CONvergence Schedule

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:31 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
I'm at CONvergence every single day a you can see below. I'm a little surprised at the number of panels I'm moderating (including one with Lois McMaster Bujold and... me?) This should be an interesting con, of course, made better by the fact that my friend Naomi will be one of the Guests of Honor.



Thursday, July 6


3:30pm
DoubleTree Atrium 7
AI in Science Fiction: From Evil Overlords to Companions
There is a diversity of AI in writing and film, from benevolent to malevolent. How does an AI become good or evil? Are they just programmed that way? Panelists: Naomi Kritzer, Jamie Riedesel (mod), Eric Zawadzki, Lyda Morehouse, Lathan Murrell


Friday, July 7

2:00pm
DoubleTree Edina
Take a Pew, Pew, Pew! Organized Religion in SciFi/Fantasy
Beyond "The Force", how do creators deal with organized religion (and disbelief) in science fiction and fantasy? What do they get right, wrong, and what do they reveal in their thinking? Panelists: Caroline Symcox, Lyda Morehouse, Tim Wick, Bill Stiteler (mod)


8:30pm
DoubleTree Atrium 2
Slash Panel
Buckle your seatbelts, it's time for the annual panel about same-sex shipping! From Yuri on Ice!!! to married space monks, let's talk State of the Slash Union 2017. (This is an 18+ panel; talkin' about the porn is definitely on the table.) Panelists: Bess Stuvenoxend, Skazka 9000, Jo Thrace, Lyda Morehouse (mod), Kes S


Saturday, July 8

11:00am
DoubleTree Atrium 7
Of a Certain Age
What stories feature older characters as the hero? How do these stories hook readers? What can you learn from them when the storyteller does the job well? Panelists: Lois McMaster Bujold, Lyda Morehouse (mod)

8:30pm
Sheraton Whalon
Local Urban Fantasy
A panel of local authors of urban fantasy, stories set in or around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Panelists: David Lenander, Lyda Morehouse (mod)


Sunday, July 9

9:30am
DoubleTree Atrium 4
Ms. Marvel Fan Panel
Marvel has four different heroes under this same overall title. They're all good, but which is your favorite? Panelists: Kathryn Sullivan, John Seavey, Tim Lieder, Lyda Morehouse (mod)

What Are You Reading? Wednesday

Jun. 28th, 2017 12:16 pm
lydamorehouse: (??!!)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
Having been driving a lot on our vacation I didn't read a ton, but I did manage some graphic novels this week:

PaperGirls, Vol. 2 by by Brian K. Vaughan/Cliff Chiang,
For the Love of God, Marie! by Jadie Sarson,
and a manga called Scum's Wish/Kuzu no Honkai (Vol. 1) [I think, I read this on-line, so I'm not sure how far I am in the actual tankōbon. I got through all of them that were published on MangaReader, about 15, which I'm guessing is only the first volume.]

Interestingly, there was kind of 'the perils of promiscuity for women' theme in both For the Love of God, Marie! and Scum's Wish.  I gave up on Necrotech by K. C, Alexander. I wasn't in the mood for it, I suppose, also on the road and it was an inter-library loan so it needed to go back sooner rather than later. 

How about you? Manage anything fun?

Yours truly, Jack the Ripper

Jun. 28th, 2017 06:33 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Q1: More about Jack the Ripper! Who do you think did it?
Q2: Research -- do you plan your approach, or is it more freeform/serendipitous/falling down rabbit holes?
Q3: Are you exclusively reading true crime? If so, what's that been like? If not, what else are you reading?
[each from a different and lovely reader]


Read more... )

CMV Lands at Denver Comic Con

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:17 am
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[personal profile] catvalente

The Denver Comic Con is this weekend, and Cat will be in attendance! We hope you have your tickets – we hear all the weekend badges are sold out, but there are still some one-day badges available. Head over to their site if you still need membership.

