Eric Schwitzgebel is a professor of philosophy at University of California, Riverside, and cooperating member of UCR’s program in Speculative Fiction and Cultures of Science. Among his academic research interests are animal cognition, group consciousness, and artificial intelligence. In 2021, he co-edited Philosophy Through Science Fiction Stories (Bloomsbury Press). Among his non-fiction books are A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures (MIT Press) and The Weirdness of the World (forthcoming from Princeton University Press).
Tight, tight. A sharp flex, a crack, a sudden a wash of air, then—the scent of a guru upwind! Guru guru guru! Larva831’s eggy thoughts gushed away, its ejected cognitive fluids mixing confusedly with the ejected fluids of its 100012 hatching sibs. Obsolete embryonic ideas flowed under a dozen dozen dozen cracking shells, swirled through […]
First, an eye. The camera rose, swiveling on its joint, compiling initial scans of the planetary surface. Second, six wheels on struts, pop-pop, pop-pop, pop-pop, and a platform unfolding between the main body and the eye. Third, an atmospheric taster and wind gauge. Fourth, a robotic arm. The arm emerged holding a fluffy, resilient, nanocarbon […]
/^^^\&- sighed out a little moon-sized cloud of gas, then let herself, alongside her jailer, drift down toward the calm, solo star. She assessed her prison—a cold, dim star system out toward the galactic rim. No gentle surround of fizzy radiation. No flurry of message orbs to decrypt. A lonely wasteland, so unlike the warm […]
Falling. Rebecca and I are falling. My daughter and I—so high it seems impossible that we could survive. We are in the back seat of a taxi that has somehow unhitched from its arcing track between the skyscrapers. Theory 1: Your last thought is your least important. It is a dead-end wisp that will vanish […]