Daily Archives: February 2, 2006

I’ve Got a Boehner

How’s this for conflicted: My representative to Congress, John Boehner, is going to be the next House majority leader. So on one hand: Not really my first choice for my personal representative (not like I have much choice, mind you, since he’s running without any real opposition this election cycle), and I’m all for making him minority leader ASAP. On the other hand: Rock on, my congressional district is going to roll in the sweet, sweet love that comes with having your Congressman in charge of things. Hopefully Boehner will avoid doing something entirely stupid like handing out lobbyist checks on the floor of the House, as he’s been known to do in the past. I think maybe he’s learned his lesson.

For Those of You Who Like to Vote For Things Online

The 2006 Locus Poll & Survey is up, and you can vote for your favorite SF books and short works, and no, you don’t have to be a Locus subscriber to vote. You just have to love science fiction and fantasy with a pure and gentle soul. Well, actually, not even that — you just need an e-mail address and the ability to use an online drop-down menu. See how far we’ve come.

I’ll note that Old Man’s War is in the drop-down menu for Best First Novel, but if you wanted to vote for it for Best Novel, you’d have to enter it as a write-in. You’d also have to enter The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies as a write-in for Best Non-Fiction Book. You know, if that was something you thought you wanted to do. Maybe.

Seriously, however — lots of good books in 2005, both in the drop down menus and out of them, so if you’ve read and enjoyed SF/F this year, swing by and vote for your favorites.

Boskone Schedule

For those of you going to Boskone, here’s the schedule of panels and appearances I’ve got going for me. I have eight thingies going on, so, uh, you apparently won’t lack for opportunities to see me blather on. Eight events is a lot, but frankly, I’d rather be busy than not. Otherwise I’d just sleep, and you all know how much I hate doing that. Here’s the schedule:

Friday  8:00 pm         
Scotty, I Need More Bandwidth: Managing Information Streams
        Fred Lerner    
        John McDaid
        Naomi Novik
        Sheila M. Perry   (M)
        John Scalzi

    Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink?! Many of us are already drowning in a sea of information (and misinformation) when we really just want the good stuff…. Does having more bandwidth help or hinder? How do you keep tabs on the information industry’s output? What if you had a direct neural connection? — Would it help you to manage all those online information streams before your brain explodes?

Comments: Mmmmm… exploding brains.

Saturday 10:00 am         
Online Writing and Online Communities
        Lenny Bailes
        Tobias Buckell
        James D. Macdonald    
        Teresa Nielsen Hayden    
        John Scalzi   (M)

Comments: No panel description comes with this one, so I guess as moderator I get to make it up as I go along. Bwa ha ha ha ha hah! I find it deeply amusing to be moderating a panel that has James D. Macdonald and Teresa Nielsen Hayden on it, as they are two of the great online moderators of our time (which means, of course, two of the great online moderators, ever); hopefully I won’t make too much an ass of myself.

 Saturday 1:00 pm        
 Political SF
        Daniel Hatch    
        Ken MacLeod
        Patrick Nielsen Hayden   
        John Scalzi   (M)

    Real world and utopian politics have informed the writings of some of the best in the genre. Who, how, and why? And does SF require new politics, or can it work with familiar politics in a new setting? (Please check all flamethrowers at the door – this is not a panel that debates contemporary political philosophies, except as they apply to contemporary works of SF)

Comments: Moderating a politics panel with PNH and Ken MacLeod and a political reporter/SF writer? I may have to pack my taser! I can’t imagine that this won’t be a wild and wolly panel.

Saturday 4:00 pm         
War and Peace
        Walter H. Hunt    (M)
        Clayton L. McNally
        Tamora Pierce    
        John Scalzi
        Ann Tonsor Zeddies    

    Why are so many SF/F books about war and not peace? And who is good (believable, anyway) at writing about war and who needs to go back to boot camp? Panelists will discuss realistic and unrealistic depictions of war in fantasy and science fiction….and may even do the same for peace….

Comments: There aren’t so many books about peace because peace is boring. That’s why it’s called “peace.”

Sunday 10:00 am  
Reading (0.5 hrs)
        John Scalzi

Comments: I have no idea what I’m going to read from — the first chapter of The Android’s Dream is too long for this time slot. Being that it is the weekend before the release of The Ghost Brigades, I may simply read from that book. In fact, yes, I will. I’ll read the first half of the first chapter of that book. Be there! Or, you know. You’ll miss it.

Sunday 11:00 am
Homage…..or, Stealing(?) from the Classics          
        John M. Ford
        Ken MacLeod
        Mark L. Olson   (M)
        John Scalzi
        Karl Schroeder   

    Ken MacLeod is having a conversation with classic SF — he clearly has a deep affection for the genre, and incorporates classic phrases that allude to other stories in the canon. Who else does this, well or badly? What makes it fun? When is it more like stealing?

Comments: I imagine I am on this panel because I shamelessly admit to steal ideas. Yes, I’m a thief. Lock me away in the literary prison.

Sunday 12:00 noon        
Autographing

Comments: I suspect this will be a mass thing, otherwise I’ll be sitting in a room all alone for an hour.

Sunday  1:00 pm          
Kaffeeklatsch

Comments: Oooh! My first kaffeklatsch! Uh, can someone tell me what I’m supposed to do in one of these things? No, seriously. I haven’t the first friggin’ clue.

Aside from these events I’m sure you’ll see me wandering aimlessly and/or hanging out at the parties; feel free to come over and say hello.

The Return of Beer in Space

Here’s a little blast from the past: “Beer in Space,” a three-panel science cartoon I made with my pal Richard Polt a number of years ago. I had the idea of doing an astronomy book illustrated by him (and featuring his characters Benny the Stick and Beniy the Spider) and this was a sample, based on an article I wrote for the Fresno Bee. I had it up on the site for a while, but then it went away, as did most things prior to 2003. But now it’s back, in (slightly) improved form — I fiddled with the graphics files to make them a little clearer. I think the text is more readable now (although some of you may still have to squint for the text on the last page). Sadly, we never got the go-ahead for this particular astro book. But I got one eventually, so I guess I’m okay.

The images will pop up when you click the links below.

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