Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Diversicon 15

I swore I'd never be on another panel, but Diversicon seems pretty laid back so I'm going to give it try. The topics really appeal to me, and that helps.

update and entire schedule:

Thursday, August 2, 2007 CE:

6:30-8:00 PM Andrea Hairston Reads at DreamHaven Boooks, 912 Lake St W, Minneapolis--part of SF Minnesota?s The Speculations Readings Series

Friday, August 3, 2007 CE:

1:30 PM Registration Table opens (2nd floor)

2:00 PM SF Minnesota Tables (next to Registration) open

2:00 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge, Room 1332) opens

2:00-4:00 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
28 Days Later (UK; Technicolor, 2006; 113 mins.). Dir.: Danny Boyle; scr.: Alex Garland. Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Kim McGarrity, Alexander Delamere, Brendan Gleeson. Octavia E. Butler?s work is as yet unadapted; we wanted to honor her spirit with a gritty speculative film featuring a strong lead performance by a black woman. 28 Days Later, an unrelenting tale of survival in a scientifically plausible plague-ravaged Britain, fits the bill. There are several strong performances, but Naomie Harris steals the show. (See also Octavia E. Butler 2:00 PM Saturday; End of the World Movies noon Sunday)

3:00 PM Vendor Room (Empire Room, 2nd floor; Dealer Tables & Art Show) opens

3:00 PM Hospitality Suite (Presidential Suite, Room 1321) opens

3:00-3:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess Room; 2nd floor)
Panel: Artistic Inspiration
Authors and artists discuss what inspires them to write or create. What sorts of things spontaneously inspire you? What things do you seek out when you need inspiration? What doesn?t work to jog or instigate inspiration? We?ve all heard of writers? retreats; is it possible to force inspiration? What squelches your enthusiasm (big picture?general things, not specific tiny things)? Martha A. Hood, mod.; Andrea Hairston, Christopher Jones, Melissa S. Kaercher, P.M.F. Johnson

4:00-4:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Know What You Write, Write What You Know
The maxim ?Write what you know? will show up in nearly any good introductory class on writing, from journalism to fiction. Often we are told to write about things that are familiar to us. But what happens when you get an idea that includes elements that you aren?t familiar with?a scientific principle, a culture, or a part of the world? Or in the case of SF/F, you want to write about things that you can?t necessarily find good research on (magic and science beyond our current level)? This kicks in the corollary to write what you know?know what you write. Learn what?s necessary to tell the story or pass along the information that you want to. Rachel Kronick, mod.; Andrea Hairston, Ellen Kuhfeld, Richard K. Lyon, Pan Morigan

4:00-4:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Presentation: Giant Reptiles: Oh No, There Goes Tokyo! And Seoul. And?.
A multimedia survey of past and present mythological reptiles from across Asia! From the Zaj and Naga to the Lung and Godzilla. It?s a scaly survey of strange lizards and the people who know them?. Bryan Thao Worra

5:00-5:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Six Feet Under, or "Why We Talk to Dead People"
Juxtaposing sex and death, Alan Ball's HBO series explored what gives life meaning. Living characters frequently engaged in conversations with the dead ones. What did the "ghosts" bring to the show that living characters couldn't? The show included gay, lesbian, and bisexual; white, black, and Hispanic; young, middle-aged, and old; strong male and strong female characters (and, of course, living and dead characters). How did this range support the show's thematic substance? Paula L. Fleming, mod.; Martha A. Hood

5:00-5:50 PM Regent/Waldorf Room (2nd floor)
Writing Workshop: Write Now!
?Join us for a creative writing event. Participants will randomly select five whimsical cards?one each describing motivation, character, item, event, and place. The challenge is to incorporate the descriptions into a story, poem, or lyric. With pencil and paper provided, participants will have 20 minutes to loose their creative muses. Humor and imagination a plus. The remainder of the workshop will be devoted to reading aloud what has been wrought.? ?Terry Faust, Workshop designer, instructor; Richard K. Lyon, Mike Schoenberg

5:00-6:35 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Destination Moon (Technicolor, 1950; 92 mins.); prod.: George Pal; dir.: Irving Pichel; scr.: Alford ?Rip? Van Ronkel, R(obert) A. Heinlein, & James O?Hanlon, from Heinlein?s 1947 novel Rocketship Galileo; mus.: Leith Stevens; tech. adviser: Heinlein; astronomical art: Chesley Bonestell; fx: Lee Zavitz; Woody Woodpecker by Walter Lantz. Cast: John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, Dick Wesson, Erin O?Brien Moore, Ted Warde, Mike Miller. After a 48-year prehistory, including a several-year lull, science fiction cinema was properly reborn in this sincere attempt to realistically portray travel to the moon, while seeking to convey, through its effects, the awe of space travel. (Bonestell?s matte paintings are particularly impressive.) This genre of the future owes more respect to its past. If parts of Destination Moon seem clunky by today?s standards, we need to remember that without this pioneering film today?s standards would not exist. (See also Robert A. Heinlein noon Saturday; George Pal 4:00 PM Saturday; Heinlein in the Movies 1:00 PM Sunday)

6:00 PM Vendor Room closes

6:00-6:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: The State of GLBT Characters and Issues in Speculative Fiction
Our annual look at the state of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender characters and issues in science fiction and fantasy, both in print and electro-celluloid media. Rachel Kronick, mod.; Catherine Lundoff