If you hope to catch Cat at the con, here’s her schedule of appearances:

FRIDAY, JUNE 30

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Signing at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2

2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
Mistakes Were Made in Room 402 – Authors

SATURDAY, JULY 1

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM
The Writing Process of Best Sellers in Room 407 – Authors

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Signing at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 1

3:30 PM – 4:20 PM
Millennials Rising – YA Literature Today in Room 402 – Authors

5:00 PM – 5:50 PM
Start Short, Get Good in Room 407 – Authors

SUNDAY, JULY 2

10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
Is This a Kissing Book? in Room 402 – Authors

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Signing at Author Signing Booth 1

3:00 PM – 3:50 PM
The Best Writing Advice I Was Ever Given in Room 407 – Authors

See you in Denver! Unless we don’t. In which case, have a great weekend!

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

Fig and Ibid on their current home

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:31 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Fig thinks everything is the best thing ever, especially the completely adorable orange cat. Who would like the stranger to stop gazing affectionately at him.

Ibid, on the other hand, won't come out from behind the toilet.

YOU GUYS

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:03 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
I scored the following used RPGs from Little Wars for a SONG:

- Mutants and Masterminds
- Wraith: The Oblivion
- Aeon limited edition
- Star Wars Core Rulebook ([personal profile] dhampyresa, do you want this? I'm happy to send it to you--it's Wizards of the Coast's d20 system)
- Mage: The Ascension (we may already have this BUT I DON'T CARE)
- Changeling Storyteller's Guide (now I just have to find the core book for Changeling)
- Wraith Player's Guide
- Battlefleet Gothic 2002 Annual (I looooooooove the aesthetic of the Battlefleet Gothic miniatures and am sorry I only own one, which is still unassembled in its blister pack)
- Earthdawn (I used to own this before my stepmother threw it out)
- Ars Magica (ditto)
- and a stray issue of Playboy July 1995 because it was sitting there lonely and I am easily amused

PLEASE, VAN, CONTINUE ACQUIRING AND SELLING USED RPGs. I WILL COME BUY THEM!!!

This is like Christmas.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
I've been interested in game design for some time, but when I started in elementary school, either there were no resources or they were hard to find. It was already hard to find books in English when I lived in South Korea. We did have Base access for a couple years while my dad was still in the Army, and then he left the Army to teach at Yonsei University and we lost Base access and, with it, access to the library. In any case, it would never have occurred to me to look for books on "game design." I don't think I heard of it as an area of study until college or possibly after. I spent a lot of high school trying to design a cockamamie chess variant, and I did read up on real chess variants (Chinese chess, Japanese chess, Burmese chess, etc.). It wasn't *good*, and the one time a couple friendly strangers over the internet volunteered to playtest it, they confirmed the ruleset wasn't any good, no doubt because I had devised the pieces' moves to be ~symbolic~ for storytelling purposes (it was worldbuilding for a fantasy novel) and I didn't know anything about board game design.

Since then I have made a point of reading books on game design when I can find them, and the occasional article on the web. While I have released a couple of small interactive fiction games (IFs) and the narrative game Winterstrike (Failbetter Games), I don't really consider myself a game designer. It's more in the nature of something I do on the side because I find it illuminating to consider alternate ways to approaching narrative; I think primarily as a writer of static fiction. And for the purposes of the hexarchate, it's research because I decided that one of the factions (the Shuos) abuses game design techniques in their pedagogy, and one of the characters (Jedao) is a gamer.

The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, ed. Mike Selinker, is a collection of essays by various designers. I was originally going to read the book through and do a report on the book overall, but I liked the essays enough to do individual reports on some of them. cut for length )

Thank you to the person who donated this book!

Bundle of Holding: Mutant Chronicles

Jun. 27th, 2017 04:55 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



Freelancer! From the distant future the Factions bring you our Mutant Chronicles Bundle featuring the 2015 Third Edition of Mutant Chronicles, the dieselpunk techno-fantasy RPG of future darkness from Modiphius Entertainment. With its fast-playing, cinematic "2d20" system designed by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire), Mutant Chronicles 3E is a thrill ride across a Solar System beset by megacorporate intrigue and the invasion of a terrible alien force.

(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:47 am
yhlee: two voidmoths at war (hxx Raven Stratagem)
[personal profile] yhlee
An interview [Lightspeed Magazine] by Christian A. Coleman. Note that the interview mainly discusses Raven Stratagem, so there are spoilers for Ninefox Gambit. I also hint at what's coming in the third book, Revenant Gun.

