Keycon 2010

Keycon 2010 is over.  Three days of interesting fandom, meeting old friends, making new ones, and being Patient ‘0’.

Canvention (the Prix Aurora Awards) was part of Keycon this year, which usually means a fabulous writers track.  Things went a little wrong, and many of the visiting writers ended up with no panels.  I can’t complain though, because I wouldn’t be able to do the programming, so kudos to all those that try — they are better than I.

Robert J. Sawyer won the Best Novel Aurora for Wake, beating out the 4 other nominees.  I’d read 3 of the 5 nominees this year, so I felt good with voting this year.  Sorry Rob, if you read this, I voted for Hayden Trenholm.  At the rate Hayden is going, I’m sure his third (and final?) book in the series (Stealing Home) will be nominated next year.

The awards banquet was well done.  Thankfully they ran out of desert before they got to Sherry, Adria, (and here) and I.  We all had a fruit plate instead, and were the envy of all.

Sheila Gilbert , editor at DAW was there.  A pitch session was scheduled, which was great.  It wasn’t incredibly well done, those of us waiting to do pitches could hear the people making pitches.  Not great.  We tried to keep our conversations a bit loud, to create a bit of privacy for those pitching.  My pitch went okay.  Sheila asked for the full, but I have a feeling she asked for a full from anyone that pitched something that was completed.

Conventions usually drain me, and I end up sick for couple of days after the con.  This time, I went in with a sinus cold.  I was patient ‘0’.  If you got sick at Keycon, it’s my fault.

Along with the regular panels, I managed breakfast with Hayden and his lovely wife Liz, a ‘before banquet’ drink with Rob Sawyer, Virginia O’Dine of Bundoran Press, Edward Willet, Hayden Trenholm and Liz, Sherry, Adria, a couple more I can’t recall right now.

Overall, a great weekend.  I had fun.

Boy do I feel old…

From the blog of Charlie Stross comes this little gem:

This happens every year: Beloit College issues this heads-up to their staff, to try and remind them of the mind set of the incoming college year. Here’s what the fresh graduates of 2013 know about the world …

image: http://media.photobucket.com/image/old%20man%20face/DESERTSUN2008/FACES/israel-125year-old-man-laughing.jpg
image: http://media.photobucket.com/image/old%20man%20face/DESERTSUN2008/FACES/israel-125year-old-man-laughing.jpg

Weekly Links 20090531

Misc

– This is an old story now, but it still makes me laugh.  Hypocrisy tends to do that.

– Well, it had to happen.  A solar powered motorcycle.

– I happened to stumble upon an absolutely beautiful picture to the Space Shuttle ‘Enterprise’.

Writing

– It goes almost without saying that the earliest forms of storytelling involved a storyteller. Without the devices of a stage, props, actors, or effects, all you’re left with is a storyteller to explain things in words, either orally or in a written record. Homer’s Iliad is an oral epic that describes the Trojan War, not as a history or a collection of facts from reliable sources, but from the point of view of an omniscient narrator who’s able to tell us about the thoughts and motivations of the characters, and the dealings of the gods.  Narrative in games.

– Keycon, Winnipeg’s fan driven Science Fiction and Fantasy convention was held during the May long weekend.  The convention doesn’t usually have what I would call a ‘strong writers track’, but they’re getting better every year.  One attendee this year, and a past guest I believe, was Robert J. Sawyer.  He sat on some panels, did a reading from his latest book Wake, and basically just mingled with the Con people.  I’ve had an opportunity to meet him 3 or 4 times now, and he has proven to be an extremely approachable and friendly guy.  Thanks for coming to Winnipeg Rob.

– A police officer that writes talks about the hows and whys of a police officers body language.  Good stuff.

– I was led to a web site the other that has detailed documentation on Psychology, all aimed at writers.

Two of the most entertaining SF novels of the 1980's

Posts have slowed down a little, but I have a Weekly Links ready to go.

sf

Before I get there though, my friend Heston just sent me this little link:

Fall in love again with the no-holds-barred, edge-of-your-seat science fiction, featuring inexhaustible flow of ideas, rich language, and skillfully-plotted adventure. Even though the following two novels were published back in the 1980s, there are highly recommended for those who can not stand run-of-the-mill bland SF fare and wants to feel excitement about reading SF again.

Go see Two of the most entertaining SF novels of the 1980’s, posted at www.scifi.darkroastedblend.com.

