Wired reports the Army is moving ahead with plans for a laser cannon What next, the U.S.S. Death Star?
All the winners of the 2008 Mythopoeic Awards are listed at SF Award Watch.
There’s already a DVD of Denvention 3 Masquerade photos for sale. The committee expects to offer a DVD of the Hugo Ceremony this fall. And Laurie Mann has posted a vast collection of links to Denvention 3 news, blog and photo coverage.
Want to help with next year’s Worldcon? Anticipation’s volunteer form is online.
Keith Stokes reports on his January 2008 trip to Costa Rica, with beautiful photos, here.
And Keith takes you along on his March 2008 trip to Kansas and Nebraska, featuring Rocky Mountain Oysters, here.
Fast-Forward did a total of five podcasts from Denvention 3.
Peter Glaskowsky, a frequent contributor to Chaos Manor Reviews and attendee at 16 Worldcons, has a post about ebooks and Digital Management Rights on CNET.
[Links via David Klaus, Isaac Alexander, Rick Moen, Laurie D. T. Mann and Michael Kennedy.]
On Saturday at Denvention I commented to Diana how surprised I was to see so few fans riding electric carts. They’ve become commonplace at Worldcons, where less mobile fans use them to get around huge convention centers. I really don’t know how many carts fans rented at past Worldcons. Rather like the larger carts carrying passengers at the airport, it takes only two or three beeping past to make you think you’ve seen a lot of them. But seeing none at all in the prairie-sized corridor that ran the length of the
At least in big cities, there generally is a medical equipment rental service that fans can make advance arrangements with, the Worldcon doesn’t have to become involved at all. However, past performance now has created some expectations that the Worldcon committee will facilitate arrangements for attendees who discover at the con they can’t handle all the walking and now want to rent an electric cart.
If a committee rents a small number of carts as a contingency, it may recover the expense from fans who use them. So the problem for the Worldcon is not the expense, but having to front the money, and choose this over something else that has to be paid in advance. There’s also a small risk that not all the carts will be sub-rented to members.
Denvention was a smaller Worldcon, its budget was really squeezed, and so questions looking at this single item in isolation from all the tradeoffs considered in Denvention’s budgeting process have been cheerfully answered with accusations that people are confusing the Worldcon with socialized medicine.
Worldcons really don’t have the resources to be electric cart vendors, but people benefit when a committee uses its local knowledge to identify businesses that supply this equipment. Denvention seems to have given that help to fans who planned in advance. The question really is what future Worldcons should provide for these last-minute needs, if anything. The issue needs a champion — jargon that comes with a built-in warning there will be resistance to overcome. (When Electrical Eggs did this work, they had their admirers and detractors, both.)
The best suggestion I saw in the recent discussion on the Smofs list was Sharon Sbarsky’s idea to find a past Worldcon with surplus funds, or get fans to donate, $1000 to rent four additional, spare electric carts to have available at next year’s Worldcon, Anticipation. “If the scooters get rented, the money received goes back into the fund to rent scooters at Aussiecon 4. Less than four get rented, then the number is reduced for the next year unless additional money could be found. If the idea catches on, then more spare scooters could be rented.”
In everything that happens at a Worldcon, labor is even dearer than money. If somebody takes up this cause, however, I think they will find financial support fairly promptly.
As I roamed around Denvention on Saturday afternoon, looking into program rooms for something interesting to watch, I saw Mark Olson raining green-foiled Andes Mints on a small audience of fans playing “Trivia for Chocolate.” Steven Silver and Jim Mann were the other quiz masters. I stepped inside.
It didn’t take long for me to decide that “Trivia for Chocolate” ought to be renamed “Mike’s New Diet Plan.” I managed to win only two pieces.
At first I sat behind David Goldfarb. The scouting report on David Goldfarb expressed in baseball terms would be: great bat, bad glove. He knows, by a conservative estimate, well, everything. David’s only weakness is fielding. If he actually had to catch the chocolate the competition might be closer.
I spent some time watching David’s winnings bounce past me, til they asked a question that I should have gotten – seeing that I was the answer. We all realized how little of the proceedings I was hearing and I moved to the front row, to the seat nearest Tom Galloway that was not already occupied by his own hoard of chocolate. After that my main handicap was ignorance, but that’s when I scored my two pieces. Knowing Mack Reynolds wrote “Adventure of the Extraterrestrial” was worth one Tim-Tam, a chocolate-dipped biscuit imported from Australia.
Marty Massoglia arrived halfway through the program and from then on scored heavily. Ah, the golden memories of once upon a time when Marty, Bruce Pelz and I entered a team trivia competition as the “LA Smog” and did so well. What decade was that? Hm, another piece of trivia I’m forgetting.
Note: David Goldfarb has posted a LiveJournal entry about “Trivia for Chocolate” that also tells how he pillaged Tom Whitmore’s book collection as the winner of another trivia game at Denvention.)
I enjoyed this blogger’s take on Denvention 3.
Tonight’s “Former Worldcon Chair Party” was a blast for all the usual reasons, as I went around comparing notes on Denvention, asking people’s plans for the next couple of Worldcons, and seeing a few people for the first time who’ve been on site for days (Kevin Standlee, for one example.) The food and wine was good, but I’d say the cold bottled water probably went as fast as anything — so much for the legend of hard-drinking smofs.
A great treat for me was meeting for the first time Erle Korshak, not just a well known fan, but one of the very few surviving members of the first Worldcon in 1939. (Two of the several others are LA locals Forry Ackerman and Ray Bradbury.) Erle filled me in on the revival of his historic Shasta Press, as Shasta/Phoenix. Shasta was a famous publisher of hardcover sf decades ago. I’ll be watching for new developments there.
This is the final entry for my live Worldcon coverage, though I’ll have more to report based on my notes when I get home tomorrow.)
Update 8/12/2008: Corrected spelling of name.
Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)
Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)
Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)
Best Non-fiction Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Doctor Who “Blink” Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)
Best Professional Editor, Long Form: David Hartwell
Best Professional Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder (F&SF)
Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere
Best Semiprozine: Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
Best Fanzine: File 770, ed. Mike Glyer
Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi
Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster
Campbell Award: Mary Robinette Kowal
Mary Robinette Kowal’s winning the Campbell Award was a real audience pleaser, one of the most loudly cheered events of the night. Adding interest, she not only received the award plaque, she received the “Campbell Award Tiara,” an elegant piece of jewelry that went well with her yellow gown.
A more esoteric audience pleaser, that fans approved once it was pointed out to them, was the selection as the sample clip from Heroes of the scene where LASFS member Tadao Tomomatsu in his role as a detective questions one of the series’ regular characters. Outstanding!
Update 8/10/2008: Made change reflecting David Levine’s correction.