Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out to launch

I'm newly home from a highly enjoyable week in Laramie, Wyoming at Launch Pad, the NASA-funded astronomy program for authors. The Launch Pad mission: improving scientific literary through words and media.

It's as though someone doesn't want any more certified-science-free abominations like the recent mini-series Impact perpetrated upon an unsuspecting public.

So what's Launch Pad like? Immersion in astronomy, everything from the source of Earth's seasons to the nature of distant quasars. Immersion, too, in the company of fellow authors. Science-centric entertainment, from the stand-up routine of the Science Comedian to the these-are-the-ways-the-world-may-end stylings of bad-astronomy maven Phil Plait. A trip to the Wyoming Infrared Observatory.

Launch Pad is the brainchild of University of Wyoming astrophysicist -- and fellow SF author -- Mike Brotherton. Mike has done a bang-up (not to be confused with a Big Bang) job of documenting the recent festivities, including links to the many videos shot by our intrepid chronicler, writer and TV producer Stacey Cochran. (Spotting me among the videos is left as an exercise for the reader :-) )

I learned. I ate/drank. I spent a week with writers and scientists, during the International Year of Astronomy, overlapping the 4oth anniversary of the first moon landing! What SF author could ask for anything more?


Catreona said...

OH! I'd just about sell my soul for the oppertunity to attend such a fabulous bash!

Tell all! Who, that is what writers, was there? What exactly did you learn? What did you eat? I've never been to Wyoming. What was the scenery like? Describe the observitory you visited.

In short, full report, Lerner! None of this mamby pamby it was swell stuff. I want details! LOL

BTW glad you're home safely.

Hey, I like the blurbs for the books listed in the righthand column. Particularly like "snazzy." There's an underused word.

Edward M. Lerner said...

Due to a pressing deadline, copious blog entries are contraindicated. That's one reason why, in my original post, I linked to Mike Brotherton's most excellent blog.

But *very* briefly ...


Julie V. Jones
Gord Sellar
Marc Laidlaw
Owl Goingback
Scott Sigler
Tara Fredette
Brian Malow
Pat Cadigan
Carolyn Clink
Robert Sawyer
Andy Duncan
Ed Lerner
Nora Jemisin

Most, if not all, have their own websites or blogs. All are fine folks to spend a week with.

And Joe Haldeman (with wife Gay) was in residence as an instructor.

What did I learn?

Basically a text-book worth. See Horizons, by Seeds and Backman.

What did I eat?

Beef. Lots and *lots* of beef.


Spectacular. High desert. Big mountains.

The observatory?

Now back to frantic editing ...

Catreona said...

Thanks, Ed!

My sympathies on the editing. Try to take it easy so as not to go blind, or crazy. *hug*