December 29, 2008


Anna and I are giving a book talk about The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame at Barnes and Noble in Vancouver. The talk is in the afternoon, but we'll be hanging out a few hours to sign books and gab with people. Drop on by if you've got the afternoon off! (Or bring the kids by after school!)

What?: Mad Scientist Hall of Fame book talk
When?: Friday, Jan. 9th from 3 to 6 pm
Where?: Barnes and Noble Vancouver, located at 7700 NE Fourth Plain Blvd. (phone 260-3854).

December 28, 2008

check out bunk bots!

A new friend of mine has started selling the cutest plush robot toys this side of the asteroid belt. And they aren't just cute, they can be used to turn plush bolts and to fix plush machinery of any kind. Read more about bunk bots here.

December 19, 2008


Tonight, I'll be appearing briefly on LiveWire, a local radio show here in Portland that is held at the Aladdin Theater. It's always a good time -- with a live audience of hundreds there to see sketch comedy, interviews, and musicians. I'll be telling people about Mad Scientist Hall of Fame: Muwahahahaha!, which needs to be bought for mad scientists young and old in time for Christmas.

As an added bonus, I wrote one of the comedy sketches that is airing.* It involves Mexican Santa Claus and mad scientists, so hope you enjoy it. :)

* I also guest wrote a couple sketches a few months ago and it was great fun. If you remember the one about a wild panda being tattooed from space with messages of love -- that was me.

December 14, 2008


I was thinking about it, and decided to scan the covers of some of the foreign-language editions of HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING. These are Chinese, Thai, and Polish -- I think? Anyway, they're all beautiful -- especially the super-sparkle-version of the homicidal cover robot.

(You can click on the images to enlarge them...)

December 10, 2008

Where's My Jetpack -- now in French

I just received five or six copies of Where's My Jetpack, only translated into French. I think it looks really nice -- they even translated "Moon Space Available" on the dirigible in the top left!

December 3, 2008


Just about every week, I meet with a group of people who are very talented, smart, and willing-to-help-those-with-less-fortunate-brains-like-myself. When we each put our special rings together, we become the BBT -- the Big Brain Trust. Our secret writer's group has now been outed by the local paper, and I guess I'm okay with that.

Read about it here!

December 1, 2008


The Works is finished airing on History, and has moved to History International. If you don't get the other channel, then you'll have to buy Mad Scientist Hall of Fame: Muwahahahaha!if you need more Daniel H. Wilson in your life. :)

PS. To find air dates click on History International. Type "The Works" into the search window to find out when!

November 19, 2008

Design Within Reach

On Wednesday I'm participating in a panel discussion about the interplay between modern technology and modern design. My co-panelist is a stupendous badass, Mr. Sohrab Vossoughi, founder of ZIBA Design, and the event is moderated by Tim DuRoche (Community Outreach Manager at Portland Center Stage) and architecture-blogger extraordinaire, Brian Libby. Should be fun!
Designs on Portland: Designing Dreams, Engineering Desire
Wednesday, November 19, 6-8pm

What role do design and technology play in how we imagine the future? What role does design play in the manufacturing of desire, in solving complex global issues, or in animating a more open source relationship with everyday objects? In collaboration with Portland Center Stage, DWR brings together a diverse crowd interested in the convergence of shows, books, and exhibitions in Portland this fall. At the Studio, have your questions, comments and ideas ready for a conversation moderated by Portland architecture blogger Brian Libby (, Tim DuRoche of Portland Center Stage, Sohrab Vossoughi of ZIBA Design ( and Daniel H. Wilson, robotics engineer and author of “Where’s My Jetpack? A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future That Never Arrived.”

This evening is presented in conjunction with “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe” at Portland Center Stage ( through December 7; “Manuf®actured” at the Museum of Contemporary Craft ( through January 4; and Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture at Oregon Historical Society ( through January 4. Wine and refreshments will be served, provided by Pour Wine Bar ( Doors open at 6:00pm, program begins at 6:30.

August 25, 2008

powell's book talk -- this thursday

My co-author -- Dr. Anna C. Long -- and I will be delivering a rousing book talk at Powell's City of Books this Thursday to introduce the world to the greatest mad scientists of all time. It's just a quick 30 minute talk (max!) and we'll be signing books after. So come on out and bring your favorite mad scientist...

Thursday, August 28th @ 7:30PM Powell's City of Books on Burnside
1005 W Burnside (800) 878-7323

Geek meets chic in The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame (Citadel), Daniel H. Wilson's (How to Survive a Robot Uprising) and Anna C. Long's stylish, informative guide to the most outrageous, brilliant, and fascinating mad scientists — both real and fictional — and their diabolical inventions.

