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July 4, 2005

The conventions of the field
Posted by Patrick at 03:37 PM *

Some upcoming Nielsen Hayden appearances, below the fold.

MORE…

READERCON, JULY 8-10

Friday, 4 PM
“The Possibly Problematic Appeal of the SF War Story”
Teresa Nielsen Hayden [m]
Joe Haldeman
Walter H. Hunt
Laurie J. Marks
Jean-Louis Trudel

Friday, 6:30 PM (30 minutes)
“The Viable Paradise Writers’ Workshop”
James D. Macdonald
Debra Doyle
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Friday, 8 PM
“Writing and Publishing Strategies That Don’t Work”
A talk by Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Friday, 9 PM
Kaffeeklatsch
Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Saturday, 11 AM
“Genre-Switching For Fun and (Lack of) Profit”
Michael Blumlein
Samuel R. Delany
Jonathan Lethem
Teresa Nielsen Hayden [m]
Kit Reed
Kate Wilhelm

Saturday, 1 PM
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Important: The Art of Secondary Characters”
James Patrick Kelly
Ellen Kushner [m]
Yves Meynard
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Paul Park
Delia Sherman

Saturday, 3 PM
“What Do You Believe About Speculative Fiction That You Can’t Prove?”
Rosemary Kirstein
Jonathan Lethem
Farah Mendlesohn
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Graham Sleight [m]

Sunday, 10 AM
“Both Sides Now: Presenting the Opposing Argument”
David G. Hartwell [m]
Ken Houghton
Laurie J. Marks
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Sarah Smith

INTERACTION (WORLDCON), AUGUST 4-8

Saturday, 11 AM
“The Digital Future is Full of Fans”
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Charles Stross

Saturday, 1 PM
“Alternative Americas”
Pat Cadigan
Andy Duncan
Ken MacLeod
Farah Mendlesohn [m]
Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Saturday, 3:30 PM (90 minutes)
“The Art of the Anthology”
David Hartwell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Sheila Williams [m]
Andrew Wilson
Jane Yolen

Sunday, 10 AM
“Is the American Empire on the Brink of Collapse?”
Ken MacLeod
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Lawrence Person
Nicholas Whyte

Sunday, 11 AM
“Patronising Youth”
Jo Fletcher
Maura McHugh [m]
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Irene Radford
Jane Yolen

Sunday, 2 PM (90 minutes)
“The Mason-Dixon Line (Are America’s Politics Broken?)”
Andy Duncan
Harry Harrison
Paul Kincaid
Patrick Nielsen Hayden [m]
Kim Stanley Robinson

Monday, 11 AM
“The Globalization of SF Publishing”
Tim Holman
Patrick Nielsen Hayden [m]
Simon Spanton
Simon Taylor

Monday, 2 PM
“Tor Books presentation”
David Hartwell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Comments on The conventions of the field:
#1 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2005, 04:05 PM:

Great looking panels!

I wanted to comment that "“Genre-Switching For Fun and (Lack of) Profit” is very close to the theme of the Science Fiction Research Association's 2006 conference: "When Genres Collide." I'd hope that someone audiotapes the star-studded panel. I'd guess that a transcription of said tape could be submitted, with some clean-up afterwards, as a coauthored paper for SFRA 2006 which, in White Plains, NY, is close enough to be a cheap trip for the Nielsen Haydens, 22-24 June 2006.

#2 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2005, 06:13 PM:

Paul Park and Delia Sherman have melded like Rosencrantz-and-Guildenstern into into one dual identity? They seemed so distinct to me...

#3 ::: sdn ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2005, 06:31 PM:

Sunday, 11 AM
“Patronising Youth”
Jo Fletcher
Maura McHugh [m]
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Irene Radford
Jane Yolen

what is this about?

#4 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2005, 10:49 PM:

For a second I misread those titles as "Gender-switching for fun and profit" and "When Genders Collide" and imagined something completely different.

