january 2010

My Worldcon Schedule

Here’s my schedule of public appearances at this week’s Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Worldcon.

Friday, August 31st, 1:30-3:00 pm, Haymarket. John Joseph Adams reading. JJA is the editor of many anthologies, and of Lightspeed magazine. This reading will consist of various folks reading stories from his publications. I’m subbing in for the sadly absent Genevieve Valentine, reading her fantastic story “Good Fences,” from the new horror magazine, Nightmare.

Saturday, September 1st, 12:00-1:00 pm, Tachyon table in the Dealers Room. Signing. Along with other contributors to Tachyon anthologies, I’ll be signing Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology, edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel.

Sunday, September 2nd, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, Wrigley. Short Stories to Order. I’ll be sitting on this panel with Pat Cadigan, Robert Reed, E. Lily Yu, and esteemed moderator Ellen Datlow.

Sunday, September 2nd, 12:00-12:30 pm, Dusable. Reading. I’ll be reading “The Contrary Gardener,” a sort of companion piece to “The Voluntary State.” It’s scheduled to appear in an upcoming Nightshade Books project edited by Jonathan Strahan.

january 2010

Replace "harassed" with "robbed"

Those of you who read this (yes, very intermittently updated) blog because you're somehow associated with the world of science fiction have almost certainly already heard about the sexual harassment incident at the recent Readercon convention and that convention's board's spectacular failure to deal with the incident appropriately. If not, well, I'll just point you to this links roundup and suggest you confine yourself to the top four or five listed unless you have a lot of time on your hands.

I don't have anything to say about the incident and its handling that hasn't already been said elsewhere, but instead am here to talk about much of the internet response. Specifically, I'm referring to the many instances of apologia, victim-blaming, subject-switching, and other reductionist tactics that people have engaged in. I won't name names, link links, or even describe specific techniques because they're not worth the time it would take me to type them.

But that mass of bullshit—which thankfully is a tiny portion of the reaction overall—has raised some questions in my mind that I would like to pose to you, assuming you know the details of this situation.

If the self-admitted wrong-doer, René Walling, had, instead of harassing a guest of the convention, stolen a large amount of money from the book dealers room, how do you think the convention would have reacted? How do you think Walling's friends and apologists would have reacted to a permanent ban from the convention in that case?

Because I'll tell you, I think nobody would have blinked at a permanent ban. And I think the apologists, victim-blamers, subject-switchers, and other reductionists would disappear.

january 2010

Many Meetings

Reading what the people calling for a US Constitutional Convention say (and less often, owing to a paucity of coherent material, what they write), watching what they do, I think they'd actually be happier with a new Council of Trent and Westminster Convention of Faith. They could deal with the pesky problem of 1 Peter 2:13 and all that socialistic bushwah in the 5th through 7th chapters of Matthew.
january 2010

Twenty and counting.

I want to read at least a hundred books this year, but here in the twelfth week I'm already falling behind. But, so far:
Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shape Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz. 2009. Bantam Books, New York.
Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express by Christopher Corbett. 2003. Broadway Books, New York.
Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan. 2007. Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill.
The Magic Thief: Book One by Sarah Prineas. 2008. HarperCollins, New York.
Foundling by D.M. Cornish. 2006. Speak, New York.
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. 2003. Miramax Books, New York.
Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod. 2000. Tor Books, New York.
Dark Light by Ken MacLeod. 2002. Tor Books, New York.
Engine City by Ken MacLeod. 2003. Tor Books, New York.
The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton. 1996. Orbit, New York.
The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F. Hamilton. 1997. Orbit, New York.
The Naked God by Peter F. Hamilton. 2000. Orbit, New York.
Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms by Charles Hudson. 1997. University of Georgia Press, Athens.
Manitou and Providence: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of New England, 1500-1643 by Neal Salisbury. 1982. Oxford University Press, New York.
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell. 2008. Riverhead Books, New York.
Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the New World by Douglas Hunter. 2009. Bloomsbury Press, New York.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. 1895. Longmeadow Press, New York.
Kentucky Union Railway: Lexington & Eastern Railroad, Lexington, Kentucky, 1852-1915 by William M. Ambrose. 2007. Limestone Press, Lexington.
Peculiar Power: A Quaker Woman Preacher in Eighteenth-Century America by Cristine Levenduski. 1996. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America by Meredith Mason Brown. 2008. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 
january 2010

The skillet's hanging right there!

Just took one of my periodic fast skim research trips across the internet regarding problems and issues with backyard poultry. The biggest seems to be that (unavoidably) imprecise sexing leads to people having unwanted roosters amongst the hens, and then what "to do" with hens when they've reached the end of their productive laying lives. Nobody's considered, y'know, eating them?
january 2010

Early nineties, maybe?

If you try to kill your wife and child, you're not a family man, you're a psychopath. If you expend tremendous effort trying to protect your wealth by dodging taxes, you're not a patriot, you're a criminal. If you own your own airplane, you're not downtrodden.

If you valorize someone who does those things, you are simply evil.

When did the right throw out the New Testament? Anybody have a specific date on that?
january 2010

I say potato, you say fairie


"Anthropomorphic climate change" describes a complex set of features and tendencies in the Earth's semi-closed atmosphere. Scientists seek to better understand these phenomena using observations enabled by sophisticated technology within a context provided by cutting-edge data analyses.

The scientific method is not a political agenda, and it does not threaten your "way of life" (in fact, it enabled your way of life).

"Global warming," on the other hand, is a sophist's piñata, a phrase deployed to limit understanding and discourage enquiry. It's a bugbear, a tool used by plutocrats to bait closed minds.