Open Levinson

Paul Levinson's Open Salon Blog

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three known as the "Sierra Waters trilogy". His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009, 2013) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into twelve languages. Paul Levinson has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


DECEMBER 16, 2014 7:09PM

Why I'm Not Too Upset about Sony Hack

Aaron Sorkin, among others, has been attacking the media for their reporting of the content of the Sony hacks - including, among other things, "an inappropriate and racially charged exchange" in private email between Sony producer Scott Rudin and Sony exec Amy Pascal.   To be clear, I… Read full post »
DECEMBER 13, 2014 9:50PM

The Prosecutor and the Media

Among the disturbing aspects of St. Louis Prosecutor Robert McCulloch's announcement of no indictment of Darren Wilson for his killing of Michael Brown - aside from that appalling no indictment itself - was McCulloch's lashing out at the media, social and cable, for stirring people up and spreadRead full post »

DECEMBER 4, 2014 3:10AM

Lessons from Eric Garner

In the aftermath of the awful failure to indict Eric Garner's killer today in New York City - Staten Island, to be more precise - I can think of at least three important lessons we can get from this, as we all seek to create a world with fewer such killingsRead full post »

It's always nice, and a fact crucial to the growth of our knowledge, when an event in the real world answers a hotly debated issue.   We got such a fact earlier this month, when Tom Butt was elected Mayor of Richmond, California. He spent about $50,000 on a mostly door-to-door campaignRead full post »

The dispute between Amazon and publisher Hachette has dominated book talk on and off the Web this past month, as indicated in this biased anti-Amazon piece in the New York Times.

The gist of the dispute is that Amazon wants a better deal from big publishers, in terms of how much of aRead full post »

JULY 26, 2013 8:50PM

Father and Son and Paul McCartney

Been a good day for the family.   Son Simon's pathbreaking interview with Sir Paul McCartney was published in Rolling Stone.  It contains such gems as McCartney reminiscing about "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" -
I have great memories of writing it with John. I read, occaRead full post »

I finished serving on a jury a few days ago - I was foreperson of a jury in a fairly serious criminal trial - and I wanted to give you my impressions and thoughts while still fresh in my mind.  This was my first time on a jury of any kind.Read full post »

I've just finished writing the concluding chapter of Unburning Alexandria - sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates - which will be published on Kindle, iTunes, etc as an ebook by JoSara MeDia next month. As a little appetizer, I thought you might enjoy this brief reading… Read full post »

JANUARY 31, 2013 3:39PM

The Americans: True and Deep

The Americans, with Keri Russell as one half of the Soviet sleeper spy couple so deeply undercover in Washington they're more American than most of us, debuted on fx last night.  It was superb.

First, about Keri Russell, there are two interrelated things about her past as an actress that make her/… Read full post »
JANUARY 29, 2013 8:08PM

New Dallas Back for Second Season

Not long after the sad news of Larry Hagman's passing, the new Dallas came back last night for the two-hour debut of its second season.  J. R's still in the first number of episodes, and his appearance now gives a special tug on the emotions.

The plot has been revved up to/… Read full post »
The Following followed through tonight with an episode as tight and powerful as the premiere, which is to say, about as on-the-edge-of-your-seat powerful, frightening, and unexpected in its twists and turns indeed.  The Following is not like any other show on network television, and more than mo/… Read full post »
JANUARY 28, 2013 11:18PM

Bones 8.13: Two for the Price of One

Bones 8.13 opens with two corpses, buried right next to each, one apparently dead of natural causes, the other of the unnatural cause of murder.

I guessed the killer - the killer being the killer of both women - pretty much as soon as I saw him.  There was something about the/… Read full post »
JANUARY 27, 2013 9:03PM

The Hobbit: A Review

Finally had a chance to see The Hobbit, Peter Jackson's beautifully rendered prequel to his Lord of the Rings masterpiece trilogy.

