Via Cat Sparks.
Next weekend Scott Westerfeld and yours truly will be guests of honour at the 2008 High Voltage ConFusion science fiction convention. It’s our very first time being guests of honour and we are stoked. TOTALLY stoked. In fact I’m so very stoked I’m thinking of celebrating with the purchase of a new dress. Surely, being guest of honour requires new clothes, right? I gotta look pretty, don’t I? If you have an opinion on this Very Important Matter please to express it in the poll to your right.
I’m thinking this one, though with black gloves not white:
Vivienne Westwood’s Watteau ball gown
Here’s Scott and mine’s schedule. Because we are joint guests of honour we are doing everything together:
FRIDAY 18 JANUARY:
1900 Den 1 Interview: Author GoHs by John Scalzi
Tee hee! Mr Scalzi will ask us questions and we will plead the fifth and get away with it because we know where he buried the bodies. I suspect zombies will be mentioned.
2000 Salon FGH Opening Ceremonies
We will say a few words but there won’t be an actual speech speech. Some of my words will be “quokka”, “zombie”, and “oscillate”, or maybe not. Depends.
2100 Salon FGH Dessert Reception
Where we eat dessert and natter with folks what want to natter.
2200 Den 1 Originality is Overrated
There’s this idea that writers work entirely alone and create their work out of whole cloth. That’s rubbish. If a work were wholly original no one would be able to read it. All writers are influenced by those who came before them. Most writers talk to other writers. Many are in writers’ groups and even those that aren’t frequently read and comment on each other’s work. Let’s talk about the influence and community that writers share. Even when they don’t know each other. Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld (M), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss and Doselle Young.
I confess that I wrote this description on account of it’s something that drives me crazy and I’m looking forward to talking about it with such esteemed and smart companions. Especially Doselle. Everything is better if Doselle is involved.
SATURDAY 19 JANUARY:
1100 Den 1 Fantastic Sports
Organized sports are a vital part almost every culture on the globe. But sf and fantasy novels tend to overlook this key aspect of world-building. We examine what sports are and what they tell us about a culture, and dig up some good examples in sf and fantasy. Justine Larbalestier (M), Scott Westerfeld, Steve Ainsworth, Dave Klecha and Catherine Shaffer.
Mmmm . . . sport. If I weren’t moderator I would just spend the session teaching USians cricket.
1300 Salon G Juvenilia
Writers dust off the storage trunks, turn off the shame meter, and read from their 5th- through 12th-grade works of unalloyed proto-genius. A great way for young writers in the audience to feel much better about their own efforts. Justine Larbalestier (M), Scott Westerfeld, Merrie Haskell, K. Tempest Bradford and Marcy Italiano.
I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that Scalzi is not on this panel. Laughing at his early writing efforts was the whole reason I agreed to go to ConFusion!
1400 Den 1 SF Is Not Dead
More sf is written and consumed these days than every before, in the form of manga, video games, rpgs, and YA lit. Yet our beloved field constantly bemoans its own demise, while ignoring those 100,000 crazy kids down the road at Comicon. How do we connect these two worlds of sf? Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld (M), Anne Harris, Jim Frenkel and Peter Halasz.
Because me and Scott are sick to death of hearing the folks in the old sf people’s home whingeing about the death of sf. It ain’t dead! It’s doing just fine, thanks.
1500 Den 1 Golden Age of Young Adult Lit
Some argue that the YA books being published now are some of the best the field has ever seen. There are more of them, the quality is better, and the authors are being paid more. Is now the Golden Age of Young Adult Literature? And if so what does that mean for the next generation of readers? Justine Larbalestier (M), Scott Westerfeld, Steve Climer, Suzanne Church and Peter Halasz.
I think it is. I also think it’s just going to get better and better and better.
1700 All-Author Autographing Session
If you have books you want strange author types to scribble on here’s your chance.
2100 Concierge Literary Beer
The only thing we’re doing that you have to sign up for. It’ll be me and Scott sitting around with a smallish group of interested folks and answering their questions while we all drink beer (or water or whatever you wish to drink. I wish to drink Krug—I hope the ConCom is on top of that!).
