Tonight’s Sunset, Photographed by Athena

See. This is why I gave her my old dSLR.

To The Commenter Currently Languishing in My Moderation Queue, and Soon to Be In My Trash Bin

When the first words of your comment are “Apologies for an off-topic comment, but…,” followed by a rather lengthy comment which is indeed entirely unrelated to the comment thread at hand, you are signaling two things:

1. That you are in fact not in the least sorry for your off-topic comment, just like someone who writes “not to be pedantic” is entirely happy to be pedantic, or the person who says “I’m not trying to offend you” is in fact trying very hard to do so;

2. That you may be a bit of an asshole, because what you’re really saying to everyone is “wow, let’s all turn away from the completely irrelevant discussion you’ve been having, and make it all about me and what I want to talk about.”

These two things being thus signaled, you should be glad that WordPress caught your act of unapologetic assholery and punted it into the moderation queue, because that way the only person who knows for sure what you are is me. And I’m not going to tell on you. Today. But if you do it again, I might! So that’s your friendly warning. I understand you may not have intended to be an unapologetic asshole, but of course, comparatively few of the people who are, do. Please keep this in mind.

For everyone else who might be tempted to post an off-topic comment, please, ask yourself: Is today the day you want to be revealed as an unapologetic asshole? If it is, then of course go right ahead, and delight in the recognition you have as such, until the time I get around to malleting the comment. If it’s not, then, please, I implore you, keep your off-topic comment to yourself, at least until such time as a comment thread that it is on-topic for becomes available, when you can post it there. And it will be admired! Because it is on topic. See how that works.

Thank you.

Last-Minute Appearance Notice: Saturday at Context 24 in Columbus

The folks at Columbus’ Context 24 convention contacted me yesterday with some bad news: Their Guest of Honor, L.E. Modesitt, had to withdraw unexpectedly due to unavoidable personal circumstances, and they were hoping that I might be able to come in and help fill the sudden gap in their programming. I said yes.

I am unfortunately unable to attend the entire convention, but what I’m doing is a full block of programming from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, August 27. Here’s what’s on my schedule:

1pm: Autographing/Meet the Authors

2pm: Panel: “Agents: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”

3pm: Panel: “Secondary Characters: More Than Just Window Dressing”

4pm: Question & Answer

5pm: Meal break (I’ll probably be hanging around in hotel lobby and/or con suite, so say hi)

6pm: Reading (I’ll read from the upcoming 2012 novel, plus other things)

Basically, an entire con’s worth of programming in one six hour stretch. I would love to be able to stay longer, but my own personal circumstances don’t allow it. Still, within that six hour stretch there will be lots of opportunities to catch me doing my thing, either individually or with other (certain to be fabulous) panelists.

If you were already coming to Context this year, I hope you don’t mind the substitution. If you weren’t coming to Context this year, maybe this will help you to give this well-regarded con a chance. And no matter who you are, please think good thoughts for the L.E. Modesitt and his family.

See you in Columbus this Saturday!


Five Steps to a Classic Science Fiction Film

Over at, I look at what it takes for a science fiction film to be considered a classic by asking five questions; the more questions a film can answer “yes” to, the more likely the film will one day be considered one of the greats of the genre. What are the questions? And do you agree that the questions I ask are relevant to “classic” status? You can find out the first, and make comments about the second, over at the site.