Thursday, August 25, 2011

Renovation revisited and more con news

I find, several days later, refreshed and regrouped, I have more to say about Renovation, the Worldcon in Reno last weekend. I mentioned getting a chance to meet all kinds of cool authors face to face whom I had only virtually met. Well, what do you care? Let me tell you now, why you should care.

I have promises of interviews from:
Madeleine Robins
Steven Gould
Scott Edelman (editor)
David Boop
Harry Turtledove

Look for those to roll out soon.

I also scored copies of The Brahms Deception by Louise Marley and Brenda Cooper's Mayan December. You should check out the cover of Mayan December. The woman on the front looks like Zoe from Firefly. Not exactly, but the expression is what does it. I'm looking forward to reading them both.

I let slip that I review books while in the dealers room and before I knew it, was inundated with books. Yikes! I'm sure some of them will be worthy of a review at Science Fiction and Other ODDysseys. One guy, however, was so desperate for a review that he insisted his self-published historical fiction was alternate history. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

I requested Harry Turtledove's latest from the publisher as it's silly SF. I can definitely go for that.

I didn't make the Hugo Awards, but heard about this highlight and found the video. Chris Garcia - best acceptance speech ever!

Scholastic emailed me when I got back requesting reviews of their titles, so you may see some YA reviews in the near future here at SFOO.

And in other con news, FOGcon is back! I went to the first one in San Francisco last year and they just announced their plans for 2012 after Renovation. The second annual Friends of the Genre Convention will be held in Walnut Creek, CA (East Bay) March 30 - April 1. The theme for 2012 is The Body. Registration is open and memberships are $60/adult.

From their first progress report, here are their Guests of Honor:

Nalo Hopkinson, Honored Guest

NALO HOPKINSON, born in Jamaica, has lived in Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana and for the past 30 years in Canada. She is the author of four novels and a short story collection (_Brown Girl in the Ring_, _Midnight Robber_, _The Salt Roads_, _The New Moon's Arms_, _Skin Folk_). She is the editor of fiction anthologies _Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction_, and _Mojo: Conjure Stories_. She is the co-editor of fiction anthologies _So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction_ (with Uppinder Mehan) and _Tesseracts Nine_ (with Geoff Ryman). Hopkinson's work has received Honourable Mention in Cuba's "Casa de las Americas" literary prize. She is a recipient of the Warner Aspect First Novel Award, the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for emerging writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Locus Award for Best New Writer, the World Fantasy Award, the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, the Aurora Award, and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award. She was the Guest of Honor at the 2011 WisCon.

Shelley Jackson, Honored Guest

SHELLEY JACKSON is a writer and artist known for her cross-genre experiments, including the groundbreaking hypertext _Patchwork Girl_ (1995). Her works deal with issues of the body, displacement, touch, and desire. Born in the Philippines, Shelley Jackson grew up in Berkeley, California. She is the author of several hypertext novels, including _Patchwork Girl_, a non-chronological reworking of Mary Shelley's _Frankenstein_, as well as the autobiographical _My Body_ and _The Doll Games_, which she wrote with her sister Pamela. In 2001 she received the Electronic Literature Award. Shelley Jackson's short story collection, _The Melancholy of Anatomy_, appeared in 2002. A year later, she launched the "Skin Project", a novella published in the form of tattoos on the skin of volunteers. Her first novel, _Half Life_, won the 2006 Tiptree Award.

Mary Shelley, Honored Ghost

MARY SHELLEY is best known for her pioneering novel _Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus_ (1818), often considered the first science fiction novel. She wrote the book while she was 18, unwed, and pregnant with her first child. Given that her own mother had died in childbed when Mary was only 11 days old, the terrors of pregnancy and childbirth are a powerful theme in the text. Her second novel, _The Last Man_, is also science fiction: it is a portrait of the end of the world from a plague in the 21st century. Mary Shelley moved in the first intellectual circles of her day. Her father was the political theorist William Godwin; her mother, the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, author of _Vindication of the Rights of Woman_; family friends included Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Leigh Hunt. Before she turned 17 she eloped with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was married and the father of two children. Their friends included Lord Byron. She traveled widely and wrote several books about her journeys. Although her later books are overshadowed by the fame of _Frankenstein_, she continued writing novels, essays, poetry, and criticism throughout her life, as well as editing her husband's papers. She died, aged 53, of a brain tumor.

And two more tidbits...
Gameforge, which just hit 300 million registered players, launched a new ommunity-based, free-to-play Star Trek Q&A game. More information at

Kindle users can now download the digest edition of Fantasy and Science Fiction for free. That's the good news. The bad news is that you get all the editorial goodies but only one story. You can get the full edition for $12/yr.

No comments: