Tate Williams

Browsing the "Blue Ant" Tag

tumblr_ntvgndD6ZX1reo3ymo3_540

The Chaos Behind Closed Doors: Zero History, The Cabinet & airbnb

Originally published on Blue Ant, August 31, 2015.  Victorian English literature is filled with angst about what chaos lies behind proper and unassuming exteriors. In Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Marlow says Brussels always reminds him of a “whited sepulchre,” a [...]

October 31, 2015 Arts & Culture
tumblr_n803o9SNfx1reo3ymo3_1280

Blue Ant > Surveillance Armor, or The Ugliest T-Shirt in the World

Surveillance is a part of how we live now, and how we respond to that runs throughout the Blue Ant trilogy. The books are laced with true developments like widespread CCTV, drone surveillance, and computer spying. Like Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, Zero History traffics in crafty ways [...]

July 4, 2014 Science & Environment
tumblr_n5wncrX8uv1reo3ymo2_r2_1280

Blue Ant > Origins of the Gabble Ratchets

Originally on Blue Ant blog. Gabriel Hounds is a brand of jeans in the same sense that Zero History is a book about fashion. Both statements are technically accurate, but only as a gateway to something…slippery. In Gibson’s 2010 novel, the Gabriel [...]

June 9, 2014 Arts & Culture, Geek
Rattan Palm (Calamus rotang) trunk, Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

Blue Ant > Rattan bone grafts, or cyborg sheep with wooden legs

For all of technology’s efforts to improve upon nature, sometimes the most challenging feat is simply matching it, or even coming close. Take, for example, the endlessly versatile muscle, or the light and load-bearing bone. Imitating the latter poses a [...]

November 6, 2013 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
IMG-20130213-00005_zps2b0134b5

Blue Ant > Tungsten and Rhenium Darts

Rhenium is the last stable element to be discovered, found in 1925, before all of the nuke-y ones. It’s extremely rare, and one of the densest of elements. It’s used in alloy form, primarily in high-tech purposes like combustion chambers, [...]

July 5, 2013 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
herf_gun

Blue Ant > HERF Gun

A HERF gun, or an otherwise-nicknamed personal electromagnetic device, is the fantasy weapon of anti-government drone-haters and corporate saboteurs. As in William Gibson’s Zero History: Bigend was telling a story…about someone using something called a “herf” gun, high-energy radio frequency, in [...]

February 8, 2013 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
2

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
USS_West_Mahomet_(ID-3681)_cropped

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
brabus-maybach-760756

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
46756rufghfghgh

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