Great review in Analog!

Fabulous review of The Kuiper Belt Job by Rosemary Claire Smith in the latest Analog!

The Kuiper Belt Job is not, however, a simple tale of the latest heist. Instead, it weaves together the earlier Orca job with subsequent events. Levine deftly switches between the collective viewpoint for the flashbacks to the Orca Job and the individual viewpoints of the members of the Cannibal Club in the later timeline. … Levine conjures up the sheer good fun to be derived from a classic heist tale, while giving it a futuristic update. It is beautifully played, indeed.”

New Arabella of Mars trilogy covers!

I am thrilled to be able to share with you the covers of the new Open Road editions of the Arabella of Mars books! Are they not gorgeous? (Click to embiggen.)

OpenRoad-3 covers.

I recounted the story of how I got the rights to the Arabella books back from Tor and resold them to Open Road Media on my blog last year. The downside of this resale has been that the books have been out of print since then, except for used and backstock paper copies, but on February 13 they will be reissued as ebooks, with the lovely new covers shown above and all-new YA-focused marketing materials. And the new ebooks will be available for the first time in English-speaking markets outside North America! They are available for preorder now from ebook stores around the world.

Vintage Books Live! Tuesday, January 9, at 7pm

The Vintage Book Shop in Vancouver WA posts: “Vintage Books Live! is back! Join us Tuesday, January 9, at 7pm via YouTube ( We’ll be visiting with David D. Levine about his latest novel, The Kuiper Belt Job. Levine is the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of the Arabella of Mars series. This newest book is a madcap heist caper told from multiple points of view. We can’t wait to chat with him about it. If you can’t make the live event, be sure to catch the replay via our YouTube channel.”

AI is poisoning your brain

I recognize I’m becoming That Guy when it comes to AI, but I just had an interaction with AI that really demonstrates why I think it’s a serious problem.

I was talking with some folks and the question of “is it a good idea to use salt to put out a kitchen fire?” came up. There was disagreement among the group (my opinion: yes, dumping a pile of salt onto a greasy fire will put it out, whereas water will make it worse, and unlike a fire extinguisher might not make the food completely inedible) so I searched the question on my phone.

The suggested post that DuckDuckGo gave me (the one that comes up right under the browser’s address bar when you type the question) seemed to confirm my opinion. “Salt can put out a fire, but it’s not a magic bullet. It’s true that salt is an effective fire retardant, but it won’t put out a fire as effectively as a sprinkler system or water from your hose. Salt is just a last resort; if you have other options, you should use them first.” So far so good.

But as I kept reading I found that the page was wordy, repetitive, and somewhat self-contradictory. I knew it was a badly written clickbait page, but I began to suspect worse. Then I hit this gem: “Salt is used for putting out fires because it has a lot of water in it, which means that when it comes into contact with the flames of a fire, it will cause those flames to extinguish themselves by evaporating water from its own substance (the salt).” That statement is plausible, articulate, and 100% wrong: the hallmarks of AI.

This is, to my mind, a particularly egregious example of AI-generated misinformation. For one thing, it’s information about fire safety (the URL of the garbage site on which I found it includes the words “fire safety”) and misinformation about fire safety has a chance of getting someone killed. But I also noticed something going on in my own mind.

Here’s the thing: that egregiously wrong sentence means that everything else on the page, including the very reasonable statement that “salt is an okay way of putting out a fire but it should not be your first choice,” is suspect. But, having read up to that point with an open and accepting mind, everything on the page above that statement was now in my head. And it’s extremely difficult to to go back through your own brain’s “recent items” history and delete information which you now realize might not be accurate.

So I now know that everything I thought I knew about putting out fires with salt — which now includes an unknown amount of new information which might or might not be true — is suspect. My brain has been poisoned by AI-generated crap. And I’m a pretty skeptical guy, and I was deliberately using DuckDuckGo rather than Google (a search engine provided by a company which makes its money from advertising and is now heavily investing in AI) so I had already done one thing to shield myself from misinformation. And still I got bit by AI. I’m mad at myself for falling for it, and even madder at the assholes who put up that page full of misinformation for the sake of maybe getting a few fractional pennies from someone clicking on a sponsored link within it.

I hate that in this f’d-up modern world I now need to treat EVERYTHING I read, not just the political news, with deep skepticism. AI is imposing a cognitive burden on everyone and isn’t benefitting anyone except the advertisers and those who wish to promulgate misinformation.

Feh and double feh.


Today is the day! My new novel The Kuiper Belt Job is now on sale wherever books are sold!

The Kuiper Belt Job is a caper story in space, a mash-up of Ocean’s 11 and The Expanse with a dollop of Firefly and Leverage. It’s an ensemble piece with complex character relationships and a twisty, compelling plot, but beneath the entertaining surface it raises deep questions about identity and personhood. In a world where minds can be copied, what does it mean to be “me”?

This is my fourth published novel, but the first one in five years and my first small-press novel. If you would like to help, here are four ways:

1. Buy the book!

The number 1 way you can help is to buy the book! It is available in most places where you can buy paper books or ebooks, but here are three of the most popular:

Click here for a complete list of “buy here” links, including stores in Canada, the UK, and Australia. If you want to order it from your local brick-and-mortar bookstore, the ISBN is 9781647100902.

It’s also fabulous if you get the book from a library! Multnomah County Library has five copies on order, and if your local library doesn’t have it they might very well order it if you ask nicely.

2. Attend a reading!

If you are in one of the places I’m visiting on my book tour — which does includes two online venues, so that’s everywhere — I’d really appreciate it if you would show up! I can promise you an entertaining time, with music and giveaways as well as a reading and Q&A. Here’s my schedule:

3. Post a review!

After you have read the book, I would really appreciate it if you would post a review on Goodreads or Amazon, or on your own social media. It’s okay if you don’t love it! Sharing your honest opinion will help other people decide whether or not they might like the book.

4. Tell your friends!

Even if you are not the type of person who posts reviews, please be aware that word of mouth is the most important way that people find out about books. If you read the book and love it, tell your friends! Or, even if you don’t read it or don’t like science fiction, you might know someone who would… please tell them!

Thank you all for any help you can provide. Keep ’em flying!

Breakout Cover