have got to check out this article, especially the video clips. Great stuff :-)

By the way, if you are a Star Trek fan then you have got to check out another great article from the site entitled "Star Trek Collections: Live Long and Acquire, err I Mean Prosper…" about fanboys who are making videos to show off their collections. Not a bad use bandwidth huh?

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had never hard of until now, and I must say that I am quite impressed with the site. So much so that I've gone ahead and added to the feeds on the sidebar. Expect more news about the site post here in the future.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

News snippetts for 01-31-09

Here are a couple of headlines that may be of interest to some of you:
We are still looking for contributors for this section, so if you are interest drop us line at newsnews at gmail. Cheers! ~ Jim Cox

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Some old, but interesting news worth posting about

About a week ago TechRepublic posted 75 words every sci-fi fan should know, and while it's a nice collection of words that every sci-fi fan should know, I personally believe the list should be considerably bigger. Feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions as to what words should be on the list.

All you Steampunkers out there should be interested in this Steampunk Monitor mod that was featured on SlashGear a while back. The mod is pretty cool looking, and I wouldn't mind having one just as long as I can use a moder computer plugs into a wall outlet and not a steam engine. IEEE Spectrum also had this nice Steampunk article: The Steampunk Contraptors

User Friendly did a nice tribute to Majel Berrett-Roddenberry when she passed, and I meant to post it here, but forgot. Sorry about that.

If you buy the any of the science fictoin digests, then you might be interested in "Pulp Magazines Struggle to Survive in Wired World" from It's a pretty interesting read, so give it a glance.

You may also be interested in checking out, and the Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine.

There's lot of interesting stuff out there. I just wish I had time to find it all and post about it. Hey!, maybe one of you readers out there might want to contribute to this blog. Is so, leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Cheers ~ Jim Cox