August 21, 2008

Read about the Top Five Mad Scientists

Popular Mechanics has excerpted some of my new book and it's available online. So read about the top 5 mad scientists! They aren't really the all time top five, just some of my favorites!

<--- Captain Nemo! Estranged from humanity and totally depressed!

August 19, 2008

Mad Scientists -- Reviewed!

The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame was reviewed over at my favorite tech blog --! It's a fun book and I'm glad that Annalee (the reviewer) enjoyed getting the dirt on all the best mad scientists -- especially that rocket scientist / occultist / orgy-maestro Jack Parsons. Here's a snippet of the review:
Funny and filled with good, crunchy facts, The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame is like "Behind the Music" for scientists. We learn a little about the scientists' brilliance, and then discover how it all went terribly, terribly wrong. Plus, about half the scientists that Wilson and Long discuss are fictional, which gives the profiles of real-life scientists a delightful, sensationalistic flair.

August 7, 2008

My New Book is Out!

The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame just hit bookstores. It's a psychological breakdown of the greatest mad scientists of all time -- real and fictional. Didja know that Dr. Jekyll was suffering from dissociative identity disorder? Or that Nikola Tesla believed he was speaking to aliens from Venus (just like Lex Luthor)? Captain Nemo was severely depressed and Dr. Evil is a clear-cut case of anti-social personality disorder. Fun!

You should buy it for your favorite mad scientist!

July 18, 2008

USA Today

A nice little article showed up in USA Today about THE WORKS.

Oh, and unlike in this photograph, I'm not really cross-eyed in real life. Just thought, uh, that I'd share that with you.

Click here to read the piece or just click on the photo. ----->

July 10, 2008

THE WORKS premiers tonight!

Thought I oughta mention that the show is premiering tonight. I'm cleaning my house, having friends over, and getting sauced. My mother bought a 52-inch television "guilt free." And my dad has warned me not to get too excited.

But how can I not be excited when there is so much vital information about garbage that is about to be transmitted via my television show tonight?!

Meanwhile, an early positive review of the show came in from the New York Daily News.

And there's a wonderfully nice article about me and the show in my hometown paper -- the Tulsa World. Thanks Tulsa!

July 4, 2008

The Works!

My new TV series for History premiers on Thursday, July 10th!

Visit to learn more about the show.

June 1, 2008


A mysterious package arrived a few days ago. Postmarked from Taiwan, the little cardboard box was stuffed with foreign newspapers (mostly manga comics, actually) and deep inside was a solidly-packed cube of eerily familiar books. Turns out, How to Survive a Robot Uprising has been translated into Chinese. And you might notice that the cover has had a seriously marvelous upgrade. Neat!

May 28, 2008

WIRED Magazine

Got a quick mention in this month's WIRED Magazine. Read for yourself, you delicate bag of water: Robot Overlords at Wired.

April 30, 2008

I am somehow a TV-show host

Finally, I can share some interesting news! Turns out that I'm hosting a new television show for the History channel. It's called THE WORKS and we've shot several episodes already. Here's an excerpt of the very small press release sent to advertisers:

Last night, History brought out a slate of seven new series in production, all focused on a different historical angle:

Evolve -Historical perspective of key innovations over time from Optomen Productions. 13 episodes premiere second quarter 2008.

Extreme Trains -Over 8 episodes this series looks at the most amazing trains in the world with Matt Bown, train conductor as host. Produced by Tiger Aspect Productions the series will steam ahead to the schedule in fourth quarter 2008.

The Works -A "did you know" series that focuses on such diverse items as steel, motorcycles and power tools with Daniel Wilson as host from Powderhouse Productions. 10 episodes premiere in third quarter 2008.

"American Original" Sandhogs -This new version of the American Original franchise shows off New York City from the underground and its tunnels built by Sandhogs. 12 episodes from Eye Pop Productions and Pilgrim Films premieres third quarter 2008.

Surviving History -Take a history lesson with experts as they test artifacts and weapons. 9 episodes from Brainbox Productions set to open second quarter 2008.

What Went Down -Hi-def CGI recreates never-before-seen historical events using eye witness accounts. 6 episodes from Creative Differences opens in 2009.

Battles B.C. -This series profiles ancient heroes and military battles. Produced by Four In Hand Productions with 8 episodes slated for 2009.

April 10, 2008

Popular Mechanics -- Top 10 Non-Inventions

I wrote another fun article for Popular Mechanics.

Click here to read about the top ten inventions that we haven't got yet (minus all the usual crap you'd expect from Star Trek, Star Wars, or the Future Past).

Click here to listen to a podcast about it!