#5 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2005, 11:10 PM:

Sharyn, regarding "Patronising Youth"---that's evidently part of the track of program items directed at actual young people, and the full description reads:

Editors and Authours discuss the fine line between patronising and entertaining and what age group young adult is actually aimed at.
The full title, I now see in my email, is "Patronising Youth: Your Chance to Speak Up". Which seems like a pretty patronizing title in and of itself. (Like, this is their uniquely one and only chance to "speak up"? In your dreams, grownups.)

Anyway, insert here standard rant about poorly-written program item descriptions, but it could be interesting. I'm certainly willing to provide actual young persons with the opportunity to delineate the exact shade and texture of the shit I'm full of.

#6 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2005, 11:21 PM:

Pip asked much the same question. I believe she's planning to attend.

#7 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 12:08 AM:

Jim: Pip is going to the Worldcon?

#8 ::: Pippin Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 12:10 AM:

I would love to attend that panel. Except that it's in Glasgow, Papa.

#9 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 12:28 AM:

Patrick: if you intend to take a hot wrench to the panel description -- which I am not proposing, as there are already enough ways to derail a panel (as I was telling Prince Bakunin just the other day), then you might ask if the line between "patroni[z]ing" and "entertaining" is more subtly drawn than the line between, say, Michael Crichton and Charlie Stross. (I could have said "between Rena Ray and Philip Pullman," but it would be wrong.)

#10 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 01:25 AM:

John M. Ford:

Actually, I'd like to see a Michael Crichton and Charlie Stross collaboration. They rather differ on the likelihood and merit of technology changing the world, with Dr. Crichton toeing the Frankenstein line, but it would sell quite well, and have a good chance at adaptation to feature film...

#11 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 01:30 AM:

Pippin, I'll go and report back...

Wish I could go to Readercon, though. Ah, well.

#12 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 02:08 AM:

[...]but it would sell quite well, and have a good chance at adaptation to feature film...

"It is laidly alike to be a wittol and a whore..."
-- Charles Williams

#13 ::: Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 03:31 AM:

This 'patronising' young adult track; that would be the same one with the life-size centrifuge, the tank, and the nail guns, right?

#14 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 10:40 AM:

I see nothing about Cascadia. For a moment I thought that you weren't going, then I remembered that its programming people haven't gotten back to volunteer panelists yet.

A panel I'd like to see is "Why what Crichton writes is NOT science-fiction"... Last year, there was a LOCUS review of a Greg Bear techno-thriller where the reviewer compared Bear to Crichton. It was pointed out that SF is about change while Crichton's SF brings us THAT close to massive change, but never beyond, with something that preserves the status quo. Examples given were "The Andromeda Strain" and "Sphere". That might explain why most SF is not appealing to casual readers.

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 01:03 PM:

The Viable Paradise presentation Friday Night at 6:30 has been increased to one hour.

#16 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 01:16 PM:

According to the Readercon grid, it's been increased to one hour and it now starts at 6:00, not 6:30.

Serge, I'm afraid we're not planning to go to CascadiaCon/NASFiC, although there will certainly be other Tor people there, including Tom Doherty.

I remember the New Yorker review of Crichton that used Greg Bear's SF as a useful contrast. In fact the review was by Oliver Morton, who's occasionally popped up in the comment threads here. (Morton is a fine science journalist, author of Mapping Mars, and the keeper of an intermittent blog about Mars issues called Mainly Martian.) His point, if I recall correctly, was that "science thrillers" like Crichton's are in essence horror novels in which science is the Big Bad, and they resolve when the threatening science-bit is turned back and normality restored.

#17 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 02:35 PM:

Glasgow is a good example of the unpleasant things that can happen in architecture when a massive influx of Capital (the fruits of the Industrial Revolution) meets an unfortunate period of art history (Victorian, especially late.) Time and again I would look at a building and say, "Sir, step aWAY from the drawing board – you were done three cornices ago."

Dallas and Houston would be additional examples of this phenomenon; Florence and Chicago would represent the happy opposite. Others...?

