Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Worldcon 76 Report

Me giving my talk "Le Guin's Daoism" at Worldcon 76 on Aug. 18, 2018 (Photo credit: Mike Substelny)

I recently attended Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California, where I also gave a talk called "Le Guin's Daoism."  I unfortunately had to leave before the Hugo Awards ceremony took place, although I was able to watch it online from home.  Check out the results here (if you want a breakdown of the votes, see here).  I heartily recommend watching the acceptance speech of N. K. Jemisin, who is as of Sunday a three-time winner of the Hugo for Best Novel!

My Hugo ballot matches the results for Novel, Short Story, Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), Graphic Story, Professional Artist, Semiprozine, and Fanzine (I also got the Campbell Award right with Rebecca Roanhorse).  Overall I was pretty pleased with the Hugo results this year.  Luckily the whole Puppy thing seems to have blown over, or at least the Puppies took their yapping elsewhere.  Either way, good riddance.

Here are some highlights of my con experience:

Monday, August 13, 2018

Worldcon 76 Academic Track Presentation: "Le Guin's Daoism"

This week I'm going to San José, California to attend Worldcon 76 where I'll be making a presentation on the Academic Track called "Le Guin's Daoism."  The presentation will be on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3pm (details here, abstract below).

This will be my second Worldcon, after MidAmeriCon II (Worldcon 74) in Kansas City, Missouri in 2016 (read about my experience here).  I had a great time at that one, so I'm looking forward to this one.  I'll also be spending a day in San Francisco beforehand, and thus need to pack for a totally different climate than San José.  The Bay Area is weird.

Weird Connections: Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower V) by Stephen King

At some point in Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower V), Roland wonders why the stories from the world of Jake, Susannah, and Eddie (i.e., our world) tend to be of only one genre (science fiction, Western, mystery, horror, etc.).  I've wondered this, too.  And apparently so has Stephen King, especially in this genre-blending series that I continue to love.

Wolves of the Calla is the fifth volume in the series, which is one long story (or more precisely, a network of interconnected stories).  So, don't even think of reading this unless you've read the previous four books (there's a later stand alone novel that I'm saving for later).  You can see my reviews of volumes one and two here, volume three here, and volume four here.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Philoso-monks Save Some Worlds: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

I finally found the Neal Stephenson book that's right for me. I've enjoyed a few of Stephenson's other books (particularly Snow Crash and Seveneves), but I admit I wasn't sure what all the hype surrounding Stephenson was about. Now that I found the right book, I get it.