I. Coming off a seven-hour shift at the bookstore where I work, I texted my boyfriend something like “I cannot handle the idea of coming home and finishing my reading list, I am so tired, I cannot stay up late tonight, pity me,” except with more capital letters and swear words. He suggested, gently, that […]
The human lapses that occurred after the computerized ordering system and pill-dispensing robots did their jobs perfectly well is a textbook case of English psychologist James Reason’s “Swiss cheese model” of error. Reason’s model holds that all complex organizations harbor many “latent errors,” unsafe conditions that are, in essence, mistakes waiting to happen. They’re like a forest […]
With Alfred, you no longer have to open the door for the Instacart delivery: A worker comes into your apartment and stocks food in your fridge. You don’t hand off your dirty undies to a Washio messenger; Alfred puts the laundered undies in the drawer. This all happens by paying your Alfred $99 a month, […]
Genre literature has power. Mainstream science fiction, historically, has a representation problem. (Why are there no black people in the future? Or, better yet, why is there only one black person in the future?! Did LGBTQ people disappear, too?) Where does that leave us?
When I am wracked with anxiety, I make a list of everything that is stressing me. These lists have included “transportation plans for this weekend,” “living at home,” “Sandy [my dog] dying,” “getting props for the play” and “editing articles for The Annual.” I don’t write solutions. Sometimes, there are no solutions, or the solutions are […]
For days on end, nothing happened down there, the dusty embodiment of a bureaucratic lock-up. Months accrued into motionless years, broken only by the occasional lazy afternoon when a bulldozer coughed itself awake, puffing the will to move some earth northward. The next day, revving up again, the dozer pushed the same soil southbound. Back […]
When Piper optioned her book to Jenji Kohan, the creator of Weeds, a number of people were asked to sign over something called “life rights.” In short: Some version of our lives could be depicted on the show, and we each agreed not to sue its creators if, for example, the character based on one […]
THE TOMB IS DRY AND HOT. Opposite looms the gowned shape of Hawass, who is scrutinizing Gad’s every move; squeezed into the corner is Discovery’s film crew. Gad tries to hide his nerves. He knows that the others doubt his ability, and for good reason: he has little practice working with mummies. Back in his Cairo […]