7:00-7:30 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Opening Ceremonies
Rick Gellman, MC; Andrea Hairston, Christopher Jones, Melissa S. Kaercher, Eric M. Heideman; Frida Kahlo, Robert A. Heinlein, George Pal, Octavia E. Butler, in absentia

7:35-8:25 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Comic Books as Movies: What Works, and What Doesn?t
Hollywood has fallen in love with the comic book movie. Where has it gone right, where has it gone wrong, and where is it going next? Melissa S. Kaercher, Christopher Jones, co-mods; Andrea Hairston, Cynthia Booth

7:35-8:25 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: Empires: Sustainable or Doomed? The term "American imperialism" is sometimes used to describe U.S. economic and military power. Informed by historical precedent, the term implies that the seeds of decay are already planted. Let's discuss empires past, present, and fictional. What's bad about them? What?s good about them? Must a world (or a galaxy) be divided between conquerors who feel entitled and victims who feel resentful? Are all empires inherently doomed to fall? Are other empires destined to replace them? Paula L. Fleming, mod.; Phyllis Ann Karr, Philip Kaveny, Richard K. Lyon, John Till

8:30-9:20 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Science Fiction/Fantasy Films: The Year in Review
Diversicon?s annual look at science fiction and fantasy in the movies. Bryan Thao Worra, mod.;
Andrea Hairston

8:30-9:20 PM Regent/Waldorf
Reading: Lady Poetesses from Hell
If you haven?t heard the Lady Poetesses so far you?re in for a treat! They?re a performance art group with a twist. Terry A. Garey, host; Ruth Berman, Rebecca Marjesdatter, John Calvin Rezmerski

9:30-9:55 PM Regent/Waldorf
YA Fiction Reading: Pan Morigan

9:30-10:20 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Workshop: Coaching at Warp Speed: The Benefits of Life Coaching
Do you feel stuck in your life and want help to move forward? Do you have plenty of goals and motivation but need balance? This workshop will give you a taste of the life coaching process. You'll be given tools you can take away to help you design the future you deserve. Kathy Amundson, Instructor

9:30 PM-2:00 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
A Party for Readers and Viewers
Hosted by Second Foundation, a Twin Cities speculative fiction-book discussion group, whose members are also film buffs.

9:55-10:20 PM Regent/Waldorf
Poetry Reading: Bryan Thao Worra reads from his new book, On the Other Side of the Eye

10:00 PM Registration & SF Minnesota Tables Close

10:30-11:20 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Wordplay Seminar
Earn a Bachelor?s or Bachelorette?s of Wordplay from Dr. Knowledge. This seminar will probably include: 1.) Wordfacture. It?s often necessary to use a lot of words to describe a thing or situation because we haven?t thought of one economical word for it. Let?s remedy that. 2.) Retirement Party for Cliches. We?ll identify clich├ęs that need to be euthanized and think of clever new phrases to replace them. 3.) Jabberwacky. We?ll A.) identify some silly-sounding words that already exist & B.) make up silly-sounding words which may or may not be accompanied by silly definitions. Rick ?Dr. Knowledge? Gellman, instructor

10:30-11:20 PM Regent/Waldorf
Recital: Free Form Storytelling
Make up a story, rehearse, and deliver without notes. Not an ?open mike;? performers signed up for a 10-minute slot before the convention. Mike Schoenberg, mod.; Paula L. Fleming, Philip Kaveny, Brian K. Perry, John Calvin Rezmerski

10:30-11:20 PM Krushenko?s Annex (Room 1320)
Discussion: Dave & Eric & Whoever Wants to Join Them Sit Around & Talk about Films for an Hour
The sixth in our series of semi-formal lateish-night discussions on a wide range of film topics. David Christenson & Eric M. Heideman, co-mods.

11:30 PM-1:45 AM Krushenko?s Annex (Room 1320)
Cinemasia 2007: More Horror from an Asian Perspective. Ka Vang, host
Cinemasia Film & Discussion One: Pulse (AKA Kairo; Japan; color, 2001; 118 mins.)
Dir., scr.: Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Cast: Haruhiko Kudo, Kumiko Aso, Koyuki, Karume Arisaka, Masatoshi Matsuo, Shinji Takeda. Ghosts and people are just the same, says a young woman in this eerie tale of revenants, loneliness, computers, and perhaps the end of the world. The film will be followed by a short discussion. (See also Dark Water 10:00 AM Sunday; End of the World Movies noon Sunday)

1:00 AM Hospitality Suite closes

2:00 AM Krushenko?s & Krushenko?s Annex close

Saturday, August 4, 2007 CE:

9:30 AM Hospitality Suite (Presidential Suite; Room 1321) opens

10:00 AM Vendor Room (Dealer Tables & Art Show; Empire Room; 2nd floor) opens

10 AM Registration & SF Minnesota Tables (2nd floor) open

10:00 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge, Room 1332) opens

10:00-10:50 AM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess Room; 2nd floor)
Panel: What do I Read Next?
Our annual look at new and interesting book and magazine SF. Michael Levy, mod.; Janice Bogstad, Greg L. Johnnson, Russell Letson

10:00-10:50 AM Regent/Waldorf Room (2nd floor)
Panel: Cosmological Conjectures
An infinite number of infinitely expanding universes? Ouch?our brains aren't infinitely expanding! Let's geek out about the latest in string theory and discuss how insignificant we really are. Paula L. Fleming, mod.; Phyllis Ann Karr, Rachel Kronick, Richard K. Lyon

10:00-10:50 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge, Room 1332)
Presentation: The Art of Christopher Jones
A visual history of Christopher Jones?career, ranging from Street Heroes 2005 to The Batman Strikes! and his artwork for CONvergence.

