My Thoughts Exactly

Cyberpunk Pioneer John Jurek’s nanotech-powered programmable KaeLF Skin finally arrives

Photo from Endgaget of nanotech "artificial skin"

Jurek's KaeLF Skin seen in the wild

 

I see from Engadget that some wacky scientists at a “defense”-related (quasi?)-governmental research laboratory have invented a “cyberpunky” electronic skin using nanotechnology:

Researchers working for the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab have figured out how to create relatively inexpensive “electronic skin” comprising carbon nanotubes enriched with semiconductors. Their process involves an enriched single walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) solution embedded in a honeycomb pattern of hexagonal holes. . .

The article goes on to say that this is a development reminiscent of the novels of William Gibson et al. But Gibson’s not the cyberpunk author that this story brought to my mind. I thought of John Jurek, whose 2000 self-published novel KaeLF Skin was about just such an artificial skin and the various fun and vicious uses it could be put to.  If I remember right, Jurek’s KaeLF Skin was invented at a quasi-governmental research lab — perhaps even Berkeley itself; I can’t seem to find my copy of the book right now to fact-check. But in any event, much of the book concerns Berkeley Laboratory-type doings. The Engadget article could have been ripped from KaeLF Skin’s prologue, that’s how close Jurek’s book is to this story.

I forget how John and I discovered each other’s books, but since we had both written and published cyberpunky thrillers based on nanotech themes, we agreed to do a book swap: he sent me an iUniverse (printed) copy of KaeLF Skin and I sent him a copy of my Acts of the Apostles.  He wrote a glowing review of my book for the Midwest Book Review,(alas, since confined to oblivion), and an abbreviated version of that glorious review for Amazon. I wrote a positive but somewhat less glowing review of his book and posted it on Amazon. After that we exchanged emails for a few months, and I remember that he was pretty down about the poor reception that his book gotten– like most self-published novels KaeLF Skin didn’t sell many copies and got few reviews.

My original review of KaeLF Skin, which I posted on Amazon, is below. Read More »

Posted in I Fear These Things, Memology, My Thoughts Exactly, Wetware, Writing | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

General Exception

And now, a word from our polar opposite…

Ray Kurzweil has has a piece in Forbes on his vision of the combination of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. According to him, we’ll have AI nanobots crawling bloodstream, repairing us, and augmenting our senses. In 20 years.

Umm… yeah.

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Posted in General Exception, I Fear These Things | Also tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Book Swap Musings

I’ve published two books that I wrote. Since doing that I’ve developed an appreciation for self-publishers and self-published books. (Would now be a good time to mention that my Acts of the Apostles won Writer’s Digest’s National

Self Published Book award, first in a field of over 300? No? It wouldn’t?)

Anyway, from time to time reports of various self-published books have caught my eye, and I’ve written to the writer/publishers to suggest a book swap. In this way I’ve grown a collection of about 20 self-published books. Some of them have been awful, none have been great, but a few have been not bad, not bad at all.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a technoparanoid thriller about nanotechnology gone amok, written by a guy about my age in Wisconsin.

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General Exception

Royal Technoparanoia

Yesterday, Prince Charles published a letter in the Independent urging caution on nanotechnology.

Maybe John should send him a copy of The Book…

Posted in General Exception | Tagged | Comments closed

Wetware and Hard Science

Heinlein predicts again

Starship Troopers was Robert Heinlein’s novel about future soldiers. One feature of the book, besides a very right-wing political stance, was the suits worn by the soldiers in battle. Just as inventors made real the remote controlled hands in Heinlein’s novella Waldo, the military is looking to nanotechnology and MIT to make battle suits.

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