A Few Things

Aug. 3rd, 2015 07:57 am
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
[personal profile] marthawells
WorldCon Schedule: WorldCon is in Spokane, WA this year. (It was in London last year.) The program is searchable online, and I think the sign-ups for the Kaffee Klatches are online this year too.

You Like That on Doctor Who? But How Could You Not Like This?
Thursday 13:00 - 13:45, 300C (CC)
Think "The Rings of Akhaten" is better than it gets credit for? Or that "The Caves of Androzoni" is overrated? What episodes of Doctor Who do you like that few others do and why? Which always rank near the top of fan polls but you just don't like? And which are nearly forgotten (and should be)?
Jim Mann (M), Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky, Martha Wells, Charlie Reeves

Writers Workshop section
Thursday 16:00 - 19:00,
All workshop sections are closed to non-participants.


Autographing - Kendare Blake, Randy Henderson, Jason Hough, Lee Moyer, Robert J. Sawyer, Martha Wells
Friday 11:00 - 11:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

Reading - Martha Wells
Friday 14:00 - 14:30, 304 (CC)
Martha Wells

From Middle Earth to Westeros: Fantasy Worldbuilding
Saturday 10:00 - 10:45, Integra Telecom Ballroom 100B (CC)
Building a believable world, with believable geography, culture, and rules, is at least as important in fantasy as it is in SF. The panel looks at how to create fantasy worlds, citing examples of the good (and maybe the not so good).
Martha Wells (M), Matthew Johnson, Mary Soon Lee, Michael Swanwick, Pat Cadigan

Kaffee Klatche - Martha Wells
Saturday 13:00 - 13:45, 202B-KK4 (CC)
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor.
 Requires advance sign-up.

***

ArmadilloCon in Austin was a lot of fun this year. It's a small con, with maybe 500-600 people, focused on books and art, but with a lot of authors. Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly, and the all day writers workshop on Friday, run by Marshall Ryan Maresca, went really well. The first half of the day there are two writing-related panels for the workshop participants only, then we break into groups for the rest of the day and do the critiquing. It was neat to see people who had been students in the workshop several years ago now coming back to teach as pros.

Ken Liu was the guest of honor and did a presentation on translating Chinese SF, "Betrayal With Integrity: Conformance and Estrangement in Translating Chinese SF" and a panel on Silkpunk: Asian themes and influences in SF/F.

Most of my panels were on business aspects of writing, and we answered a lot of questions. I also did a reading from the new Raksura book, The Edge of Worlds, and had a pretty good-sized audience of about twelve people.

A lot of the non-panel, non-reading activity took place in the lobby bar area, and it was very noisy and happy down there on Friday and Saturday nights.

And a friend of mine got her nails done in a very cool Raksura pattern: photo on Tumblr

Book Week Events!

Aug. 3rd, 2015 07:47 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Fable: Blood of HeroesFable: Blood of Heroes [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] comes out tomorrow, which means I’ll be spending much of this week doing the new book dance. Here’s where you’ll be able to find me both in the real world and online:

I’ve got two guest blog posts going up at other folks’ sites. I’ll link to those as soon as they go live. I’ll also be sending out a newsletter tomorrow, and one subscriber (drawn at random) will receive a free autographed copy of the book.

Happy Book Week, everybody!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Well?

Aug. 3rd, 2015 07:10 am
[syndicated profile] rollingaroundinmyhed_feed

Posted by Dave Hingsburger

We had finished lunch in the cafeteria at the ROM. On our way out, heading up to see the exhibits, I had to go the long way round through the cafeteria because the side way was blocked. Sadie joined me and said, "I'm going to push your wheelchair Dave." She loves doing this, she takes hold of the back handles of my power chair and pretends to push me as I drive along slowly. I can't go anywhere near maximum speed because her little legs wouldn't be able to keep up.

I have seen our reflection in downtown store windows and, for what it's worth, I think it's really, really cute. I see a big man in a big wheelchair with a little girl in little flip flops tiny hands on handles pushing the chair with all her might. I love the contrasts and, forgive me for being soppy, I love the love in the image. Foolishly, perhaps, I thought others would see the same, or similar, things.