11:00-11:50 AM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Andrea Hairston Interviewed
Eric M. Heideman and John Till, interviewers

11:00-11:50 AM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: Fanfiction (or, What to do when 7 Harry Potter books are not enough!)
Do you love to read it? Do you love to write it? Or, do you think it's evil? Why are so many people into fanfic, and what is it doing to (or with) commercial publishing? Share your ideas, recommendations, and writing tips. Anna Waltz, mod.; Phyllis Ann Karr, Ellen Kuhfeld, Joan Marie Verba

11:00-11:50 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Panel: Good Blog/Bad Blog?Modern Technology and Artists
What modern technology is available for artists (for self promotion, research, etc.)? What purpose can a blog serve? What are the ways things can go wrong? Discussion boards?good, bad, or dependent on how they?re used? S.N. Arly, mod.; Melissa S. Kaercher, Greg L. Johnson, Rachel Kronick, Catherine Lundoff, Lyda Morehouse

Noon-12:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Ranger Through a Strange Land: Robert A. Heinlein, 1907-1988, and His Impact on SF
On the author of Double Star, The Door into Summer, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Job. 100 years after his birth and 19 years after his death, sales of Heinlein?s books are still strong. No other SF writer achieved the sort of sustained popularity he did, with so many books that have done so well. What is it about Heinlein's writing that has been attracting SF fans since 1939, in contrast to almost everybody else? Eric M. Heideman, mod.; Brian K. Perry, Polly Jo Peterson, John Calvin Rezmerski, Ed Rom

Noon-12:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: The Garden in Speculative Fiction
What role or purpose can gardens serve in speculative fiction (particularly fantasy)? Sometimes it is merely a setting or resource for characters, but sometimes it?s much more, almost a character in its own right. Who uses gardens well or in an interesting way in spec fic? S.N. Arly, mod.; Ruth Berman, Anne Frasier, Terry A. Garey, Rebecca Marjesdatter, Mark Rich

Noon-12:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Workshop: A Voice Class for Poets and Prose Writers
As a reader and a storyteller, your voice is your most important instrument. Do you want to learn new techniques for warming up and fine-tuning your voice for readings? Would you like to learn how to project your voice powerfully without fatigue? Would you like to explore dramatic voice-techniques that will keep an audience riveted as you read to them? Come prepared to work your breath, move your body, and make noise!! Pan Morigan, instructor

1:00-1:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: The Politics of Battlestar Galactica
We?ll talk about the politics that may or may not underpin the series, as well as the opinions expressed by various political commentators who?ve claimed the show for their own. Greg L. Johnson, mod.; Janice Bogstad, Philip Kaveny, Scott Lohman, Lyda Morehouse

1:00-1:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: Fantasies as Mirrors for Real World Fears
Dracula (1897) was popular in Victorian and Edwardian England. In the novel, the vampire?s victims are drawn to him by desires they cannot control, female sexuality being something with which Victorians were uncomfortable. In 1898 H.G. Wells published The War of the Worlds, in which Martians invade England but are destroyed by diseases. At the time the story was easily read as a protest against England?s colonization of Africa and a fear of tropical diseases. When, however, in 1938, the Orson Welles radio broadcast had the Martians invading New Jersey, the panic was fueled by fears of a German invasion. Superman appeared in 1938, a refugee from the exploding planet of Krypton. In 1939 World War II began, making Europe look very much like an exploding planet. It seems that in the past the most successful fantasies were those that mirrored the fears of their age. What, then, does replacing Superman with Buffy say about us? Why zombie movies and novels? Why erotic novels with vampires as heroes? Richard K. Lyon, mod.; Anne Frasier, Phyllis Ann Karr

1:00-1:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Presentation: Coloring without Numbers
Melissa S. Kaercher talks about her career as a comics colorist and letterer, and gives some nuts-and-bolts insights into how it?s done.

2:00-2:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Sower of the Parables: Octavia E. Butler, 1947-2006
On the author of Mind of My Mind, Kindred, Dawn, Imago, Adulthood Rites, Parable of the Sower, and Bloodchild and Other Stories. Michael Levy, mod.; Andrea Hairston, Eleanor Arnason, Janice Bogstad

2:00-2:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Massive Reading: Poetry
Not an ?open mike? reading; readers signed up for a 10-minute slot before the convention. P.M.F. Johnson, host; Phyllis Ann Karr, Philip Kaveny, Sandra Lindow, Pan Morigan

2:00-2:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Panel: Comics from the Asylum (aka Living the Dream aka Be Careful What You Wish for) Christopher Jones & Melissa S. Kaercher talk about a life in the comics industry, working together and separately on comics ranging from Batman to Dr. Blink to Troma. What are pros and cons of going pro?