March 9, 2008

urban outfitters

How to Build a Robot Army has finally assumed its rightful place among all the books about sex, smoking pot, and skateboarding over at Urban Outfitters. Every single time I walk into UO (there's one up the street here in Portland), I think to myself that they have a nice selection of books but they're missing one thing... ROBOTS. I guess I have that thought pretty much wherever I go, but anyway...

Visit geeksugar to vote on whether you think building a robot army is geek chic, or just plain geeky. I'm happy with either answer, honestly. Somehow I've reached a place in my life where I get pissed off if someone claims that I'm not a real geek.

March 8, 2008

haptics for popular mechanics

I wrote a new article for Popular Mechanics. It's all about haptics -- the science of touch!

Doesn't this guy look excited to be utilizing next-generation haptics technology? 

Read the article online and catch haptics fever for yourself.

February 2, 2008

coast to coast am -- Sunday, Feb 10th

Once again, I'll be holing up wherever I can find a landline so that I can chat on the radio about robots and aliens on my favorite radio show... Coast to Coast AM! Sadly, Art Bell has retired once again, but I'm just as excited to be talking with longtime host Ian Punnett. It's a guaranteed good time.

Also, I learned something new about myself the last time I was on -- I tend to laugh a lot. This drew mixed reactions, as the following snippets from emails will show:
Your laugh is sexy!
-- Nancy

You have the most irritating little laugh. I almost called Art to tell him to tell you off the radio. You MUST drop the laugh.
-- Candy

I liked hearing you laugh during the interview. It was obvious you were enjoying yourself and the subject matter and knew how to not take yourself (or the topic) too seriously
-- Lotus

You said "you know" too many "you know" times.
-- Bruce

February 1, 2008

livewire -- friday, feb 15th

Hooray, I've been invited back to the hilarious (and informative) LiveWire! radio show! More information as the date draws nearer...

I'm also doing this thing called True Stories on the evening of Feb 10th at Mississippi Studios here in Portland. I'll be discussing the true story of my life as a young nerd in love. And I'm not the only one there, click on True Stories to read about the other authors and funny people who run the show.

January 28, 2008

great (and perplexing) press

The great press would be at the new and wonderful sci-fi blog which is running a short rundown of HOW TO BUILD A ROBOT ARMY. The article was written by the charming Annalee Newitz, a freelance writer who once called me for an interview for Popular Science. As you can see here, I'm a Popular Mechanics man myself, so I wasn't sure whether to speak to her or not, but then I'm pretty sure she tricked me with words.

The perplexing press comes from this political article in the Oregonian newspaper. About halfway into the article, the author mentions that Mitt Romney might be a robot and that everyone in Florida ought to read HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING. And you know what? I couldn't agree more.

January 15, 2008

carnegie mellon robot skits

Some cool videos that I filmed at Carnegie Mellon (where I went to school for robot learnin') have been posted on youtube. Check out the splash page at CMU...

And be sure to watch them:

Daniel Vs. Robophone

Daniel Vs. Keepon

Did you know that the Keepon robot bites? Crazy. I know, right!?

January 13, 2008

new york post

The New York Post has deemed HOW TO BUILD A ROBOT ARMY to be "required reading." You're damn skippy.

Check out the article by clicking here (about halfway down the page).

January 10, 2008

cool story

Over at the website, John Joseph Adams has written a cool rundown of HOW TO BUILD A ROBOT ARMY. So check it out to see what this little green book is all about.

January 4, 2008 Review

Anybody who wants to win a copy of How to Build a Robot Army oughta visit and enter the contest. Also, read the nice review and summary!

January 1, 2008

How to Build a Robot Army

My latest book was released on December 26th -- and it's hands down my favorite book so far. I wrote it after I finished school and started writing for Popular Mechanics, so it was pretty weird to interview all those scientists as a reporter/author type of guy instead of as a fellow roboticist. I learned how to ask the hard-hitting questions, like "Could a great white shark defeat that Alvin underwater robot? Huh? Could it! Answer the question, ma'am!"

Anyway, the first review of the book is in over at the Agony Column.

First the short quote:
'How to Build a Robot Army' is pretty hard to put down.
Now the long quote:
There's nobody doing anything quite like Dr. Daniel H. Wilson, and he continues his collaboration with illustrator Richard Horne in 'How to Build a Robot Army : Tips On Defending Planet Earth Against Alien Invaders, Ninjas and Zombies' (Bloomsbury ; January 2008 ; $13.95). Combining straight-faced goofy humor, a bit of hard science speculation, out-and-out media-based science fiction and highly-stylized illustrations, these books pretend to be guides to one thing when they're really guides to something rather different.