#18 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 03:22 PM:

while we're at it, does anyone have the text describing what "The Possibly Problematic Appeal of the SF War Story" is all about?

#19 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 04:04 PM:

Here's the official description:

"In 'The Traumatized Author,' we discussed imaginative literature's special ability to deal with the horrors of modern warfare. But clearly the military setting has appeal and legitimate utility to a broader class of writers than those who have experienced war first-hand. For instance, questions of duty and honor are naturally foregrounded, while a combat setting can be an intense crucible for human behavior. However, there is always the question of whether such stories glorify war. If so, how much of that is in the text and how much in the individual reader's response?"

#20 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 04:12 PM:

So, no Cascadia, Patrick? Drat.

About SF & warfare... We are asked if if such stories glorify war, and whether that truly is in the text or in the reader. Maybe it IS in the reader's mind. On the other hand, I get totally reactions reading David Weber and John Hemry.

#21 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 04:38 PM:

If one's seriously going to ask the old reliable "Do war stories glorify war" question in this context, one might also ask the question[s], "Do scientific [or technological] stories glorify science [technology]?"

And what does "glorify" mean, and does it have any meaning outside of the particular story's context? ("Your faces, Nobel judges! Your faces filled with light!")

I'm not being dismissive -- I think all those questions are real and deserve discussion -- but the "war story" doesn't exist alone in a pocket of Edmund Wilson-space.

#22 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 05:51 PM:

Let's see... It's said that Mao Tse-Tung, as a boy, enjoyed reading Westerns, Pirate Stories, and War Stories. So, is it safe to keep publishing World War III fiction, which might end up in The Wrong Hands, as Historians of the late 21st and early 22nd centuries will deduce? One also wonders what it was that Young Mao read that led him to his theories of purification by serial sex with virgins? And what about Ho Chih Minh reading nonfiction by that Revolutionary Tom Jefferson? Has anyone studied the reading habits of anarchist bombers, one of whom reportedly wrote of those "I am your biggest fan" letters to Joseph Conrad, praising "The Secret Agent" -- especially the part about bombing Greenwich Observatory, for how accurately it got into the mind of the bomber? Just wondering...

#23 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 05:55 PM:

Theoretical underpinnings at:

Open Questions on the Correlation Between Television and Violence, a paper which is on the curricula of about a dozen colleges and universities.

How and why does mass media influence people? In particular, how and why
does television violence cause aggression (if indeed it does)? The social
psychology point of view includes the "arousal theory", the "social
learning" theory, the "disinhibition" theory, and the "aggression
reduction" theory, all of which will be defined and discussed in this
paper. There are other theories such as the "social comparison" theory
and the "modeling precision" theory which are excluded from consideration
here due to limitations of length. Yet no one theory has predominated,
and the debates on media and violence, in particular, have heated up over
the years. This paper presents an integrated, albeit brief, examination
of the key questions and the difficulties in answering them scientifically.

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 06:10 PM:

And what is one to say of the nefarious influence of the Bugs Bunny / Roadrunner Hour show of yore?

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 06:17 PM:

What does the glorification of war mean? That war is the only truly, glorious & honorable activity? To use movies as examples, one could take pretty much anything with John Wayne. Then let's compare that to something like Wellman's "Battleground" - while it shows war as a test of one's mettle, it's something that has to be done although not particularly pleasant.

#26 ::: Sajia ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 06:19 PM:

And what of the Bible, the Quran, the Mahabharata ...

#27 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 10:31 PM:

Andrew Dennis, over at Charles Stross's blog, comments (on War Stories and military SF): "I guess we'll have to wait for the Iraq vets to come home and start writing SF.... Unlikely to give us anything of the nature of The Forever War or Bill, The Galactic Hero or Slaughterhouse 5."

The latest New York Review of Science Fiction has an insightful review by David Drake of Harold Lamb's Cossack stories, mosly from Adventure magazine in the 1920s, and mostly set in the hills of Afghanistan. War, and horrifying deeds, but decidedly NOT from a Western point of view.

