January 16th, 2011


ConFusion Programming -- It's Official

It's Alive!

The ConFusion 2011 Panels & Events Schedule, that is. No changes from what I posted the other day for my part, so I'll just repost:

ConFusion 2011 -- 21-23 January 2011, Troy Marriott, Troy MI

As I said last month, I'll definitely be at ConFusion again this year. ConFusion was not only the first SF con I went to, but it is also one of the best run regional cons. The ConFusion 2011 Guest of Honor lineup runs as:

* Pro: Paolo Bacigalupi
* Pro: Cherie Priest
* Science: Aubrey de Grey
* Fan: Lisa Garrison-Ragsdale
* Special: Peter V. Brett
* Featured: Tom Smith

Dr. Phil in the Land of ConFusion:

Very proud of my first presentation -- an expansion of a professional talk I've given to the Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the national AAPT meetings. Plus I'll be reading another new short story.
Saturday 22 January 2011
11:00 AM
Dennison I/II
Scale and Space: Seeing Neil Armstrong's Footprints
What can we see from space? Popular TV shows suggest we can infinitely enlarge any image without any loss, but the real world is both much more complicated and much more interesting. We know Neil Armstrong's footprints are still on the Moon - but can we see them? And from how far away? And what else can we see? The Internet is full of fascinating images. (Dr. Philip Kaldon)

12 Noon
Salon G
Education, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Can SF and Fantasy be effective tools in the classroom? If so, how and what are some books that would be good to teach specific concepts? (Lisa Garrison Ragsdale (M), Dr. Philip Kaldon, Stephen Leigh, Steven Harper Piziks, Paul Melko.)

2:30 PM
Author Reading
Dr. Philip Kaldon reads a police procedural with civilized zombies. (Think "Alien Nation with flesheaters")

3:00 PM
Salon H
Science and Society.
Our (almost) all PhD panel discusses the impact of science on society, society on science, past, present, and future. (Doselle Young (M), Dr. Philip Kaldon, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Dr. Don Kleinsek, Dr. Christine Purcell.)

5:00 PM
Salon E
ConFusion's authors will be lined up to sign your books. Authors planning to be here include: Paolo Bacigalupi, Peter V. Brett, Cherie Priest, Mike Resnick, John Scalzi, Sarah Zettel (aka C.L. Anderson), Anne Harris (aka Pearl North and Jessica Freely), Lois Gresh, Stephen Leigh (aka S.L. Farrell), Steven Harper Piziks, Tobias Buckell, Paul Melko, Jim C. Hines, Merrie Fuller, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Suzanne Church, Steve Buchheit, Christian Klaver, William Jones, Dr. Christine Purcell, Stewart Sternberg, Charles Zaglanis, Ferrett Steinmetz (aka "The Ferrett"), Doselle Young, Catherine Shaffer, and Jim Frenkel (Tor Editor).

9:00 PM
Dennison I/II
Political Correctness
Are we politically correct, should we be politically correct, and can we have fun having a non- politically correct discussion about it? Where is the line? When do we as writers 'cross the line'? What happens when we do cross it? (Paolo Bacigalupi (M), Jim Hines, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Steve Buchheit.)

Sunday 23 January 2011
10:00 AM
Dennison I/II
Popular science books
We will engage in an interactive discussion of popular science books such as Freakanomics and others. (Richard Herrell, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Dr. Arie Bodek)

11:00 AM
Salon E
Brown is the New Black
What are the reasons for the blooming popularity of Steampunk as an aesthetic life style choice? (Cherie Priest (M), Suzanne Church, Dr. Philip Kaldon, Cindy Spencer Pape.)

The current long range forecast is actually quiet for Friday and Saturday, at least in West Michigan. While that might not last, it is hopeful. Maybe I'll give a quiz at my 1pm class on Friday and let them go early so I can get on the road. (grin) It's not really cheating -- twice weekly quizzes are due/handed out on Tuesdays and Fridays. They're usually take-home quizzes, but don't have to be. (double-jeopardy-grin)

Dr. Phil

Real Life Intrudes On Another Market

Not Quite Dead Yet, But...

Just got an email from Aberrant Dreams, which is also posted on their website:
Closed Until Further Notice
by JoeDickerson on Sun, 01/16/2011 - 15:51

Hi All,

By now, many of you are wondering exactly what is going on at Aberrant Dreams, and why there has been little word from anyone regarding the status of things around here. To be honest, the lack of updates and communication can be attributed to one thing only: everyday life got in the way. Because of many factors, the priorities have constantly been shifting, and while I love Aberrant Dreams, and wish wholeheartedly for things to run smoothly and timely, updates to the web (and worse, the authors) have kept sliding out of control. Way out of control! The health issues I've mentioned in the past have kept me from focusing any of my free time I do have into Aberrant Dreams. And to be honest, there appears to be no change in this situation in sight.

It is because of this that I have finally made the decision (rather late, I know) to suspend Aberrant Dreams' online publishing until further notice. This does not mean that Aberrant Dreams is a dead market, but rather I am placing it on an undetermined hiatus until such a time that things become more level, and I can put the appropriate amount of time and attention to making it a great place for readers and authors.

I'll keep this message fairly short. To all of the authors with stories currently in queue for our online publication, I am releasing those stories back to the respective authors involved. I wish all of you luck finding a more stable home for them than I can offer here, and I hope that when we are finally able to return that I'll see all of you here again!


Joe Dickerson

Ralan's had "MARKET NOTE - 28Oct10: behind on the slush pile; could be a long wait; temporarily closed to submissions". In Aberrant Dreams's Forum at the website is a plaintive posting from July titled "Hello?", saying there'd been no content updates since March, and which has 13 replies except they aren't displaying in either Firefox or Chrome. In any event, I'd submitted a story back in March 2010 and checked on their Submission system every month or so to check on its status -- that story is now released and recorded as a No Call in my scoring system. Darn -- I thought that story might be a good fit there.

I wish the people at Aberrant Dreams better fortunes and hope that someday they can come back.

Dr. Phil