by Gary Farber
If you happen to be in the environs of the San Francisco Bay Area from March 11th through 13th, I'll be here:
Fogcon is this (links mine):
The Friends of Genre Convention (FOGcon) is a literary-themed San Francisco SF/F con in the tradition of Wiscon and Readercon. Each year we’ll focus on a new theme in speculative fiction and invite Honored Guests ranging from writers to scientists to artists. We will build community, exchange ideas, and share our love for the literature of imagination.
Theme for 2011: The City in SF/F
The theme of this, the first FOGCon is:
Whether a glass-edged utopia or a steampunk hell, the city plays a central role in many works of speculative fiction. It can be an arena for conflicts between cultures, a center of learning or vice, a court of power and corruption. In its gutters and government buildings, the city reveals the values a society claims and those it actually honors. Because the city is open to everyone, it’s a place where new things can happen. No wonder it is such a rich topic for so many writers.
I'm particularly, given the time-change, and our ability as science fiction people to slipstream, looking forward to these bits of programming:
Sunday, 2:00-3:00 A.M. (Interstitial Programming)
A Guided Tour of Veniss Underground
Boiler Room In The Basement
Honoured Guest Jeff VanderMeer leads interested parties down a specially dug tunnel beneath the Holiday Inn to explore the real-life location in which his fictional Veniss Underground was set. Warning: The con does not provide safety gear, weapons, or retrieval services for anyone lost on this expedition.
The Six Magic Words Of Guaranteed Publication
Gold Rush C
Ann VanderMeer will reveal the true secret of getting published: six words that will ensure that, if you include them in your story correctly, you will see print!
Fritz Leiber Reading/Q&A
Room 607, Rhodes Hotel
Fritz Leiber will be reading from his recently completed work, as well as answering audience questions.
Pat Murphy Teaches Wognax Zarbling and Alter-Ego Development
California Room, alter-ego overflow to Washington.
While she admitted in her program signup that she is not a professional Wognax zarbler, she aspires to be, and who doesn’t? She’ll provide her very skilled amateur guidance for those of us who have always wished to zarble Wognaxes (some Wognaxes provided, but feel free to bring your own). Once the Wognaxes are suitably zarbled, Pat will also advice people on how to develop their own alter-egos. Warning: Any alter-egos developed will not be allowed to attend Sunday programming unless they buy a day pass.
Some thoughts from Conjure, Wife:
- What was life worth, anyway, if you had to sit around remembering not to mention this, that, and the other thing because someone else might be upset?
- Chapter 11 (p. 116)
- Things are different from what I thought. They’re much worse.
- Chapter 20 (p. 209)
Other wisdom to keep in mind:
I abominate any organization that denies cats are people!
It was always worth everything to get away by himself, climb a bit, and study the heavens.
What do you care? You always liked loneliness better than you liked people. No offence - liking yourself’s the beginning of all love.
And one I should always keep more in mind:
For that matter, where did I get off being critical of anyone?
Pat Murphy is a great writer and fascinating person.
Pat Murphy has won awards for her science fiction and fantasy novels, as well her nonfiction science books. Her brilliant The City, Not Long After portrays a post-apocalyptic San Francisco populated by ghosts and artists.
Her second novel, The Falling Woman (1986), won the Nebula Award, and she also won a Nebula Award in the same year for her novelette, “Rachel in Love.” Her short story collection, Points of Departure (1990) won the Philip K. Dick Award, and her 1991 novella, “Bones,” won the World Fantasy Award.
She lives in San Francisco and, for more than 20 years, when she was not writing science fiction, she worked at the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s museum of science, art, and human perception. There, she published non-fiction as part of the museum staff. She is now an editor at Klutz Press in Palo Alto, where she is responsible for such wildly science-fictional publications as Invasion of the Bristlebots.Together with Karen Joy Fowler, Murphy co-founded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 1991.
Ann VanderMeer is Very Busy.
Ann VanderMeer is the founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Weird Tales, for which she has received a Hugo award. Ann has partnered with her husband, author Jeff VanderMeer, on such editing projects as the World Fantasy Award–winning Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, The New Weird, Steampunk, Steampunk Reloaded and Fast Ships, Black Sails. She is also known for teaching writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey and Shared Worlds as well conducting creativity seminars for such varied audiences as the state of Arizona and Blizzard Entertainment.
