Reddit: ‘Ask Me Anything’

I (/u/2oby) will be doing an ‘Ask Me Anything’ this Friday on Reddit Self Publish. Join me >> here << NOW!

I will be answering questions on writing and Sci-Fi.

“I am Toby Weston, software by day, positive-futurism by night. I’m writing my fourth book: Hard Sci-Fi, with dolphin Eco-terrorists, Sentient AIs, and an Internet of Animals. AMA!”

I will be uploading the transcript here afterwards.

Cross Pollination: Featured Interview with John Briggs

Lobster Books is linking me up with a few authors to do some cross-pollination. Kicking it off, here is an interview with John Briggs a 33 year old author who hails from Canada:

Science fiction authors necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about what might happen. A few standard tropes tend to make their way into the public mindset as well. Of the following more common tropes, which do you think will chronologically come first, and why? Tropes: first contact with aliens, instant (ansible) communication across unlimited distances, teleportation, deep space travel with humans in stasis, colonizing other planets.

Given our progress in technological development, I’d have to say that colonization would come first, followed by deep travel with humans in stasis. These are the most plausible and the least complicated or resource intensive. Teleportation may come next, though I don’t enjoy the idea of being torn apart at the molecular level and reassembled (or having a transporter accident). We’ve made some progress with transporting light but the power costs and the tech to reassemble someone across large distances will be a major hurdle. First Contact will come before instant communication: it’s more likely we’ll attract the attention of another species before we manage to send an instant text across thousands of light years. Though, FC seems unlikely at this rate.

When huge changes in technology occur, they are always accompanied by massive shifts in social aspects of humanity as well. What kind of social impact do you think will happen alongside the next major technological discovery?

Well, let’s hope we fix the current societal issues before we create new ones! On a more serious note, I suspect that the next new societal issue will be shifting our dependence on fossil fuels to cold fusion plants. The cost of which could be rather high until it becomes more efficient, and the energy industry will be thrown for a loop to be sure.

Many sci-fi books and movies rely on a unified Earth government in the face of an alien threat. Do you think something like is possible? Are humans capable of coming together to face an external threat or will our inability to get along en masse be our undoing?

If they value their survival, they will. Though, if we have a more insidious foe, we may see nations defecting to their side in exchange for alien technology. That’s happened way too many times on my Xcom runs.

A unified Earth government though? Not as a singular entity. Mega organizations haven’t really worked out in our history, and all it takes is one bad idea from that government to either screw things up royally or trigger a rebellion. Not something we can afford during an alien invasion. A council of nations is more appropriate.

What kind of futuristic technology that’s currently being researched fascinates you the most? (Thinking of mentally controlled prosthetics, quantum entanglement, private space flight / tourism, brain augmentation, etc.)

Transhumanism is one subject that fascinates me. Imagine being able to replace defective limbs or organs, or to be able to walk again after a spinal injury. We still need to fix the neural delay and allow subjects to control their limbs without so much exertion on their part.

Finally, where can we find more about your work?

I’ve written a military science fiction novel called “Instruments of War”, currently in its second edition. You can find it here: .
I can also be found on twitter @JohnBriggs2018, and on Facebook @JohnBriggs2018.

The sequel is also in the works. Hopefully school won’t interfere too much, and if everything pans out, I should have a first draft done by spring of next year. Keep an eye out!

Awesome! Thanks for doing this interview!

Leaving Messages for the Future…

I am fascinated by our ancient origins. My background is in Science and industry, but if you are reading this on my blog, you probably already know that my focus these days is Science Fiction. Good Sci-Fic is a mix of fact, gentle extrapolation, and fantastic speculation! So, staying true, I am thrilled to have an excuse to let my mind wander onto paths more fringe than a realscientist would be comfortable with, but I am still forced by the ‘Hard-Sci-Fi Hippocratic Oathto stay more grounded than a tie-died, new-age crystal-healer!

Science has come a long way in the past few decades, but one of the areas that seems to be stuck in the past is archeology (sorry). Many tweed-jacketed academics seem incapable of updating their worldviews based on the mass of new evidence pouring in: from DNA to luminescence dating; from ground penetrating radar to muon tomography.

Luckily, YouTube has given a platform to a bunch of amateur scientists (and in some cases tenured professors who expose heretical non-orthodox opinions). I started down this rabbit hole a few years ago in research for a new book, and am still deep down in the dark, but there is a glow…

If you like mysteries and bold ideas take a look at Martin Sweatman’s channel:

These people were trying to leave a message for their descendants!  that’s Us!
…will we listen?

On a slight tangent: a similar challenge: how do we write something that will have meaning in 100K years?

Perhaps contemporary thinking on this similar problem might help us get deeper into the heads of our ancient ancestors…