Annalee Newitz (b. 1969), "an over-educated dork who loves all forms of media" (Newitz, quoted in Silicon Salley), is a writer principally concerned with the interface between technology and culture. She grew up in the planned community of Irvine, California, where she became aware of disparities between popular techno-utopianism and the realities in which we live. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, whence she ultimately graduated with a Ph.d. in English and American Studies; her thesis concerned the image of monsters, psychopaths, and cannibals in twentieth century western pop culture. She has since spent an academic year (2002-2003) as a research fellow at MIT.

She has been Culture editor for The San Francisco Bay Guardian and contributing editor at Wired. Her work has appeared in such places as Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Industry Standard, Gear, GettingIt, Nerve, ZDNet, Slashdot, The Utne Reader, and Her books include White Trash: Race and Class in America, The Bad Subjects Anthology (the latter derived from the webzine, Bad Subjects which she founded), and Machine Lust: Sex in the Computer Age, She is perhaps best-known for her syndicated column, Techsploitation (which has appeared in the Silicon Valley weekly Metro) and as editor of the SF/tech blog io9.

She once described Techsploitation as a:

riff off the idea of exploitation movies, which were created very quickly to appeal to the basest instincts in their audiences. Of course, exploitation is also a way to describe the way workers are treated in a capitalist system devoted entirely to creating cash value -- often at the expense of scientific progress, ethics, and human life. Right now, we are living in an era of techsploitation in both senses. Technologies are being used to disseminate every kind of information, as quickly as possible. "Good" information (however you define that) is being swallowed up in the exploitation crap.... At the same time, workers all over the world are being ruthlessly exploited so that middle-class white girls like... me can have the latest palm pilot and ultralight portables. I have nothing against white girls with neat technology; I just abhor a system that requires us to starve Singaporean teenagers to get it. Everybody should have access to technology. Nobody should die of cancer from building chip boards.
(quoted in Silicon Salley)

Despite the often serious techno/political nature of her comments, she writes entertainingly, often tackling such subjects as sex, science fiction, and all manner of pop culture, and she admits to loving her fan mail, even when it's "fucking looney."

Annalee Newitz. "Sex with Storm Troopers." Salon

Profile: Annalee Newitz. Silicon Salley.


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