tycho garen is the working name of Sam Kleinman, New York City-based writer, critic, digital curator, systems administrator, and editor. He writes professionally, building documentation and other technical reference material that serve a number of distinct audience types. tycho writes science fiction stories that address a nexus of ideas including digital culture, space (geography,) memory, history, and identity. The site tychoish.com addresses these ideas, and more, in a blog/wiki hybrid that centers around regular "rhizomes" or (blog posts.)
tycho lives in New York City, and you might find him at a singing from The Sacred Harp, a Contra Dance, Morris Dancing, or talking about the state of technology and free software. In the mean time, enjoy this site and the blog, and please do be in touch!
I have been writing and working on the web for more than a decade, but tychoish emerged early 2007. I began writing as tycho near the end of my undergraduate study at Beloit College in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies. The pen name began when I realized that the kinds of projects I wanted to write about online—science fiction, hacking, and the technology of productivity—didn't fall within the scope of what I was working on in the classroom or the kinds of jobs I thought I wanted. I was wrong on the career part, and while that took a little while to sort out, it didn't happen before I discovered how well writing and working as tycho fit.
Even though most of the original reasons for beginning "tycho garen" have faded, and it probably causes more confusion than I can afford, I am hesitant to give it up. tycho has allowed be to grow, to explore, and to understand what it means to "work as if [I] live in the early days of a better nation," (apologies to Alasdair Gray.) That's good enough for me.
My "blogging" practice is challenged by three distinct impulses: to write longer essays that explore a single thought fragment for a few paragprahs, to write short notes that collect and juxtapose a number of potentially disparate ideas, and to write longer-form series that transcend the ephemeral modality of the blog. The history of tychoish, and its countless predecessor and adjunct project is defined by this tension. The rhizomes and wiki pages on the site are still subject to these tensions, and address topics that include political economy, free software and open source, urban living, science fiction, fiber art, and technical writing and documentation. Stay tuned!
I write fun, not particularly hard, science fiction that attempts to explore issues surrounding historiography, colonialism, family structure, and cooperative economics. In the first part of 2010, I released the full text of an early novella, Knowing Mars, which addresses emigration, historical narrative, diaspora, gender, and "societies in transition." It's also, I realized somewhat after the fact, something of an ironic gay superhero story. What can you do.
These days, I'm working primarily on a number of different projects, beyond the list above, and I hope to be able to share with you, here, in the near future. I'm in the final stretch of a fiction project that explores the creation of histories and colonialism; I've begun planning a retelling of a classic work of feminist science fiction to address issues of family and relation; I'm looking forward to the opportunity to conclude a number of smaller fiction projects and improve both the content of these projects and improve the way that they can be published.