Boskone schedule

For anyone coming to Boskone next week, I'll be on the following panels.

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

Saturday 12:00 noon Republic B: Net News: If It's On the Net It Must Be True
Can you trust the next blog better than the next barstool? Is the net quickly (surely?!) self-correcting? Or, does a lie that's interesting (or in somebody's interest) get to screens around the world before truth gets its modem on? Which stories has the net broken wide (and which were true)? How do you evaluate the material?
Kathryn Cramer, Daniel P. Dern, Daniel Hatch (m), John McDaid, Sheila M. Perry

Sunday 11:00 am Gardner: The Conventional Tropes of SF
A "trope" now signifies an accepted SF/F/H theme: hyperdrives, cyborging, immortality, time travel, wizards, ghosts.....what do they say about out field? Ourselves? What are the important tropes of the field? The new ones? The ones with the most juice left? When's the last time we added a new one?
Don D'Ammassa, John R. Douglas (m), Walter H. Hunt, John McDaid, Allen Steele

Learn to write pro sf -- or help others find out how

Clarion_Banner_150_x_58If you've ever thought about writing science fiction professionally, you've probably considered Clarion. And for good reason. It is a life-changing six-week immersion in the craft unequaled anywhere else on this planet, full stop. It might not always be fun -- trying to write a story a week never is -- and it might challenge your fantasy of being an author with the tough reality of the writing life, but it will shape your work for the rest of your career. If you're thinking about it, you're ready. Click on the banner, and apply.

If you're not the writerly type, you might consider donating some ad space on your site or blog to the Clarion Foundation. Like many independent educational efforts, the workshop has faced some precarious times in the past years, and it almost looked like it might die. But a group of really dedicated sf folks have managed to put together nonprofit status, and are looking for help getting the word out. If you have a few pixels to spare, and you love sf, please think about lending a hand.

See Cory Doctorow's post on BoingBoing for details on the ad campaign.

Outtakes from the SciFi interview...

John Joseph Adams, who did a great job making me sound good, has posted the rest of the interview on his blog, The Slush God Speaketh. Arigato gozaimashita, John.

Interviewed on W00t.

Check it out: 'Keyboard' Channels Bach.

John Joseph Adams, The Slush God, did a wonderful job with the interview.

Bush claims to have invented the iPod

Ok, so he just gave the government credit for the enabling technology. But if Rove's scummy spinmeisters can turn one of Al Gore's verbal indiscretions into political hay, by god, 43 deserves no less:

"The iPod -- I'm a bike guy and I like to plug in music on my iPod when I'm riding along to hopefully help me forget how old I am. (Laughter.) But it was built -- when it was launched, it was built on years of government-funded research and microdrive storage, or electrochemistry, or single compression -- signal compression. See, the nanotechnology research that the government is helping sponsor is going to change the way people live."— Via Presswire

And I no longer believe in the slightest that these slips of the tongue are genuine. This is all about signalling to creationist knuckle-draggers that he is just folks. Me not really understand science; me just simple cave man who fell in some ice. Not so much parapraxis as massive craft.

Thanks to RimJob post on Daily Kos

"Keyboard Practice" makes Locus list; now available in mp3

Another wonderful bit of news this week, with my story being listed in among the best of 2005 in the Locus Online recommended reading list.

It's taken a while to crank out the mp3 version of the story, but you can now download it here. (It's a novelette, so even with good encoding, this two-hour clip is still about 60mb.)

Mostly just straight narration, but the two parts of the story which seemed to warrant more sophisticated treatment (the canon and the NTSB voice recorder tape) have been done up multitrack style. And yes, it is kind of hard to hear the voices on the CVR – that's just the way those things are....)

"Keyboard Practice" makes preliminary Nebula ballot

Read "Keyboard Practice" for free online at The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

The Nebula Awards ® recognize works selected by professional science fiction writers as representing excellence in the field. While this is only the preliminary ballot, I am totally awed and honored to be in this kind of company. (I mean, among other stellar entries, head-to-head with Cory Doctorow's awesome novelette "Anda's Game."

Watch this space — I'm working on a podcast version & some "DVD extras" I'll post soon.

All I have ever wanted to be in my life is an sf writer. There just aren't words for what I'm feeling now, other than humble thanks for all the folks who read the story, and liked it. And, as I said in the story, profound thanks to the crew from the Gibraltar Point writing workshop, especially the late Pat York.

See the full list of nominees at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA®) site. If you're a SFWA member, you can also read it here.

New at CES: Affordable rip, mix, burn for books...

Okay, so most stuff in the booths at CES is still half-vapor; screenlinked demos and soldered boards, a lot of it. But rolling out a potentially affordable automated book scanner is bound to put the Fear into the atavistic/fetishistic paper publishing industry types. "Can you say inducement? I thought you could."

Via PC
ATIZ Innovation, a small start up fronted by former Apprentice candidate Nick Warnock (who was also a former Xerox salesman and now CEO of ATIZ) and former PH. D. student Art Sarasin is introducing at CES 2006 its own $35,000, automated book scanner, known as BookDrive, that literally turns the pages and scans them without much human interaction.

A writerly site for finding historical events in character lifespans

Our allows you to enter a birth and death year from (Western calendar) 1000 on, and it will plot major historical events, showing the person's age. While it really for genealogists, this is a neat thing for quickly prototyping lifespans for characters in fiction. I'm one of those folks who's usually asking myself, "what's happening when this character is 10 years old?" and end up pulling out "The Timetables of History."

Admittedly, this doesn't replace the spadework of linking up a character to their milieu, but as a first approximation, this site does a dandy job. Just think of it as a Rails scaffold. ;)

For the New Year -- some new (auld) words...

Happy nu Yaaar. Build vocabulary, kick sand in the face of Merriam-Webster, or seek synchronistic connections. A neat perl script from the linguistics department at the University of Pennsylvania that gives you 100 random words. Enjoy!