SUNDAY 20 JANUARY:
1100 Salon H Gluten-Free Fantasy
Most medieval cultures didn’t have chainmail, swords, horses, or wheat. Yet the overwhelming majority of medieval cultures in fantasy do. What do we stand to gain by breaking the bonds of Europe on our collective imagination? And what’s so scary about bolas, sled-dogs, and rice? Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder, Jim Frenkel.
This panel is also something me and Scott came up with. It has a backstory. Way back in the dark ages we were on a panel together about fantasy where we panelists suggested that there were other settings for high fantasy other than mediaeval Europe. Scott went as far as to say that wheat is not essential to high fantasy.
The audience turned on him. “We LOVE wheat!” they proclaimed. “We hate fantasy that isn’t set in mediaevel Europe. We hate wanky literary fantasy. In fact, we hate you writers on the panel who are trying to take away our wheat!”
Scalzi was in the audience along with the wonderful Karen Meisner and they both say it was one of the most extraordinary things they have ever seen. Karen even sent Scott a Canadian license plate wth a beautiful picture of wheat on it. Scott still contends that we were caught in the wave of an Atkin’s diet backlash.
Here’s the con’s full schedule.
Hope to see some of you there! I mean if this wussy Aussie girl can brave the dead of winter in Detroit. Surely some of you can?
Because Eric Luper had the temerity to suggest that quokkas are not the cutest animals on the planet I have devised a new poll. It goes up exactly a day after the last one which I successfully managed not to break—so you were all wrong. Yay, me!
I like having polls but I definitely need less buggy WordPress compatible software.
The “How To Rewrite” post will go up as soon as I, um, finish, the book what I have to rewrite . . . And the manga/manhwa/graphic novels one not long after that. Promise!
Update: Eric Luper jinxed me into breaking the poll! Oh noes. Oh well, at least the quokkas were ahead. But I had planned to leave it up for a few days. And I am too deadline addled to come up with a new one. Stupid crappy poll software! Stupid deadlines!
And now it turns out the poll is not broken. That’s it! I’m backing away from the intramanets, leaving the polls alone, and becoming a rabbit farmer.
So that I can better get to know what you, the reader, thinks, I have added a poll thingie to the sidebar.1
The first poll is about winter because I need to know if the total darkness before 5PM and constant cold and the only decent fruit & veg being apples and pumpkin is bumming out anyone other than me.2 Tell me I am not alone!
That it’s December and I’m still stuck in the Northern hemisphere fills my soul with despair.
Here have some more quokkas:
More sunshine & quokkas. Look what the peoples wear! Lucky, lucky bastards.
Okay, that didn’t make it warmer or lighter or less depressing here . . .
Update: I have just learned that creating a new poll instantly replaces the old one. I’d planned to leave the winter poll up for awhile but I done killed it. Thus there is a new poll, which I will not tinker with until next Sunday. This is my punishment for futzing about with the blog3 when I should be nosegrinding towards my deadline. I am bad.
Update 2: I don’t even know how I broke the poll this time. I am turning the internets off and stapling myself to the grindstone.
Update 3: Stupid poll software. I kick it.
When I started this blog I was very definite that I wasn’t going to blog about politics or religion. I’d seen too many flame wars, too many blogs overrun by indignant trolls. My blog, I decided, was going to be sweetness and light and avoid incendiary topics.
But then the John Howard regime finally fell and I couldn’t contain myself. And, you know, what? I’ve gotten not a single troll. The discussions generated by my political musings have been thought-provoking, fun, and, most unexpectedly, my traffic is up. Who’d’ve thunk it? I love youse all!
I now feel free to blog about whatever the hell I want to blog about. If any trolls show up I’ll just nuke ’em.
That said, I’m facing a whole series of dread evil deadlines over the next month. So my promised posts on how to rewrite1, curing insomnia, my favourite manga, manhwa and graphic novels will prolly all have to wait.
In the meantime I’ll try to keep posting but may not be as substantive as I’d like.
So here, have another quokka:
If I could have any pet at all I’d have a quokka.
I once heard Tim Flannery say in a radio interview that they make excellent pets and that we would be doing them a favour by bringing them into our homes. Flannery reckons that a sure fire ticket to species survival is domestication. You don’t hear much about cows, horses, cats, dogs or pigs being on the verge of extinction, do you?
So there you have it. I wants a quokka.