Peter Watts

Peter Watts

 Peter Watts ( is an odd hybrid of marine biologist and science-fiction author, known for appending extensive technical bibliographies onto his novels; this serves both to confer a veneer of credibility and to cover his ass against nitpickers.  Described by Canada's national newspaper The Globe & Mail as one of the best hard-sf authors alive, his debut novel (Starfish) was a New York Times Notable Book. 

 His most recent novel (Blindsight)~ a rumination on the nature of consciousness which, despite an unhealthy focus on space vampires, has become a required text in undergraduate courses ranging from philosophy to neuropsychology~ made the final ballot for a shitload of North American genre awards including the Hugo, winning exactly none of them (although the same book has, for some reason, won a number of awards in overseas translation). 

 This may reflect a certain critical divide regarding Watts' work in general; his novel Behemoth, for example, was praised by Publisher's Weekly as an "adrenaline-charged fusion of Clarke's The Deep Range and Gibson's Neuromancer" and "a major addition to 21st-century hard SF", while being simultaneously decried by Kirkus as "utterly repellent" and "horrific porn".  (Watts happily embraces both views.)  His work has been extensively translated, and both Watts and his beloved cat Banana have appeared in the prestigious journal Nature.

The past few years have been relatively quiet in publishing terms: a video-game novelization and a handful of short stories (which finally got him the damned Hugo, as well as a Shirley Jackson award for a piece of movie fanfic you haven't seen yet). However, during that period Watts also nearly died from flesh-eating disease, got beat up by US border guards (and was subsequently banned from entering that country), and~ perhaps most significantly~ finally finished Echopraxia, the sequel to Blindsight, which will be published during the summer of 2014.
He's really looking forward to visiting Japan before then, assuming he lives that long.

text  Peter Watts

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