It turns out that in 2005 the Canadian army commissioned a science fiction writer (Karl Schroeder) to write a book about a future military crisis. Schroeder has included some nanotechnology applications in his future war book, Crisis in Zefra, such as ‘smart dust’. I haven’t read the book yet. Apparently the army has run out of copies but you can get a PDF version from Schroeder’s website here. [ETA Nov. 4, 2014: Scroll down to the second link in the section on Zefra, as the first link no longer works.] Do check out the website blog where he includes some science bits and pieces in his postings. According to the article here, Schroeder has been commissioned to write a sequel. I don’t usually think of the Canadian military as being particularly imaginative so I find this somewhat refreshing (although I may change my mind once I’ve read the book).
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting (in Chicago this year) has started. There aren’t a huge number of nanotechnology presentations but one which has attracted a great deal of attention is one that focuses on nanotechnology and food. The subject for the panel pretty much guarantees attention will be paid and when you add this title (From Donuts to Drugs: Nano-Biotechnology Evolution or Revolution) you’ve given the media a ready-made title for their pieces. it’s good to see the topic being discussed. If you’re generally interested in this stuff, you can check out a report about it from the Friends of the Earth. The summary (news release) is here and the report is here at the bottom of the page. They are a little bit strident but the material itself is interesting and seems to be well researched. One final comment, the report was released in November 2008 so it’s a little dated.