And I mean beautiful.  The Shire never looked more verdant and shimmering.  Rivendell and its falling rivers was just breathtaking - you could practically f/… Read full post »
JANUARY 26, 2013 12:44AM

Fringe Evita

There was no Fringe to see tonight, so my wife and I went to see September - aka Michael Cerveris - in  the next-last-evening in the fine Broadway revival of Evita.   Our daughter, who is not a Fringe fan, bought us the tickets - because she knows my wife and/… Read full post »
JANUARY 22, 2013 1:57PM

Bones 8.12: Face of Enigmatic Evil

As much as I enjoy the dancing, comedy, flirtation, and intellectual puzzles in Bones, it's always good to see the team beset by a good old-fashioned psycho genius.   Zack Addy is still the quintessential best example of this - what more could you ask for, the beloved Bones intern in/… Read full post »
JANUARY 22, 2013 3:06AM

The Following Begins

A nasty night of entertainment on Fox tonight, with a dark episode of Bones followed by the premiere of a much darker  series - as in a serial killer just one or so steps below Hannibal Lecter - called The Following.

James Purefoy, best known to the American audience as Mark Antony/… Read full post »
JANUARY 20, 2013 4:22PM

Criminal Minds 8.12: Spencer's Burden

An excellent Criminal Minds 8.12 this past week, which prompts my first review of this long-running show in more than a year.

Spencer has had a girlfriend all season - a girlfriend Spencer style.  They almost met in person, but the meeting was left hanging when Spencer was concerned that his/… Read full post »
JANUARY 19, 2013 12:47PM

Free Sample of The Plot to Save Socrates

In the year 2042, Sierra Waters, a young graduate student in Classics, is shown a new dialog of Socrates, recently discovered, in which a time traveler tries to argue that Socrates might escape death by travel to the future! Thomas, the elderly scholar who has shown her the document, disappear/
Read full post »
JANUARY 19, 2013 12:10PM

Fringe Finale: A Review

Some series start off great, then slowly or quickly fall apart.  Some shows start off great, decline, come back with a brilliant season or two, but falter badly at the end.  Like Lost.   Some series just get better and better.  Like Fringe, which saved the very best for last.

There/… Read full post »
JANUARY 15, 2013 9:19AM

Double Bones 8.10-11

A real treat for Bones devotees tonight - two episodes, 8.10 and 8.11, back to back.

The second episode - 8.11 - was one of the best episodes of the series as far as science verging on science fiction, so let's start with that.   A murdered archeologist leads the team to/… Read full post »
JANUARY 13, 2013 11:20PM


Well, Spielberg's Lincoln didn't win the Golden Globe, but I still think it's the best bio-pic I ever seen.

Daniel Day-Lewis did win for best actor, and his performance was extraordinary.  No one alive today can know what Lincoln was really like.   But Daniel Day-Lewis certainly captured wha/… Read full post »
My avatar reads (via mental telepathy) from the beginning of The Plot to Save Socrates ... the virtual reality world of Second Life ...

Read this with your own eyes ... a free sample of The Plot to Save Socrates

Read more of The Plot to Save Socrates -  Kindle US ... Kindle UK&Read full post »
In many ways it's the least significant part of the story.  But it speaks to how much Fringe has pivoted to its two-hour series finale next week - a finale in which Walter's plan to end the Observers will be put to the test.   We find out this plan tonight,/… Read full post »
I've been quietly watching and much enjoying Justified on FX the past few years - it's that kind of show - but decided it was time to bestow a review upon it.

I picked a good time.  The first episode of the 4th season had Boyd Crowder (played by the brilliant Walton/
Read full post »
JANUARY 9, 2013 11:49AM

NCIS 10.11: Family and Bullets

A powerful NCIS 10.11 last night - in fact, the best of the season so far, and the first of a two-part story - which features my favorite character, Ziva, and her father Eli.

NCIS always does a great job with fathers - whether Gibbs', DiNozzo's, or Ziva's - but Eli, being/… Read full post »