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  • Issue 73 - Champions of the Internet

    TOP OF MIND Remember when the internet was nice? When I look back to earlier days of the public web (probably through a haze of nostalgia), I recall an online world where people pursued odd conversations about toy poodles and pencils, where silliness was innocent, and the thrill of discovering … read more

  • Issue 72 - Down the Rabbit Hole

    500 Words is a publication of FutureX.Studio. TOP OF MIND Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur C. Clarke The quote from science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is provocative, but only tells part of the story. In our age, technology has turned out … read more

  • Issue 71: Your Next App will be a Good Friend

    Hello, and welcome to 500 Words. TOP OF MIND Tamagotchi are virtual pets that hit peak popularity in the late 1990s. You picked up a handheld device to play with, feed, and meet your Tamagotchi’s needs. This widespread human-machine love relationship was the first of its kind. And the love … read more

  • 500 Words - Issue 70 - You're getting a B on this assignment, because I didn't read it

    TOP OF MIND I teach a class for USC, in the Architecture Department, and I’ve learned one thing these past few years. If I don’t keep up reviewing student assignments, I will be buried. For example, this past Monday, after USC’s spring break, I had 40 assignments to review and … read more


    Welcome to 500 Words. This week, the newsletter is late because I’ve been revising my second novel. I just sent off the book yesterday to my editor for a last look before proofreading starts. So let’s get right to this. TOP OF MIND Kate Middleton is an amateur, by her own admission, when it comes to … read more

  • Issue 68: The Rock Band that Tours Until the End of Time

    Hello all, Welcome to 500 Words. TOP OF MIND I was invited to publish articles on Medium.com when it started in 2012. I sent them articles on a regular basis — until last week. I had a “wait, wut” moment. Was Medium allowing chatbots like ChatGBT to ingest my work? Was my writing being used for … read more

  • The 500 Words newsletter this week will cover how Medium.com’s management is saying no to AI crawlers on the site. Also why KISS will never stop touring for all eternity. Subscribe: https://opennotes.blog/subscribe

  • An Open Web or a Private Web?

    I sent out a newsletter this morning. (If you haven’t yet, subscribe to it.) The provider, Buttondown, is great, with personal service and a sense of real caring about us, the customers. I wrote to ask them if they were thinking about doing anything about OpenAI from crawling our newsletter … read more

  • Issue 67: Woodpeckers Working on a Big Tree

    Hello all, A newsletter post today! Kind of. I’ll offer a few quick ideas, because today these thoughts are pecking at me like woodpeckers working on a big tree. Subscribe now TOP OF MIND I’m closing in on the final draft of my second novel, the sequel to Surrender. It’s called … read more

  • Issue 66: Top of Mind

    Hello! In the last newsletter I ran, I asked you all what you’d like to see me write about in 500 Words. The overwhelming favorite was “report on what is real and what is fake on the Internet.” Got it! You’ll see a section below that I’m calling FOOL ME ONCE. (Other favorites you asked for were for … read more

  • 500 Words ISSUE 64: Readers Wanted

    Dear Friends, I have a problem with writing science fiction. I can’t write it fast enough to have it remain fiction. Too much of what I imagine is coming true right now, and there’s no way that I can type fast enough to keep up. If you want to get a sneak peek into the future, consider becoming an … read more

  • Some Things are Fake but this is Really Real

    Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written you all. I’ve been head down in an edit pass for Resist, a novel that is the sequel to Surrender, the book that I published earlier this year. Resist continues the adventures of the heroic Kat Keeper as she battles against MIND, the evil corporation that … read more

  • Raymond Chandler

    Reupping this because it still works. It’s a post from 23 June 2019. Take a look at this. It’s by Raymond Chandler. A long time ago when I was writing for pulps I put into a story a line like “he got out of the car and walked across the sun-drenched sidewalk until the shadow of the awning … read more

  • Issue 61 -- Rachel Allen Keeps the Love of Wrtiting Alive

    Hello Friends, I’m not a big fan of summer, but this year is different. I’m grateful for the fuzzy nature of summertime. We’ve had an eventful last few months, too eventful really, with medical challenges in my family and a round of Covid, so it’s been good to lower expectations and have some open … read more

  • Issue 60 JV Hilliard Has Created a Masterful World

    Hello Friends, This Week on FutureX JV Hilliard is the author of the Warminster Saga fantasy novels. Here’s how he often introduces himself. “Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the … read more

  • Issue 59 -- Elon Musk Messed Up My Logo

    Greetings! I added the exclamation point above to conceal my bad mood, because Elon Musk messed up the FutureX logo. You’ve probably heard that he renamed Twitter “X,” trashing 16 years of brand equity and online history. And he killed the blue bird. In the aftermath, people will lose their jobs, … read more

  • Issue 58 - Rod Faulkner Sees the Genius in Short Sci-Fi Films

    Hello, everyone. I’m going to introduce this week’s FutureX podcast in a moment, but first, I want to celebrate a few things about writing novels. Smart people tell writers (and performers) not to read reviews, because reviews can sting. Once, a play I wrote was panned in a bad review. After the … read more

  • Issue 57 Brian Freeman is Building a Creator Community

    Hello! In this episode of the FutureX Podcast, Brian Freeman discusses Creatorland, a professional networking platform designed for content creators who are working in the $100 billion creator economy. Brian brings a startup founder’s mentality to Creatorland, and that startup mindset could be of … read more

  • Issue 56 JJ Ramberg and the Goodpods Community

    Hello! In this episode of the FutureX Podcast, host Lee Schneider interviews JJ Ramberg, co-creator of Goodpods, a platform designed to help podcast listeners discover new content and share recommendations with their friends. Ramberg and her brother Ken founded the platform to address the discovery … read more

  • Issue 55 Dr. Robert Eschmann

    In today’s episode of FutureX, you’ll meet Dr. Robert Eschmann, a writer, scholar, filmmaker, and educator from Chicago. He is an Associate Professor of Social Work and a member of the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, as well as a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for … read more