Dragon*Con, incoming!

image by Steven Hickman, via DragonCon.org

By Odin’s turgid ovaries, Dragon*Con is only a week away! Soon I will be but one of 40,000 scales on a great sleepless, screaming, brightly-colored, intoxicated wyrm writhing in the heart of Atlanta.

I have been fortunate enough to receive guest status this year, and so will be involved in SCIENCE! And podcasting! Behold:

  • Bacteriophages – Using Viruses To Cure Disease, Friday 1pm (Hilton 202) – “For 90 years, viruses have been used to treat bacterial diseases. Due to increases in antibiotic resistant bacteria, are bacteriophages our only hope?” – This should be fun. I’ve recently been attached to this panel, and the topic is a favorite of mine due to being cutting edge medical science… and seriously, wouldn’t it be so cool if a designed bacteriophage went awry? MWA HA HA H- er, sorry.
  • Autism and Vaccination – The Rumored Connection, Friday 4pm (Hilton 202) – “The latest issues regarding this controversy, how it started, and a primer for talking with someone who believes that the two are related.” – I am honored to be moderating an impressively renowned group of physicians and scientists for what promises to be an educational hour about this fictional controversy.
  • Tickle in the Throat, Saturday 1pm (Marriott L504-L505) – “Pandemics and plagues that could be devastating for the world (or maybe they will just thin it out and we won’t have much traffic).  Authors share their research and a scientist shares his view.” – I can only presume that I’m the scientist. And this has the potential for great fun…
  • The 2009 Parsec Awards, Saturday 7pm (Hyatt Regency V) – “The Parsec Award is available for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Original Content, and Speculative Fiction within the new frontiers of Portable Media.  Join us for the Fourth Annual Parsec Awards Ceremony.” – Mur and I will be hosting the ceremony again this year, and I expect it to be an excellent time!
  • Influenza, Swine Flu and You, Sunday 2:30pm (Hilton 202) – “An update on the myths and the realities of these (un)popular diseases.” – I’m also going to be moderating this talk, featuring an equally esteemed panel of experts to talk about one of my favorite dis-eases.

Beyond these, I will be attending plenty of other panels and events, including the pre-convention charity Star Party on Thursday night, hosted by Phil Plait and Pamela Gay.  Don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello, and both email and Twitter will be good ways to track me down in the chaos.

Wish Upon A Blackstar, Chapter 1

I loves me the era of digital music.

Today marks the practical release date for the first two tracks of Celldweller‘s latest project, Wish Upon A Blackstar. I say “practical,” as yesterday was the actual release… and the FiXT store website has been down until today. One can only hope that this was due to the demanding hordes crashing against the gates of the interwebs, lusting for the latest tasty metalectronica.

I just download the two tracks that comprise Chapter 1, and they are most excellent. It appears that Klayton is releasing this project in 5 Chapters, which will comprise a full-length CD’s worth of material when complete. “Wish Upon A Blackstar” as a title comes from a synergy of the ideas of “wishing upon a star”… and “be careful, or you may just get what you wish for.”

Chapter 1 is available for a free listen at Celldweller’s Myspace site, and can be purchased for less that $2 at the FiXT store… unless you are a completest like me, and throw in an extra $3 for multiple beta tracks and commentary. Either way, it’s a sweet deal, and my appetite is duly whetted for Chapter 2.

The Secret Lair #27

The Secret Lair

The latest episode of The Secret Lair is up, in which Overlords Johnson and Miller respond to a recent commentary about “science fiction becoming too infected by fantasy.” They are joined for this insightful rant by the nigh-superhuman Earl Newton, the executive producer and creator of the jaw-droppingly awesome Stranger Things.

Other goodness in this episode includes Mr. Newquist‘s excellent review of The Day After Ragnarok, a new RPG setting using the Savage Worlds rules that is so uniquely cool that it makes me salivate. Also, therein is my third report as the Lair’s CMO, in which I discuss how recently elucidated chimpanzee bargaining techniques may have played a role in our Shetland-bonobo hybrids plaguing Twitter with randy mischief. Well, that and Minister Lynn’s crackpot advice.

Go here and listen, else when the Overlords’ time comes, you will be the first into servitude.

The Secret Lair #26

The Secret Lair

A new episode of The Secret Lair is up, and this time Overlords Johnson and Miller revisit the Secret Library to discuss Christopher Moore‘s Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. They gave it high marks, as do I. The story is Moore operating in top form, balancing well-executed hilarity with surprising insightfulness.

Other goodness in this episode includes my second report as the Lair’s CMO, this time detailing exactly how the progression of the simian-equine hybridization program inadvertently resulted in another new virus being let loose in the world, as well as Minister Lynn’s first description of one of the Crackpot Schemes he is now in charge of.

Go here and listen, else when the Overlords’ time comes, you will be the first into servitude.