January 7th, 2010


Panels At ConFusion

22-24 January 2010, Troy Marriott, Troy MI

ConFusion 2010, "I See By My ConFusion", is coming up and they've got a schedule up online. And Dr. Phil is scheduled to do a mess of panels (six) on Saturday and a reading on Sunday.
Sci-Fi Television
Diane Frkan, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Ed Gardiner

* Saturday 10:00a - 11:00a
* Salon E

It's another season of network programming! What happened to Heroes? Sara Connor and Dollhouse dumped, sexy Vampires, the "Visitors" and the Prisoner have arrived and LOST! A discussion panel on the new, returning and revamped shows that fall under the sci-fi, supernatural and other cross-over genre

NOTE: This panel is a hybrid of a TV panel and one Dr. Phil proposed on Why All The Remakes? Alas, it's at the same time as another panel I'd proposed on the Rate Fail debate, with some of the people who blogged on the issue. (grin) But the TV panel needed another body, so Dr. Phil is taking one for the team and will miss the Rate Fail fun. (double-grin)

Rate Fail: Does it matter how much writers get paid for short fiction?
Catherynne Valente, Jim Hines, Mike Resnick

* Saturday 10:00a - 11:00a
* Dennison 3&4

A new market offers genre writers one-fifth of a cent per word, but considers it okay because it's the exposure that counts. Yet this is less than the pulps paid eighty years ago, even unadjusted for inflation. Minimum SFWA pro rates are 5 cents a word, and even that isn't a lot of money. Exposure versus payment? For The Luv versus Business? Does money equal quality? Authors discuss differing views on these questions.

Dark Carnivals and Red Planets: A Bradbury Discussion
Dr. Philip Kaldon, The Ferrett, Carl Lundgren

* Saturday 11:00a - 12:00n
* Salon G

Our theme this year is Creepy Carnival, and what Con would be complete without a look at the master of creepy carnivals... Ray Bradbury!

Legends of SciFi
Dr. Philip Kaldon, Mike Resnick, Diane Frkan, Matthew Fanny, The Ferrett

* Saturday 1:00p - 2:00p
* Dennison 3&4

A discussion on the legends of Science Fiction. A look at the past legends who have past on and who the new ones are? Who is your legend?

The Family in Science Fiction
Catherynne Valente, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Jim Hines, Sarah Zettel, Matthew Fanny

* Saturday 2:00p - 3:00p
* Salon E

The variety of families within Sci-Fi and how they're conscructed from Heinlein to Robinson and everyone in between

Influence of Speculative Fiction on 20th/21st Century Music
Dr. Philip Kaldon, Carl Lungren

* Saturday 3:00p - 4:00p
* Salon G

How has music been shaped by science fiction? From the Who to Muse... there has been an influence, join us for a discussion

Writers Contest for New Writers
Catherynne Valente, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Jim Hines, Catherine Shaffer

* Saturday 9:00p - 10:00p
* Dennison 3&4

Having a deadline is a great way for the new writer to be motivated to get short stories completed and sent out

The Terrors of the Universe
Dr. Philip Kaldon

* Sunday 11:00a - 12:00n
* Boardroom

A travelling carnival visits a distant planet and has a house of horrors.... Come hear Dr. Phil Kaldon read his brand new short story.

Come On Over

The Troy Marriott has been a fabulous host hotel for ConFusion the last several years. They have an excellent Don Shula's Steakhouse -- and the bar serves some serious burgers and meals, too. And ConFusion itself is a very well run SF/F con, and its proximity to the Canadian border makes it an attractive con for Canadians to come. Lots of top flight authors and a number of editors and publishers make it a point to come as well. Always some good programs and panels for new writers. And the anime and film rooms are a lot of fun.

All in all, one of my favorite regional cons -- all kinds of great people come out in mid-January near Detroit every year, so you know it's got to be good. (grin)

Dr. Phil

A Drive Deferred

I'd Planned To Go To The Office Today...

... but the morning's slippery conditions and the forecast for 3-6" of snow along my route told me, "Look, you don't have to go in this week, so just don't." Okay. I hate having to go and get a new parking sticker the first day of class, but it can't be helped -- I can't go tomorrow.

Several times the last couple of weeks it's looked like we lived in a snow globe. But today is was more like living under a flour sifter.

This is not that much snow, nor that much cold. But it is winter weather and one should not treat it cavalierly. Watched a plow today take out a newspaper tube by the side of the road with its extended wing grading the shoulder.

When we left last week, gas was running around $2.63.9/gal for regular. On Tuesday, when we drove in to get some groceries and see how full the P.O. Box was, our usual gas station was at $2.79.9/gal, while the others in town were at $2.56.9/gal. Was gas going up? Or down? Silly question. Everyone was at $2.79.9/gal the next day.

Life continues in the new year.

Dr. Phil