Patrick O’Brian’s novels are, for me, as good as Historic fiction gets. By naval nature, they are primarily War Stories, but so much else is going on. This stuff FEELS like the best Science Fiction to me -- a complete world, alien frisson and all -- with Naval architecture a very high technology indeed, lovingly elicted, with its effect on a remarkable range of people from every class, each with a distinctive voice, and music, and natural History. Heavens, but War Stories can be High Literature, from Homer until the age of Homer Simpson.

#28 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2005, 10:34 PM:

> whether such stories glorify war.

I shall make best efforts to haul arse and get there before this one starts...

#29 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 12:12 AM:

That's glory for you.

I've been pushing for describing a particular genre as "technology fiction", where Crichton is one of the most obvious examples and Martin Woodhouse is one of the best writers. It's significantly different from science fiction, though both had their roots back in the Gernsback era when they were hard to distinguish. Some current examples are neo-Luddite (Koontz is almost always a good example), and some are neo-Gernsback (Dan Brown's Angels and Demons might be a good example, but I personally couldn't finish it so I don't know). Woodhouse also wrote three books of excellent historical technology fiction (his Medici series about the young Leonardo). He's a much neglected author.

#30 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 02:47 AM:

Yeah! Gizmo fic! If science fiction is about stuff you know, and fantasy about stuff you dream of, then gizmo fic is about stuff you play with.

Off to be silly in my sleep...

#31 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 11:43 AM:

In a sense, J. B. S. Haldane wrote War stories, at least in terms of questioning technological progress, after the horrors of World War I. Recent essay:

Daedalus and Icarus Revisited
Charles T. Rubin.

Haldane was also a proto-Charles Stross:

"Drawing on scenes of destruction from World War I and from casual discussion of the possible reasons for exploding stars, he asks whether the progress of science will culminate in the complete destruction of humanity or in the reduction of human life to an appendage of machines."

#32 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 01:50 PM:

I do think some of the comments here on the Readercon war-fiction panel are kinda pre-emptively assuming a particular rhetorical stance on the part of the panel.

#33 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 01:58 PM:

If you Google a bit, you can find the complete text of Haldane's The World, The Flesh, and The Devil on line.

#34 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 05:36 PM:

Apologies, Patrick. One would think by now I would know better than to throw an Improvised Exegesis Device at a panel description as if it were the panel, or even the shadow of the panel. (Heck, I do know better; that's the embarrassing thing.)

#35 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 06:55 PM:

Of course, in the genres we frequent, all Improvised Exegesis Devices come with large red LCD readouts on them. The better to count down to the moment of catastrophic metaphor-literalization.

#36 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 07:04 PM:

I was planning on saying that the readers' capacity for getting things wrong, wresting the reading of the book to their own meanings and uses, and in general reframing the thing, is like unto a mystic force, and entirely beyond our control.

Also, that "glorifying war" is not a single quantifiable thing. Also, that some varieties of glorification are IMO just and proper.

#37 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 07:19 PM:

"If you knows a better 'Egelianism, go to it."

#38 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2005, 09:17 PM:

Sorta like that, yes.

I could also maybe mention on the panel that the people I know who really have done the whole military thing tend to have a remarkably strong set of taboos against prurient and/or frivolous discussions of serious matters like combat. This is a polite way of saying that, faced with a violation of said taboos, their noses go up in the air like a 19th century actress playing a socialite.

#39 ::: Neil Rest ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2005, 02:45 PM:

. . .
hmm

You've given me more impetus to try to get to a Readercon than I've had in a long time. (Delaney & Wilhelm on one panel? Who cares about the rest of the con!!)

As to the whole "glory" thing, consider the history of the interpretations & championing of Dalton Trumbo's _Johnny Got His Gun_. It's gone back and forth from extreme right wing to extreme left wing and back; and in other directions.

#40 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 05:27 AM:

This month's Sydney Futurian SF discussion meeting is about "Problems with Galaxy Spanning Civilisations and Empires" (GSC&Es) Any suggestions for Sci-Fi nits to pick? In particular any references to Science Fiction stories where problems with (GSC&Es) occur or are explained away?

