fear of something with the power to cut even deeper – my own community

Wise words from Quinnae Moongazer :

When I mention the icebox of unpublished posts and articles to friends and colleagues, I do so with a forced smile, pretending that it’s a heady combination of academic perfectionism and fear of being attacked by bigots that leads me to suppress them. There is more than a grain of truth to this. As many of my friends, loved ones, and sisters in struggle have demonstrated and written about, there is a lot to fear from the 4chan-esque world of angry young men with ample resentment towards those of us they perceive to be purloining some birthright of theirs. My academic work is devoted, in no small measure to explaining their behaviour (more on this in a bit).

But I am lying when I say they are the sole source of my hesitation.

The rest, often as not even the lion’s share, comes from fear of something with the power to cut even deeper– my own community. I fear being cast suddenly as one of the “bad guys” for being insufficiently radical, too nuanced or too forgiving, or for simply writing something whose offensive dimensions would be unknown to me at the time of publication. In other words, for making an innocently ignorant mistake.

Read the whole thing.


Conservative outside organizations are spending 85 times more than liberal organizations in NY-21.


NY21I live in New York's 21st Congressional District, currently represented by Democrat Bill Owens, who is retiring. It was the 23rd District when Owens was elected, by there has been redistricting since then. Three candidates are running for Owens' seat. Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate, is endorsed by Bill Owens and also by Charles Schumer. Elise Stefanik is the Republican candidate. And there is also a Green Party candidate, Matt Funicello.

NY-21 congressional district has an adult population of under 600,000. When Bill Owens was first elected, there were about 150,000 votes cast. I don't know what the expected voter turnout is, now that we are the 21st District.

A lot of PAC money is being spent on this election. I looked at OpenSecrets.org to have a look at how much.

The candidates themselves have raised about 3.7 million dollars, with Woolf a bit ahead of Stefanick, and Funciello having raised about enough to buy a car.

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Outside spending on the race is huge. 

Conservative organizations are spending nearly 2.4 million dollars, more than either major candidate individually. $2,317,000 of that comes from just four organizations: American Crossroads associated with Karl Rove and Ed Gillespe (see donors), the National Republican Congressional Committee, New York 2014 (see donors; note that their donor list has a lot of the same names on it as American Crossroads), and the US Chamber of Commerce, which does not disclose donors.

PACmoney

Conservative outside organizations are spending 85 times more than liberal outside organizations in NY-21.

Major players in this race seem to be hedge funds such as the Elliot Management Group. Much of the money seems to be traceable to billionairs on this list published by the Huffington Post.

Outside organizations are spending about $4 per adult (not per voter) in the New Yor State North Country to pay for this election. And that's not including whatever the rich may have donated to individual candidates. In total, more than $10 per adult is being spent here.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of PAC money were spent on the primary to knock Matt Doheny out of the way to make Stefanik her place on the ballot. He has since been nominated for a judgeship and so is not elligible to run against Stefanik as an independent.

Whatever political will either major party might have had in the North Country, it has apparently been strangled by billionaires. Were this not ordinary it would be shocking.


The Sin of Omission

My 30th anthology came out a little over a month ago. It is a high profile book. I have enjoyed the PR immensely. But. A minority of the articles about the book mysteriously forget to mention my name even though it is on the cover, the title page, and the spine as specified by my contract.

For the first three or four, I ignored the omission and cheerfully retweeted mentions of the offending articles. I have been good humored. But The Chronicle of Higher Education should know better.

Continue reading "The Sin of Omission" »


Offensive GOP Mailer Attacks Localovore Movement

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I just got a really offensive GOP attack direct mail piece aimed at Aaron Woolf who is running for Bill Owens' House seat againt Karl Rove-backed Elise Stefanik.

Their point of attack is Woolf's association with organic food through his ownership of a grocery store in Brooklyn. It looks like a nice place, the kind of place that our local farmers have been selling their producrs through as the North Country's farming economy makes a comeback.