I guess not.

We were nearly out of the restaurant, easing by the end of long, very long, line ups of people waiting to be served. A woman approached. I saw her coming. My size and my disability give people permission, in some bizarre way, to approach me to say nasty things. I only had a second to brace myself before she was upon me, she spat out, "Just what do you think you are teaching that child."

Now this was a new one on me.

I should be more used to this, it's not uncommon. And I am, but her comment through me. I had no idea what she was talking about or what she was upset about. Her question made no sense to me. Was she upset about my weight and that any child who is in relationship to me will suddenly get fat? Was she upset about my wheelchair and that it's for lazy fat people so the child will get lazy? I had no idea. Usually I understand whatever bigoted question comes my way, but this one, no idea. So I stayed silent.

"Well?" she said staring hard at me. "What do you think you are teaching this child?"

She pressed in on me while I just kept on going, "WELL?"

Sadie, hearing her question and hearing that I did not answer, stuck her head out from behind and said "How to be helpful and kind.

She was startled by Sadie's answer. I looked at her and said, "Yeah, what she said."

The line in front of me blocking my way to the exit eased and suddenly we were through and the lady with the startled face, turned and walked back into her life of judgement and prejudice. I hope she was shaken, just a little bit, by the little girl who pushes a really big chair.

Turbulent! Turgid! Tempestuous!

Aug. 3rd, 2015 07:44 am
supergee: (coy2)
[personal profile] supergee
Remembering I, Libertine. For the author, it's a story about Jean Shepherd and whatzisname. For many of us, it's a story about Theodore Sturgeon and whatzisname.

Thanx to [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker

a completely indulgent entry

Aug. 3rd, 2015 11:19 am
marina: (sexy vamps)
[personal profile] marina
So, I rarely post about my fannish travel adventures, even though I spend a lot of my time remembering them fondly, because I'm always afraid of not mentioning everyone I hung out with on a particular trip in a single entry and thus making people feel like I enjoyed their company less or valued them less or something. When in reality, it's just the way memories work - they pop up in your head one by one, not as a huge overwhelming collection.

So, right now I'm going to break that tradition (as I keep yearning to do) and I'm just going to self indulgently remember some cool moments from various fannish trips over the years. This is not a comprehensive retrospective! It is not a recap! please don't think I didn't enjoy spending time with you or don't remember our interaction fondly because you're not mentioned under the cut.

This is just some stuff I was reminded of, for one reason or another, lately, and that made me smile, and miss the people involved, and think of how lucky I am to have had the experiences I've had. To have found fandom when I did, to have befriended people, to have taken various leaps of faith and courage and gone adventuring to the degree that I was able to.

London, Delhi, Boston )

Chapter... Twenty-Two!

Aug. 3rd, 2015 07:14 pm
jolantru: (dragon)
[personal profile] jolantru
Chapter Twenty Two: appropriate mood piece... perfect for the start of the Ghost Month!

Microagressions

Aug. 3rd, 2015 06:41 am
supergee: (pissed)
[personal profile] supergee
No, you may not ask about his genitals. It depresses me that not doing this, or thinking I have a right to touch people's hair if it interests me, or asking someone in a mobility scooter if I can take it out for a spin, puts me in a fairly high percentile of humanity.

Two reviews!

Aug. 3rd, 2015 06:30 pm
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
Helen Hunt Jackson’s *Hetty’s Strange History* (1877) is a mixed bag indeed. She isn’t what I’d call a super story teller, relying heavily on telling rather than showing. And the plot is decidedly odd – married woman Hetty feigns her death and leaves her husband because she thinks he would be happier with someone else. But he isn’t, and when he finds her (a decade later) they remarry. A sub-plot involves condemning the New England small mindedness in which a woman who had pre-marital sex (and then married the same man) was shunned.


