Thursday, April 22, 2010

eARC Giveaway Redux (Revised Rules)

A few people have contacted me directly with some questions -- and related confusion -- regarding my eARC giveaway. So, I will restate the giveaway in this new post, without any subsidiary information, in an effort to keep it simple. The giveaway rules have changed (i.e. there is one less rule), and a bonus has been added.

On June 1, DAW Books will publish anthology Is Anybody Out There? which I co-edited with Nick Gevers. The anthology contains 15 original science fiction stories that address the Fermi Paradox: If the universe consists of billions of galaxies, and each galaxy contains some number of Earth-like planets, why have we not made contact with -- or found evidence of -- other living species?

If you have an interest in the genesis of this anthology, you can read about it
here; if you want more insight into the contents, you can read about that here; and lastly, if you want to read the back cover text, you'll find that here. These are all links to my previous blog posts.

The contents of Is Anybody Out There?

Paul McAuley, "Introduction: Here Comes Everyone"
Alex Irvine, "The Word He Was Looking For Was Hello"
Michael Arsenault, "Residue"
Yves Meynard, "Good News from Antares"
Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn, "Report From the Field"
Jay Lake, "Permanent Fatal Errors"
Paul Di Filippo, "Galaxy of Mirrors"
Sheila Finch, "Where Two Or Three"
David Langford, "Graffiti in the Library of Babel"
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, "The Dark Man"
Ray Vukcevich, "One Big Monkey"
Pat Cadigan, "The Taste of Night"
Matthew Hughes, "Timmy, Come Home"
Ian Watson, "A Waterfall of Lights"
Felicity Shoulders & Leslie What, "Rare Earth"
James Morrow, "The Vampires of Paradox"

Now, about the giveaway: I have a PDF file available of the Advanced Reading Copy (eARC) of this anthology. If you are a science fiction book blogger and/or book reviewer -- and you have an interest in blogging about/reviewing Is Anybody Out There? -- then here are the rules:

1. You must have a Twitter account.

2. Send a tweet using hashtag #IAOT.

Even though a tweet is 140 characters in length, you don't actually have 140 characters to work with because you must use hashtag #IAOT (6 characters total: 5 characters plus the preceding or following space). Since you are not sending the tweet specifically to me, I will track it using the hashtag. This is a public hashtag so anyone within the Twitterverse may read your tweet.

Use the remaining 134 characters to promote your blog, your reviews, whatever you feel necessary to encourage me to send you the eARC of Is Anybody Out There? Be as creative as this minimal space will allow. You may include anything you wish, such as links to your blog, reviews, etc. (I suggest you use a link shortener such as tinyURL or in order to use as few characters as possible.)

That's just 134 characters total of creative thought! And it's good PR for your blog/reviews as well.

3. Only one tweet per person or ID; and, again, the tweet must include the hashtag #IAOT.

4. The deadline for all tweets using the #IAOT hashtag is Friday, April 30, at midnight (Pacific time).

5. The winning individual(s) will be contacted directly after the close of the giveaway. (I may also include the tweets in a follow-up blog post, since they are public postings anyhow.)

6. BONUS: This contest is initially for a PDF file of the Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of Is Anybody Out There? Once I have received my physical copies of the book, I will personally send the winning individual(s) a copy of the book at my expense.

If you have any questions regarding this giveaway, please feel free to post here and/or tweet me, and I will do my best to respond.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is Anybody Out There? -- eARC Giveaway

Just after I posted my previous blog entry on Is Anybody Out There? -- an anthology of original stories based on the Fermi Paradox, to be published by DAW Books on June 1 -- I received an email from my co-editor on the project, Nick Gevers. When Nick and I were actively working on this book, emails were flying constantly through the aether between us, especially since email is the only method of communication that we use: I reside in Northern California and Nick resides in South Africa! But now that the book is complete and we're just awaiting its publication, the volume of email between us has declined drastically. So receiving his email shortly after I clicked the "Publish Post" button on my blog entry was indeed a coincidence. Or possibly "synchronous" would be the more apropos word.

In his email, Nick informed me of a new nonfiction book entitled The Eerie Silence by physicist/cosmologist Paul Davies. The U.S. edition, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is subtitled Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence. But even more interesting, considering our own forthcoming anthology, is the subtitle of the UK edition (the specific edition that Nick mentioned), from Allen Lane Publishers: Are We Alone in the Universe?

So I did a bit of searching, and found an article entitled "SETI at 50" on
Failure Magazine that features a Paul Davies interview, in support of the publication of his new book. Since its inception, SETI has searched beyond Earth for radio signals, all to no avail. So Paul Davies -- director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, co-director of the Cosmology Initiative (both at Arizona State University), and chairman of the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup -- is suggesting that we attempt other means of detection and communication. Here's Davies' own words, from the interview:

...It's too soon to say it's a waste of time to carry on with traditional SETI. I think it's a great thing, but maybe after 50 years the public might be thinking, "Can we try something else?" And I think we should. We should think much more expansively about what a signature of intelligence might be. Forget messages, all we really want to know is: Is anyone out there? Their presence could be betrayed in a large number of ways....

...ET might use biological organisms as a means of sending information. Genomes are packed full of information. If you could get a message into a cell somehow it would just replicate and replicate. If you could do that in a way that doesn't compromise the biological functionality of the host then you've got something that could endure for millions and millions of years. So rather than sending radio messages, I would be in favor of, for example, dispatching viruses -- retroviruses -- that would insert DNA into any DNA-based organisms.... So why don't we search as many genomes as we can get our hands on, not just human -- just to see. It's a crazy idea, but then all of SETI is slightly crazy. I believe we should do what we can do easily and cheaply even if the chances of success are exceedingly small....

...If [SETI scientists] succeed, it will probably be the most momentous scientific discovery in history. So to allocate some small fraction of the world's resources to addressing such a very deep question is certainly justified. And even if SETI fails, it's very healthy that we address issues like: What is nature? What is humanity? What is our destiny? What do we mean by life? What do we mean by intelligence? What is our place in the universe? These are all good things to think about, even if we never pick up a signal.