Weekly Links 20090503

Writing

– Hal Duncan gets into the Prologue vs No Prologue fray.

– Charlie Stross blogged on tor.com: One of the questions that every SF author gets asked sooner or later is “where do you get your ideas?” For better or worse, I seem to get a double dose of it; ideas are my particular speciality, or so it said in the last fortune cookie I opened. So I thought I’d give the game away by explaining just where they come from.

– I had a chance to talk to Eric Flint at the Canvention Aurora awards in 2008.  He’s undergoing bypass surgery, and I wish him the best of luck.

Miscellaneous

– There’s a photograph of a rock on Mars that some people are saying is an alien skull.  I guess people will believe what they want.

– Apparently, tennis really is a sport for sissies 😉

Weekly Links 20090426

I’m a bit late on these today.  I’m in one of those periods when I have so much to do, I don’t know what to do first, and invariably, something isn’t done at all.

Writing

– Marie Brennan talks about how she writes female characters.

– John Scalzi was a on a panel recently, discussing how to maintain an online presence.

– For all of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the publishing industry—from the poor economy to the painful layoffs and restructurings in the wake of the digital transformation—to understand what’s really hurting us, all you have to do is visit your neighborhood bookstore.

– Author Nancy Kress talks about the whole ‘SF is dead‘ thing.

– Pete Tzinksi guest blogged over at The Commune about Deadlines for Writers, and Language.

Misc

– Probably nothing inspires quite like the view from the top a cliff because the often long and steep hike is forgotten as soon as we glimpse the world from atop where we rest, birdlike, drinking in the scenery and ready to spread our wings. Join us on a tour of some of the most incredible cliffs around the world.

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Edit: Never, ever post when you’re so sick you can’t even think straight.  Even I can’t make sense of the gibberish below.  I’ll leave it as is as a stark reminder of how close true madness lies.

What a life.  Last week, I didn’t make a weekly links post since worked 24 hours out of the 48.  This weekend, I decided to visit my brother in Calgary.  I took a day off of work, leaving on Thursday and I’ll be back back home on Sunday.  Thursday was okay, but by the time Friday rolled around, I was as sick as a dog.  Here it is, Sunday, and I’ve spent most of the day in bed.  I’m not even going to describe these links today… I’ll get back to them when I feel better.

http://thedarksalon.blogspot.com/2009/03/welcome-guest-blogger-jack-kilborn.html

ttp://blog.oup.com/2009/03/science-fiction/#more-3858

http://lifehacker.com/5195999/portable-ubuntu-runs-ubuntu-inside-windows

After Moving Day

If anyone’s missing last Sundays ‘Weekly Links’, sorry.  The company I work for changed buildings, which means we had two days to move the IT department and get it up and running by Monday.  There was two of us, and we worked 24 hours of the 48 in the weekend.

Now I’m waiting for my body to get back to normal.

The good news is that all the employees moved their computers today, plugged in, and were running with no issues.  A good weekend.

Weekly Links 20090329

Another slow week for links.  Either the world is getting more boring, or I’m getting less interested! 😉

Misc

– the 10 coolest ‘multi functional furniture‘ designs.

Science

– Usually, we think of spacetime as being four-dimensional, with three dimensions of space and one dimension of time. However, this Euclidean perspective is just one of many possible multi-dimensional varieties of spacetime. For instance, string theory predicts the existence of extra dimensions – six, seven, even 20 or more. As physicists often explain, it’s impossible to visualize these extra dimensions; they exist primarily to satisfy mathematical equations.

The Prisoner

– Nestled away on the coastline of Wales is Portmeirion, the town where they shot The Prisoner in the 1960s. It looks much the same as it did back then with its quaint architecture and beautiful scenery. And for the umpteenth time, Portmeirion plays host to PortmeiriCon this weekend — a convention devoted to the classic series. Hosted by The Prisoner Appreciation Society, also known as the website Six of One, the event offers both indoor and outdoor activities

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I’ve a whole grab-bag if stuff for you today.  Enjoy.

Misc

Kurt Vonnegut Motivational Posters

Science

– Fermilab has made some amazing discoveries lately.  This is just one of them.

Humour

– The Onion just seems to be getting better and better.  This one is great.

Writing

– Guy Gavriel Kay talks about the exposure writers get when they Blog, and the effect it can have.

Programming

– This ones old, 2001 I think.  It’s a rebuttal against the ‘Learn xxx in 21 days’ books.