• Podcast

    The Downtown Writers Jam

    Listen as writers try to explain what went wrong in their lives that led them to the page.

    Listen Now
  • Indie

    My Bookstore

    Purchase books from indie bookstores, everything from the authors who are on The Downtown Writers Jam and other books we recommend

    Buy Books
  • Author

    My Books

    Check out the books I've written & edited.

    Click to Buy

Blog

This Could Be Important, My Conversation with Pamela McCorduck

In 2019, the ETC Press published Pamela McCorduck's book, THIS COULD BE IMPORTANT. Here, I'm releasing clips of our conversation about her life as one of the early science + technology writers.

Read More

Review: Elizabeth Wurtzel, Our #GenX Writer

Elizabeth Wurtzel's books helped explain and then define—as much as anyone could—who GenX was in the nineties.

Read More

Review: Old Man's War (The Series)

John Scalzi's OLD MAN'S WAR series takes you into a world where humans are competing with aliens to colonize our galaxy.

Read More

A SXSW Guide to Surviving the Nerdpocalypse

A compendium of what I've learned in my twenty-five years navigating SXSW Interactive, the greatest show on earth.

Read More

Review: A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman's book begins with the grumpy old man trope. But, if you hang around past the first few chapters, you'll find a story about community, history, and kindness.

Read More

Review: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

As a long-time fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, I was long overdue to learn about his life through different eyes. Therese Anne Fowler's Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald was a heartbreaking tale that traced the Fitzgerald's slow decent into misery as F. Scott chased his white whale: literary fame and respect.

Read More

Review: Janelle Brown's Fiction (Three Books + Counting)

My old friend Janelle Brown left journalism (we worked in San Francisco during the Dotcom Boom + Bust) and took up writing books about our generation in a post GenX world.

Read More

Elizabeth Wurtzel: She Was Our Rock God Writer

Elizabeth Wurtzel was—and forever will be—our GenX Rock God Writer.

Read More
GenX, That Damned Newsweek Editorial, George Michael, and the Twitter Hellscape

GenX, That Damned Newsweek Editorial, George Michael, and the Twitter Hellscape

In 1993, Newsweek labeled GenX as the "The Whiny Generation." We've been not giving a shit about that since. Also—George Michael is pretty great.

Read More

Review: The Last Days of August (Audible Original)

Jon Ronson came to the story thinking it was about one thing (cyberbullying), but quickly found the threads took him elsewhere (mental health in the porn industry).⁣

Read More

Review: Christmas Eve, 1914 (Audible Original)

The audio play is short, just seventy-three minutes, but that’s more than enough time to take you on a melancholy trip through the hours leading up to the impromptu Christmas Eve truce in World War I. ⁣

Read More

Review: The Man on the Mountaintop (An Audible Original Drama)

The play is a series of parables told through the stories of people who are waiting in a long line to meet with Joe, the Holy Man, who lives in a hermitage at the top of a mountain.⁣

Read More

GenX Tribe: Breaking Bones and Other Stories of Walking it Off

GenXers grew up breaking bones, having accidents, and dealing with mayhem—and many times going to the doctor was the LAST thing we did. So—share your story of GenX Catastrophes!

Read More

Review: The View from Flyover Country

This is less a view of flyover country and more a response to flare-ups in flyover country.⁣ Still, I sat down and read the book in one sitting because it's smart, well-written, on point, and unapologetic. I dig that.⁣

Read More

Review: Alien: Out of the Shadows

While the story doesn't really add much to the Alien universe—it really is a mash-up of the two movies—it's still fun as hell to be back with Ripley (although she feels a little less feminist badass in the book, but not offensively so).

Read More

Review: Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind

The book chronicles the rise of Homo sapiens from our earliest days on through the very near future, gently walking the reader through the complex issues of empire building, the development of cultures, and the ethical examinations of what it means to even be human.⁣

Read More

Review: It Didn't Start with You

The book was okay, but not great. I was a technology journalist (Wired, MIT's Technology Review) so I'm reluctant to recommend books that get the science not exactly right.

Read More
The Books that Influence My Writing Life

The Books that Influence My Writing Life

My favorite conversation: What books influenced you? These are the books that influenced my life as a writer.

Read More
The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July and the Meaning of the Declaration

My middle school history teacher John Viall—a dedicated and decorated teacher—wrote a wonderful post about America, the Fourth, and e pluribus unum.

Read More
Mister Rogers and the Border Wall

Won't You Be My Neighbor, or How Mister Rogers Took on a Border Wall

King Friday XIII orders a border wall to be built. Lady Aberlin takes balloons, tied with messages of peace and love, and floats them across the wall.

Read More

Free eBook on Machine Learning, A.I., and the Modern World

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free PDF of my latest book, Frankenstein's Legacy: Four Conversations about Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and the Modern World.

Read More

"We Are Not A House Divided"

My friend KT Peterson and I embarked on a writing challenge on August 4-5: write 10,000 words and the read an excerpt from it. The title of this piece is "We Are Not A House Divided."

Read More

About That Thing You Ask Me About Hillbilly Elegy

That's where the single narrative becomes so dangerous. Because people don't know the history of the region, and they don't understand its problems. Yet many of those same people have a great number of preconceived notions they aren't afraid to unleash.

Read More

Review: Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Crapalachia. It's not quite memoir, it's certainly not a biography of a place, and as we find out at the end of the book it's not entirely real.

Read More

 

Sign Up, Download A Free eBook
This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
Never display this again