Award-winning writer Jeff VanderMeer’s final novel in his Ambergris Cycle, Finch, has just been published in the US, and will appear in the UK from Atlantic’s Corvus imprint. His writer guide Booklife and associated Booklifenow website focus on sustainable creativity.
With his wife Ann, he recently edited the charity anthology Last Drink Bird Head. His short fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales, and several year’s best anthologies. He has won two World Fantasy Awards and been nominated for many other awards.
He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post Book World, Omnivoracious, The New York Times Book Review, the B&N Review, and many others.
Since I blog here, though I'm just a tiny participant in this con, I'll mention that you can probably also find me hither and yon, at least:
Friday, 4:30-5:45 P.M.
In 2011, many authors are not just writing stories, novels and articles. They’re blogging. How do you create a blog readers will want to return to again and again without sacrificing your other writing projects?
M: Amy Sundberg, Erin Hoffman, Gary Farber, Carolyn E. Cooper
Sunday, 9:00-10:15 A.M.
Power Structures in F/SF Cities
Who holds the power in the cities of alternate worlds? Are cities ruled by individuals, single organizations, or coalitions? How is power exercised: through religious, economic, legal, or other means? Can people move freely among classes? Does the nature of power held in a city influence the nature of the underclass? Take examples from modern and classic spec fic works and examine how these questions have been addressed over time.
M: Michele Cox, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Debbie Notkin, Gary Farber
And I'll be disappointed in myself if I don't show up at Saturday, 10:30-11:45 A.M. to kibitz at:
The Lightning Wrath of the Internet
From Cooks Source to RaceFail, the Internet “hivemind” gets angry very, very quickly. The speed of discussion in fandom is much faster than it ever has been before. How is this changing the conversations we have? Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or simply the way it is?
M: Lori Selke, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Nick Mamatas, Rachel Silber
Lots of other stuff will be going on, including a writer's workshop, and you kids interested in that would be well advised to play the home game with the:
Edited by Lewis Shiner
Second Edition by Bruce Sterling
Elsewhere in skiffy news, there are always more Phil Dick movies coming:
Philip K. Dick, the sci-fi writer who fires Hollywood's imagination in film after film.
Yes, here comes The Adjustment Bureau.
Michael Chabon has a project on HBO, Hobgoblin:
Scribe Michael Chabon and his wife, author Ayelet Waldman, have set up an offbeat drama project at HBO that revolves around a motley group of conmen and magicians who use their skills at deception to battle Hitler and his forces during WWII.
No, you can never go wrong with Hitler!
Want some science fiction news? Try SF Signal and Locus Online. You could even try File770.com, and watch folks take shots at me! Or I've been known to blog about science fiction myself. Hey, read about me and Robert Heinlein. That's a bit of a story. Yikes.
But you need something to argue over! How about the perennial "what is science fiction?"
Which is to say:
Artist, Teacher at Parsons the Newschool for Design, Easton, CT
“History of Science Fiction” is a graphic chronology that maps the literary genre from its nascent roots in mythology and fantastic stories to the somewhat calcified post-Star Wars space opera epics of today. The movement of years is from left to right, tracing the figure of a tentacled beast, derived from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds Martians. Science Fiction is seen as the offspring of the collision of the Enlightenment (providing science) and Romanticism, which birthed gothic fiction, source of not only SciFi, but crime novels, horror, westerns, and fantasy (all of which can be seen exiting through wormholes to their own diagrams, elsewhere). Science fiction progressed through a number of distinct periods, which are charted, citing hundreds of the most important works and authors. Film and television are covered as well.
The original is hand drawn and painted on Mylar. It has been exhibited at Teapot Gallery in Cologne and is part of an ongoing series. Other examples may be seen at: https://www.wardshelley.com
Wanna play science fiction bingo?
Oh, yes, Fogcon?
You can be there!
$75 after 2/1/10, including at the door
Child and Youth Memberships
Youth (ages 11 to age 17) $55 after 2/1/10, including at the door
Child (ages 0 to 10) under constant direct parental supervision free
Day memberships will be available at the door only.
Friday: $40 (includes the Liftoff Party)
Youth day rates
Friday only: $25
Sat only: $20
Sun only: $15
This is otherwise an Open Thread. Discuss!
(Crossposted at Amygdala.)