Brenda Cooper


Women in Science Fiction, an Interview, and Intro Chapters

EdgeofDarkBannerSkiffy an Fanty asked me to post about the current topic of the day – women in science fiction.  My thoughts are now posted over at their site – please do drop by and read.  If you want to include this as part of the meta-coversation, please post this on social media and comment etc.

I also have in Interview up at SFFWORLD.

Chapter One is up at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.

Chapter Two is up at Civilian Reader.



Release Day for Edge of Dark

Edge of Dark coverIt’s release day for Edge of Dark!

I’m pleased with this duology, and very happy to see book one go off into the world.  I’ve been on retreat working on book two, and the meta-story is coming along really well.  I’m really pleased to have this part of it available.

Here’s what people are saying about it so far:

“Playing God is dangerous: Edge of Dark is an intelligent, thoughtful look at what it might mean to coexist with superior AIs that we ourselves have created. Brenda Cooper’s universe is detailed, inventive, and ultimately dazzling. I will remember Chrystal for a very long time.”

—NANCY KRESS, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards

“Edge of Dark is bold, immersive, boundary-pushing sci-fi; a new breed of transhuman space opera. It asks all the right questions: What’s the line between human and posthuman? How would immensely enhanced creatures treat mere humans? And how would we baseline humans view them—as our successors, our future selves, or our exterminators? Whatever opinion you enter this book with, it’ll surprise you. Read it.”
—RAMEZ NAAM, author of Nexus and Crux

I’ll be reading from Edge of Dark on March 4th at the University Bookstore in Seattle, and on March 9th at Powell’s Beaverton Store.


Edge of Dark Readings Coming Soon

I’ve got a number of appearances coming soon.  The fiEdge of Dark coverrst is at the University Bookstore on the 4th of March.  This will be my first public reading of Edge of Dark where the book is actually available.  So it’s pretty much to launch party.  Come on down!  I’d love to have a full house of friends for this.

The very next week, I’ll be in Portland on Monday the 9th at Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing.  I don’t often get a chance to read in Portland; this is a rare appearance!

After that, I’ll be at Norwescon 38, April 2nd – 4th, where I will be on a number of panels and will have a readings.




Six by Six is Live!

I’m super excited to announce (finally!) the launch day for my very first Kickstarter. I’ve backed 50 (yes, 50) Kickstarter projects. They’ve varied from my Pebble watch to my friend’s books, from expensive things I haven’t yet gotten (but almost certainly will) to perfectly delivered delights. Only 5 have failed to fund. And here I am leaping into the Kickstarter water. At least I’m not going in alone – there’s six of us! How lucky can a writer be?

The project: SixBySixCoverLaunchDec1-300x225Six by Six.  That’s six fabulous stories from each of six writers. The writers include me, Tina Connelly (one of our SFWA readers and the author of the very enjoyable “Ironskin” and two sequels), the Hugo winner Will McIntosh, Stephen Gaskell (who’s work brought me to tears once when Kate Baker read  Paper Cradle), well-known fantasist Martha Wells, and Bradley P. Beaulieu, who has been our guiding light on this project (I believe I have read ALL of his books so far, which is a big deal – I don’t read that much fantasy).

Which leads me to my secret for this project – my six stories are all fantasy. Most people think of me as a science fiction writer, but about a quarter of my short work in fantasy. Here, I am pleased to present six linked stories set in a world I call the High Hills. The world-building is based on some of the most magical moments of my teenaged years, when I worked at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach.

I hope that you give us a chance and back us, and I promise that between the six of us, there will be stories that you love.  And I want to also shout out to Julie Dillon, who’s art is being used for the Kickstarter (with permission, of course).


Gaming for Good

I spent Wednesday – Friday of last week working on a far brighter side of gaming than gamergate. In support of its mission to eradicate poverty, the World Bank has been deploying a game called Evoke, which is designed to engage young adults in developing countries with social good issues. They used a hackathon to start the next round of game stories. The Bank gathered science fiction writers, topical experts, curriculum designers, and artists around grey industrial tables with power cords hanging overhead, a maker space right next door, and plentiful moderately bad coffee.

Each team worked on a topical “big” issue from conservation through nuclear disarmament (Remember the nukes? Some of us do. Viscerally. But millennials may not).

The hackathon designers drew authors from the Hieroglyph anthology inspired by Seattle superpower Neal Stephenson, with the apt addition of Kim Stanley Robinson. Participants included Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn (the editors), Kathleen Ann Goonan, Karl Schroeder, James Cambias, and me. Academics and experts came from multiple Universities and from the Bank itself. Every table had an artist; they might have been the most amazing people there. Worlds and characters were drawn into life very quickly.

Artist Jacob Glaser working at the hackathon.  Photo credit Jamais Cascio.

Artist Jacob Glaser working at the hackathon. Photo credit Jamais Cascio.

Each team produced about 8 pages worth of graphic story, and a number of tasks to accompany it. Some groups proposed linking the game to the player’s real world.

Will these games work?

That’s tough to say. But they very well might. It seems that the linkage to the real world will matter. For example, if someone gaming about literacy can read to someone else, there could be an extra win.

Another trick will be creating engaging experiences. Each table might have benefitted from one more person: an actual game designer from a commercially successful game. Perhaps designers from Zynga, Bungee, and Valve.