3:00-3:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Why Doesn?t Superman Look Like Me?
Comics have long been a stronghold of muscular Aryan men and buxom babes in skimpy costumes. There are more racially & culturally diverse characters now than ever before, but comics still fall short of being representational of real world diversity. Why are comics still associated with these archetypes that date back to the 1930?s? Melissa S. Kaercher, Christopher Jones, co-mods.; Cynthia Booth, Lyda Morehouse

3:00-3:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: The State of the Solar System: 2007
Our annual update on the latest findings about our neighbors in the solar system and beyond. Paul F. Richards. mod.; Hank Lederer, Richard K. Lyon

3:00-3:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge; Room 1332)
Panel: Blogged Again: How the Internet is Changing the Language of Politics
We?ll talk about slang terms used on political blogs, e.g. epu, watb, iokiyar, and the like. Greg L. Johnson, mod.; Scott Lohman

4:00-4:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Speculative and Fantastic Theater
Numerous plays include fantasy or science fiction elements. Let's discuss some of our favorites and talk about what works and what doesn't in presenting speculative elements on stage. Paula L. Fleming, mod.; Andrea Hairston, Cynthia Booth, Roy C. Booth, Martha A. Hood

4:00-4:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: Serious Games: Genre, System, Setting, and Story in Role-Playing Games
A game player and a game designer talk about RPG?s setting and game design. ?This will be a very interactive panel, as we know that tons of Diversicon folks are into RPGs.??John Till, mod.; Chad Davidson

4:00-4:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge; Room 1332)
Panel: Worldmaker, Worldbreaker: George Pal, 1908-1980
On the animator-par-excellence, producer of Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide, The War of the Worlds, The Naked Jungle, The Conquest of Space, The Time Machine, and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. Eric M. Heideman, mod.; David Christenson, Scott Lohman

4:55-7:00 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge; Room 1332)
Frida (b&w & color, 2002; 123 mins.) Dir.: Julie Taymor; scr.: Clancy Sigal, from the 1983 biography by Hayden Herrera. Cast: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Mia Maestro, Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas. Disturbing, inspirational tale of Kahlo, who struggled through terrible difficulties to produce an inimitable body of artwork. Co-producer Hayek was robbed on Oscar night; her Frida Kahlo is one of the cinema?s great performances.

5:00-5:30 PM SF Minnesota Table (by Registration)
Massive Autographing: Andrea Hairston, Melissa S. Kaercher, Christopher Jones, Anne Frasier, et al.

7:00 PM Vendor Room closes

10:00 PM Registration & SF Minnesota Tables close

7:00-7:30 PM Pippin Room (1st floor)
SF Minnesota Auction: Items available for inspection

7:30-10:00 PM Pippin Room (1st floor)
SF Minnesota Auction: Bidding
Rick Gellman, Auctioneer; Eric M. Heideman, Quartermaster; David Christenson, Sugar Daddy & Vanna 1; Mike Schoenberg, Recorder; ?, Vanna 2; Andrea Hairston, Christopher Jones, Melissa S. Kaercher, moral support. Cool books, videos, artwork, toys, etc. benefiting Diversicon?s Sponsoring Organization and its projects. To donate or consign material, see Eric M. Heideman or David Christenson.

10:00-10:50 PM Executive Conference Room (2nd floor)
Panel: Religion in Anime and Manga (or, Usagi gets married in the Church of the Ascended Rabbit?) How is religion and spirituality portrayed in anime and manga? Why the mystique around Christianity? A look at Trinity Blood, Inuyasha, Bleach, Gundam Wing, Innocent Bird, Evangelion, and others. Anna Waltz, mod.; Rachel Kronick, Rebecca Marjesdatter

10:00 PM-2:00 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Tales of the Unanticipated #28 Publication Party
See the spectacular ?Heroes Issue? of this long-running Twin Cities publication. Meet lots of staff, contributors, and lovely & talented back issues!

11:00-11:50 PM Pippin Room (1st floor)
Discussion: Collaboration Between Writer and Psychic?You Don't Have to be a Mind-Reader, but it Helps!
Kathy Amundson is speaking for the first time about her experience collaborating with psychic Debra Yeager on two books, Encounters with the Sixth Dimension and its sequel, Intervention Across Time, self-published through www.lulu.com. Debra did the channeling, had the connection to the spirits and guides, and provided the descriptions of all of the psychic events. Kathy developed the characters, wrote the dialogue, the narrative, and kept the plot on track. What was the process? What was the hardest part? What was the best part? Why was it necessary to self-publish? Why are these books important?

11:00-11:50 PM Executive Conference Room (2nd floor)
Panel: Gender Issues in Anime & Manga
We?ll examine the portrayal of men and women in anime and manga, with a focus on gender, culture, and media. Anna Waltz, mod.; Rachel Kronick

11:05 PM-12:30 AM Krushenko?s Annex (Room 1320)
When Worlds Collide (Technicolor, 1951; 83 mins.). prod.: George Pal; dir.: Rudolph Mate?; scr.: Sydney Boehm, from the 1933 novel by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer; mus.: Leith Stevens; FX: Fordon Jennings, ASC, & Harry Barndollar; astronomical art: Chesley Bonestell. Cast: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, John Hoyt, Peter Hanson, Larry Keating, Judith Ames, Stephen Chase, Frank Cady. Pal?s follow-up to Destination Moon shows marked improvement in the art of storytelling. The ultimate end of the world movie, When Worlds Collide carries the viewer right along. The FX remain impressive, and John Hoyt is memorable as the cynical, self-absorbed millionaire financing the space ark. (See also George Pal 4:00 PM Saturday, End of the World Movies noon Sunday)

