Tate Williams

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Junot Díaz talks sci-fi, Hollywood and oppression of, and within, the geek community

In a recent interview on the terrific Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, Junot Díaz takes a remarkably clear-eyed look at the state of the geek community and its relation to mainstream entertainment. The Dominican-American author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao goes after [...]

December 9, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Writing
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99% Invisible episode on Dazzle camouflage

The great podcast and radio show “99% Invisible”  featured the Picasso-zebra camouflage of World War I ships called “Dazzle” or “Razzle Dazzle” in its most recent episode. The story of Dazzle is really cool, and I did a post about [...]

November 17, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Adrian Tomine brings alt-comics sensibility to highbrow illustration in ‘New York Drawings’

An underground comic book artist at heart, it’s clear that Adrian Tomine isn’t quite comfortable in the role of highbrow magazine illustrator. And a Sacramento-born Californian at heart, he isn’t entirely comfortable identifying as a New Yorker either. And yet, [...]

November 15, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Portfolio, Writing
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Ekranoplan, the Russian behemoth that didn’t survive the Cold War

“Ekranoplan,” said Gareth. “A ground effect vehicle. He’s mad.” … The ekranoplans reminded Milgrim of the Spruce Goose, which he’d toured in Long Beach as a high school student, but with its wings largely amputated. Weird Soviet hybrids, the ekranoplans; [...]

October 21, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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How my computer crisis was like a predator attack

Having never experienced a true computer emergency, it’s been easy to consider myself immune from them. It’s like how I had never missed a flight until I was almost 30, and thought I had some kind of superpower. But once [...]

October 3, 2012 Blog, Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Blue Ant > Dazzle Camouflage

How do you camouflage an inflatable mylar drone in the shape of a penguin? You really can’t, but for the climax of Zero History, one character opts for a disruptive paint job known as “dazzle” as a way to break [...]

October 2, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Blue Ant > Brabus Maybach

“Most people don’t self-drive these,” Bigend said, pulling out onto Sunset, headed east. “Most people don’t drive them at all,” Hollis corrected, from the passenger seat beside him. She craned her neck for a glimpse back into what she supposed [...]

September 23, 2012 Arts & Culture, Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Blue Ant > The Curta

In a subplot of Pattern Recognition, Cayce Pollard uses a rare prototype of an early computing device as a bargaining chip for a crucial email address. She makes a straight offer to a menacing, drunken ex-spy — even trade, email [...]

September 14, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
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Blue Ant > Bibendum

Cayce Pollard in Pattern Recognition has a unique ability to judge how the market will respond to logos and brands. At the root of this rare talent, for which Bigend employs her, is a “phobic reaction” to trademarks she’s had [...]

September 5, 2012 Arts & Culture, Geek, Writing
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Blue Ant > Faraday Pouch

Zero History operative Milgrim is kept on a tight leash by his handler Ollie Sleight. He supplies Milgrim with nothing but an unusual phone and what he calls a “Faraday pouch” for carrying his passport. Radio-frequency identification tags. They were in [...]

August 30, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing