New *Paper*: I wrote about AI for Oxford!

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Thinking himself to pieces, it would seem.

Happy October! The sun is shining, the leaves are falling, and the skeleton army is preparing to march through a neighborhood near you. In the meantime, assorted work/life strife has admittedly left me in a creative fallow period (though new stories are definitely underway). Yet here’s something different: an academic paper!

Not as exciting, I know, but get this: the other year, I drew upon my experience with both law school and worrying about killer robots to write with Dr. Seth Baum of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute on how to assign liability for the wrongs/crimes of robots and artificial intelligence.

It took a while, but the most prominent of these pieces is finally out in print — published by Oxford University Press, no less!

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It’s only like 14 pages long, and there’s pieces by other fine scholars in the same book. So give it a look-see in print or eBook form here on Amazon!

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The Top 7 Micro-Creepypastas – Part III

Welcome to the third compilation video of me reading some of my all-time favorite short creepypastas!

1) “Peripheral Vision”
2) “Food”
3) “Heavy Sleeper”
4) “’Other’ Channels”
5) “Breath”
6) “GET HELP”
7) “Growths”

Last I checked, stories can be found here. No clue who originally wrote these, but if said individuals are concerned about this video, just say the word.

All photography by me! See more on my Instagram at TNW24.

2016: A Year in Stuff

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Forget 2017, already–let’s party like it’s 1986!

It has been, by all accounts, a year of unmitigated death and depravity. If it weren’t for finally getting out of college and having super-awesome friends and family who’ve been with me for some amazing moments, 2016 would’ve been a total loss. Still, as an unrepentant pop culture geek, I feel a duty to briefly roll up my sleeves and dig deep for a silver lining in the media ephemera of the last 365 days. Onto the TOP STUFF LIST!
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–Best TV–
(1) Stranger Things: A fantastic homage to the idealized 80s in all its rad glory, this at once nailbiting and heartwarming supernatural tale can’t hit season two soon enough.
(2) Black Mirror (Season 3): Chillingly plausible story hooks and a diverse cast of characters made the return of this peerless techno-satire essential viewing.
(3) Westworld: Obtuse yet epic, it managed the impossible task of having me enjoy cowboy shootouts one second and ponder the depths of consciousness and free will the next.
(4) Channel Zero: Its reimagining of one of the most famous creepypastas in “Candle Cove” struggled with pacing and direction at times, but was still a cracking good start to anthology horror for a new generation.
(5) The X-Files: An “E” for effort, admittedly (it was never going to be *fantastic* after over a decade), but Mulder & Scully’s chemistry still shines, the paranoia still pops, and the middle ep is a series classic.
–Best Movies–
(1) 10 Cloverfield Lane: Mixing a claustrophobic setting with big-name actors, this slow-burn scifi flick provided more thrills on $15 million than most studios do with five times that budget.
(2) Hardcore Henry: The dictionary definition of an R-rating, this Russian rampage through knifings, shootouts, decapitations, and motorcycle chases is first-person adrenaline in a Blu-Ray.
(3) Arrival: Adapted from a story by the underrated Ted Chiang, Dennis Villeneuve’s taut, moody stylings lent a mindbending yet emotional air to an alien invasion.
(4) Captain America – Civil War: It’s more like Avengers 2.5, but who cares? Seeing all these insane characters duke it out on-screen after almost a decade of buildup is as close to a rollercoaster as theater gets.
(5) The VVitch – A New-England Folktale: Despite a Sundance screening in ’15, this humble horror movie really made waves with a wider release this February–and for good reason. With a painstaking attention to period dress and dialogue, it depicts the ultimate nightmare of 17th-century Puritans with spectacular subtlety and unrelenting dread.
–Best Games–
(1) Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End: The adventure game, perfected. While it may lack the instantly iconic setpieces of its predecessors, this end to Nathan Drake’s saga packs a gripping plot, heart-pounding action sequences, and some of the best graphics I’ve ever seen into one disc.
(2) DOOM: Third time’s the charm with the latest reboot of the granddaddy of gory FPSes. The place: a demon-infested Mars. The mission: If it moves, kill it. On a busy schedule, that’s a goal I can get behind.
(3) INSIDE: The long-awaited sophomore release from dark Danish devs Playdead, INSIDE follows the eerie mystery of its predecessor LIMBO with a world of mind-control, parasites, and scientists dead-set on discovering… something.
(4) Layers of Fear: Naysayers call it a bunch of cheap jump scares designed for PewDiePie and his ilk–but for me, this was possibly the most terrifying game I’ve ever played. Like Jacob’s Ladder meets The Haunted Mansion, time, space, and object permanence mean nothing as you journey through the home of an insane painter desperate to finish his greatest work… even if it kills him.
(5) Pokemon Go: Need I say more? Sure, the hype only lasted a few weeks, but for that glorious midsummer time, 90s nostalgia and cutting edge AR tech joined forces to turn a good chunk of the urban populace into the pocket-monster hunters we always wanted to be. Just do not trespass while playing.
(Honorable Mentions): Hyper Light Drifter and The Last Guardian: I haven’t finished these yet, but the former is a gorgeous love-letter to SNES-era labyrinthine fantasy action games, and the latter is a legendarily delayed tale of a boy and his enormous killer furry pet (but really, it’s finally out!!).
–Best Albums–
(1) David Bowie, Blackstar: Perhaps it’s the freshness of the wound from his premature passing talking, but the choice was obvious. Prophetically or deliberately, Bowie portrays a stirring vulnerability across these seven jazz-tinged tracks like never before.
(2) Dance with the Dead, The Shape: It takes a lot to stand out among 80s-electronica throwback acts these days–anybody with a synthesizer and neon on their cover can ape John Carpenter. How does DwtD earn its stripes? By bringing dance-floor-ready beats and goosebump-inducing chants and guitar solos into the mix.
(3) Radiohead, A Moon-Shaped Pool: Cool, creeping, and cerebral as ever, Thom Yorke and company reassert their the radio-unfriendly art rock cred with monochrome majesty.
(4) Yeasayer, Amen and Goodbye: From mandolins to child choirs to funky beats, you never know what you’ll get with Yeasayer, but it’s sure to get stuck in your head. Underrated!
(5) Panic! at the Disco, Death of a Bachelor: Frontman Brendon Urie never met an abrupt genre change he didn’t like, but this mashup of glam-rock and swing is still unmistakably P!atD: Raucous, cocky, and Hot-Topical.
–Best Other Songs–
(1) “Light Tunnels,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mike Slap: Selling genuine awe and being starstruck is hard when you’ve already topped the Billboard charts, but somehow Macklemore manages it on this breathless opening track.
(2) “Famous,” Kanye West feat. Rihanna and Swizz Beatz: I just wanted you to know.
(3) “Tiimmy Turner,” Desiigner: Straight, unintelligible fire.
(4) “Campaign Speech,” Eminem: Shady goes a capella–but anything but apolitical–and doesn’t let off the gas for eight minutes. If this is any indication of what his next album will be like, both Marshall Mathers LPs have some serious competition coming down the pipe
(5) “Exist,” Avenged Sevenfold: What else can you ask for in a prog-metal song but a Neil deGrasse Tyson cameo outro?
(6) “Starboy,” The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk: The inimitable hairdo may be gone, but electro-R&B’s golden boy goes for the triple and then some with this infectious title track.
–Best Books–
Embarrassingly, I can only recall one book published in 2016 that I read for pleasure this year: Atlas Obscura. But for anybody into world travel, pick up a (hefty) copy and start marking your maps for the most bizarre and/or fascinating sights the seven continents have to offer!
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And that’s about it! Best wishes for a bright(er) 2017. We can have no illusions of it being sunshine and roses, but neither should we resign ourselves to things just getting progressively worse. Every era has its own phase where folks think “it’s all downhill from here,” but self-fulfilling prophecies are the hardest ones to heed. Make the changes you want to see in the world in your own life, and let that conscience motivate you. Let it drive you pursue your goals, whether you want them taken care later today or in ten years.
And remember: this world can still make sense, if you don’t force it to.