[story] The Ghost and Its House

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:04 am
yhlee: sleepy kitty (Cloud)
[personal profile] yhlee
For P.H.
Prompt: "ghost consciousness."

The house had lain ruined for decades upon decades, quiescent at the edge of the town. Once, it was said, a fine family had dwelled there, wealthy at first, much given to parties and entertainments. The oldest people in the town still remembered the parties: the music of string quartets, and cakes decorated with spun-sugar ornaments, and couples dancing gaily through the night. But now none of the windows had glass in them anymore, save for a few sharded teeth, and the wind blew freely through the rooms where people had once gathered to gossip.

Nevertheless, the house was not entirely uninhabited. A ghost remained attached to the house, and it murmured to itself during the long winter nights, singing tuneless ghost-songs of the shapes that shadows make in the dark, and the sounds that mirrors make when no one is around to hear them, and footsteps in the distant wood. The ghost did not remember the name of the person it had been, once upon a time, but neither did this make it unhappy.

In time a pregnant cat moved into the house for the shelter it offered. The ghost did not remember much about cats, except that they liked cream, and it had no such thing to give the cat. But it had other things to offer. It encouraged the old closets to throw their doors open and disgorge their rotted linens so that the cat would have something to nest in, and it offered all house's hiding places, as well as the lullaby of the crooning wind.

For her part, the cat was a pragmatist. She did not share human prejudices against ghosts, and a ruined house was as good as any other place for her to raise kittens. She merely made sure that there were no raccoons or the like already occupying the place, and then she set to building her nest in earnest.

Cats are not the most talkative of folk, but this cat was friendlier than most. She asked the ghost why it lingered in the house, instead of going to its rest the way humans usually did. While she didn't always put credence in human stories, she had heard that ghosts usually stayed in the realm of the living because they had left some task unfinished.

The ghost said to the cat, "The only task is the task of the house itself. It was my home when I lived, and it remains my home in death."

"Then I am sorry I cannot help you," the cat said, dismayed in spite of the very pressing matter of the kittens she expected to arrive in a matter of days. "A human could help you restore the house, but I am a cat. I may have clever paws and whiskers, but they are no good for building."

The ghost's laughter gusted through the house, although it tried to keep the worst of the cold from the cat. "What do I care about restoration?" it said. "Perhaps once, when I had flesh, it would have mattered to me. But now I am a creature of shadows and dust and ash, and this house suits what I am now. I can keep it safe for you and your kittens. They can play in the house's halls and grow to adulthood without fear of being chased out by human owners; is that not enough?"

"If that is the case," the cat replied, "I shall gratefully accept your hospitality, and my kittens and I will keep your house free of mice."

"It is a very old bargain," the ghost said, "and if it suits you, it suits me."

Two days later, the kittens were born without fuss, or more fuss than the usual, anyway, and in the years to come, generations of cats made their home in the house. They probably live there still. As for the ghost, it has been busy adding the songs of cats to its repertoire. The result is noisy, but none of them mind.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

Yesterday, you compared me, not favorably, to a car: "We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you would require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crash their car."

I cannot tell you how furious I am.

First of all, in comparing health insurance to car insurance, you are implying that:

(1) we can avoid illness, cancer, strokes, etc., the same way a driver, hypothetically, can avoid accidents (although accidents can't always be avoided, either);
(2) human beings are nothing but machines;
3) if we are not useful--as, say, children or elderly people no longer able to work are not useful--we are not worth taking care of;
(4) we decrease in value when we are damaged.

All of these implications are wrong. Frankly, they are all reprehensible. Also, a car accident is in no way, shape, or form like a "pre-existing condition." "Pre-existing conditions" are chronic. You can't deal with them once and then move on, the way you can buy a new car if yours is totaled. You have to deal with a "pre-existing condition" for the rest of your life; it goes on being expensive, eating up energy, and making your daily life harder long after the crisis point (the accident, in your analogy), if there even was one. Many people's "pre-existing conditions" start before they're even born. It is a false and pernicious analogy which you should never have permitted yourself to make.

