dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2009)
October is waning. Many years I have gone to WindyCon in November, but since this cold thing has run its course over most of two weeks, I feel like I am behind too much. Too many evenings and weekends where I haven't gotten stuff, including writing, done. I had contemplated doing a day trip to Chicago -- or even an overnight, though I wouldn't be able to get my shoes on and off -- but I think I'll just have to pass on WindyCon this year. (sigh)

But... we're in the active planning phase for the 42nd iteration of ConFusion, the wonderful January con in Michigan.
The answer is 42. That's right, ConFusion is celebrating its 42nd year of science fiction and fantasy fandom. Join us at our new hotel January 21-24th, 2016. We have some amazing people joining us this year. Don't miss it while we discover the meaning of life, the universe, and ConFusion!
Pre-registration runs through 15 December 2015 -- adult rate is "$42". Then it'll cost you more.

This is the fourth hotel ConFusion has been in since I started going around 2003. The Doubletree in Dearborn the last couple of years was okay, but I really miss the Marriott in Troy MI.
We’re at a new hotel this year, the Novi Sheraton in Novi, Michigan.
The hotel is now booking reservations for the weekend.
$109/Night -- 2 night minimum, must book before Jan 1st, 2016
There was a notice on Facebook the other day that rooms in the ConFusion block were filling up fast, so Monday I jumped on it. You can make room reservations here. Not only did the Sheraton have a choice of accessible rooms in king or two double beds, but this is the FIRST con hotel I've dealt with where there's a pull-down menu for checkout time... including LATE checkout! Normal checkout is Noon, but I signed us up for a 2pm checkout. I typically try to do panels through about Noon or 1pm on Sunday, and it's nice not to have to be all packed and loaded before you even start the day, especially in the winter.

All this flurry of activity was partly driven by the Programming people, who are working on setting up panels and stuff NOW. If you are thinking of going to ConFusion and be on a panel, you need to get your badge name and hop onto the Programming tab and make sure the good people running ConFusion know what you're interested in.

Haven't heard back yet about Readings. The last several years there have been joint Readings, which often works out well. Last year I had a very early Sunday morning reading (DW) (LJ), which didn't get me a lot of feedback, as I read from Book 1 of my YA series. This time, I hope to be reading from the beginning of Book 2... We'll see. (grin)

For future reference, the floor plans for the Sheraton Novi and its meeting rooms:



Hope to see some of you there!

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2015)
I had high hopes of getting some feedback on the progress of my YA triology, by reading the first chapter-and-a-half at Back to the Confusion this weekend. Alas, I knew it was going to be an exceedingly tough sell when I was scheduled to share a 10am Sunday reading slot. The readings were in the small meeting rooms, like Warren, a bit off the track from most of other sessions. I've been here before, where my WindyCon 39 reading in 2012 was to an empty room (DW). This time, there was me, eventually the other author who left to try to find some audience for his part of the reading, one person who actually had missed the reading he thought this session was. So I had to go first. By this time it was already 10:10 and since this was a shared reading, I had to cut some parts on the fly. Steve Buchheit stopped by after I started, so it was no doubt somewhat confusing. Al Bogdan came in after I finished, so his string of attending nearly all of my readings continues to get tarnished. (grin)

So, alas, I didn't get much in the way of feedback. Again. (grin)

But... Saturday night I did briefly talk to a YA editor from Tor. We got as far as agreeing that the genre for The Lost Kingdom is best described as a "secret history fantasy". And I got her card.

Slowly we make progress in a brave new world of novel writing -- and then trying to get it published.

New Researches include: The seaport of King's Lynn in England. Aftenposten is Norway's largest newspaper. Ålborg, Denmark. Häagen-Dazs is not Danish -- there is no umlaut in the language -- but was made up to sound Danish in Brooklyn. The rescue of the Danish Jews in WW II. The myth of the Danes and the yellow stars. Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Muhammedkrisen and the Jyllands-Posten cartoons controversy. In humans, dwarfism is sometimes defined as an adult height of less than 4 feet 10 inches (58 in; 147 cm). The plural "dwarves" was conceived of by author J.R.R. Tolkien. Sønderborg, Denmark. The Eurovision Song Contest. Polarsirkelen (Norwegian) vs polarcirklen (Danish). Bodø to Tromsø is about 550 km or 8½ hours driving on the E8.

The Shiny counters now stand at:

The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.07 (01-18-15 Su)


The Lost Kingdom Fourth-Fifth Novels Version 1.07


*** Note3: Decided to go ahead and insert/split a book between Books 3 and 4, so the extra file is technically now Books 4-5. We’ll see if I keep this configuration. The extra file version number was jumped from 1.03 to 1.07 to stay current with the main trilogy efforts. The percentage completion has been halved, due to adding in another 80,000 words goal to the total.