Elizabeth Phelps Ward was most famous for her psychic series. *The Gates Ajar* was written just after the war (when there was a great interest in spiritualism). *The Gates Between* was written in the 1880s, and also deals with communications from the other side. In this case, the man communicating is an entirely unsympathetic doctor who spends his time boasting about his rationality and denigrating women. He marries, quarrels with his wife, and dies in a runaway horse crash, and then ascends to another realm where he realises that spiritual gifts are more important than intellectual ones.


This was not a pleasant read, because the narrator was so unmitigatedly misogynistic and narcissistic. OTOH, he was a well developed character and the chapter with the quarrel was the most plausible and interesting to me. The thousand petty factors that made him ill tempered are neatly presented. As for the rest…. Well, Phelps Ward is now chiefly remembered through the traditional ‘Gates Ajar’ floral arrangement for flowers, and there is a reason this is so.

Steve Rogers

Aug. 3rd, 2015 06:24 pm
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
I have just started reading a history of gay Americans in WWII. I am only up to early 1941 and the army has already had to invent the convoluted concept of a ‘reverse malingerer’, ie. a person who should be exempt from conscription but whose patriotism compelled them to sneak into the armed services. Steve Rogers, with his repeated attempts to enlist, was a reverse malingerer.

Books and comics read in July 2015

Aug. 3rd, 2015 11:18 am
shinyjenni: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
[personal profile] shinyjenni
Fear Itself: Heroes for Hire
Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500 - Henrietta Leyser*
Enemies at Home - Lindsey Davis
Saga vol. 5
Superman/Batman: World's Finest*
The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria - Max Adams
The Small House At Allington - Anthony Trollope
Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch
Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth*
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
New Teen Titans vol 2
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever - James Tiptree Jr
Tomboys and Bachelor Girls: A Lesbian History of Post-War Britain 1946-1971 - Rebecca Jennings*
Musketeer Space - Tansy Rayner Roberts*
Trust Me - Malorie Blackman*

Didn't finish: Bel Canto - Ann Patchett. I feel SLIGHTLY guilty for just abandoning this halfway through, but it was annoying me and I have a lot of other things to read, and also I spoiled myself for the end and it didn't seem worth it. It had that literary novel thing where there was a constant subtext of "by the way this is all SUPER MEANINGFUL JSYK", and I didn't like the fact that it was explicitly set in a mishmash of stereotypes rather than an actual South American country, and the few women mostly only got to be seen through the men's eyes rather than having point of view sections and ugh I just didn't care.

a selection of things I did finish )

(Quick housekeeping note: I have run out of room for new tags on LJ, which is why they are a little sparse over there. /o\ Also, because I haven't mentioned this in a while, my decisions about which things I write about are pretty random, feel free to poke me for opinions on things I haven't said anything about if you want! ♥)
simont: (Default)
[personal profile] simont

A question occurred to me last night. Perhaps the two best known fictional archaeologists (taking the term somewhat loosely), across fiction in all media, are Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. Both of them have in common that they investigate things about which there were rumours of ancient magical powers, or gods, or other such supernatural and powerful stuff. And they're right – the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the Dagger of Xian, etc, all really do perform as advertised.

What are the best known examples of fictional archaeologists who do not unearth ancient magical artefacts, and the only thing they ever find out is information about what happened in the past?

For these purposes, I think I'm going to rule that the actual archaeological discoveries have to be part of the plot: having a character who happens to be an archaeologist isn't sufficient, if the story only focuses on some other aspect of their life. (Even if it's a somewhat work-related aspect, such as worries about career progression, or conflicts with co-workers.)

I only managed to come up with one example of this at all, namely Asimov's Nightfall. I'm sure there must be others, though.

QotD

Aug. 3rd, 2015 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"My main objection to the entire financial discussion is the word 'Grexit'. 'Exit' is Latin. It should be 'Grexodus'." -- johanevj, comment, 2015-07-28 [thanks to [info] realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]

Distractable

Aug. 3rd, 2015 04:37 am
403: Listen to the song of the paper cranes... (Cranesong)
[personal profile] 403
Browsing dragon masks on Etsy is not how to go to bed. Oops?

(I particularly like this kit, though.)

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