Moreover, my "pre-existing conditions" are not things that I did, or things caused by my bad choices. The same is true of my friends who are bipolar. The same is true of any child who has cancer. Illness, whether mental or physical, is not a moral judgment, and a person's value, which is inestimable, is neither measured nor affected by the health care they need. And no one can predict the health care they're going to need--in much the same way no one can predict a drunk driver crossing the median and colliding head-on with their car.

Frankly, I have never expected you to oppose TrumpCare, whether it's called the AHCA or the BCRA, and I was angry enough about that. But the contempt this analogy shows for your constituents and for their need to have effective and affordable health care--a need that does not correlate with either their socio-economic status or their moral rectitude and that should never be thought of in terms of free-market capitalism--is appalling, especially from someone who claims to consider it "an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Wisconsin." I sincerely hope that this analogy is not a reflection of your true opinion of your constituents.

Senator Johnson, I AM NOT A CAR. I am a person, created equal with yourself, and I deserve to have my elected representatives respect my humanity and treat me with dignity.

Replica

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:40 pm
yhlee: Shuos Jedao (Hellspin Fortress) (hxx Jedao 1x10^6)
[personal profile] yhlee
Jenna Black's Replica is a YA sf novel that I picked up from the library one-cent-a-book discard sale along with its sequel Resistance. I have just finished Replica and have not yet read Resistance, although I plan on getting to it soon. My verdict is that this is a good novel, but it could have been so much better.

I was attracted to Replica because clones and faux!amnesia are bulletproof narrative kinks for me. You have to work to foul those up for me. Here's the back cover copy:
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake's marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the Corporate States. She lives a life of privilege, even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her every move, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image--no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he's more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She's not exactly his type...not that he can tell anyone that.

But then Nate turns up dead, and Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn't know what--or rather, who--killed him.

Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

What's good: there's a lot packed into the premise. Nadia is genteelly raised, but far from spineless, and easy to sympathize with. Nate is a closeted gay man in a social class of a future society that strongly discourages homosexuality, and one of his major motivations is to protect his lower-class lover. And Nadia and Nate's friendship with its ups and downs is believable.

Neutral: the Executive class of elites allows women to inherit, but there's a behavioral double standard as to what men and women can get away with, which is why Nadia has to watch her every move so she doesn't cause scandals while Nate can act out all he wants. The narrative states that this is some kind of throwback to the nineteenth century (Western, presumably?). There isn't much explanation given for how this developed, but I've seen sillier setups in sf so I was willing to go along with it.

What's less good, without going into spoilers: As far as I can tell, the entire named cast minus one character (Chloe, a friend of Nadia's) is white. There is lip-service paid to Chloe feeling like an outcast because she's black, and then Chloe is very rapidly shuffled off-stage and we never hear from her again.

That's not actually my biggest complaint about the novel. My biggest complaint about the novel is that it has a lot of tense action and still never manages to punch hard enough. And I don't mean this in the social justice sense of punching down or sideways or diagonally or whateverthehell. I mean this in terms of narrative impact on the reader.

I can't discuss further without spoiling the whole thing, and I am really frustrated by the fact that this fairly good novel could have taken my favorite tropes and done them even better, so let's have a spoiler cut: Read more... )

Local news

Jun. 26th, 2017 10:34 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Mosque approved despite pleas to think of the little turtles and an odd assertion that the mosque would produce more sewage than "normal " spiritual use.

The exgf's cats meet Fig

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:42 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Ibid has a ... troubled history with Nigel so we're holding off on that.

No histrionics but somehow Rufus established himself as a cat Fig needs not to annoy, whereas Nigel is someone Fig will happily follow around.

Also, Fig made himself sick eating daisies, then tried to eat one again.

*facepalm*

Jun. 26th, 2017 03:00 pm
yhlee: recreational (peaceful) tank (recreational tank)
[personal profile] yhlee
The moment where you see Microsoft Word's wordcount for the current story in progress saying "1701 Words" and think, Why is it 5:01 p.m.? I thought it was only 3 p.m.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I finally found out where I misshelved this.

(no idea what review series I can fit it into)


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