Tag Archives: worldcon

Balticon 2015 post-mortem & Sasquan goings-on

Well, Balticon ended up being a bust, as I (possibly, with irony) came down with an awful respiratory plague in the 24 hours prior to the con starting. Which amounts to Pre-Con Crud, perhaps? I was medicated aplenty and manage to soldier through my Skeptical Journal Club talk Friday night, but afterwards slunk back to the hotel, febrile, and ended up not meaningfully making it back to the con all weekend. No good. To top it off, Laura came down with the same thing as well shortly after her Women In Science panel, and then entered quarantine with me for the remainder of the con.

That said, my Skeptical Journal Club seemed well-received (with some lessons on my end to tweak things for future iterations), and Laura’s talk had rave reviews, so that was a win.

Not being Patient Zero at Balticon due to self-isolation? An even bigger win.

Fast forwarding to the present, we have just arrived at Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, which is in smokey downtown Spokane in Washington state. Neither of us are on any panels this time around, which means we can relax and enjoy the festivities unfettered, especially the Hugo Awards ceremony, which should be… interesting. If you are unfamiliar with the situation surrounding the Hugos this year, I’ll point you to this post from John Scalzi, which will tell you of and link you to plenty of details. In very brief summary, given that the Hugos are based on popular voting, this year a group of folks gamed the system to ensure a specific slate of finalists made the final nominee cut; the people who engineering this slate have a certain specific vision of what themes should be more represented in science fiction and fantasy literature; that vision appears to be rather negative towards the emphasis of diverse gender and racial topics, in many cases; the general SF&F community is rather upset the finalist list; this has led to people of “both sides” of the issue behaving very badly online; the result could be the first Hugo Awards where the general voting public may vote No Award in multiple categories instead of voting for the candidates associated with the slate. So, it will be… interesting… to see how all this plays out.

Meanwhile, I will be tossing out the occasional #Spokane thoughts here, and please feel free to say Hallo! if you are around… especally if you see a Squatch.

there, and back again, and away yet again

The trip to Loncon, which included my first-ever visit to the United Kingdom, was truly outstanding. No sooner have I returned and attempted post-trip recovery and reorientation at work, however, and I am shortly off to even more entertaining madness at Dragon*Con. I have much to say about this lovely jaunt, but for now I will merely note that it spanned the the most beautiful place on earth, the Isle of Skye (which no picture can do justice to):

photo (8)

…to the rich history of London:

photo (7)

…to the usual odd entertainment of a Worldcon:

photo (6)

More to come when I arrive at that city that Mr. Van Damme was questing to in Cyborg.

Loncon 3 goings-on

I am in London, England, for Loncon 3, the 72nd Annual World Science Fiction Convention. While here, I will be participating in discussions of all manner of SCIENCE, namely:

Communicating Risk and UncertaintyThursday 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL) – The risks of crossing the road are much higher than the risks that the LHC will make a black hole, or that your plane will crash. But we don’t worry about crossing the road. How can we improve our ways of thinking about and analysing risk?

Allergies on Alien PlanetsFriday 19:00 – 20:00, London Suite 1 (ExCeL) – Planets that have aliens with big teeth, volcanos and poisonous atmospheres present obvious hazards, but what other trouble might be lying in wait for those visiting alien planets. Will the local microbes lunch on us and our food, pollute our water supply, ignore us or give us allergies? Diseases killed more colonists on Earth than animals or the colonised, but will this work elsewhere? Just why are our planets so safe?

Podcasting ScienceSaturday 10:00 – 11:00, London Suite 2 (ExCeL) – What makes a good science podcast? Who is making them, how are they made, what’s out there that our panel can recommend? What are the advantdages and disadvantages of having them done by professional scientists and by people acting more as journalists?

The Bugs Are Coming BackMonday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL) – Will we soon look back on the 20th century as a golden age of disease free living? How did we get to this state of affairs and what can be done about it?

Please feel free to say hello if you happen by, or track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Dragon*Con goings-on

I’ll be at Dragon*Con for the next couple of days, where I will be participating in several panels on the Science and Apocalypse Rising tracks, as is my want:

Title: Cough and Sneeze: The Science of Epidemiology
Time: Fri 02:30 pm
Description: From “con crud” to zombie viruses, come discuss the science – and likelihood – of a world ending plague.

Title: I (Do Not) Want My HPV
Time: Fri 08:30 pm
Description: An update on the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): the virus, cervical cancer & other diseases it causes (with pictures!), & the vaccines that prevent it.

Title: Read All About it: Zombies in the Media
Time: Sat 11:30 am
Description: From New Jersey to Miami and beyond… zombies are not just a thing of fiction and fantasy anymore, or so it would seem.

Also, on Saturday at 04:00pm, I will be helping out Laura with the Parsec Awards ceremony. Early Sunday morning, we’re flying to Chicago to catch the Hugo Awards ceremony and the last half of Worldcon because, well, why not.

If you happen to be in Atlanta or Chicago this weekend, feel free to track us down!

Worldcon goings-on

Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention

I’ll be headed shortly to Renovation, the 69th (In Reno. With brothels. Yes. Ok, it’s out of my system now.) World Science Fiction Convention. Tomorrow, I have the good fortune of participating in a couple of science panels:

  • Thu 16:00 – 17:00, Space and the Biological Economy: How does space exploration drive the United States’ biological economy? What do the advances in telemedicine and the biological sciences driven by NASA mean to our nation’s long-term economic and physical health? – David W. Goldman (M), Nick Kanas, H. G. Stratmann, John Cmar, Greg Bear
  • Thu 17:00 – 18:00, Infections and Viruses that Could Doom Humankind: What could create the next pandemic? A virus from animals? Food-borne illness? An engineered retrovirus? – John Cmar (M), Vylar Kaftan, Tom Lehmann, Jim Fiscus

Apart from these, I will be otherwise hanging about with the Moon Ranger and other good folk, and possibly be doing some Bad Doctoring for The Secret Lair. As usual, I will be posting occasional pithy observations, and if you are going, I look forward to seeing you there!

in which i was not eaten by flying polyps

Hi.

The Miskatonic University 2010 Australian Expedition has returned. I was not mind-jacked by Yithians. I did have a scare in which I was sure I was being attacked by flying polyps, but they were merely birds – friendly, if a bit aggressive:

more birds, image via jvsquare on Flickr
more birds, image via jvsquare on Flickr

The trip was a blast, while the post trip jetlag was less so. Autopsy reports, of course, will be forthcoming.

How was your September?

Aussiecon 4, incoming

And so it came to pass that I find myself on the other side of the planet for several wonderful reasons, one of which is to attend The 68th World Science Fiction Convention, being held this coming weekend in Melbourne, Australia. This is a no-work jaunt, so my official con schedule is as follows:

  • nothing
  • I have never been to Oz before, but I am put in mind of Lovecraft’s The Shadow Out Of Time, and so I am constantly on guard against flying polyp attacks and body jacking attempts by Yithians. Fortunately, thanks to the tireless efforts of Propnomicon, I am well-equipped for the Miskatonic University 2010 Australian Expedition.

    To that end, I have been well-prepared with expedition materi... on Twitpic

    Aussiecon 4 is running from September 2-6, 2010, in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and associated hotels in Melbourne, Australia. As always, I will be tweeting the goings-on (and flying polyp attacks), and please stop and say hello if you happen to be in the hemisphere!