Thursday, January 25, 2007

Upcoming Appearances

I probably ought to let people know where I'm going to be appearing in the near future. (Other than at the supermarket, I mean.) It sort of defeats the publicity angle if I don't let anyone know.

This coming weekend, I'll be at a small convention called Vericon, held at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. In conjunction with that, I'll be signing books at the Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square. (Saturday Jan. 27, at 1:00 p.m.) According the schedule, I'll be signing along with Marie Brennan. I don't know her, so this will be a chance to make a new acquaintance.

The weekend of Feb. 16-18, I'll be at Boskone, New England's largest regional convention. That's in Boston, at the Westin Waterfront. I don't know my schedule there yet.

Starting on March 19, I'll be teaming up once more with Craig Shaw Gardner to teach "The Ultimate SF Workshop," in the basement of Pandemonium Books and Games, in Cambridge. It's a 10-week intensive workshop for people who are really serious about learning the craft of SF writing. We ran our first workshop last fall, and it was very successful. Terrific group of writers, many of whom I definitely expect to see in print one day soon.

In April, during the school spring break, we're hoping to run a workshop strictly for teens. More on that later.

The weekend of May 11-13, tentatively, maybe, if I can afford New York City prices, I'll join a horde of other writers, editors, agents, etc., for the Nebula Awards weekend.

Later in May, I'll be teaching for the second year at the New England Young Writers Conference, at Bread Loaf in Vermont.

In July, I plan to be at Readercon, near Boston.

You know, I'd better put all this information up on my web site right now while I'm thinking of it. Excuse me while I go fire up Dreamweaver....

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

They've Done Put Me in the Movies!

I wrote earlier how I had been tapped to play a small role in a very small indie film. My role? Pops, the homeless man with his ear to the street. Well, they had the premier screening for cast and families the other night, and—yep—there I was. For about, oh, twenty seconds or so. Maybe thirty. I thought I was pretty convincing as a scruffy homeless man, and we'll just leave it at that and not think about how little it took to make me appear that way. (Wearing entirely clothes from my own wardrobe!)

The film is called Children of the Street. It's an earnest work that actually tells an important story about runaways and homelessness. (Very rough around the edges, and clearly shot on a budget of approximately zero—but still, it was rewarding to be in.) I got an email from someone at our church today, saying he'd gone to see the public showing (not knowing I was in it), and was quite surprised by the homeless guy!

Maybe it will show up online someday. If so, you'll hear it first here.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Small Is Beautiful—Or Is It?

Recent issues of Discover Magazine (Feb. 06*) and the New Yorker (I think it was last week's, but now I can't find it to check) both had articles about Amory Lovins, the wizard of small technology, or perhaps more accurately, appropriate use of technology in terms of energy efficiency and benign effect on the environment. His Rocky Mountain Institute carries on a lot of his work, and appears to be gaining the attention of numerous large companies, which are discovering that building energy efficiency and environmental awareness into new facilities can not only help the environment, but also save them money. Both articles are well worth a read. The one in Discover will tell you more about the science and technology, while the New Yorker focuses more on the man. It sounds like if you ever meet him, you can expect to have a thick stack of white papers pressed into your hands.

The leading edge of Small, of course, is nanotechnology—machines and structures engineered at the atomic and molecular level. Nanotech offers all kind of promise, but also possible hazards. One of the possible hazards is the potential biological effects of tiny fibers from products based for example on nanotubes as they degrade, or are disposed of. There is at least some risk that nano-fibers in the environment might prove to be the next asbestos. Well, according to the Washington Post technology section, some forward thinkers at a place called the ETC Group in Toronto have already observed that it would be useful to have a universal warning sign for nano-materials, and have started a competition to see who can come up with the best warning sign. Entries have poured in. You can view a large gallery of them at, and even cast a vote; or just view the finalists at

*Okay, it's a year old. But I just finally picked it up and read it, so it's recent to me.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Taxes—in January!

This won't be news to any of you who have kids in college, or who are in college yourself, but it sure came as a jolt to me: When you're applying for financial aid for colleges and universities, you basically have to do your income tax return, BANG, at the start of the year, instead of waiting to go into a panic the first and second weeks in April. That's what I've been busy doing, and am still doing. No doubt it's good discipline. It better be; it looks like I'm going to be doing this every year for at least the next seven years.


They're Gonna Put Me in the Movies, Revisited

I finally heard from the fellow whose small film I acted in about a year and a half ago (as Pops the Bum). He's having a premier showing for the cast in a couple of weeks, and will be showing it in his theater (the Regent, in Arlington MA) a few times. And then he's sending it off to some film festivals, to see if it generates any interest. Good luck to him!

Speaking of movies, my wife sent me a link to this interesting story in the NY Times about James Cameron's new film, Avatar, currently in production. One more step in the gradual merging of live actors and CG animation. One interesting thing is that they've developed the technology to let them see some of the virtual world while they're filming the actors. That has to help the director and others realize the vision they're after.

And speaking of technology, our friend Youngmee referred us to this story about a pretty emotive and lifelike robot developed by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology. Her name is EveR-2 Muse.


Sunborn Update

Since Sunborn (Chaos Chronicles Book 4) has been delayed until Winter 2008, it got pushed back on my editor's desk while he dealt with a couple of other books. This is frustrating in that I haven't heard any reaction to it yet, but at the same time it's giving me some additional time to continue the editing at my end. So I'm still going through it, doing polish and cleaning, and fixing some problem spots pointed out to me by my intrepid writing group and by my wife. (Well, okay—I didn't do diddly on it for about 3 weeks during the holidays—but I'm back to it now. When I'm not doing taxes; see other post on that.)

On the one hand, I feel pretty good about the way the book came out. On the other hand, I'm ready to kick it out the door and move on to something new. Like Chaos Book 5, which I've written the first page of, just to get it started. Or maybe finding a new business model for being an SF writer. I think I feel a post coming on that subject. Later, though.

Labels: , , ,