1:00 AM Hospitality Suite closes

2:00 AM Krushenko?s & Krushenko?s Annex close

?I don?t like anything past 2:00 AM. Anything past two is all losers and weirdos.??Paris Hilton, Late Show with David Letterman, June 14, 2004

Sunday, August 5, 2007 CE:

9:30 AM Hospitality Suite (Presidential Suite; Room 1321) opens

10:00 AM Vendor Room (Dealer Tables & Art Show; Empire Room; 2nd floor) opens

10 AM Registration & SF Minnesota Tables (2nd floor) open

10:00 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge, Room 1332) opens

10:00-10:50 AM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess Room; 2nd floor)
Panel: Natural Families
Some people who espouse "traditional" family values phrase their arguments in terms of what's "natural" and what isn't. Yet not only have humans historically formed families in many different ways, but so do other animals. Extended family groups of crows and wolves work together to feed nestlings and pups, respectively. Males of a number of fish and bird species care for the young. Spontaneously sex-changing self-fertilizers aren't just creatures of science fiction. Let's explore the diversity of natural family arrangements. Paula L. Fleming, mod.; Melissa S. Kaercher, John Calvin Rezmerski

10:00-10:50 AM Regent/Waldorf Room (2nd floor)
Panel: How Literary and Other Theory Helps in Reading SF
Esp. post-colonial, psychoanalytic, & textual analysis. Janice Bogstad, Philip Kaveny, co-mods.; Roy C. Booth

10:00-11:55 AM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Cinemasia 2007: More Horror from an Asian Perspective. Ka Vang, host Cinemasia Film & Discussion Two: Dark Water (AKA Honogurai Mizu No Suko Kara; Japan; color, 2002; 101 mins.). Dirs.: Hideo Nakata, Kyle Jones (English language version); scr.: Yoshihiro Nakamura, Hideo Nakata, & Ken?ichi Suzuki, from the novel by Koji Suzuki. Cast: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kamo, Miri Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata, Yukiko Ikari. Dark Water is enough to make you swear off apartment life! This low-key tale of a single mother and her daughter beset by the unknowable deals not so much in conventional suspense as in unease. Once seen, it lingers. The film will be followed by a short discussion.

11:00-11:50 AM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: The Many Lives of The Batman
Murderer, respecter of life, scientist, inventor, detective, athlete, playboy, ascetic, psycho, champion of reason, master of disguise, high camp, dark knight, everybody?s pal? Since artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger gave birth to Bruce Wayne, AKA The Batman, in 1939, the character has been many things to many people. We?ll sprint through his complicated history and consider some reasons for his enduring appeal?with special attention to Christopher Jones? work on The Batman Strikes. Eric M. Heideman, mod.; Christopher Jones, Cynthia Booth, Roy C. Booth

11:00-11:50 AM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: The Year in Anime and Manga
Looks at the best of the new stuff! Rebecca Marjesdatter, mod.; Ellen Kuhfeld, Anna Waltz

Noon-12:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: End of the World Movies
Part of our series about film genres (past entries included Westerns, films noir, spy, swashbuckler, combat, heroic fantasy, gangster, & con/caper/heist/sting movies). This year we look at films concerning global Armageddon, achieved or narrowly averted. David Christenson, mod.; Andrea Hairston, Melissa S. Kaercher, Eric M. Heideman, Scott Lohman

Noon-12:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: Marion Zimmer Bradley: Robert Heinlein for Women?
MZB's books were the ones we turned to when we were shy 13-and 14-year-olds looking for strong female characters and situations we could imagine ourselves into. For some of us, the Free Amazons of Darkover were the first positive portrayals of feminists and queer women that we read in SF. So is that enough to make her the equivalent of Heinlein for the other half of the fen population? Catherine Lundoff, mod.; Terry A. Garey, Rebecca Marjesdatter, Joan Marie Verba

Noon-12:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Acoustic Concert by Keg Salad
Mark Rich, Martha Borchardt

1:00-1:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Heinlein in the Movies
Destination Moon, The Puppet Masters, Starship Troopers, as well as trivial matters?Project Moonbase, The Brain Eaters. Which do you like best? Least? Which are truer to Heinlein?s vision, and how much? Why so few, compared with e.g. Philip K. Dick? Scott Lohman, mod.; Ed Rom

1:00-1:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Generic Panel
Wide-ranging discussion of various topics. These are usually continuations of the topics explored at other panels. New topics will also be welcomed. Arthur C. Johnson, mod.; Phyllis Ann Karr, Ellen Kuhfeld

1:00-1:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Prose Reading: Andrea Hairston
Our Guest of Honor reads from her fiction and her theatrical work.

2:00-2:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Recital: Diva from Another Planet
Pan Morigan performs her repertoire of speculative songs and spoken word poems. With instruments from all over the world and a voice ranging over four delicious octaves, Pan?s story-songs take us on a wild ride through time and space and bring us home breathless and excited.

