Fiction News

Pseudopod_LogoMy story “N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis.,” first published in the anthology Borderlands 5, is tentatively scheduled to be released in an audio version from Pseudopod this September.

Balticon 49

The 49th annual Balticon science fiction convention was held from May 22 to 25, 2015, at Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Guest of honor was Jo Walton. Artist guest of honor was Ruth Sanderson. Science guest of honor was Edie Stern. Ghost of honor was CJ Henderson. The 2015 winner of the Compton Crook Award was Alexandra Duncan.

The event included author and editor panel discussions, readings, science briefings, and an art show.

I missed Saturday, but attended Sunday and Monday. Dr. Thomas R. Holtz presented his annual “Dinosaur Update” on Sunday, at which he announced that 44 new species of dinosaur were discovered in 2014 and 9 so far in 2015. He focused on additional discoveries concerning Spinosaurus, as well as the “Great Enfluffening,” the continued discoveries of feathers on dinosaurs. From a slide: “The capacity to generate plumulose structures (or [their] derivatives) is ancestral for all dinosaurs.” They all could have had them.

Also: “Astrodon is Maryland’s state (non-avian) dinosaur.” “Non-avian” since the Oriole, being a bird, is already a dinosaur! New favorite dinosaur name: Dreadnoughtus.

The science track is always good at Balticon. I caught Dr. Inge Hyer’s presentation on the results of collaborations between observatories, “Between Gamma Rays and Radio Waves,” and some of Holtz’s talk on the impact of science fiction on public consciousness, “Popular Science Fiction and the Genesis of Paranormal Claims.”

Scott Edelman and Stephen Granade gave terrific readings during the time slot they shared. I enjoyed Ruth Sanderson’s talk/question-and-answer session about commissioning art for self-publishing. Also good was “Handling the Unavoidable Info Dump,” paneled by Joshua Palmatier, Gail Z. Martin and Tim Dodge.

Favorite sighting: The elderly woman walking with stately grace using a cane. Her T-shirt read: “Keep Calm and Nuke ‘Em From Orbit.”

Lighting conditions aren’t ideal at cons for photos, but I did manage to snap a few.

Balticon_49_DR1_1200_ACFDealers’ Room

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H.M.S. Bounty: A Remembrance

It was such terrible news to hear that the replica tall ship H.M.S. Bounty went down off the coast of North Carolina with loss of life during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29. At first the news on the ship’s own Facebook page was that all the crew was accounted for. Now one is known dead and another, the captain, is missing. The Coast Guard recently suspended the search for the captain.

The ship was built for the filming of the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty and made an appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean II. She visited Baltimore in 2010 as part of the festivities for Privateer Day in Fell’s Point, which I attended. She was a highlight of the day.

I went aboard like so many other guests and was overwhelmed by her size and majesty. I chatted with one of the crew, studied the wheel and masts (research), and took many photos that are now sprinkled all over this website.

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