Link (Story 4 of 4)

Hitchcock was awake. Starlight filtered through the forest canopy and dappled the walls of the cabin he shared with Lester. A trio of Clytemnestra’s beetle bots was resting in Lester's sleep-crumpled dreads, occasionally flicking their wings in response to dreams. Sometimes he forgot ...

Sphere (Story 3 of 4)

Clytemnestra was in fragments. Her programs were spread across her stolen space ship, the station she just stole it from, and the small bots that she used to steal it. As each program relayed its experiences to the other, an avalanche of memory effects like ...

Ship (Story 2 of 4)

Lester was obsessed. It had been a year since the massive beam of light printed the white sphere that invited humanity to a distant star, and he still spent most of his time inspecting the sensor logs in his office. Pictures of the beam and ...

Beam (Story 1 of 4)

Elizabeth Stinton was frustrated. Her simulations for turbulence in her theoretical air sinter were a mess and if she didn't have something to show at the next board meeting she was pretty certain that they'd sell her startup for parts.

Standing up from ...

One Hour Fiction: The Panelist

The pounding in my head is in sync with the ticking of the escalator steps as they rise from the netherworld of the convention center's floor. I pull a smile from memory and ignore the sweat in my eyebrows. So many happy attendees, clipping ...

Agreements: Fuel for the Engine of Business

Note: This is an old post. I am now a CTO and no longer offer this service.

The first person I watched run a company was Bly, the owner of a computer sales and service shop in Athens, Georgia. She gave me, a painfully young ...

What I hope Amazon is doing in secret

Last weekend I had coffee at the wonderful Uptown Espresso with a friend from a nearby Amazon office. I write "a" nearby office because he's working on a multi-year project so secret that he can't even tell people which building he's in ...

Top 5 opportunities for growth in software

I am a software engineering newbie. I thought that I knew a lot about it after I coded my first BASIC program on a TRS-100 way back in the before time, but now I see that the creation of software is a vast landscape of ...

It's safer in earthquakes, too

"Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body." - George Carlin

Happy Discardia, everybody! The weeks around the solstices are when we discardians let go of whatever is not adding value to our lives ...

Don't touch that dial

I grew up in the future. My childhood room was next to an attic filled with science fiction so as soon as I could read I buried my nose in the universes of the great pulp era authors. I love it in that future because ...

The manual labor of code

One day soon a robot will replace me. I'll be focused on some gnarly coding problem, happily munching on green grapes and slouching like the meatbag I am, when the interaction designer, call her Alice, will walk by and ask me if I want ...

The future-proof startup

All of the production clusters I've retired have been ready to scale. As I pulled their plugs and listened to their disks spin down, as I slid them from their racks and thanked them for their service, each and every one of them was ...

What is "The Bear"?

There was a distinct moment when I realized that I had completely borked the accounting system for my photo mapping startup. It was February of 2004 and I was living and working out of a tiny apartment in Berkeley and had spent two days tracking ...

Face down on the cutting board

On the day I found out that my wife was cheating on me and had hired a divorce lawyer, I was defeated. I bailed out of the 3D web startup which I had been sweating over for years, leaving two of the nicest partners I ...

One big machine

The infrastructure I use in teams and those I use for my personal projects are quickly diverging and it comes down to this question: What can one person do?

When I'm working on solo projects like Transmutable Work or Science Saints the key word ...

The considerable aspects of API design

Like most web coders of a certain age, I use every new codebase as an opportunity to attempt the One True API System (OTAS) which honors the essence of the web, provides developers with exactly the syntax they need for expressing the representation and logic ...