ApplesauceThe authors of the mailer seem unaware of the resurgence of small farms in the North Country, many of which are organic or feature naturally grown food. I myself grew (uncertified) organic apples last season and through the Grange Co-packers in Whallonsburg put up apple sauce for commercial sale. The packaging was somewhat like the GOP's imagining of what "Woolf's Pickles" might look like.

His other main sin, in addition to peddling organic food, is that he is, gasp, a filmmaker. Perhaps the GOP doesn't know this, but we have filmmakers here too. Much of Kathy Leichter's Here Today was filmed in Wadhams. There are a number of other small films being produced locally. I just spent the morning finishing a screenplay.

Last fall's I Love NY commerical featuring an orchard was even filmed here. At my orchard.

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That's my barn. And those are my apples on the trees. (We had already harvested in that area, so the film company had people in the previous day wiring the apples back on the trees.)

Dear NYGOP: 

Here in the North Country, not only do we care how our food is grown and value small scale agriculture and organic food, but we also have a thriving arts culture. Perhaps some of you might come for a visit before you write your next attack ad.

And you know what the North Country really can't afford? Last winter's heating bills, and the House GOP's plan to roll back the clock on health coverage.

Kathryn


Driving around Vermont, Thinking

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photo by Tony Hisgett

Friday and Saturday, I spent a lot of time driving around Vermont. I also spent a lot of time thinking while driving. I was thinking about whether to expand on my most recent blog post and what it is safe to say. These were the most beautiful drives I have ever taken in Vermont.

The leaves were at peak and the air was still, so there were many reflections. (Unfortunatly, I didn't stop to take pictures.)

Continue reading "Driving around Vermont, Thinking" »


Give Peace a Chance: My Return to Blogging

I have decided to come back to blogging. I am returning at a point of happiness and strength with a new book out which is successful in ways I had never imagined an anthology could be. I have been having an amazing time these past few weeks.

I find that I have made my decision to resume just at the moment when Kathy Sierra's blog post Why the Trolls Will Always Win, commemorating ten years of over-the-top harassment, is published in Wired

Continue reading "Give Peace a Chance: My Return to Blogging" »


An unexpected day in Boston

The trip to California was exciting and its hard to know where to start. We launched Hieroglyph on September 10th in Silicon Valley to a very enthusiastic reception. We did authors@google at lunchtime and then had a sold out panel discussion at Kepler's in Menlo Park. Our event in LA was also sold out.

Here I am in the cab on the way to LAX early yesterday morning. (Though not early enough!)

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I had an unexpected overnight in Boston because I missed my connecting flight. So I did the obvious thing: I went to bookstores.

At the Brookline Booksmith, not only did they have Hieroglyph on the regular shelves in the SF section, the also had a pile of them towards the front with some very interesting books.

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Then we went to the Harvard Bookstore where they were displayed by the cash register. I signed a pile of them. I also stopped in at the Harvard Coop, where they had some.

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(You can tell this was fun!) Special thanks to mystery writer Sarah Smith for putting me up last night, and to Mark Berstein, Eastgate Systems Chief Scientist, for driving me around to book stores and feeding me brunch, and then delivering me to the airport, and also to Ted Cornell for getting my kids off to school this morning and picking me up at the Plattsburgh Airport.

There are many more people I need to thank. That list will be long.


Why Hieroglyph Is a Verb


My Hieroglyph Tour Blog is at Goodreads

I have been blogging about my book tour, what I have been referring to as the Hieroglyph Roadshow, on my Goodreads Author page. One of the fun things about this tour so far is fan-created Hieroglyph things. This photo collage from our authors@Google event was created by D. Simerly. Image
And we've also now got a Hieroglyph cat meme, created by someone who went to the Kepler's event. Image

Please send me more!


HIEROGLYPH Tour Schedule

ImageThe Hieroglyph tour may be coming to your town. Here are the tour dates so far. Watch this space. I will post more dates.

