May 24th, 2014


'Round Perdition's Construction and Across Four States.

Michigan. Indiana. Illinois. Wisconsin.

Including 62 miles -- about a hundred kilometers -- of 45 mph construction zone on the North-West Toll Road. With tolls. As the work to expand I-90 from four lanes to six.

And I'm here!

WisCon 38, May 23-26, 2014 / SFRA Conference, May 22-24, 2014.
Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison WI. Memorial Day weekend.

If you're here, you might care that I am on three panels and a reading:
Saturday 24 May 2014

4. The 1st 8 people on the list who are physically present at the WisCon (not the hotel's) registration desk (2nd floor of the Concourse Hotel) at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning (for example, #s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 12) will be the contestants.

5. Each contestant will get a USB flash drive which contains a single RTF (rich-text format) document. That document will contain a few lines of dialog. Your task is to load the document onto your computer, construct a story that incorporates the supplied dialog, save it back to the flash drive, also as an RTF document, and turn it in within 60 minutes. We'll take care of printing them out.

Food, Glorious Food
1:00-2:15 pm
Catherine Krahe(M), Matt Austern, Penny Hill, Philip Edward Kaldon, Rich McAllister
In our lived lives food of our cultural background, or our ancestors, plays a significant part of our sense of home and cultural identity. Who are the writers who integrate details of food with an eye toward cultural specificity and diversity in their speculative fiction? What is the significance of food in stories? What is its function? How does this inclusion affect the world/setting of the story?

Sunday 25 May 2014
The Corporation as Character in Science Fiction
8:30-9:45 am
Senate A
Marguerite Reed (M), Alex Gurevich, Chip Hitchcock, Philip Edward Kaldon, Catherine Lundoff
Science fiction, particularly in films, is full of corporations with evil or morally ambiguous intent: Yoyodyne, Terrell Corp, Umbrella Corp, the list is nearly endless. They may be represented by a single villainous character or by numerous faceless functionaries, but what the viewer remembers / is presented with is the corporation itself as the villain. Is that enough to make the corporation an entity, a "person," in their own right? Are corporations inherently evil? Or simply amoral? How has the depiction of the corporation changed in SF? Is it different in anime or manga, comics, written SF vs media SF? Where do we see that image of the corporation going in the near future?

Fashions of the Future
2:30–3:45 pm
Conference 5
Jenny Sessions (M), Lucy Adlington, Philip Edward Kaldon, Rebecca Maines, Heather McDougal
Would there be humans in space without zippers and Velcro? Captain Picard wore a spandex corset under his Enterprise uniform because Gene Roddenberry decreed there should be no unseemly bulges in space. How do sci-fi clothes reflect contemporary fashions and social prejudices? Shiny jumpsuits, micro-mini dresses, tribal robes and spacesuits… let's explore how gender/race/status/exoticism are shown through the clothes and uniforms of sci-fi past and present, from 19th century images of "deep-sea diver" spacewear to NASA-inspired outfits, plus more fantastical sci-fantasy creations. Are we seeing inventive or derivative clothes in sci-fi films/TV shows? Is there still a routine overt sexualisation of female spacewear? How might emerging textile technologies affect future human space travel and off-Earth colonisation?

Monday 26 May 2014
Twists and Turns (Readings)
10:00-11:15 am
Conference 2
Carrie L. Ferguson, Philip Edward Kaldon, Lucas James Pralle, Zora M. Quynh
Four authors of diverse genres. Life, death, after death, multiverse, getting a date on a starship and the stories we tell children. The only common theme? Some of the stories have protagonists named Lily. Come for the melange, stay for the stories.
More to come...

Dr. Phil

Story Done!

Whew. That hour went fast.

Got up this morning at 7am and headed downstairs by 8. Richard S. Russell showed up at the empty Registration table soon after -- they weren't to open until 9:30. I was #1 and #2 on the signup list was also there early. And Richard had asked for eight authors to take the one hour writing challenge. And he got eight.

At 8:30 he read the first name on the list -- yours truly -- and I was randomly handed the first flash drive, lettered A-H.

Then it was time to write. I had scouted several possibilities, but I really didn't want to go too far. And I didn't want to use too much time going to/fro the sixth floor. So there was an open space next to Registration which had been used for Gaming in the evenings. And there was an outlet.

The Asus EeePC doesn't get a lot of use, so I tend to use it plugged in -- the power saving modes on battery slow it some and dim the screen. I'd already booted the machine upstairs, so just had to scattered all my pieces and bits: netbook, charger, six foot extension cord, reading glasses case, watch running the one hour timer, Kindle Fire HD, earbuds to listen to music, haiku the Verizon 3G hotspot. I should've taken a picture of my writing empire space, but I was busy and didn't think of it until I'd packed most of it away.

They gave us an hour to write and ten minutes transport time. Due by 9:40. I believe I turned it in second at 9:37. Richard handed out eight drives and got back eight, but only seven caps. (grin)

So the task was to take several lines of dialogue and incorporate them into a story -- judges were to award higher points for using all the dialogue together without breaking it up. The challenge dialogue was more than adequate for the story I wanted to write. Didn't think to do a word count before I shut down the netbook. I'll post later after we get results.

There are two Spontaneous/Overflow Programming Rooms -- 606 & 607. They will print out and the stories outside 606 sometime and at 10pm tonight in 606 they'll announce the results.

So... is my story any good? Well I think the germ of the story is good. It needs to be much longer, but I put all the major bits in, but the details... Ah, sorely lacking in some of those, as you can imagine.

It also pokes fun at a tired old movie trope that drives me crazy.

Will post after 10pm and perchaice will include the story.

We shall see what we can see.

Dr. Phil

3 !

Third Place.

White ribbon.

Gold lettering.

A crisp Hamilton. ****


More anon.

Dr. Phil

**** UPDATE 5/27/2014: Just was reading the contest's final report and it mentioned that Third Prize was $20, not $10. So I checked the envelope and sure enough, there were TWO crisp new Hamiltons. So crisp and consecutive serial numbers, that they were tightly stuck together and took a bit of effort to separate them. Cool! That means that I got two days of hotel parking paid for, not one. Double cool. -- Dr. Phil