2:00-2:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: The Dark Side of the Fey
Traditionally capricious and dangerous, the fey are now often portrayed very differently. Why have we moved toward a purely cuddly and kindly fey? What authors draw on the more traditional characteristics and do it well? Why does this work? What purpose do tales of the dark fey serve? Why should we ?stay on the path?? S.N. Arly, mod.; Janice Bogstad, Phyllis Ann Karr, Philip Kaveny, Jody L. Wurl

2:00-2:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Presentation: Ordinary Creatures, Extraordinary Legends
Not everything has to be strange and exotic. We?ll be discussing interesting legends from Asia surrounding seemingly everyday creatures. Bryan Thao Worra, presenter

2:00-2:50 PM Vendor Room (Empire Room)
Meet the Artists
Artists who participate in the Art Show spend an hour talking/answering questions about their work. Christopher Jones, Melissa S. Kaercher, Terry A. Garey, Mark Rich

3:00-3:50 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Panel: Who Are Your Influences? It could be argued that we are all influenced by the things we are exposed to all our lives. For writers, this carries over into our work. Can you see the fingerprints of the artists and events that have influenced you? Where are they most prevalent? If you can?t see them, why
do you suppose that might be? Are you conscious of the things that influence your writing? S.N. Arly,
mod.; Christopher Jones, Martha A. Hood

3:00-3:50 PM Regent/Waldorf
Panel: Old School: YA Fantasy Before Harry Potter
The precursors to Hogwarts are many and varied, and deserving of a much wider audience than they generally get today. E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, Mary Norton, Margot Benary-Isbert, the list goes on. Let's talk about pre-H.P. kid's books that are worth a reread. Catherine Lundoff, mod.; Ruth Berman, Terry A. Garey, P.M.F. Johnson, Rebecca Marjesdatter

3:00-3:50 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Panel: Hispania: Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Continuing our annual examination of topics and creators in fanciful Hispanic culture. ?This year is the centennial of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican, surrealist, disabled, bisexual, Communist, artistic sensation. Her volatile life and visceral art pose compelling questions about femininity, cultural inheritance, and personal and artistic identity. We'll look at some of her paintings and discuss the impact of her early life, chronic pain and limited mobility, marriages (two?both to prominent muralist Diego Rivera), sexuality, cultural identity, surrealism and symbolism, and raw talent on her work. The Walker Art Center will premier an exhibit of Kahlo's paintings and photographs of the artist starting October 27, 2007. Paula L. Fleming, mod.; Pan Morigan

4:00 PM Vendor Room closes

4:00 PM Registration & SF Minnesota Tables close

4:00-4:25 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Discussion: When Cons Collide
Looks at Diversicons past, present, and yet to come. Rick Gellman, Eric M. Heideman, co-mods.

4:00-4:25 PM Krushenko?s (Concierge)
Poetry Reading: Angela Albee

4:30 PM Krushenko?s closes

4:30-5:00 PM Mainstage (Beacon/Duchess)
Closing Ceremonies
Rick Gellman, MC; Andrea Hairston, Christopher Jones, Melissa S. Kaercher, Eric M. Heideman; Octavia E. Butler, George Pal, Robert A. Heinlein, Frida Kahlo, in absentia
4:30-7:30 PM Hospitality Suite closed for Dinner Break

7:30 PM-1:30 AM Hospitality Suite (Presidential Suite, Room 1321)
There?s Still Life in the Old Dog Party
Krushenko?s merges with Hospitality for a mellow send-off. Probably including a film or two?.

Monday, July 30, 2007

a sad day for sweden

Ingmar Bergman died today on the island of Faro, off the coast of Sweden.

it seems appropriate to rerun this post from January 2006 about my favorite Bergman film and the Oak Street Cinema. (The first 14 replies are from 2006.)

this breaks my heart.

save the oak street

Oak Street Cinema is one of the reasons I moved to the Twin Cities, and one of the reasons I remain. When I look back over the six years I've been here, almost every highlight involves the Oak Street.

The big one:

In the Presence of a Clown

Made for Swedish TV in 1997 and shot on video, Ingmar Bergman's triumphant return to the screen (at age 80) is nevertheless characteristic in mood and theme--enough so, in fact, as to offer itself as a career summation. Set just before the advent of film sound in the mid-Twenties, it observes the art and angst of yet another Bergman surrogate (Borje Ahlstedt)--an aging inventor who claims to have conceived "the living talking picture," a medium in which actors stand behind the movie screen reciting dialogue in sync with the film's images. Assembling a troupe of loyal actors, the auteur/inventor shoots a speculative bio-pic about the last days of Franz Schubert. When the time comes to perform the soundtrack, though, the film technology fails and the thespians gamely act out the movie on stage for a minuscule audience, Death (Agneta Ekmanner) among them. Is this Bergman's way of saying that the cinema--his cinema--is at the end of its life? If so, Clown's pixilated video look serves its allegory far better than its mise en scene, but the result is essential nonetheless.

(Rob Nelson) City Pages

At the point when this came to the Oak Street, Bergman wasn't allowing screenings. The Oak Street contacted his assistant and through months of back and forth phone calls and emails finally got permission to screen it one time (I believe). Am I dreaming, or was there something about the movie being rowed from an island???? When it finally reached Dinkytown and the Oak Street, it was on a VHS tape that didn't play? I swear I'm not making this up, but I'm trying to remember!! So they had to rent another player at the last minute. Anyway, all of the obstacles lent an even greater magic to the event. And the movie itself seemed a culmination of Bergman's career. When it ended the theater was silent. People stood. Then came a huge eruption of noise.

When I go to the Oak Street there's a feeling of knowing the other people in the theater even though I don't. We are all there for the same reason. We love film.