  • September 10: Menlo Park, CA, Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, 7:30 PM. Order tickets online. Techno-optimism: Neal Stephenson and friends. Panelists include Neal Stephenson, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Keith Hjelmstad, Charlie Jane Anders and editors Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer.
  • September 15: Los Angeles, Zocalo Public Square at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., 7:30 PM. Can Science Fiction Revolutionize Science? Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson and Arizona State University physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, both of whom contributed to the new anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, visit Zócalo to discuss whether science fiction can truly change contemporary science, and what the alternative futures we imagine mean for present-day innovation. Make a reservation.
  • September 30, New York City: Project Hieroglyph: Book Launch and Celebration sponsored by Tumblr and ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, featuring Madeline Ashby & Elizabeth Bear, Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The event is free, but preregistration on Eventbrite is required.
  • October 2, Washinton, DCCan We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future? It’s 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needleless injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today’s science and technology less than dazzling? Inspired by Neal Stephenson’s 2011 article, “Innovation Starvation,” in which he argues that science fiction is failing to supply our scientists and engineers with inspiration, and the new anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, this event will explore a more ambitious narrative about what’s coming. From the tales we tell about robots and drones, to the narratives on the cutting edge of neuroscience, to society’s view of its most intractable problems, we need to begin telling a new set of stories about ourselves and the future. URL TBA.
  • October 3-5, Ottawa: Can-Con - Kathryn Cramer & Madeline Ashby.
  • October 22, Phoenix, Arizona: Changing Hands Bookstore, 7PM at the Cresent Ballroom. Tickets, which require a book purchase, required for admission. Visit the Changing Hands website for more information and to purchase tickets. Project Hieroglyph science fiction authors, scientists, engineers, and other experts share their ambitious, optimistic visions of the near future. Presenters will include science fiction author and essayist Madeline Ashby (Machine Dynasty series), Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder (Lockstep), Clarke Award finalist Kathleen Ann Goonan (Queen City Jazz), Zygote Games founder James L. Cambias (A Darkling Sea), acclaimed cosmologist and astrobiologist Paul Davies (The Eerie Silence), science fiction and fantasy anthologist Kathryn Cramer (Year’s Best SF), ASU Center for Science and the Imagination director Ed Finn, and legendary Locus, Nebula, and Hugo award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson (2312 and Red Mars). 
  • October 26, SeattleNeal Stephenson and Cory Doctorow: Reigniting Society’s Ambition with Science Fiction. Tickets available here.

More events TBA.


Reading the Hieroglyphs

From Jim Cambias:
The Hieroglyph anthology gets its official release September 9, and the publishers are leaking some teaser material. You can go here to read a preview of the e-book version on Scribd. Or you can download a PDF excerpt here, including the introduction by Lawrence Krauss and the essay "Innovation Starvation" by Neal Stephenson which inspired the whole thing.

via www.jamescambias.com


HIEROGLYPH in Hardcover!

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My first copy of my new book HIEROGLYPH came in the mail. The publication date is September 9th. Image
I co-edited the book with Ed Finn of Arizona State University's Center for Science & the Imagination. Project Hieroglyph was launched by Neal Stephenson. Contributors include: Charlie Jane Anders, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, James Cambias, Brenda Cooper, Cory Doctorow, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Lee Konstantinou, Lawrence M. Krauss, Geoffrey A. Landis, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Karl Schroeder, Vandanah Singh, Neal Stephenson, and Bruce Sterling. You can pre-order your copy here! 😎

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future

Hiero_HC_c28My new book, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, is coming out in September. I co-edited the book with Ed Finn of Arizona State University's Center for Science & the Imagination. Project Hieroglyph was launched by Neal Stephenson.

Contributors include: Charlie Jane Anders, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, James Cambias, Brenda Cooper, Cory Doctorow, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Lee Konstantinou, Lawrence M. Krauss, Geoffrey A. Landis, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Karl Schroeder, Vandanah Singh, Neal Stephenson, and Bruce Sterling.


Tangent review of "Am I Free to Go?"

