So, with the writer’s guild being on strike and there soon to be a distinct lack of new television and films to watch, I don’t suppose the American public will turn to, you know, books to satisfy their entertainment needs?
Archive for November, 2007
Thanks to a service update, my Tivo no longer works properly–it’s been sluggish since the update, and now has taken to crashing mid-show. (This has happened to several other Tivo users as a result of the update, according to tech support.) They’re going to send me a new box, but man, what a pain in the ass. And think of all the wonderful programming I’ve been storing that I’m going to lose! Ah, well. Actually, it’s not a huge deal about the saved programs, as the box is still working well enough that I can transfer stuff to my PC. But in the meantime, while I’m waiting for the new box to arrive, I’m going to have to transfer everything manually over to my PC to watch it. Or–gasp!–watch it live. No! I can’t! Anything but that!
In a comment, SMD asked:
Do you know of any other large fantasy or science fiction conventions that would be really geared toward the literary side of fandom?
Depends on how large you mean when you say large. World Fantasy had about 1150 members this year (the largest in its history, actually, though there’s usually about 1000 attendees). Slightly smaller than that, but still really really good (and literary) are Readercon and Wiscon. (If you look through my archives on the blog here, you can find con reports for those two.)
I hear Boskone and Capclave are both really good in a similar way, but I haven’t been to either of those yet.
Other conventions I’ve been to that I like include Lunacon and Balticon; both have good literary programming, but they have a lot of other SFnal-related programming as well (so they’re not literary focused per se). Balticon the year I went had a large podcasting contingent, if you’re interested in that.
(It’s also worth noting that the year I went to Balticon, they had major guests like Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, and Peter Beagle, but it kind of seemed like they were among the only 10 or so working writers who were actually there, and they didn’t seem approachable. Heck, I never even saw Neil Gaiman, except when he was on stage. Not sure if it’s always like that, but it’s probably because it’s the same weekend as Wiscon.)
And then of course there’s Worldcon, but I’m sure you knew of that one already. And that one’s certainly multimedia and doesn’t have as much of a focus on the literary side (though since it’s so big, it always has plenty, you just have to resign yourself to the fact that you’ll see people wearing costumes walking around).
I may be forgetting something. If I remember anything else, I’ll update this post. If anyone else wants to chime in with their recommendations, feel free!
Oh, I forgot to mention in my con report… You know how I was talking about those Sony Readers prior to World Fantasy? Well, at the Orbit Books party, Ellen Datlow won one. And I didn’t even get a raffle ticket somehow, even though I was officially invited (You gotta be in it to win it, and I wasn’t even in it, damn it). Would have been nice to be in the running. If Ellen doesn’t like it though, she might sell it to me, so that way I could get one without having to pay $300 for one.
Carol Pinchefsky, editor of F&SF‘s humor competitions, is looking for a few good Haiku:
Retell a well-known science fiction or fantasy story in the form of a Haiku. (First line, five syllables; second line, seven syllables; third line, five syllables.) Limit your expertise to six entries, and try to make it funny.
- First prize: Infinity x 2: The Life and Art of Ed and Carol Emshwiller by Luis Ortiz
- Second prize: three advanced reading copies of upcoming novels
- Runners-up win a one-year subscription to F&SF
Deadline is November 15, 2007.
“A Boy and His Dog” by Harlan Ellison:
A boy loves his dog.
Dog is hurt. Needs meat to live.
A dog loves boy’s girl—cooked.
Send entries to:
Competition Editor, F&SF,
240 West 73rd St. #1201
New York, NY 10023-2794
or email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to include your contact information. Entries must be received by November 15, 2007. Judges are the editors of F&SF, and their decision is final. All entries become the property of F&SF.
For more information, visit the competition page on F&SF’s website.
With Jeff Vandermeer gallivanting in France at the Utopiales Festival International de Science-Fiction de Nantes, I was asked to fill in for him over at Omnivoracious, the Amazon.com blog. Click here to check out my World Fantasy Convention and awards coverage.
David Moles, who makes his F&SF debut in the December 2007 issue said in an interview that his story "Finisterra" is about a would-be aeronautical engineer from a backward future Earth who finds her obscure skills unexpectedly in demand on a strange and distant planet.
"It’s a riff on an old theme — the skilled protagonist who’s called on to travel to a strange locale to do a job that only that protagonist can do, and who ends up changed by the experience," Moles said. "’Finisterra’ would mostly make sense, I think, to any SF reader back to the Golden Age — apart from the setting, it would probably make sense to Joseph Conrad and Mark Twain."
The first inspiration for "Finisterra" was an illustration called "The Engineer," Moles said. "[The illustration was] an homage to Vermeer’s ‘Geographer,’ by my good friend Lara Wells," he said. "[It’s of] a woman in early modern costume working at a window, in a room full of illustrations and models for airships and Da Vinci flying machines. A woman in Da Vinci’s time wouldn’t have had the opportunities Da Vinci had, and Lara wanted to capture that — her Engineer is trapped in that room, dreaming of flight but unable to fly. The character of Bianca Nazario came directly from that image, though I transplanted her to a different time and place, and gave her a means of — qualified — escape."
For those of you in the New York City area, today from 5-7 PM, Michael Swanwick will be doing a reading at James Cummins Bookseller in Manhattan. The information I have lists the event as a "reading and reception," so I assume that means there will be some sort of Q&A as well as a reading. The reading is to support Swanwick’s new story collection, THE DOG SAID BOW-WOW.
Here’s where the reading is taking place:
James Cummins Bookseller
699 Madison Ave., 7th Fl.
New York, NY 10065