(And also, my chapbook Edgewise is still available for pre-order.)
- The Art of Book Covers: A/V Pesentation on how illustration and design come together to create a book cover. *Lou Anders, three time Hugo nominated Editorial Director and Chesley Award Winning Art Director of Pyr Books hosts a presentation on how science fiction book covers are created, from commissioning artists, to art direction, to final layout and design. The presentation will feature artwork from some of the most celebrated names in science fiction and fantasy illustration, including some never seen before pieces.
- A Star Ripped Apart by a Black Hole? *While the evidence for high-mass and low-mass black holes is incontrovertible, whether Nature creates black holes of intermediate-mass (1000 – 10,000 times the mass of the Sun) is still quite controversial. We present work indicating that not only do intermediate-mass black holes exist in the centers of dense globular star clusters, but that in one instance the black hole has ripped apart a star that has strayed too close to it. The unusual chemical signature of the debris suggests the star that was ripped apart was a white dwarf, the stellar corpse of a star that no longer burns hydrogen in its core. (Yuanyan Su presenting the current research of astronomy professor Dr. Jimmy Irwin of the University of Alabama.)
- Dark visions and bright: SF poetry reading: *The Science Fiction Poetry Association sponsors a reading of speculative poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and everything in between). Authors like Ursula K. Le Guin and Roger Zelazny wrote novels to pay the bills, but they wrote poetry because they needed to. Come find out what depths and heights can be fit into just a few well-chosen words. (David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Peg Duthie and Joanne Merriam)
- Mother Goose has a lot to answer for (Reading): *Who killed Humpty Dumpty? Who forced the old woman to swallow the fly? David Kopaska-Merkel reads from his recent book, “Nursery Rhyme Noir.” Shocking crimes lie behind the seeming innocence of nursery rhymes and children’s stories. Fortunately, Hasp Deadbolt, P.I., is on the case.
- Why everybody should be reading Science Fiction: *My father was born before the Wright Brothers flew, and he lived to see the landing on the Moon. That was when change was coming at a snail’s pace. Now we live in a technological avalanche. But people naturally resist change. Someone mentions clones, or the capability to manipulate genetics and we’re automatically opposed. It’s as if these ideas, and others, fell out of the sky. But SF people have spent the last seventy years looking at the various directions we might take, and it helps them make smart choices. Another reason to read SF: At its best, it makes dazzling entertainment. – Jack McDivett
- When Wallpapering the Den with Your Stories is Not an Option: A Q&A on Submission Etiquette: *Writing is one thing, but making it possible for millions of potential fans to read your work is quite another. David Kopaska-Merkel (speculative poet, fiction writer, and editor of Dreams & Nightmares magazine), Peg Duthie (author and editor) and Joanne Merriam (poet, fiction writer and former staffer of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia) answer your questions about submission etiquette and standard practices in the book and magazine industries.
- It’s Time for the Bloodletting (Reading): *Joanne Merriam reads from her short post-apocalyptic story, “Sundowning,” which just appeared in Strange Horizons. Set in a future where vampires keep humans around for food, a fry cook struggles with her father’s Alzheimer’s. Merriam has had fiction in The Fiddlehead, On Spec, Southern Gothic and Stirring, and is a winner of the Strange Horizons Readers’ Award. You can find more of her work online at joannemerriam.com.
- Micro Black Holes and the LHC Scare: Dr. Ben Harms.
- Hanny’s Voorwep: The Rise of the Digital Amateur Astronomer: Dr. William Keel.
- Ask an Astronomer and Physicist: *Do you have questions about space or physics? Well come and enjoy this Q&A on astronomy and physics with University of Alabama professors! Hosted by the Astronomy and Physics departments, Dr. Dean Townsley, Dr. Dawn Williams, and Dr. William Keel will be taking questions from the audience related to astronomy and physics.
- Anthropology in Science Fiction: Exploring the Human Condition through Imagined Worlds: *We will compare portrayals in science fiction to anthropological perspectives on questions such as: What makes a human? Where does our species come from, and where are we headed? How important are the differences that separate us? Can we ever really understand each other? – Dr. Jason DeCaro.
- Sci Fi and Gaming (TP) (45 min) – ABXY
- The Science Fiction of Japanese Anime: *Have a look into the world of science fiction in Japanese anime with the people who brought you the anime convention KamiCon. See how technology in anime affects the path of modern technology, and how modern technology affects anime. Why does the most technologically advanced country in the world find anime so important? – Raymond Lenzer, KamiCon
- War of the Worlds Broadcasting Scare: Adam Schwartz
- Characters, Plot and Backstory: The Mechanics of Fiction: *All too often, the plots and backstories of science fiction and fantasy take precedence over the development of characters. Alex White gives you a series of tips and tricks designed to get you thinking about what drives a story.
- Robotics programing and demonstration: Dr. Monica Anderson and ACM
- How to get rejected: * Editors and their screeners are inundated with manuscripts from people they’ve never heard of. Hundreds of them pour in over the transom every day. So naturally they look for reasons to get rid of them, to send them back with the standard rejection letter. And to do it without having to read past the first page. Or often even the first paragraph. Here’s how we can make it easy for them to reject our submission. – Jack McDevitt
And, I will be selling copies of Edgewise. I got the covers printed yesterday, so I just need to bind them and my pre-orders will be mailed out. I’m still taking pre-orders if you’d like to get in on this hawt chapbook action.
Their backs stubbornly
faced the danger, and then were
swallowed up by it.
Frank was a good man.
She had no reason to be
unhappy with him.
They watch her struggle
to stay awake, the dolls gripped
tightly in each hand.
I just look at her.
The moonlight slides over her
face like a slow tide.
My chapbook Edgewise contains some more deliberate haiku (and other poems, and microfiction) and is still available for pre-order.
I’ve decided to publish a new chapbook of speculative poetry and microfiction at the end of February, so they’re available for sale at 2010: A Space Oddity. I plan to do a limited, numbered edition of 100, with a mix of three different covers.
I’m taking advance orders now via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org (or mail a cheque or money order to Joanne Merriam, P.O. Box 41232, Nashville TN 37204 USA). Be sure to include your mailing address in your comments. The chapbook will be selling for US$5.00/Cdn$6.00 (using the SMOASP currency exchange rate) and for advance orders I’m not charging for shipping. (You can request a specific cover or specific number in the series and as long as it’s not already sold out I’ll send that.)
Edgewise will include “The Aviary” (Chiaroscuro, January-March 2008), “The Butterfly Factory” (42 Magazine, Summer 2009), “Deaths on Other Planets” (Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2008 and Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, 1 February 2009), “Evolution” (Mise En Poem, 22 March 2009), “Last Will and Testament” (Chiaroscuro, January-March 2007), “Ribbons. Lightning.” (On Spec, Spring 2004 and Brain Harvest, 12 September 2009), “Spring in Rutherford County” (Dreams and Nightmares, No. 77), “Stolen Lighters” (PicFic, 17 August 2009), “Thirteen Scifaiku for Blackbirds” (Strange Horizons, 12 October 2009), “The Undead in Hospital” (Alba, January 2007), “Venusian Girls are Better” (Coyote Wild, January 2008), “Werepenguin” (Strange Horizons, 10 March 2008), “Work Requirements” (PicFic, 18 August 2009), and six untitled scifaiku (three from Scifaikuest‘s February 2010 print, February 2009 online and February 2009 print editions respectively, and three from Things Japanese in Tennessee, Duthie Learning. September 2008).