TangentReviewofAmIFreetoGo?My Tor.com story "Am I Free to Go?" received a very favorable review from Lois West, a short fiction reviewer for Tangent.

“Am I Free to Go?,” by Kathryn Cramer, is an edgy tale about a home invasion, except it’s the cops doing the invading. When a once-rich county builds a prison to create jobs and revenues and pushes through a privatization bill that suspends civil liberties, but there aren’t any prisoners available, then it’s time to find some—“men, women and children from nowhere, incarcerated for no reason.” Of course, it’s the cops that are tasked to find them. But cops aren’t really bad; it’s just that working as a corrections officer changes a person. They come to believe that “If you’re arrested, you’re guilty.”

The story wanders, like a victim struggling to understand what happened to them with everything jumbled up in their mind. Lucidity is a goal that’s hard to attain when you realize that underneath the alleged utopia where you live lurks a disempowered and defunded failed state, operating with its own rules. Of course, if you’re an amateur hacker and can’t resist the urge to plunder government computers to “prove” what’s going on, don’t be surprised when federal prison looms in your future. Instead, it’s simplest to be nice and compliant when the cops invade your bedroom at 3 AM. Be quiet and calm and maybe, the next morning, the cops might even be willing to apologize.

A thought-provoking story. I was particularly intrigued by the author’s description of a bio-monitoring system that includes chipped prisoners, Wi-Fi fungal mats growing in the ground and trees that act as Wi-Fi antennas. George Orwell would have been proud of how much technology has advanced the possibilities of a big-brother state.

 

Am I Free To Go?: A Tor.Com Original

“Am I Free to Go?” by Kathryn Cramer: Origins & Bibliography

I live in New York State’s Adirondack Park, an environmentally protected area comprising about 23% of New York State. It is a wonderful place and I love living here. But there is an aspect of the Park that I find very uncomfortable. In 1973, the New York State legislature adopted into law the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan finalizing the boundaries of the Park and putting into effect many of the environmental restrictions. That same year, the legislature passed the Rockafeller Drug Laws, which was the advent of New York State’s policy of mass incarceration. Over the past forty years, many prisons have been built in the Park, and the communities where these prisons are located have tended to become economically dependent on the prison-industrial complex. In an era of severe government cutbacks, these political decisions of the past can have strange and unforeseen consequences.

“Am I Free to Go?” is essentially a monolog. In February of 2011, it began as an exercise in narrative voice when I was working with Edward Cornell, a New York theater director who now lives in the Adirondacks. He assigned me to find a monolog to work on with him. I couldn't find any I liked. 

The dramatic monologs I found bore too little resemblance to the women I know in real life and seemed constricted by gender stereotypes. (If I had found the play Wit by Margaret Edson in early 2011, I probably would have stopped there.)  Next, I tried reading aloud stories I had reprinted in Year’s Best volumes, but found that many of the stories I loved best worked better on the page than out loud.

 And so I wrote something. Ted Cornell listened to me read all or part of it aloud many times through many drafts; his encouragement and comments brought into the form you find it now. This story is as much human rights fiction as it is science fiction. I believe that we live on the knife’s edge of a political cascade in which consequence piles on consequence, leading the United States in directions that most of use don’t want to go. What I intended is a monolog somewhat in the mode of “Swimming to Cambodia” by Spalding Grey and about an extrapolation of the here and now that I inhabit.

Continue reading "“Am I Free to Go?” by Kathryn Cramer: Origins & Bibliography" »


LOCUS review of "Am I Free to Go?"

My Tor.com story "Am I Free to Go?" received a very favorable review from Lois Tilton, a short fiction reviewer for Locus. She also included it in her list of recommended fiction for 2012.

“Am I Free to Go?” by Kathryn Cramer

What happens when you wake up at 11:30 pm to find the cops in your bedroom, an occurrence become far more likely in this police state scenario, where for-profit jails are looking for more business.

Think fast. Don’t even consider using the W word — as in “do you have a warrant?” Respect authority if you want to come out of this alive.

