Is Intelligence a “Bubble”?

The human species prides itself on its intelligence. Its smarts, it thinks, are its primary distinction in the animal world. Only humans can communicate, pass knowledge to the next generation, make tools, plan for the future, grieve their dead, cheat on their mates, and lie to each other. The trouble is that a great many […]

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Move or Die

A couple of years ago, a break-all-records heat wave in Europe had moved to Greenland and melted enough ice to add measurably to global sea levels. A drought in India had people saying that forty percent of the country’s population may have no access to drinking water by 2030, and parts of India may get […]

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New Novel Coming

Last year I wrote a series of pieces centered on a fellow who found a bottle on the seashore, rubbed it, and had a djinn on his hands. A djinn who liked gin, so together they founded the Djinn Mill, a 6-room building with 500 residence suites (a djinn has to be a master of […]

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Go Ahead–Laugh!

Not long ago, researchers reported that pigs and mice—and presumably humans—could absorb oxygen through the membranes lining their rectums ( The key was a liquid (perfluorocarbon) that can hold large amounts of dissolved oxygen. It is supplied to the rectum via enema. Perfluorocarbons have been under development for years as synthetic blood substitutes ( They […]

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Stranger than Fiction

Back in February 2016, Judith K. Dial and I published Conspiracy! (NESFA Press) ( Thanks to the nature of publishing, the book had been in the works for a couple of years, which means that despite the publication date, we missed the boat. The Trump boat, that is. The explosion of conspiracy theories about the […]

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Horror for the Throne

Horror for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads is due to be launched into the world on July 15. Some time before that it should be available for preorder. At that point, I (Tom) will start posting on Facebook and Twitter the following thirteen attempts to get the attention of potential buyers. One per day. I invite […]

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The Simulation vs. Murphy

The more I think about the simulation hypothesis, the less likely I think it is. Sure, it’s cool as can be to think that our distant descendants might create a gigantic computer simulation to replay their past, meaning us. There are even reasons why they might want to do it–ancestor worship, the study of history, […]

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Fighting Infections with mRNA

Messenger RNA (mRNA) has proved its mettle. The media are already hinting that it could be useful for more things than Covid-19 vaccines ( They aren’t saying any more than that, perhaps because companies such as Pfizer or Moderna are holding their cards close to their vests. But we can make some educated guesses. It […]

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