Hi! My name is Joe Stech, and this is my personal site. I'm a professional software engineer ('data scientist'), and the publisher of the magazine Compelling Science Fiction and the News Refinery newsletter, among other things. You can take a look at my professional experience on LinkedIn and I sometimes tweet @joe_stech. Any opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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What happens to animals in the vacuum of space?


In the vast majority of modern shows, people sucked out into the vacuum of space freeze like popsicles in seconds. This is ridiculous. The reality is much more horrifying. In the 1960s there were several studies done on animals in high-grade vacuums ...

Building an email newsletter: easy, fun, cheap


I’m a big fan of email newsletters. They make it really easy for fans to stay in touch with projects they enjoy, without having to be subjected to the whims of some social media algorithm. With an email newsletter, everything is much more direct and ...

Plausible Science Fiction


I was at convention yesterday and heard a panel discussion about the old “hard vs. soft” science fiction debate. I realized while listening that there is a huge amount of baggage that people associate with the term “hard science fiction,” and th...

Why Should I Care About Climate Change?


Hi friends, with climate change all over the news lately I've seen a lot of misconceptions (both intentional and unintentional) about global warming. I want to address just one of the grossly disingenuous things I've seen printed in the last...

My Favorite Science Fiction (and Non-Fiction) Books


Below is a list of my favorite books – the science fiction and non-fiction that has helped shape my thinking. I'm not claiming that these SF books are the best science fiction novels ever written, or that the non-fiction books are a compendi...

Going Serverless: AWS and Compelling Science Fiction


This is a companion blog post to a talk I gave to the Boulder Python Meetup group about the infrastructure that runs Compelling Science Fiction. Slides from that talk can be found here. Hopefully you can use some of these tools to create som...