Hello Kansas SF readers: I’ll be signing some of my stories at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson on Tuesday Aug. 16 from 1 p.m to 2 p.m. Come say “hi” to me and other writers: Martin L. Shoemaker, C. Stuart Hardwick, Daniel J. Davis, and Steve Pantazis. I’ve never been to this space museum and am looking forward to it. Hope some of you can drop by. Here’s the press release:
Next, I’ll be in Kansas City on Wed. 8/16 through Mon. 8/22 for MidAmeriCon, the world science fiction and fantasy convention. In addition to signing some of my work, I’ll be on panels talking about dinosaurs, time travel, Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, magic, and cloning mammoths. Those are separate topics (whew!). Hope to see a bunch of you there. Here’s my Worldcon schedule:
What’s New in the World of Dinosaurs!
Thursday 1:00 – 2:00, 2205 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Dinosaurs are cool! New discoveries are being made every day as we unearth bones from the past. In a recent discovery, scientists believe that a pregnant T-Rex found in Montana may have fragments of DNA preserved in her medullary bone. What else is out there? What other news from the past is there to share?
Bennett Coles, Michael Swanwick, Mel. White, Frank Wu (M) Rosemary Claire Smith
Amateur Scientists Doing Real Science
Thursday 2:00 – 3:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)
We all know of amateur astrophysicists and their successes, but what other science is carried out by non-professionals? What can they teach us about doing science and learning about science in real life situations and in our sf-nal worlds?
Spring Schoenhuth, Rosemary Claire Smith, Renée Sieber (M)
Thursday Aug 18 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM (Kansas City Convention Center)
Launch Pad is an annual event whereby a group of invited writers, editors, and creatives learn about modern science, specifically astronomy, so that they can in turn use it in their work and inspire others. Members who have attended Launch Pad discuss how it has affected their writing and ideas.
Fonda Lee (M), Monica Valentinelli, William Ledbetter, Matthew S. Rotundo, Rosemary Claire Smith
To Clone a Mammoth
Thursday 6:00 – 7:00, 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)
We’re trying to clone dinosaurs (because that went so well in the Jurassic Park films), but maybe we should start with something smaller. Perhaps… a mammoth! Then again, what would we do with a mammoth? Where would it live? How would we go about cloning it? What are some of the risks, real or imagined, of reviving extinct species using cloning technology?
Rosemary Claire Smith, Mel. White (M), Frank Wu, Takayuki Tatsumi, Lynette M. Burrows
Autographing: Neil Clarke, Brenda Cooper, Rebecca Moesta, Martin Shoemaker, Rosemary Claire Smith
Friday 10:00 – 11:00, Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)
Rebecca Moesta, Neil Clarke, Brenda Cooper, Martin L. Shoemaker, Rosemary Claire Smith
Archaeology in SF
Saturday 2:00 – 3:00, 2503B (Kansas City Convention Center)
Forget Indiana Jones, learn what archaeologists really do and how science fiction and fantasy get it right and wrong.
Dana Cameron, Rhiannon Held, Jason Sanford (M), Jack McDevitt, Ms Rosemary Claire Smith
When The Magic Goes Away
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)
In a world once filled with magic, mystery, and beauty, where the Old Magic slipped away from the forests, the gates to Faerie closed, and the last ships sailed to the west, what does it mean when the magic fades? We look at representations of coming back to the real world or letting go, and wonder why it is such a potent part of fantasy writing.
Mr. Jared Shurin (M), Heather Rose Jones, Ms Rosemary Claire Smith, Erin Wilcox, Mr. Kevin J. Anderson
Time Travel and the Search for Redemption
Sunday 1:00 – 2:00, 3501D (Kansas City Convention Center)
Much of literature involves characters’ fraught relationship with the past. They are haunted by memories or spend their lives regretting a single horrible decision. Time travel permits the character to confront the past directly, to make literal what in mainstream fiction is only metaphorical. Join us as we discuss stories where time travel is a metaphor or device for witnessing and learning about the past or wishing to correct personal flaws and errors.
Kenneth Schneyer (M), Jack McDevitt, Jason Heller, Ms Rosemary Claire Smith
There’s a FB meme circulating among my writer pals challenging one another to list ten books that we’ve read at a formative age, indicating why they stayed with us. I’m always fascinated by what influenced present-day writers. If you are too, here’s my list, though it could change somewhat next week or next month. Most of these are books I read before entering college. What I never fully realized until now is that several of the books on my list not only had a big influence on my first profession – archaeology – but they also seem to have had an influence on the fantasy and science fiction stories I currently write.
1. The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends – The folks who put out the Little Golden Books published this “Giant Golden Book Deluxe Edition” of Greek, Roman, Norse, and Anglo-Saxon myths, legends, etc. The illustrations are as evocative as the stories.
2. Tik Tok of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, Patchwork Girl of Oz – L. Frank Baum – For me, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the subsequent books in the series that were written by L. Frank Baum, will always be the true Oz, no matter what movies and subsequent reboots may come along. I recall being fascinated by the map of Oz, which may have led to a love of maps and geography of far-away places and imaginary lands.
3. Alice In Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll – So many sayings from this book still find their way into my day-to-day thoughts.
4. The Bull of Minos– Leonard Cottrell – a reporter’s account of archaeological excavations by Heinrich Schliemann and Sir Arthur Evans at Troy and Knossos. Though it does not hold up well for a number of reasons, it was the book that prompted me to go into archaeology.
5. The Illustrated Man -Ray Bradbury – I close my eyes and see myself reading this collection of short stories collection, which included one of my favorites,The Veldt.
6. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe – One after the other, I devoured The Fall of the House of Usher, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc.
7. The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien -It’s fashionable to knock TLOTR these days. Though it may have various flaws, it introduced heroic fantasy to so many writers of a certain age.
8. Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny – I greatly fear that this fabulous writer who left us much too soon isn’t being read as much anymore as he should be.
9. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse – Many people rediscovered this book about the life of the Buddha in the 70’s, though you almost never hear about it any more.
10. The Fifth Head of Cerberus – Gene Wolfe – I read this in graduate school when I was very ill with bronchitis and in an impressionable state. Another anthropology student visited me in the school’s infirmary, pressed this book into my hands, and said I should read it. To this day, I have no idea how he knew.