The narrator has both technology and lawyers on her side; she belongs to the privileged class for whom this utopian society was created. But sometimes people get caught up in the backlash. There are costs. The narrator is changed by the incident; she used to think these things didn’t happen to people like her.

Very cleverly done, in a light tone of voice shading into absurdity, the sort of dystopian absurdity documented by Kafka. The narration switches between the first and second person, saying in effect – This happened to me, it could happen next to you. What are you prepared to do about it? It could be called an example of If This Goes On, except that we know this is really going on already.

–RECOMMENDED

Am I Free To Go?: A Tor.Com Original

Scott Bakal's cover for "Am I Free to Go?"

Scott Bakal has done an amazing cover for my forthcoming Tor.com story, "Am I Free to Go?" And he has a detailed post on the process of compostion on his blog, complete with preliminary sketches.

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Not only is this a strong piece of graphic design that is impressive in its own right, but it also is a sophisticated reference to one of the more psychologically intense moments in the story. Just wait until you read it. Then you will understand quite how good this cover illustration is!


Adirondack Memoir Retreat, October 25 to 28, 2012

Mary BethI am helping my friend Mary Beth Coudal set up at terrific writers retreat in Westport, NY for the end of October. This is going to be a marvellous time, and I hope some of you will consider joining us. The event will be held at Skenewood, a mansion in a secluded spot overlooking Lake Champlain. Mary Beth, whose workshop I enjoyed last summer, is the primary retreat leader, and she has recruited several of us to lead individual sessions.

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It's a great time of year in Westport. The food will be great. Some wonderful people are coming. We'll have yoga first thing in the morning to open us up creatively, and walks around the estate and down by the shore. I am really looking forward to this.

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Here is what Mary Beth has to say about it:

Continue reading "Adirondack Memoir Retreat, October 25 to 28, 2012" »


My life as an attachment parent: feminists should have understood but mostly didn't

The New York Times has a mothering discussion centered around the question, "Has women’s obsession with being the perfect mother destroyed feminism?"

MotherhoodvsFeminism

I read this exchange and it feels to me like it comes from a different planet than the one I have parented on. I am, in the vocabulary of this discussion, an attachment parent. I never found myself to be part of the kind of cultural hegemony implied by the NYT discussion. (Though, for a while I seemed to be the person the BBC Radio called to speak about public breast feeding.) Rather, I went about the matter of parenting my children while pursuing my career in science fiction, such as it is, without much feeling of being part of any larger movement.

The strain for me was not a tension between motherhood and career, but rather the lack of support for the idea that with a little extra help from those around me I could remain a full participant in the intellectual and cultural life around me. I would get all the way to the convention, but in the end often couldn't get the support to allow me to attend any program items except those where I was a panelist.

This experience has left me deeply disappointed in the science fiction field's brand of feminism which should have understood what my parenting choices represented, but mostly didn't. Gradually, I stopped showing up at events like World Fantasy Con and ICFA because I could no longer ignore the professional disrespect this state of affairs implied.

Yesterday, received an evaluation from the school district of one of my children who has substantial learning disabilities which contained a sentence that makes me very proud. The evaluator remarked that my son seems to have a positive sense of self “rooted in close and supportive parental relationships.” And that is what I was trying to do. 

Kate Eltham, baby Elizabeth, & Kathryn Camer

I do not demand of other people that they do nearly all of their business travel in the company of children, or that they breastfeed while giving speeches, signing books, speak on panels, like I did. But in my life there would have been a lot less conflict between motherhood and career if there had been a little more recognition of the project of combining the two.

The idea articulated in the NYT that by doing what I did I have somehow been a threat to feminism makes me want to kick their editors in a particularly sensitive spot in the ankle.