I saw Elliot Gould there. Just walking around looking cool in his suit. They screened the Long Goodbye. Afterward he sat on the stage and chatted with everybody. And Bruce Campbell came to visit for Man with the Screaming Brain. James Ellroy screened a documentary there. One guy told me he drove four hours to see it. Unfortunately Ellroy was sick and didn't make it, but the documentary was amazing. This summer was the Twin Peaks Festival. Moviegoers baked cherry pies for the audience. I've stood in lines that went around the block. I've come out of the theater to see even longer lines. The line is part of the experience. It sets up the feeling of camaraderie and builds excitement as we wait for the doors to open.

Okay, here's the big thing. The Oak Street is in debt but 130,000.00 isn't that much. This place should be supported by endowments and grants and fundraisers. It shouldn't have to make enough money on ticket sales to stay open. That's impossible.
Dammit, Minneapolis. Don't let this happen!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

is this anything?

sometimes -- a lot of times -- it's hard for me to know if my writing sucks or doesn't suck. especially if i'm venturing into new territory. i didn't want to waste another day on my rural decay story if it sucked, so i decided to send the first 40 pages to my agent for some of his painfully honest feedback. this isn't the type of stuff he represents (YET!), but i completely trust his judgment as a reader for pretty much any kind of writing. so i was trying to decide how i would proceed if he called to tell me to put this project away. far, far away. instead, he called and said he really liked it. a lot. more than a lot. (paraphrasing here.) when i explained that it was really nonfiction, he felt it could be especially powerful if published that way.

so anyway, what a relief. i needed that honest feedback to give me the incentive and confidence to continue with the story. don't we all?

on the stereo:

innocence and despair, the langley schools music project


THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE -- 4 out of 5 stars

49 Up

THE DEAD GIRL -- 3 stars

and in honor of bush's colon:

The tunnel was dark and slimy underfoot. I wanted to pull out my Bic, but I could smell something rank, like sewer gas and a million farts. One click and this place could blow us both to Jesus. But maybe that’s what it would take. Maybe that’s what it would take to end the madness. No, that’s the drugs talkin’. Crazy talk. Crazy talk. So I move on. Just another night. Just another tedious, winding alley that will end in bad shit. It always ends in bad shit. And Poly? Well, Poly’s like a cancer. Might find her; might not. It’s the journey. Always the journey….

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

perfect cure for the summertime blues

Jason Evans is holding another one of his wonderful short fiction contests, so sharpen your brains and send your entry!

From Jason:

Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. Send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 1st (Eastern Time, United States). I'd prefer attachments formatted in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect, but if you have something more exotic, you can paste the text into the body of an email. Each entry will be posted and indexed.

To make things interesting, I'm offering the following prizes (not to mention bragging rights):

* 1st Place: $25 Amazon gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the "Halo" photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)
* 2nd Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
* 3rd Place: $15 Amazon gift certificate
* 4th Place: $10 Amazon gift certificate
* 5th Place: $5 Amazon gift certificate
* Readers' Choice Award $15 Amazon Gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the "Halo" photograph (inscribed by Jason Evans)

But this is about more than prizes. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow writers. Our different perspectives, styles, and skills become clear when we all start at the same place. It's a great opportunity to learn from each other.


1. 250 words maximum.
2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
3. One entry per person.
4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog.
6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of judging and helpful hints, see A Note on Judging.
7. Please provide a name for your byline. If you have a website or a blog, I'd be happy to link your name to your byline. If you don't have a website or blog, feel free to include a short bio. A bio does not count towards your word count.
8. At the close of the contest, I will give the date and time for the announcement of winners.
9. After the winners are announced, I will post what I liked most about each entry in the comments. Also, if you send a request to me by email, I would be happy to offer any constructive comments I might have. Constructive comments will be by private email only.
10. The Readers' Choice Award is awarded by vote of the contest participants. The entry with the highest number of votes wins. The rules for this portion of the contest will be posted after the entry period closes.
11. Public critiques in comments are encouraged, but must remain respectful. I reserve the right to delete comments and ban participants who do not abide by the collegial spirit of Clarity of Night contests.
12. For prior contests and their results, see the links on the sidebar.

visit Jason's blog for all the info and links to past contests!

The Clarity of Night


Monday, July 23, 2007

garden of darkness ARCs

GARDEN OF DARKNESS ARCs should be arriving this week.

18 is the count, so I'm going to have to be stingy with them. Sorry! I probably won't have any drawings this time around, but I'll know more later.

If you're a reviewer, bookseller, or librarian and would like a copy, please email me at:


I also thought about passing around a few copies. You read it and send it back or send it to the next person on the list. but on the other hand, I won't have another book out for a long time, so it might be best for people to wait and read the real thing rather than an uncorrected proof. that's kinda what i'm thinking.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

St. Martin's Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Daniel J. Hale, Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America
(MWA), and Andrew Martin, Vice President and Publisher of St. Martin's
Minotaur are pleased to announce the first annual St. Martin's
Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition.

This contest provides a previously unpublished writer an opportunity to
launch his or her career with a major mystery imprint, St. Martin's
Minotaur. The winner will receive a one-book, $10,000 contract.

Entries will be accepted immediately through December 15, 2007. The winner
will be recognized at the 2008 Edgar Awards banquet, and his or her novel
published in 2009.

The competition is open to any writer who has never been the author of a
published novel. Details, rules and specific guidelines on eligibility, as
well as entry forms, are available at the St. Martin's Minotaur website:


The winner will then be recognized at the Edgar Awards Banquet in New York
City in April 2008.

