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Confluence: real soon now

The Confluence convention is rapidly approaching. It’s in Pittsburgh, July 27-29. Seanan McGuire is Guest of Honor, which is awesome.

I have Sekrit Plans. Which are also awesome.

I’ve been added to another panel, making five plus a kaffee klatsch (full schedule here).

The bar at this hotel isn’t as conducive to hanging out as one might like, but I will nonetheless be making a valiant effort to sustain a BarCon as well. Do come, and if you’re going to be there please look me up. You might just benefit from the Sekrit Plans (see also: kaffee klatsch, and whenever I can catch Seanan for a minute or two).

Fri 5:00 pm OakAre You a Member Here? – Steve Ramey; Lawrence Connolly; John Joseph Adams; Sarah Goslee

The question is whether we, as a group of readers (bunch of geeks, tribe of SF/F/H fans) and writers have gotten too exclusive–with tropes, words and shorthand universes–and if there is new stuff being written that would be accessible to Joe and Jill Common-Person. Would they have as much fun reading “A Game of Thrones” or “We Can Remember if for You Wholesale” as watching it?

Fri 8:00 pm WillowDon’t Make Me Sick – Ken Chiacchia; Susan Urbanek Linville; Kathleen Sloane; Sarah Goslee

Biologic and biomedical science fiction is still a lot of unused territory Why do we insist that it has to be space? And when we have the technology to make ourselves, or at least our characters better than before, why don’t we?

Sat 12:00 pm Con SuiteKaffee Klatsch – Larry Ivkovich ; Jason Jack Miller; Sarah Goslee

Sat 1:00 pm WillowHalf Past the Apocolypse – Tim Waggoner; Cathy Seckman; Sarah Goslee; Kenneth Cain

Dystopias: are they all worked out? What do the doomsday scenarios tell us about our ideas of entertainment? Is it time to swing the pendulum in a different direction? or is it too much fun to talk about how dreadful things are gonna get?

Sat 4:00 pm OakEditors: What do they Really Want – John Joseph Adams; Jeff Young; Eric Beebe; Danielle Ackley-McPhail; Sarah Goslee

Good question–here are a few, what do they have to say?

Sun 10:00 am WillowThey’re Coming to Get You, Barbara – Kenneth Cain; C. Bryan Brown; Jonathan Maberry; Sarah Goslee

Zombies have dominated the mainstream horror landscape for over a decade. Some people are sick to death (pun not intended) of them, while others look to the living dead as a necessary balance to twinkly, sparkly, moral-tastic vamps. Why do zombies work and why hasn’t even a good shot to the head put this trope down?

Week in review

I know it’s only Thursday, but so far this week I’ve:

  • Gotten a scientific paper accepted at Landscape Ecology
  • Reviewed proofs for a second paper to be published in Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing
  • Performed my first official acts as Associate Editor for the International Association of Vegetation Science
  • Received a promotion
  • Edit: Forgot one: Reviewed proofs for a textile history book chapter, thus completing the trifect of science, string, story.
  • Gotten my panel schedule for Confluence (Pittsburgh, July 27-29)

Of those, I expect the only thing of general interest is that last one. I’ll be on four panels (full schedule here).

Fri 8:00 pm WillowDon’t Make Me Sick – Ken Chiacchia; Susan Urbanek Linville; Kathleen Sloane; Sarah Goslee

Biologic and biomedical science fiction is still a lot of unused territory Why do we insist that it has to be space? And when we have the technology to make ourselves, or at least our characters better than before, why don’t we?

Sat 1:00 pm WillowHalf Past the Apocolypse – Tim Waggoner; Cathy Seckman; Sarah Goslee; Kenneth Cain

Dystopias: are they all worked out? What do the doomsday scenarios tell us about our ideas of entertainment? Is it time to swing the pendulum in a different direction? or is it too much fun to talk about how dreadful things are gonna get?

Sat 4:00 pm OakEditors: What do they Really Want – John Joseph Adams; Jeff Young; Eric Beebe; Danielle Ackley-McPhail; Sarah Goslee

Good question–here are a few, what do they have to say?