Year's Best SF 17 (2012), ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer Table of Contents

Year's Best SF 17 cover

Here is the table of contents for our Year's Best SF 17, forthcoming from HarperCollins this summer:

The Best Science Fiction of the Year Three • Ken MacLeod 

Dolly • Elizabeth Bear

Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer • Ken Liu

Tethered • Mercurio Rivera

Wahala • Nnedi Okorafor

Laika’s Ghost • Karl Schroeder

Ragnarok • Paul Park

Six Months, Three Days • Charlie Jane Anders

And Weep Like Alexander • Neil Gaiman

The Middle of Somewhere • Judith Moffett

Mercies • Gregory Benford

The Education of Junior Number 12 • Madeline Ashby

Our Candidate • Robert Reed

Thick Water • Karen Heuler

The War Artist • Tony Ballantyne

The Master of the Aviary • Bruce Sterling

Home Sweet Bi’Ome • Pat MacEwan

For I Have Lain Me Down on the Stone of Lonliness and I’ll Not Be Back Again • Michael Swanwick

The Ki-anna • Gwyneth Jones

Eliot Wrote • Nancy Kress

The Nearest Thing • Genevieve Valentine

The Vector Alphabet of Intersellar Travel • Yoon Ha Lee

The Ice Owl • Carolyn Ives Gilman

 


My first time exhibiting in the Boskone Art Show

Peter & the sand table

This was my first time exhibiting in the Boskone art show. Many people had nice things to say about my work, and at least three expressed the desire to buy prints at a lower price point than what I had in the show. And I promised to post information about how to buy my prints via my ImageKind.com store.

The photo, "Peter at the Sand Table," which was my most popular piece is HERE. And the journal collages, which people also liked a lot, are HERE. I showed only two, but I have six on ImageKind.


Kathryn's Best Movies Watched while Getting Over a Sinus Infection

I had this cold earlier in January. Which became a bacterial infection involving white spots in the back of my throat and ominous chest pains. So I went to the ER and got a prescription for Zithromax which cleared it right up, and as of last Wednesday I had my energy back and went to yoga class and had a great day. Except.

Friday, I was feeling a bit achy. By Saturday night I was pledging to actually find myself a regular doctor here in the Adirondacks. Monday I went to my new doctor and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given a new antibiotic: Augmentin. 

So I need to stay in bed, and relax even if its boring. And I have fiberoptic Internet and a MacBook Pro. So I'm watching movies. Here are my recommendations so far:

The first three I bought through iTunes:

Obselidia (2010) starring Michael Piccirilli, Gaynor Howe, and Frank Hoyt Taylor: Asperger's type writing an encyclopedia of obsolete technologies learns to cherish and fetishize the present the way he does the past through the (temporary) love of a good woman and words of wisdom from a misunderstood genius. The protagonist is my kind of man, so this is my kind of film.

The Wife (1995) starring Tom Noonan, Wallace Shawn, Karen Young and Julie Haggerty: A husband and wife work as therapists together leading group therapy in their house. One evening, one of their clients shows up unexpectedly with his sexy wife who wants to know what her husband has been saying about her. Marvellously acted film in which the lowbrow slutty wife gets the better of the other three characters using the superpower of being willing to degrade herself to get what she wants. It has an epic and quite astonishing dinner scene in which almost anything can (and does) happen.

Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing (2010): Terrific film adaptation of Shaun Tan's surreal picture book which had me muttering about impossibly hostpitable dystopias.

***

And I also discovered the website Indieflix.com which, for a small monthly fee, seems to allow unlimited access to a large number of independent films. I have been poking around there and here is what I have found so far, all of them short:

The Professor's Daughter (2011; 17 minutes): An AI story in the mode of Ted Chiang's story "Understand." The daughter reminds me of my friend Mary Lou Jepsen.

Ghost (2011; 8 minutes): A ghost story that snaps into place very nicely at the end.

The Lost & Found Shop (2010; 9 minutes): A short fantasy about a child recovering a crucial but lost memory of her mother at Christmas.

Sunshine Bob (2010; 3 minutes): Reminds me of the day literary agent Virginia Kidd's grandson totaled Virginia's Nissan Maxima. Virginia told him, "Remember Steve: when you have a car accident, always turn off the ignition. Steve replied, "I turned off the ignition so that damned woman would shut up." The Nissan Maxima had a female voice that issued advisories to the driver. After some discussion, we arrived at what the car might have been telling Steve: "The tree is in the ignition." This film brings me back to that moment.