Monday, July 16, 2007

my passport story

I'm sure you've heard all the stink about passports and how people aren't getting them back in time for their trips abroad. i didn't really pay much attention to it because i have a passport. every time i heard another sad passport story, i would think: thank god i don't have to deal with that.


apparently passports expire after 10 years, and mine expired a year ago.

I might get the chance to go abroad next month, so I ordered a new passport. I'd heard it could take months to get it back, so i chose to expedite.

total to expedite: 127.00

photo from walgreens: 7.00

priority mail: 4.00? (can't remember the exact amount.)

without overnighting either way, I received my new passport in exactly 11 days.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Diversicon 15 -- the coolest conference on the planet?

This looks like a really cool, fun conference for writers and fans of sci-fi and fantasy, along with crossover fiction that overlaps additional genres such as mystery and suspense. I've had the totally amazing and humbling honor of being invited as Guest of Honor at next year's Diversicon, Diversicon 16, which will be held August, 2008 in the same location.

Bloomington, MN, is a first-ring suburb and just three minutes from the St. Paul/Minneapolis International Airport. The hotel is across the street from the Mall of America. We have a
light rail
that can easily haul your ass all over town, from the airport to the mall, to the hotel, to downtown Minneapolis. You don't have to buy dressy clothes. I've been told jeans and T-shirts are delightful evening wear.

Please go to the link to read more about location, events, panels, parties, food, screenings, guests, etc.


Here's some info on this year's event:

Diversicon 15 and ConSume Relaxacon Dates: August 3-5, 2007

Holiday Inn Select International Airport
- Mall of America
3 Appletree Square,
Bloomington, MN 55425
or 952-854-9000


Through The Ides of March 2007 (March 15):
Adult $25, Student (ages 5-17) $15

Through Bastille Day, 14th of July 2007:

Adult $30, Student $20, Supporting $5, Converting $25

At the Door
Adult $40, Student $30

Other Options:

Supporting: $5/Converting: $25

For further info write to:
PO Box 8036, Lake Street Station Minneapolis, MN 55408

Or call:
Eric M. Heideman, 612-721-5959

Or you can reach us via our new Gmail email address.

Diversicon: A Brief History

SF Minnesota was founded in February 1992 by a group of veterans of other speculative fiction conventions—and some newcomers—who believed that there was room for a Twin Cities convention with a different tone and focus. Over the next 16 months, they hammered out a philosophy of Diversicon: it would be a convention that would celebrate and explore the connections between speculative fiction (SF) and diversity, particularly in three main areas: 1) Cultural diversity. Slightly more than two thirds of Diversicon's guest professionals have been women. A number of guests have been persons of color. A number of guests have been openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual and/or have written SF that explores issues of alternate sexuality. "Readers and writers of speculative fiction often pat themselves on the back about their openness to the possibilities of alien life forms and radically different ways of thinking," said Eric M. Heideman, one of SF Minnesota's founders. "Sometimes, notwithstanding this commitment to imagined cultures, the field loses track of the diversity of culture that exists right now on this planet. In our small way, Diversicon works to broaden the field’s possibilities." 2) Diversity of fan groups. Diversicon would be openly welcoming, friendly, and respectful to the wide range of SF-related organizations in the area, ranging from book clubs to writing groups, Star Trek and anime clubs, creative anachronists and futurist organizations, and anyone else who shared an interest in diversity and the imagination. 3) Diversity in media. Recognizing that different people come to SF through different paths, Diversicon would be inclusive of all media. In addition to a strong core of literary programming—including items for both writers and readers—the convention also includes a rich sampling of panels and discussions related to SF in film, TV, graphic arts, and other media as well as speculative science. Diversicon 1 premiered in June 1993 and subsequently settled on August as its regular month. A milestone for the convention was hosting the James Tiptree Jr. Award in 2000. Eric Heideman said, "We take pride in being a convention that’s willing to lead, not just follow. For example, we were the first SF convention to invite Tananarive Due and Minister Faust, among others, as guests. Having the courage to often invite little-known but exciting guests is a challenge, when we could get higher numbers by celebrating the already-celebrated." Heideman recalled some of his favorite moments at Diversicon as "many mental snapshots of times when I realized what a wonderful, civilized group of people we had in attendance and what a worthwhile thing we were doing together." Acknowledging the issues that face a convention like Diveriscon, Heideman said, "An ongoing challenge is retaining our front-and-center commitment to diversity, resisting the pull to make the convention more generic. We need to continue to work at being a first-rate convention whose subject is diversity in SF." Diversicon also strives to reach out to and welcome those who enjoy reading, writing, or viewing SF but who haven't yet found a community of like-minded people. "We need to do a consistent job of getting the word out to people who would be interested in this sort of convention," said Heideman. "We have done an effective job of getting out the message that we’re a woman- and gay-friendly convention. We need to do a better job of drawing persons of color to Diversicon, including persons with little or no prior experience of SF fandom."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

updated GARDEN OF DARKNESS cover

It's kind of strange how this updated cover came about. People can post their list of favorites on Amazon. I came across J.A. Konrath's list and Pale Immortal was on it, along with a really nice quote. I sent the quote to my editor, and she immediately asked if we could use it on the cover of GOD. I contacted Joe, and that was that.