While Science Fiction and Fantasy have helped lead the way to some extraordinary things in our world, there are some things that just shouldn't be. Hopefully a few people will take this topic and run with it as I shall quite lazily point out only the simplest and most obvious things being the shiftless and not to bright person that i am.

Perhaps the greatest evil for which the world has Science Fiction, one author and a nearly invisible editor to thank is "cyber bullying". Long before most people could even hazard a guess at what "cyber" meant. Before people had screennames, and instant messengers, and email. Before the world wide web was all that wide, or a world of its own a man created a way of reaching out and hurting ones enemies in a way that few would realize the would be the new wedgie, His proxy a boy called Ender (a use name) humiliated his opponent in a way that let him cause trouble and get away with it. Today we write new laws to deal with the technology that enables this crime, and continue to handwring at the crime itself. Orson Scott Card has much to answer for.

Death Shouldn't Find Me!

This is a trope that abounds in both Science Fiction and Fantasy. I can't blame either genre for creating it, just for perpetuating it. Raymond E Feist should shoulder his share of this simply for the early Midkemia books. Not only is the book littered with glamorous, graceful and ageless Elves two of the main characters from Magician become effectively immortal. Pug and Thomas go from keep rascals to not just towering heros, but unaging towering heros. Truly unfair.

Science fiction can't leave not dying alone either. In science fiction not only have anti-aging techniques like Weber's attempts to drive the entire future of mankind nuts by extending both puberty and menopause with his prolong treatment. Honestly, this one should really be considered cruel and unusual punishment. I can't honestly imagine people developing healthily mentally when they spend from eleven to thirty-nine looking unfinished, gangling and wondering when people are gonna stop calling them the Honorverse equivalent of "pizza face".

Lois Bujold is not without blame for perpetuating this bit of cultural denial. She's invented two totally different ways of not aging like a normal human. Her Betans (almost all of whom seem to be like 'the good kids" in A Brave New World) simply don't age. They don't age because they just live right, and their doctors have a pill for that. Simply disgusting. Not to out do this she has tweaked an entire twelve planet society with the use of trickle down genetics. They are smart, beautiful, healthy, resistant to poisons and yup, long lived. Utterly vulgar.

Then of course there are the weapons of play war where people almost play for keeps. Stunner, cryo-revival, shock nets, knockout gas, and virtual reality combat. What type of sissyness is this? This doesn't provide any reason for the other side to stop being your enemy. And how the hell do you establish discipline in a war where the greatest danger is ripping and dirtying your uniform when the enemy reasonable-wonderful-valuable-unique-beautiful-caring-person-who-we-have-yet-to-reach-a
-reasonable-accord-with-through-no-fault-of-anyone stuns you. Oh no! What if their pain killers don't work as fast as our or they don't taste as good! Heaven Whatevereachreaderbelievesornotbelivesinwithoutpreferenceorjudgementwithfullsupportandornonsupportas itbestvalidatesthatreaderatthisoranyothermomentinwhatwenowcalltime forfend! 

Kill Something Bitches! Really, it's one of the few things that humans are actually good at finding new ways to do. Death and sex. These are the two things that most people wonder about first when contemplating a new technologies possible applications.
Well, as some readers know World Fantasy Con isn't like most other cons. In fact it's not like any other convention I've ever been too. It's probably the only gathering in the industry where the professionals out number the fans. It's also one of the largest gatherings of pros, with the least programming to get in the way of schmoozing, and catching up with friends. So the short list is real simple. I wish i were there to make contact with some of the editors i know, and the would be pros looking for an agent. I wish i was there to congratulate Mary on her Campbell win in person since I don't think i saw her in Denver after the award ceremony. I wish I were there to see my friend and client Glynn for the first time in more than half a decade. I wish to meet Calie, another client who got me to say yes to the first Urban Fantasy since i opened the agency.

I also wish I were in Calgary, because if i had known i was going I'd have planned to sneak out to the Flames vs Bruins game tonight.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Oct. 29th, 2008 09:58 pm)
It's that time again. I'm missing a con, and so are some of my friends. I mentioned to one or two of them directly that I'd be doing it. A couple said they'd toss up a post or three as well.

Topic's I'll be writing about sometime this weekend:
Why I wish I were in Calgary.

What to leave out.

Feel free to talk about those or anything else. I'll post a jump off post sometime mid day (eastern time) tomorrow.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Aug. 5th, 2008 02:00 am)
Eric, who won the cover letter contest chose to get the paperback of Pyramid Power which is due out the end of September.

A fantabulous lady who is entirely too kind to a wayward bird i have an ARC of Slow Train to Arcturus to flash around at Denvention, Pi-Con and Conjecture!

[profile] davefreer and [profile] jamesenge will hopefully both participate in the Bittercon that [personal profile] sartorias posted about. Look for them later this week, I know Dave hopes only to be buried in the current WIP until Friday, but books happen and characters are occasionally mean.

As i mentioned elsewhere on the web, Wednesday morning for the casual breakfast I'll have a copy of Slow Train on my table. Say hi and join me if the mood strikes you.

In theory I will get into the Sheraton around between 11 and midnight. Look for the large, tired looking black guy in the Patriots Jersey. 

I have no idea how often I'll actually update during the con, but I'll try for once a day.

I should probably start packing now.

I declare a Bittercon for this weekend. It will start at 3pm eastern time on 2/15 and run through 2/17 at 10pm et or so...
What con am I bitter about missing? Boskone! http://www.nesfa.org/boskone/ So for those interested in joining, pick a topic or two, post! Then post a link here in the comments for other people to find.
    Last night as I was for some inexplicable reason watching Celebrity Rehab and thinking about what to post for Bittercon., i was struck by a thought. That thought was struck by a question. After filing assault charges and a brief flirtation with a civil suit, I decided that I'd go with thought, that I'd take the abuse and stay with the evil that is thought. Because somewhere, somehow I had to set an example of how not to quit. Besides, Thought loves me!

     With all the stories about dark urban environments, the cold reaches of space, and the heartless politics of arenas from corporate to courtly and criminal to pugilistic, I have to wonder where the bad relationships are? Sure we've got relationships where the two people don't get along. One is a defense attorney, the other is a street cop, that's all well and good and creates emotional weft that we can all appreciate. But what about the battered party in a relationship? The person who arrives at work ready to slay adversaries with briefs, bullets or whate'er the weapon on their field of battle and yet can't stand up to their (in)significant other? I know a few of this type, their the person who'll tell school comities, police, and bad drivers do some anatomically improbable things, and then go home and never raise their voice except to apologize for their imagined faults to the one demon they can't bring themselves to fight.

    Another type we don't see are those involved in relationships that spin on the axis of addiction. In any relationship involving addiction one person is the symptom bearer. Everyone else is somewhere on the continuum of helpful to harmful. Most people being somewhere on the darkside, usually unintentionally. I think in the right hands, a story where someone wears themselves to a nub trying to keep someone they love well supplied with their drug of choice so that person doesn't have to turn tricks or steal for a fix could be interesting.

    Obviously, at least in the context of science fiction and fantasy, these make rather poor things to hang an entire story on, but they do make interesting things to know about one or more of your characters.



onyxhawke: (Default)


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