January collage work

On New Year's Day, I bought a package of three blank journal books for the kids and I in Lake Placid. In January, I have found myself using my little book to do visual journalling and then, later, collage work. Here is a sample page spread. Scan 14

I had gotten bored with using only printed prose from magazines and newspapers I was willing to cut up, and had the epiphany that we have a whole bookstore full of interesting books downstairs.

I brought a computer printer that will no longer act as a printer but still functions as a copier to the bookstore. Then I chose about six books to copy from: some drama, some fiction, and some non-fiction. The rule I set for myself was I  could look at the pages for layout to make sure they had the right kind of text, but I couldn't read them in advance before trying to work with them.

I am pleased with the result and have ordered some sample art prints of six two-page spreads to see if they came out as well as I think they did. I will probably have some of these in the Boskone art show.

(Click HERE to see a larger version of the image.)


Peter wins the CATS Trail essay contest!

Our Winners of the CATS Trails essay contest!

My son Peter Hartwell was one of the winners of the Champlain Area Trails first essay contest. From the Valley News:

 An independent field biology study turned out to be especially fruitful for both teacher and student, as the duos joint essay won first prize in the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) Travel Writing Contest.

Every week since January of 2011, Westport ninth-grader Peter Hartwell and mentor David Thomas Train have been exploring the Champlain Area Trails along shoreline, streams, wetlands, and woods near Westport. Those explorations prompted them to enter the Champlain Area Trails Travel Writing Contest.

Hartwell attends the BOCES program in Mineville. To supplement the Mineville curriculum, Hartwell studies several subjects privately, including field biology, with Thomas Train.

“Peter and I spend time together every Wednesday after school in outdoor science explorations, and we wanted to share what we do and see,” Thomas Train explained. “He is an avid outdoors explorer, with great observation and drawing skills.”

Thomas Train is certainly no stranger to the trails of the Champlain Valley: He is the guidebook author for the ADK Guide To The Eastern Region.

“I know the CATS trails well and am excited every time a new one is developed, more open space is protected, and I have a new place to explore,” Thomas Train said.

Their jointly written essay, entitled “Wildlife, Connected In and Out of Town,” earned them the first-place prize of $500.

“CATS introduces people to the richness of the natural world in the Champlain Valley, and David and Peter's essay does the same,” contest judge Phil Brown noted.

***

And in the same issue of the Valley News, columnist Colin Wells congratulates Peter:

Congratulations to Peter Hartwell and David Thomas Train for winning the $500 grand prize in the recent Champlain Area Trails (CATS) Writing Contest with their essay, "Wildlife, Connected In and Out of Town." Peter, a Westport ninth-grader who attends the BOCES special ed program in Mineville, has been exploring our community's woods, streams, wetlands, and lakeshore over the past year in private biology tutorials with author and teacher Thomas Train. The essay they submitted for the CATS contest reflected that year's worth of wandering, observation, and careful record-keeping.

In the way of disclosure, I also tutor Peter a couple of times a week, in the Greek and Latin origins of common scientific terms. We focus on biology, his main interest, but take in other etymological curiosities as well. He's an outstanding student and a good friend. (Ask him what a lithotrophic halophilic cyanophotolytic isomer is, and he'll be happy to tell you, even though it doesn't exist.)

Congratulations, Peter!


Year's Best Fantasy 10 Table of Contents

I am pleased to announce the table of contents for Year's Best Fantasy 10 edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, forthcoming from Tor.com.

