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.


1 comment:

Donita K. Paul said...

I enjoyed meeting you, James. And I am always surprised by the originality of costumes and friendliness of the people at MileCon. I'll try not to miss the con in the future.

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