Peter Watts

Peter Watts spent the first two decades of his adult life as a marine biologist. After fleeing academia for science fiction, he became known for the habit of appending technical bibliographies onto his novels; this both confers a veneer of credibility and covers his ass against nitpickers. Described by the Globe & Mail as “one of the very best [hard-sf writers] alive”, the overall effect of his prose is perhaps best summed up by critic James Nicoll: “Whenever I find my will to live becoming too strong, I read Peter Watts”.

Watts’ debut novel (Starfish) was a New York Times Notable Book, while his fourth (Blindsight)— a rumination on the utility of consciousness which has become a required text in undergraduate courses ranging from philosophy to neuroscience— was a finalist for numerous North American genre awards, winning exactly none of them. (It did, however, win a shitload of awards overseas, which suggests that his translators may be better writers than he is.) His shorter work has also picked up trophies in a variety of jurisdictions, notably a Shirley Jackson (possibly due to fan sympathy over nearly dying of flesh-eating disease in 2011) and a Hugo (possibly due to fan outrage over an altercation with US border guards in 2009). The latter incident resulted in Watts being barred from entering the US— not getting on the ground fast enough after being punched in the face by border guards is a “felony” under Michigan statutes— but especially these days, he can’t honestly say he misses the place all that much.

Books

Audiobooks

Quotes

vieltunhas quotedlast year
Because if Sarasti was right, scramblers were the norm: evolution across the universe was nothing but the endless proliferation of automatic, organized complexity, a vast arid Turing machine full of self-replicating machinery forever unaware of its own existence. And we—we were the flukes and the fossils
vieltunhas quotedlast year
You rationalize, Keeton. You defend. You reject unpalatable truths, and if you can't reject them outright you trivialize them. Incremental evidence is never enough for you. You hear rumors of Holocaust; you dismiss them. You see evidence of genocide; you insist it can't be so bad. Temperatures rise, glaciers melt—species die—and you blame sunspots and volcanoes. Everyone is like this, but you most of all. You and your Chinese Room. You turn incomprehension into mathematics, you reject the truth without even knowing what it is."
Arsen Avchikhanovhas quotedlast year
Such respites never last. There are mirrors everywhere in Beebe;

Impressions

Dadi Chemyakinshared an impression7 months ago
💡Learnt A Lot
👍Worth reading

  • Peter Watts
    Behemoth
    • 66
    • 104
    • 1
    • 6
    Free
  • Dadi Chemyakinshared an impression7 months ago
    💡Learnt A Lot
    🎯Worthwhile
    👍Worth reading

  • unavailable
    Peter Watts
    Echopraxia
    • 239
    • 316
    • 6
    • 18
  • Arsen Avchikhanovshared an impression8 months ago
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot
    👍Worth reading

  • Peter Watts
    Maelstrom
    • 66
    • 207
    • 1
    • 5
    Free
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