I grew up wanting to be an astronaut. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of crunching the odds as a kid. When you’re born in Sri Lanka and have less than 20/20 vision, being an astronaut is a bit of stupid idea. So I decided if I couldn’t visit worlds, I’d make them up in my head.
As it turns out, I was much better at that. I’ve been a tech journalist, a political blogger, a game designer and a competitive gamer; I’m now a researcher, looking for ways to leverage big data and economics for the greater good. My specialty is social and information networks.
For what’s been written about my work, here’s a list of some writeups – from the most recent to the oldest. There are a few appearances that are either only in print, or on TV and radio, that are lost in the ether – this is what can be found easily.
SCIENCE FICTION, BOOKS AND WRITING:
FactorDaily: When Big Brother meets Big Data, we get to live in glass houses! by Gautam Shenoy
Groundviews: Thoughts on Numbercaste by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, by Sanjana Hattotuwa
Sunday Times: Showing the world we too can write Science Fiction, by Smirti Daniel
Huffington Post: Yudhanjaya W on books and writing, by Taylor Dibbert
Lanka Comic Con: The Sri Lankan Scifi Novel ‘Numbercaste’ just dropped, and it’s hot, by Navin Weeraratne
Roar Media: How Digital Publishing is challenging the traditional print game, by Dilina Amaruwan
The Sunday Leader: Icarus Weeps no More, by Tia Alas Gunaratne
JR Handley: SciFy Shenanigans: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
DATA AND CIVIC WORK:
South China Morning Post: In Sri Lanka, Facebook struggles to curb hate speech
Sanjana Hattotuwa: Technology in Parliament: Opening Pandora’s Box or enabling citizens?
Daily Mirror: Social Media and General Elections 2015, by Nalaka Gunawardene
Nalaka Gunawardene: [Op-ed] Investigative Journalists uncover Asia, one story at a time
Before I started writing fiction I maintained a prolific output of tech journalism and political commentary – for what I’ve written, check out Readme, Icaruswept, the Sunday Times, the Nation, Colombo Telegraph and the Sunday Leader.
I don’t know if I can list down my biggest inspirations, but here are that have left me stunned:
- Wuthering Heights
- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
- Final Fantasy VII,
- Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
- William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy
- Deus Ex (the whole series, from the 2000’s JC Denton days)
- Dianna Wynne Jone’s Chrestomanci and Hexwood
- TES V: Skyrim
- Descent: Freespace
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- the Divine Comedy
- Ghost in the Shell
- and a little game called Ahriman’s Prophecy that briefly had me coding and producing indie videogames.
I love each and every thing here and wouldn’t have it any other way.