Monday, August 03, 2009

Off to See the Worldcon

In a couple of hours, actually, but the time between now and then will be spent packing, remembering things I've forgotten to pack, repacking, and fretting about the other things I might have forgotten. As usual, I won't be receiving e-mails in my absence, and though I may see blog comments I probably won't reply to them. Expect me back some time next weekend, though possibly not in blogging form until some time later. I leave you with the following:
  • Strange Horizons is having its annual fund drive. I'm obviously biased, but I think Strange Horizons is a fantastic magazine, and, my own contributions completely notwithstanding, my favorite source for online genre criticism. More details about the drive can be found here, and here's a list of prizes to be raffled off among contributors.

  • Forget Avatar and District 9, the most exciting thing to come out of this year's Comic Con is the Middleman 13th episode table read, which some kind and enterprising soul has put online for the benefit of those of us not lucky enough to attend in person. Besides being a good episode and a fitting ending to the series, the recording is also a chance to see the cast and creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach having a hell of a lot of fun (Mark Sheppard and Mary Pat Gleason ham it up magnificently, and Matt Keeslar is 100% in character from the word go). I have to say, though, that if the goal was to get me to buy the upcoming comic book version of the episode, the recording backfired, because it just reminded me of how much I need actors to bring TV stories to life (which is also why I haven't felt the urge to keep up with Buffy and Angel in their comic form). Much as I enjoyed this recording, it also made me miss this show even more.

  • My Worldcon schedule, for those of you who are attending and/or interested:

    • Thursday, 15.30
      Handicapping the Hugos I: The Novels
      Farah Mendlesohn (m), Paul Kincaid, Phillip Nanson, Abigail Nussbaum
      Our panellists have read the Hugo-nominated novels: they tell us what they want to win, what will win, and why.

      (I'm a late addition to this panel, so my name isn't on the program guide.)

    • Friday, 20:00
      One Season Wonders
      Jeanne M. Mealy, Lee Whiteside, Tara Oakes, Abigail Nussbaum
      What can we learn from shows like Firefly and Life on Mars? What makes good television, and why do good shows fail to find an audience?

      (I assume that's the American Life on Mars, in which case the lesson to be learned is: don't.)

    • Sunday, 19:00
      io9: Threat or Menace?
      David D. Levine, James Patrick Kelly, Moshe Feder, Susan Forest, Abigail Nussbaum
      The internet allows many more people to read more and more criticism about SF works...but what are the downsides, if any? In a medium which effectively imposes no word-limits, are critics becoming less used to the discipline of shorter forms? Are there other characteristics of online writing (the use of links, anticipation of comments) that make it different from print?

      (I hasten to point out that the title was settled on months ago with no input from me and has no connection to the recent fracas.)
That's it. See you in two weeks.

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