Monday, October 25, 2010

MileHiCon Followup

MileHiCon 42 has come and gone. We gave out about 240 light sticks that look remarkably like the graphic at the top of my website (at least until I get round to the full overhaul that the website needs), talked with lots of people, bought art, and generally had a good time.

Robert Stikmanz. He's got a new short story out in The Sorcerer's Scrolls Magazine called Death on the Toilet. It's Robert's usual combination of absurd humor, deep character, and intensive story, and highly recommended - I went to the reading.

Ron Sering's story K.O.T.L., which he read at the same reading with Rob Stikmanz, is also very good. It was published in Cemetary Dance Magazine #41, in 2002. The reading was a trifle rushed, probably due to time constraints.

The two panels I was on - Psychology of Fandom and Bionics Now and in the Future were good panels, with a group of excellent panelists. It was interesting in the latter to hear all my panelists agree that the real thing holding back the development of bionics is lack of government and industrial will. My usual bleak view of industry is that if there's a market, someone will make money at it. The idea that nobody's willing to fund blue-sky research on an area that would be a license to print money if it pans out seems awfully short sighted, even for industry and government. But, I suppose, nobody ever went broke underestimating Industry and Government's short-sightedness. As a side note, DARPA, the organization that brought you the Internet, is working on the Luke arm - a fully neuro-controlled upper extremity with full sense feedback within the next ten years. It's named for the hand Luke Skywalker got after his first duel with Darth Vader.

And then came the exquisite corpse reading. When I first saw it in the program, I assumed it was a horror themed reading and prepared my short story, Brass and Steel accordingly. After a day or so, I started to wonder if Exquisite Corpse wasn't a book title, to be read Eye of Argon style, where you go around the group reading as much as you can stomach, then hand it off to the next person.

As it turned out, there is a novel entitled Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite, and it is indeed a novel for the strong of stomach. I've been dismissing it all weekend as serial killer slash fic, and there is a great deal of that in the story, though there's somewhat more lurking below the surface. I'm not sure I'll finish it to find out, though.

What an Exquisite Corpse reading is, as it turns out, is a reading where you bring some piece of work or other to the reading. Read a paragraph or so, and the next person jumps in with a paragraph or so from a completely different work, usually with hilarious results. My lovely wife M found me a copy of the novelization of Star Trek 5, and parts of it, when bolted on to Laurel K. Hamilton's rather er... sticky narratives recast the paragraphs I read into whole new meanings. Speaking of slash fic…

So kudos to Rose for some very fun panels, a shout-out to Rob Stikmanz, the panelists of both panels, Donita K. Paul, with whom I shared my reading slot, and to Donato Giancola, the artist guest of honor, for a drawing that I didn't buy but that gave me a whole new vector to take the current novel in. A virtual light-stick (see the top of my website) to everyone who somehow didn't get a real one from me, and I'll be back next year.


The Stuff in my Head - Freakies

In 1974, I'd have been about 6 years old, in Kindergarden, and watching Star Trek in syndication on Channel 2 out of Denver, and that year, the video below hit the airwaves, nestled amongst the saturday morning cartoons. This is the stuff that sticks with me. This is the stuff in my head. For no reason I can fathom save repetition and impressionability, I can still recall the refrain from this exact jingle, on key, and with the correct lyrics and pacing, though I can't remember the actual video (save that I just watched it), and I certainly never saw it in color.

As for Freakies themselves, I recall I convinced my mother to buy me a box at one point, and they were so bad that even a six-year-old's sweet tooth wasn't enough to make me gag them down. I recall it being a stinging disappointment, and I never quite forgave the makers of the cereal for it.

According to the wikipedia article, the cereal itself lasted only two more years, which suggests a lot of people had the same experience.

Now, if only I could get this jingle out of my head. There are far more useful things I'd like to remember so permanently.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Look on the Website

If you haven't visited the website in the last few hours, there's a new look on it, and some code tweaking in the background. Please let me know what you think, and especially if it doesn't work right for you. I haven't had time to really sanitize it so it's 100% standards compliant, and I know it's very broken for old versions of IE - which I intend to drop support for in the coming overhaul anyway.


MileHiCon Schedule

It's MileHiCon time again, and once again, I'm on the schedule. :) So if you're looking for me, here's where and when to look:

4:00pm Friday - Wind River B - Author reading with Donita K. Paul.

3:00pm Saturday - Wind River B - Psychology of Fandom Panel

11:00pm Saturday - 12th floor - Exquisite Corpse Reading with A. Bugg, T Kroenung, and N. Leyba.

2:00pm Sunday - Wind River A - Bionics now and in the future (I'm moderating this one)

This year, I'll be handing out some promotional thingies, starting at my reading on Friday, and after that there will be a basket of them out somewhere. I'll probably save some to give out at the Exquisite Corpse reading too.

Hope to see y'all there.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Donald Duck discovers Glenn Beck's talk radio show

A great mashup cartoon, which the creators assert is covered under fair use because it's a parody. Given Disney's stance on copyrights, I expect their lawyers will disagree expensively come Monday, so I'd say get it while it's hot.

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