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If we learn nothing else from Sarah Jane and Merlin this week, we should always remember never to accept tokens of love in the form of red glowing jewelry.
julieandrews: (Default)
My Doctor Who download hasn't finished yet, so...

I found this erm.. column? It's so hard to tell what to call things these days when they're 'news' according to Google and show up on newspaper sites. They could be news articles, or columns, or letters to the editor, or something else entirely. And how can you tell?

Anyway.. Science-fiction fans a breed unto themselves by Ben Bova in the Naples Daily News

Science-fiction conventions are unlike any professional, business, scientific or political conventions that I've ever seen. They are fun. They are educational. And, more often than not, they're not terribly well organized.

I think that does conventions and the fans that run them a disservice. Very often what seems like chaos is order and what seems like order is chaos behind the scenes.

Consider that a typical convention is run by volunteers who get together in person rarely, if at all during the year. A good majority of pre-con organization is run these days online, through forums and mailing lists. The con chair or chairs probably have never been a con chair before, though they may have been vice con chair the year before.

They have to organize the volunteer staff, the gophers, the dealers, the guests, the industry reps, the press, the hotel, and sometimes outside companies such as security, medical staff, or caterers. For two or three or four or more days, there are at least half a dozen events going on simultaneously, and more likely a dozen or two dozen. Some of these events, such as video rooms, could be running around the clock.

And with WorldCons, as specifically referenced by Bova, each con is run by an entirely new organization and staff in an entirely new city or even country every year.

It's a monumental task and even the greatest organizer in the world would have a hard time running their first con. And probably even their second or third.

Why are science-fiction conventions so popular among the fans? I think it’s because science-fiction fans often find themselves regarded by the "mundane" world as oddballs, nerds, weirdos. At a convention, though, all these ugly ducklings can come together for a weekend and be swans.

This last sentence I take objection to. I am not an ugly duckling wanting to be a swan. I'd more happily claim the designation 'oddball', 'nerd', or 'weirdo' (though I prefer 'geek'). What's the 'swan' in this metaphor? A normal person? A 'mundane'?

Who wants to be that?
julieandrews: (Default)
From The Sunday Herald, which is apparently a newspaper in Scotland, though they need to better identify themselves on their individual pages if they're going to be linked in to Google and the global internets.

How myriad galaxies far, far away are producing the geniuses of tomorrow
by genius reporter Jasper Hamill

This is an article about Ken Macleod (insert your own Highlander joke here) and an upcoming Glasgow Science Festival that's going to be discussing science fiction's role in science. But that's not the bit worth quoting!

The whole basis of the internet was famously inspired by William Gibson's book Neuromancer and Isaac Asimov, who recently died, "invented" earth-orbiting satellites in one of his tales.

Reeeeeeeally? 16 years ago is recently, is it?

Interestingly, it is the anniversary of his death today. Maybe Asimov is asserting his influence from beyond the beyond to take credit for other writers' work?

In this case, that other writer would be... GOD.

Though, you never know, Asimov might've been around whispering in God's ear. "You know what would look really fabulous next to that blue planet? A smaller, grey sphere."
julieandrews: (Default)
The best science fiction show on television right now is not Doctor Who.

For all its ups and downs and one absolute clunker of an episode this season, it's Torchwood.


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May 2014

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