We’ve had a lot of wonderful guests in Extropia, but next Sunday we’re going to have a very special visitor!
Robert J. Sawyer (SF Writer in SL) will be joining us for a discussion of his novels and his visions of the future, in life extension, robotics, artificial intelligence, SETI, inter-species ethics and many more fascinating topics. And, he’ll be sticking around afterwards to join the Extropia Book Club in a discussion of his latest novel, Rollback, just named as a finalist for the Hugo Award!
Please join us at noon, in the Central Nexus in Extropia Core, Extropia, Second Life!
Robert J. Sawyer — called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by The Ottawa Citizen and “just about the best science-fiction writer out there these days” by The Denver Rocky Mountain News — is one of only seven writers in history to win all three of the science-fiction field’s top honors for best novel of the year:
- the World Science Fiction Society’s Hugo Award, which he won in 2003 for his novel Hominids;
- the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula Award, which he won in 1996 for his novel The Terminal Experiment;
- and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, which he won in 2006 for his novel Mindscan.
Rob is also the only writer in history to win the top SF awards in the United States, China, Japan, France, and Spain. In addition, he’s won an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada as well as nine Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards (“Auroras”).
Maclean’s: Canada’s Weekly Newsmagazine says, “By any reckoning, Sawyer is among the most successful Canadian authors ever,” and Barnes and Noble calls him “the leader of SF’s next-generation pack.”
Rob’s novels are top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada, appearing on the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s bestsellers’ lists, and they’ve hit #1 on the bestsellers’ list published by Locus, the U.S. trade journal of the SF field. His seventeen novels include Frameshift, Factoring Humanity, Flashforward, Calculating God, and the popular “Neanderthal Parallax” trilogy consisting of Hominids, Humans, and Hybrids.
Next week’s Salon kicks off a cycle of several months of absolutely fascinating guests. On Saturday, March 15, from 1-3pm at the Central Nexus in Extropia Core, our Salon Spotlight Guest will be Soren Ferlinghetti (Robert M Geraci).
Robert M. Geraci is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in New York City. He studies the interactions of religion, science and technology with particular emphasis upon robotics, artificial intelligence and (more recently) online gaming. he has conducted fieldwork at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and in Second Life through discussions and interviews. In addition to publishing a number of essays on religion and robotics, he has just finished a book on the subject (tentatively titled _Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality_) and is planning a new book about religion and online games.
Soren and I have spoken occasionally over many months about spirituality and identity in the digital world. We have profoundly different perspectives, and attitudes towards technology in general, but I’ve always found him curious, open-minded, warm-hearted and fascinating.
Soren’s work was recently covered in New World Notes:
The Soul Of Second Life: In SL Spirituality Survey, 48% Open To Mind Upload, 62% To New SL-Based Religions
Thanks to Hamlet Au, we not only got Soren’s remarkable conclusions (more people go to church in SL than have sex, what?!), but the raw data supporting them.
At the Salon we’ll discuss Soren’s research, the interplay between spirituality and identity in the digital world, the evolution of religion, and many more fascinating topics sparked by his work. This one’s a must-see!
Thanks to CodeBastard Redgrave for being a fantastic Salon guest! It was good to be back after a two-week absence, and special thanks to guest hosts Argent Bury and Grace McDunnough for covering for me!
Codie screened her new machinima, Beauty is Only Skin Deep, and discussed her production techniques for machinima and for her new photo series, Boudoir Rouge. We talked creativity, tools, the status of new media and their growing reputations, and generally had a good time. We had a peak concurrency of 29, and made some new Salon mavens (tip o’ the hat to Al Kronos for his favorite word! 😛 ).
We’ve got a *lot* of news and exciting events ahead (including a big party noon to 4 pm tomorrow, for
‘s rezday), so please stay tuned!