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Young Geoffrey

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God bless America [Dec. 11th, 2009|07:10 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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"In some other universe I am warm and content and not looking at spending two years in jail for the crime of having been punched in the face." — Peter Watts, December 11, 2009

Peter Watts, one of my favourite writers — and possibly the best hard SF writer on the scene today — was beaten up and arrested by U.S. border guards while attempting to cross back into Canada on Tuesday. He says (and I believe him) that he was punched, kicked and pepper-sprayed and (of course) has now been charged with "assaulting a federal officer" and faces two years in prison. He's back home in Toronto right now but looking at humongous legal fees.

Cory Doctor at BoingBoing appears to have broken the story, and it includes links both to Watt's own blog and to a Paypal donation address, donate@rifters.com.

Incidentally, Watts has released all of his work under a creative commons license, so if you're not familiar with his stuff you can get yourself all caught up via his site. And I highly recommend that you do.

[User Picture]From: sooguy
2009-12-12 04:02 am (UTC)
I was very sadden to learn of this today. Peter is a very intelligent and respected writer. I can't imagine what went down.

Did he say what border crossing this was?
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-12-12 08:05 am (UTC)

Port Huron, I believe

His blog says "Blue Water Bridge", which Google tells me (and which I think I also read) is in (at?) Port Huron, between Ontario and Michigan.

I'm not so much sad as I am resignedly pissed. I'm even going to find someone with a credit card so I can make a donation to his legal fund, even if as a biologist he's sceptical that there's even such a thing as altruism — come to think of it, I'm not being altruistic. I like his work a lot, want to see more of it, despise the politics that saw him beaten up and even fantasize I might share a beer with him one day.

But I digress. He's one hell of a writer. If you haven't read him yet, Blindsight is a remarkable piece of work. And availabe in HTML and PDF on his site, as well as being in print (or so I believe).

Long day. Babbling incoherently. Will end this. Now.
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