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I've made my first novel, Ventus, available as a free download, as well as excerpts from two of the Virga books.  I am looking forward to putting up a number of short stories in the near future.

Complete novel:  Ventus


To celebrate the August, 2007 publication of Queen of Candesce, I decided to re-release my first novel as an eBook. You can download it from this page. Ventus was first published by Tor Books in 2000, and and you can still buy it; to everyone who would just like to sample my work, I hope you enjoy this version.

I've released this book under a Creative Commons license, which means you can read it and distribute it freely, but not make derivative works or sell it.

Book Excerpts:  Sun of Suns and Pirate Sun

I've made large tracts of these two Virga books available.  If you want to find out what the Virga universe is all about, you can check it out here:

Major Foresight Project:  Crisis in Zefra

In spring 2005, the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me to write a dramatized future military scenario.  The book-length work, Crisis in Zefra, was set in a mythical African city-state, about 20 years in the future, and concerned a group of Canadian peacekeepers who are trying to ready the city for its first democratic vote while fighting an insurgency.  The project ran to 27,000 words and was published by the army as a bound paperback book.

If you'd like to read Crisis in Zefra, you can download it in PDF form.

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A meeting of minds for scientists, technologists and artists

March 15-16, 2008:  The First SciBarCamp

SciBarCampI helped organize SciBarCamp, the first of a series of spontaneous conferences including scientists, artists, and technologists. The first SciBarCamp took place at Hart House at the University of Toronto on the weekend of March 15-16, 2008, with an opening reception on the evening of March 14.  The goal was to create connections between science, entrepreneurs and local businesses, and arts and culture.  The themes were:

  • The edge of science (eg, synthetic biology, quantum gravity, cognitive science)
  • The edge of technology (eg, mobile web, ambient computing, nanotechnology, web 2.0)
  • Science 2.0 (open access, changing models of publication and collaboration)
  • Scientific literacy and public engagement (eg, one laptop per child project, policy and science, technology as legislation, science as culture, enfranchising the poor, the young, the old)

Scibarcamp day sessions

In the tradition of BarCamps, otherwise known as "unconferences", (see for more information), the program was decided by the participants at the beginning of the meeting, in the opening reception.  Some presentations and discussion topics were be proposed at the SciBarCamp website, but the bulk were decided upon on the opening night. The picture below shows some of the talk proposal sheets, which attendees were encouraged to fill out at any time during the event.

Scibarcamp talk proposals

The talks were informal and interactive; to encourage this, speakers who wished to give PowerPoint presentations had twenty minutes to present, while those without will have forty or sixty minutes.  Around half of the time was dedicated to small group discussions on topics suggested by the participants, but there were plenty of things going on--autonomous robots roving in their own room across the hall; a visit from a high-speed solar race car...  The social events and meals made it easy to meet people from different fields and industries.  Our venue, Hart House, is a congenial space with plenty of informal areas to work or talk.  There was free wireless access throughout.

Scibarcamp solar car

Our goals were:

  • Igniting new projects, collaborations, business opportunities, and further events.
  • Intellectual stimulation and good conversation.
  • Integrating science into Toronto's cultural, entrepreneurial, and intellectual activities.
  • Prototyping a model that can be easily duplicated elsewhere.

Attendance was free, but was capped at 120 people.  The first SciBarCamp was a complete success, and a second, equally successful camp was held in the same venue on May 8-9, 2009.

If you're interested in attending a SciBarCamp or helping organize one, contact Jen Dodd ( with your name and contact details.  For general information about this unique un-conference, check out the website.

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