The meeting is at the University of Technology Sydney (Broadway) on Friday night, 7 to 9 pm, in a seminar room behind the Great Hall, level 5, Tower Building.
All are welcome to attend, contact SCIENCE-MATTERS (a) YOUR+ABC+NET+AU with suggestions or for meeting details.

#41 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 11:20 AM:

Please allow me to pass on these 2 queries:

I am looking for the name/author of a book I read in the 1960's or 1970's in which China conquers the United States with a projection of what things might look like if that had happened. This might not be scifi, strictly speaking, but then again it was a fantasy projection. Any ideas?? Thanks for your help with this --
Pam Pittenger

Hi
I watched a film back in the early 80's, where the murderer killed his victims with live flying creatures... circular in form.... that when thrown, and stuck to the victim, their feelers came out and stuck into the person, sucking the life out of them.

They made a whirring sound when thrown, which stuck out in my mind. It seems like there was only one murderer, and seems like it was set in the outdoors.

Thanks,
Trecca

#42 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 11:30 AM:

Mez:

Hugo- and Nebula-Award-winning author Geoffrey Landis, recently appointed as the Ronald E. McNair-NASA Visiting Professor of Astronautics at M.I.T., published a nonfiction paper applying the Mathematics of Percolation Theory to the spread of galactic civilizations, and estimated the fractal distribution in space of civilized solar systems, based on assumptions of travel time, distances between stars, and so forth. You might be able to contact him through his home page: Geoffrey Landis.

Professor Christine M. Carmichael, whose Ph.D. in Physics and postdoc were at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, points out that Analog had an article on problems with the economics of galaxy-spanning civilizations, and that "Starmaker" by Olaf Stapledon discussed the issue. See the chronology of Stapledon's novel, intermeshed with actual astronomical predictions, at: TIMELINE COSMIC FUTURE.

Did I speak with you at the 1985 Worldcon? That's where I met Dr. Carmichael, now my wife, who took our 16-year-old son with her on a visit to Sydney this past Christmas, to renew his Aussie citizenship. Said son is, age 16, a Senior at a local (Los Angeles) University, is a published Science Fiction author and Physics conference author, and may have comments for you when he returns from San Diego Comic-Con.

#43 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 12:29 PM:

JVP - thanx4 your suggestions. I'll pass them on to them wot are more involved - I am but a grain of grit on a tiny tooth on a humble cog of this great machinery.

It's quite unlikely I spoke to anyone at the 1985 Readercon. I've been to a couple of SF movie festivals (what year was that one at the Enmore theatre?) and science and medical conferences, but tho' I've read a fair bit of SF, never been part of "organized" fandom, nor attended a con.

My first boyfriend and I met at a film festival at Sydney Uni in 1976 or 7, so these things sound like a good alternative to chatting up the opposite (or not) sex in smoky bars. Neil Gaiman's in town soon, maybe I'll break the drought and get along to an appearance, thirty years is a long while between drinks.

For now, I'm setting the alarm for our wintry predawn to get up and watch the live coverage of Andy Thomas and the rest of the Discovery shuttle crew head offworld again.

#44 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 01:41 PM:

Quick correction to link above: this is probably the address Mr Vos Post meant to put for the link to TIMELINE COSMIC FUTURE

UTS is in my vicinity, so mebbe I could slope along and have a squiz at the Futurians. Haven't done much since Science in the Pub shut down and life got ... interesting. If so, I'll try to report back.

Happy Bastille Day, all you cheese-eaters! And best of luck to Discovery & all who sail in her.

#45 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 01:56 PM:

JVP, that 1980's film sounds oddly like an original series Star Trek episode, but I'm blanking on the title -- no murderer, just nasty flying circular parasites that make a whirring sound and that suck the lives out of their victims. As I recall, Kirk's brother was a colonist on this planet and died in the attacks; and they could be killed by exposure to very bright light (and as they found when Spock was treated this way, Vulcans have an extra inner eyelid of some sort). A lot of it was filmed outside an architectural landmark in Los Angeles. Don't know if this helps ... I'm sure someone else here will remember the episode name.