Sun 10:00 am WillowThey’re Coming to Get You, Barbara – Kenneth Cain; C. Bryan Brown; Jonathan Maberry; Sarah Goslee

Zombies have dominated the mainstream horror landscape for over a decade. Some people are sick to death (pun not intended) of them, while others look to the living dead as a necessary balance to twinkly, sparkly, moral-tastic vamps. Why do zombies work and why hasn’t even a good shot to the head put this trope down?

Doesn’t that look like fun? You should ALL COME.

Wicked Girls

I need to run before the storm hits, but… how did I not know how entirely awesome Seanan McGuire is as a songwriter and performer? Internet, why didn’t you TELL me?

And for the curious, lyrics and questions answered.

Seanan is GoH at my localish convention, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

She’s pretty hot as a writer too. HOW many Hugo nominations this year? Four. FOUR. Two for fiction (as Mira Grant), one for a CD in related works (a first, I think), and one for SF Squeecast, an awesome thing itself.

Right. Storm. Running. See you later!

Making the List

A couple of writer friends of mine are getting some well-deserved recognition this week as the summer reading top ten lists appear.

Kirkus Reviews, 10 Must-Read Fiction Books for Spring: Toni Morrison, John Irving, Paul Theroux, Elizabeth Bear… Oh wait, Bear is first.

eSchool News, 10 books for high school summer reading: Charlotte Brontë, Alice Walker, Daryl Gregory.

I’ve been pushing Range of Ghosts for a while, and now that I’ve finally finished Raising Stony Mayhall I can recommend that to you all. You could do much, much worse than listen to the experts and pick up both of these books.

Not only does it make me no end of happy to see both of them getting such recognition, it’s just as exciting to see spec fic playing with the supposed mainstream on both lists.

Wild Things

Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012.

This interview with Sendak on Fresh Air last fall made me cry the first time I listened to it.

And then, of course, there’s the Colbert interview (part 1, part 2).

Everything else I can think of to say sounds trite when compared with those interviews.

Two things

One makes me happy.

President Obama and Nichelle Nichols

One makes me think, hard.

Wonderful

This is the second-most-wonderful interview with Maurice Sendak ever. You might want headphones if you have kids or sensitive co-workers.

I’m in Albany for work, and have been working very hard until a few minutes ago. I may eventually get caught up on email and things-to-post, but I had to start with Mr. Sendak.

Feathers!

Not horsefeathers, but dinosaur feathers preserved in amber.

That’s so cool.

And a few other things to keep this from being a ridiculously short post…

Ada Lovelace Day is October 7 this year. I need to come up with a good topic, to follow my essays on Beatrix Potter and Elizabeth Blackwell.

Elizabeth Bear is interviewed at Terribleminds.

And let me share with you my earworm, entirely unrelated to anything else in this post.

For future reference

Having worked rather later than intended (as it, it’s 6:30 on Friday and I’m still in the office), I’m not going to actually blog tonight. I do, though, have some things moved me in some way, all from Jonathan Carroll’s blog.

I thought I’d both save them for later and share them with you all simultaneously.

“Yeah Yeah Yeah” by Roddy Lumsden

Untitled meeting

“When you hear that I have died” by Gabrielle Bou­liane

As, or if, I get caught up further on reading blogs, I may post more bits like this.

Shopping!

Hugo-winning author and Shadow Unit co-founder Elizabeth Bear, author of some of my favorite books, has a new book out today, Grail, third in a science fiction trilogy (Dust and Chill being its predecessors).

I may have gone on a bit of a Bear-book-buying binge. When I went looking for a copy of Grail for my new Nook Color (about which more later, now that I’ve had it for a couple weeks and can write a sensible review), I discovered that a lot of her back catalog, including some out-of-print things I’ve been wanting to read, is available in ebook form.

I love living in the future.

And also, I seem to be suffering from an infestation of commas today. Sorry.