Dragon’s Deep · Cecelia Holland

The Green Bird · Kage Baker

Dulce Domum · Ellen Kushner

The Parable of the Shower · Leah Bobet

The Dragaman’s Bride · Andy Duncan

Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela · Saladin Ahmed

Images of Anna · Nancy Kress

Icarus Saved from the Skies · Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown · Holly Black

The Score · Alaya Dawn Johnson

Sleight of Hand · Peter S. Beagle

Bigfoot and the Bodhisattva · James Morrow

A Delicate Architecture · Catherynne M. Valente

Swell · Elizabeth Bear

The Bones of Giants · Yoon Ha Lee

The Minuteman’s Witch · Charles Coleman Finlay

Conquistador del la Noche · Carrie Vaughn

Winterborn · Liz Williams

Three Twilight Tales · Jo Walton

Power and Magic · Marly Youmans

The Avenger of Love · Jack Skillingstead

The Persistence of Souls · Sarah Zettel

An Invocation of Incuriosity · Neil Gaiman

Three Friends · Claude Lalumière

Shadow of the Valley · Fred Chappel

Technicolor · John Langan

Economancer · Carolyn Ives Gilman


Handmade #Occupy the Adirondacks Christmas Wreath

Occupy the Adirondacks & Have a Merry Christmas! #occupy

This handmade wreath was made out of chicken wire and pine cones by one of my children as a 4-H project this past weekend. The Guy Fawkes mask was added this morning: the handmade wreath was a little oblong from the weight of the pinecones, and the opening in the middle seemed just right for the mask on my bedroom wall. It hangs on our front door which is right next to our bookstore, Dragon Press Bookstore, a science fiction specialty shop in Westport, New York.

 


American Studio Theatre's production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing on September 4 at 2 PM in Ballard Park

From Ted Cornell:

I hope you are making plans to see American Studio Theatre's production of Shakespeare's incredible Much Ado About Nothing on Sunday, September 4 at 2 PM in Ballard Park in Westport, New York. This is the company founded by Carrie Treadwell and friends which has gathered in Westport every year for the last ten years for one extraordinary weekend of intense inspired concentration to rehearse and present for one performance only one the bard's classics. 

Anyone who saw last year's Two Gentlemen of Verona or the magical Henry V of two years ago will every forget those shows or fail to be there this Sunday. Carrie is playing the sharp witted, unstoppable Beatrice who finally meets and makes her match. Dan Billets who gave us last years hilarious and inventive Two Gents directs, and your blogger returns as the mysterious Friar Frances. Don't miss it.


My 2011 ReaderCon Schedule

Here's my ReaderCon Schedule. I am especially looking forward to my Friday evening reading, for which I've done a lot of preparation. I will be reading from Our State of Play: Notes Toward the Liberation of Our Utopia, which is in essence stand-up tragedy.

Our State of Play 3

Friday 12 noon Salon E    Autographing: Kathryn Cramer, John Jospeph Adams, & David G. Hartwell.

Friday 9 PM  VT    Kathryn Cramer reads from Our State of Play: Notes Toward the Liberation of Our Utopia

Saturday 12 Noon RI    The Year in Short Fiction with Kathryn Cramer, Gardner Dozois, Ellen Datlow, and Paula Guran.

Saturday 1 PM    Remembering Joanna Russ Kathryn Cramer, Samuel R. Delany, David G. Hartwell, (and, I hear, also Michael Dirda): In the wake of the recent death of Joanna Russ, there will be a lot of discussion of the influence of her works and her ideas. Here is a chance to hear a discussion of the woman who had those ideas and did that work, by people who knew her in person. Joanna Russ valued her friends and her friendships, and we on the panel valued her as a friend. We’ll tell stories and maybe even read some of her letters. 

Sunday 1 PM    Social Darwinism in SFnal Thought: In a 1978 essay, Philip E. Smith II analyzed a central ideology of Robert Heinlein’s fiction: social Darwinism, a belief in “survival of the fittest” within struggles between racial and social groups. Ideas of biological determinism and eugenics informed SF stories throughout the pulp era, from Tarzan to “The Marching Morons,” and gained complexity as genetic science revealed new wonders and mysteries. Is social Darwinism still an idea that burrows within SF subtexts? How does contemporary SF explore and exploit ideas of nature and nurture?