Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Death to keyboards ... for a few days, anyway

This year's Worldcon (aka, Chicon 7) begins Thursday August 30th and runs through Labor Day. I'm delighted to say that I'll be there. So if you, too, will be at the con in Chicago, stop me and say "Hi!"

For an SF author, of course, any Worldcon is a working holiday. Dates, times, and places are subject to change (by the Programming Committee), but here's my tentative schedule (also listing my fellow partners in crime, and with panel moderators on a gray background).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

There is no fate (of worlds) but what we make ourselves

With apologies to John Connor :-)

Epic end of an epoch
And with apologies, as well, to Douglas Adams, I'll mention that Fate of Worlds was forty-two years in the making. How so? Because (as some of the fine print on the cover points out), Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld is the finale to the Fleet of Worlds series and the Ringworld series. And Larry Niven's endlessly popular Ringworld first appeared way back in 1970.

But enough of apologies and perhaps obscure references! On to the breaking news ... Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld was released today.

Where it all began
At the end of Ringworld's Children (Ringworld series, book #4) adventurer Louis Wu and the mad Puppeteer known only as Hindmost escaped the millions-of-times-the-size-of-Earth artifact known as the Ringworld just before it ... vanished. Have you ever wondered what Louis and Hindmost did next? Where they went next?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Curiosity ... an endangered commodity

First things first: kudos to the NASA/JPL team -- including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and other contributing contractors -- for pulling off the recent successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory, aka the Curiosity rover. The flawless flight and landing mark a great technological achievement. The MSL seems poised to discover many interesting things about Mars.

Curiosity about to land
But Curiosity arose from a NASA solicitation in 2004: during the George W. Bush era. Where does curiosity, lower case, fit in the current administration's agenda? Nowhere, as far as I can see. Even as NASA takes its victory lap, the US has recently pulled out of the ExoMars program. So much for the Mars Exploration Joint Initiative signed between NASA and ESA in July 2009. During this administration.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

News about news

I was recently interviewed about Energized for Tor Book's monthly newsletter. If the newsletter didn't show up yesterday in your email (i.e., if you don't subscribe), the piece also appeared in the Tor blog. See: "Scarily Timely: A Q&A with Edward M. Lerner."

And two days ago, I drove into Arlington, VA, to tape a TV interview on Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction. We talked about both Energized and (not yet released -- though it will be before the show airs) Fate of Worlds. I'll post when that interview is available for streaming -- best guess, in a month or so. Till then, I highly recommend the Fast Forward interview now showing with Connie Willis.

I think the taping was the first occasion in two years I've worn a tie. Can't say that I missed them ...