#46 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 02:20 PM:

Jonathan Vos Post: your friend Pam isn't thinking of David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series, is she? The publication date is off but the subject matter seems right.

#47 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 02:57 PM:

JVP: There's Kornbluth's _Not This August_, published in the '50s but set in '65, in which the Soviet Union and China had invaded the US, set up internal travel controls and labor camps for dissidents, and initiated a Stalin-style series of planned famines. The underground resistance eventually discovers a top secret US base that was set to launch a nuclear-armed space station, and succeeds in launching it and forcing the Russians and Chinese to surrender and withdraw. IMHO one of the better "Red scare" novels written. Could that be what she's thinking of?

#48 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2005, 04:00 PM:

The movie is "Without Warning" (it has a couple of variant titles, like "Alien Warning"). TV-movie, came out in 1980. Contains what may be Martin Landau's worst perfomance (and I like Landau) as -- wait for it -- a crazed Vietnam veteran. The killer is an alien, and he's here to "hunt" people, an idea that someone should probably use in a much more expensive movie with lots more weapons and things blowing up.

It's not very good, though it does have some creepy moments -- it does take place mostly outdoors, at night, and they keep Predator Fudd out of sight for a while -- which is good, because the costume is dreadful, by which I mean it does not inspire dread. (I have a vague recollection that it's a shiny sheet and a headpiece that was originally made for The Outer Limits.

Oh, now, that's interesting. According to imdb, the man in the suit was Kevin Peter Hall, who a few years later would also play . . . The Predator. In both movies. (There doesn't appear to be any creative overlap between the pictures.)

Janet, the Trek episode is "Operation: Annihilate!" (boy, they don't hardly make titles like that no more; why wasn't there an "Operation: Empathize!"?).

#49 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 05:17 AM:

Uh . . . right.

#50 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 05:40 AM:

Uh. . . right, because Naval architecture because StarSHIP Enterprise, because Ishmael Asimov and Horatio Heinlein worked for the U.S. Navy. And you can't mix matter and antimatter cold (and I like Lev Landau). Thanks for answering the queries passed unto me. And thanks, Epacris, for correcting my hotlink. And, Mez, the social value of cons will be decided by cyborg geneticists post-Singularity, when we decide precisely the extent to which Science Fiction is inheritable. Seems to breed true, so far...

#51 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 11:03 AM:

For wanna-be Popes: "Operation: Pontificate!"
For hard-SF practitioners: "Operation: Speculate!" (also suitable for day-traders)
For politicians: "Operation: Prevaricate!"

(Thank you, Mike -- of course in my mis-spent youth I could recite all episode titles in alphabetical OR broadcast order, with primary scriptwriters and guest stars, identify them within the first few frames, and tell you which volume of James Blish's adaptations they appeared in ... but alas, those days are long gone.)

#52 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 11:24 AM:

Janet Croft, for some reason, I'm hearing "Pontificate!" and "Prevaricate!" in a Dalek voice.

#53 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 02:35 PM:

Janet Croft, for some reason, I'm hearing "Pontificate!" and "Prevaricate!" in a Dalek voice.

Tory Daleks. So much makes sense now.

#54 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2005, 03:20 PM:

More Signs of genres in Collision Dept.:

New Particle Discovered By BaBar Experiment, Revealing Secrets Of Strong Force

"Its name is Y(4260) and it is not a new humanoid of Stars Wars, but a particle identified for the first time by BaBar experiment... 'At first sight Y(4260) seems to be what we call a charmonic state, that is to say a particle made up of the combination of a charm quark and of its equivalent antiparticle: an anticharm quark', explains Marcello Giorgi, Infn researcher, professor of Physics at Pisa University and involved in Babar experiment since a long time."

Anticharmed to meet you, Dr. Giorgi. I haven't read a press release like that since a long time.

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