Simon Willison’s Weblog


3 items tagged “sciencefiction”


Computer, display Fairhaven character, Michael Sullivan. [...]

Give him a more complicated personality. More outspoken. More confident. Not so reserved. And make him more curious about the world around him.

Good. Now... Increase the character’s height by three centimeters. Remove the facial hair. No, no, I don’t like that. Put them back. About two days’ growth. Better.

Oh, one more thing. Access his interpersonal subroutines, familial characters. Delete the wife.

Captain Janeway, prompt engineering # 15th December 2023, 9:46 pm

Did you ever wonder why the 21st century feels like we’re living in a bad cyberpunk novel from the 1980s?

It’s because these guys read those cyberpunk novels and mistook a dystopia for a road map. They’re rich enough to bend reality to reflect their desires. But we’re [sci-fi authors] not futurists, we’re entertainers! We like to spin yarns about the Torment Nexus because it’s a cool setting for a noir detective story, not because we think Mark Zuckerberg or Andreesen Horowitz should actually pump several billion dollars into creating it.

Charles Stross # 11th November 2023, 1:09 am


Unpacking the Zeitgeist. On WoW corpse spamming: “There are thirty years’ worth of future shock condensed into this one news item [...] a harsh warning about the difficulty of accurately portraying plausible futures in literature.” # 8th July 2007, 5:36 pm