Some episodes of Evoke are already in use. If the game continues to get better and grow its base, the payoff could be fabulous. Many  target players are in countries with broken education systems. Interactive games could provide a window into a world where players can connect with the global community and global mentors so that they become armed with new knowledge and skills, as well as a feeling of empowerment.

It’s hard to create compelling entertainment with an agenda. But it’s possible. I’m very pleased that the World Bank did this, and that they invited me to play a small part. I wish them all the success in the world.


Big Hieroglyph Events coming to AZ and Seattle

_77263830_91j8jzxo3+lThe Hieroglyph anthology was born in Arizona and nurtured at ASU, at the Center for Science and the Imagination. The center is an academic effort to mash up SF writers and scientists and see what comes out. Hieroglyph is one child of the center. This anthology of ambitious near-future SF was goosed along by Neal Stephenson’s poke at society about how much trouble we have building big things, or “moonshot projects”. We writers chatted together on a board that included scientists, and had a grand time writing about big ideas.

There are two events coming soon….

There’s one on October 22nd at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, Arizona.  It’s going to be a fun series of short talks about the big ideas in the book, and the cast of writers will be awesome.  I’ll be there (and yes, I’ll talk!).  Madeline Ashby,  Kim Stanley Robinson, James L. Cambias, Kathleen Ann Goonan, and Karl Schroeder will also all be on stage, as well as the editors Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn, and physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies. That’s a lot of smart, fun people in the room with a lot of big ideas. It’s essentially free if you buy the book and you get a second person in for $5.00 if it sounds like date-night.  You really do want to the book — there are some great stories in Hieroglyph, and a lot of big-idea optimistic thinking as well.  If you’re going, tickets will be available at the door if it doesn’t sell out, but it might be smarter to get them in advance.

In Seattle, there are rumors that a few tickets might be had if you stand in line outside of the sold-out Town Hall event there on Sunday the 26th, where Neal Stephenson and Cory Doctorow will hold a conversation about the future.  Town Hall is an amazing venue that hosts talks about a ton of culturally relevant ideas. I’ve been to about a dozen events there, and liked every one of them.




Reading Recommendation: Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress

Yesterdays KinWhile I was back at the World Future Society in July, my long-time friend and roommate, Gisele Peterson, was reading an advanced copy of “Yesterday’s Kin,” by Nancy Kress. I was jealous.

We had both heard Nancy read from the beginning of this novella at Worldcon in San Antonio, and been hungry for the rest of the story ever since.  Gisele finished and let me pry the ARC out of her hands. I devoured it on the plane.  My plane ticket is still stuck in the last page.  I’ve just been waiting until people could get it before I wrote up a recommendation.

Yesterday’s Kin is a fabulous look at first contact through the eyes of a family.  Like all of Nancy’s work, the characterization and the science is impeccable, and the story so well done that I was sad when it was over.  Nancy delivers a complete package, and shows her chops as one of our best modern science fiction writers.

I can’t say too much without delivering spoilers, but this is well worth your time.



Publication News: Hieroglyph anthology out now


_77263830_91j8jzxo3+lI’m really excited about the release of the Hieroglyph anthology.  I enjoyed the process of researching and writing my story, and I’m tickled to be part of the project.  The table of contents is fabulous, and includes many of my favorite writers.  Here’s a bit of the description from the back cover:

“Born of an initiative at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, this remarkable collection unites a diverse group of celebrated authors, prominent scientists, and creative visionaries–among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Charlie Jane Anders, David Brin, and Neal Stephenson–who contributed works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to imagine fully, think broadly, and do Big Stuff.”


–Official site:

–Free Excerpt on Scribd:


–William Morrow/HarperCollins:








Publication News: Coming Soon Enough out now!

I’ve got a story out in a new anthology that I wanted to be sure people don’t miss.  It’s called “Coming Soon Enough,” and the anthology has six stories — by Nancy Kress, Mary Robinette Kowal, Greg Egan, Cheryl Rydbom, Geoffrey Landis, and me.  It’s really very well done and I very much enjoyed the stories by the other authors (and had fun writing mine). You can get it online in the kindle store for 1.99.  As far as I can tell it’s only available in electronic format at this moment.  Stephen Cass edited the anthology. As a bonus, it’s also nicely illustrated.  Coming Soon Enough


Reading Recommendation: Arctic Rising and Hurricane Fever, Tobias Buckell

hurricanefever-276x400I love reading science fiction that evokes a believable and complete world, a world that I can imagine coming into being.  Tobias S. Buckell’s two recent science-fiction thrillers created an utterly plausible future where the arctic is no longer frozen, where the Caribbean is a player as well as a place where players go, and where string after string of heavy weather is survived with aplomb by the ultra-rich who attend hurricane parties.

Arctic Rising is a fast-paced thriller with a pretty fascinating female protagonist.  I loved it.  Hurricane Fever follows it.  However, the books are loosely coupled – they can be read in either order.  They tell different stories, which are linked by one character, and by the shared world that all of the characters inhabit.

These books belong on the shelves of futurists who are interested in a world we are barreling toward, and by those who love James Bond and want to read about that kind of character operating in a less well-heeled part of the world.



I am a writer, public speaker, and a futurist. I’m interested in how new technologies might change us and our world, particularly for the better.

I’m excited about my most recent book series, a duology called “Ruby’s Song” which includes the books The Creative Fire and The Diamond Deep, both published by Pyr.  I’m also doing a non-fiction blog series, Backing into Eden, which comes out roughly twice a month and explores ways to care for the world, now and in the future.

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