Quick Update: Print “Pruritus”!

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Well, I had to put *something* here.

Like reading in print? Who doesn’t! Issue 44 of Sanitarium magazine, featuring my horror story “Pruritus,” is now available in paperback from Amazon CreateSpace.

Only $7.99 for mine and like eight other cool scary stories!

“Return to the Earth” – Creepypasta Reading

With Earth Day just around the corner, I did another dramatic reading, this time of another of my favorite anonymous creepypastas: “Return to the Earth.”

Original story can be found here.

Photograph by me. See more on Instagram!

My Favorite Short Creepypastas, Narrated.

Just a brief compilation video of me reading my all-time favorite super-short creepypastas! Hopefully accurate timestamps:

1) “The Other Earth”: 0:08 – 1:01
2) “100,000”: 1:04 – 1:49
3) “Worms”: 1:52 – 2:21
4) “Baby Dolls”: 2:24 – 3:02
5) “Now, What Was I Doing?”: 3:06 – 3:34
6) “The Cabinet” – 3:36 – 4:08
7) “Genetic Memory” – 4:12 – 5:28

Original stories can be found here. No clue who wrote them, but if said individuals are concerned about this video, just say the word (also, hi, big fan!).

All photography by me. See more at TNW24 on Instagram!

Video made with the so-far surprisingly good/cheap Windows Movie Maker replacement Movavi Video Suite.

Let the Write-A-Thon Commence!

Somewhat literally, since my principal distraction right now is playing "The Last of Us."

Somewhat literally, since my principal distraction right now is playing “The Last of Us.”

I’m quite pleased to report that, after a few glitches involving an overeager spam filter, I am now an official participant in the the 2013 Clarion West Write-A-Thon! Occuring concurrently with the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop–Seattle’s 29-years-running summer collaborative for dedicated sci-fi/fantasy authors, overseen this time by such masters of the craft as Neil Gaiman, Samuel R. Delany, and Joe Hill–the Write-A-Thon gives authors who didn’t or couldn’t enroll the opportunity to still motivate themselves and promote their writing.

As I’m one of those folks (I’d claim it’s because admission was competitive and required a brief essay/writing submission, but I was honestly just overwhelmed with college stuff at the time and knew I’d be intermittently busy throughout summer anyway), I’m using this opportunity to officially get back into writing my first novel, There’s Something Wrong with the Neighbor’s Cat: A Hyper-Awesome Nick Smiths Adventure! (which the more dedicated among you may remember me announcing in this post). You can see my official Write-A-Thon profile–with a new summary of the book’s plot, as well as my financial and writerly goals for the project as a whole–right here. And oh, how about that? There’s a Paypal donation button… *coughcough*

@TrevorNWhite

#hyperawesome [Let’s make it catch on!]