And no, I am not planning to wait to try to sell the novel(s) until after writing some 400,000 words. My goal is to have the first two books completed in the next couple of months and then move onward.

At any rate, I am still having fun.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
This is not the first time that I've pulled into an event and saw Jim C. Hines arriving, too. And when I went downstairs to pick up my registration packet, there was Jim again -- and with a new camera. So out came the Nikon D1H and the duel was on...


Okay, new camera, let's get this set up. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Ready, aim... (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Checking to see what he got. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Let's try this again. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Checking again. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Note, when pro photographers began using digital cameras, this back and forth looking at the screen became known as "prairie dogging" by the photographers still using film. (grin)

BTW -- someone there had their camera phone and has a picture of both of us shooting the duel -- if I find a copy of it somewhere, I'll post it, too. (grin)

Then there's Al Bogdan. He'd texted that he wasn't going to be going around shooting pictures at ConFusion this year. So naturally, when I ran into Al around 11pm at the Detcon1 celebration party in Erie, he was unzipping his camera case. To be fair, he'd been the photographer for Detcon1 in July, so it was naturally that he should be recording the party -- I'd asked him how many of the pics in the slide show they were running was his and he figured all of them. But he didn't want his picture with a camera, so...


Al sans Canon. This is the second picture -- I had Al move his head slightly so it blocked the wall lamp behind him, giving him the halo effect. Nice start to a beard. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Technical note: Once again I am using the 2.7MP Nikon D1H with the 24-120mm f3.5-5.6G VR AF-NIKKOR. Upped to ISO 1600, as usual, but this time decided to leave it in color mode, not B&W. I figure I could turn the shots into black and white if needed. But really, these shots were just resized in Microsoft Windows 7 Paint -- not even Ulead PhotoImpact or GIMP. So no color or contrast adjustments.

And I have to say that for a camera this old and DSLR generation 1.5, I am pretty impressed. I figured with all the noise that color shots would be crappy, but gee whiz, this early automatic white balance isn't bad -- I made NO in-camera adjustments, either. And that VR Vibration Reduction, some of these shots are handheld at 1/10th of a second -- and I can't hold a camera as steady as I used to when I was twenty and the king of available darkness Kodachrome slides... (grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
Final Updates!

This weekend.. Back to the ConFusion -- Friday 16 January to Sunday 18 January 2015. The Doubletree Hotel Detroit/Dearborn, 5801 Southfield Road, Detroit, MI 48228, is hosting for the third year.
Back to the ConFusion, the 41st ConFusion by name and 42nd annual January gathering (starting with the AA Realx-I-Con in 1974), is a go! 2015 looks to be an exciting year--it will be the year that Marty McFly really traveled to in Back to the Future II, whatever that Facebook meme says, so look out for those hoverboards, they must be right around the corner. (No, seriously, look out!) We're anticipating another excellent con, with the first-time appearance of author Karen Lord, researcher Dr. Cynthia Chestek, and gaming gurus Monte Cook & Shanna Germain. We'll also welcome back Heather Dale, now performing as our Music Guest of Honor. And then there's Aaron Thul, longtime fan and conrunner, returning after two years away as our Fan Guest of Honor. Please do join us, and we hope to see you there in January!
For some previews, ConFusion has a cool Tumblr.

Plus Detcon1 -- last summer's NASFiC in Detroit -- is holding a party Friday night. See below.

The full Program is now available as a PDF.

Six panels, moderating one -- and a reading! Now with panelists and rooms!

ConFusion Schedule for Dr. Phil Kaldon

Friday 6pm: Dearborn
Every Creature (Real and Fantastical) Poops
You may have read the book Everyone Poops, but it's 
so human-centric. What about mermaids, centaurs, 
and other fantastical creatures? Let's see if we can 
analogize from real species to arrive at a theory of 
fantastical pooping. (Caution: conversation may stray 
into food, sex and gestation.)
Rowena Cherry, Cindy Spencer Pape, Lucy Kennedy, 
Dr. Phil Kaldon

(Friday 7pm: Michigan - Big Top
Opening Ceremonies)

Friday 8pm: Warren
Ghosts of SyFy Past
Come reminisce about the actual science fiction SyFy
used to show, and talk about the network's plans to
get back to its science fiction roots.
Julie Winningham, Philip Kaldon, Aset, Steve Drew'

(Friday 9pm: Erie
Detcon1 Thank You Party)
Life seems so empty now that we're not running a NASFiC 
anymore. So we're going to throw one last party this weekend 
at MI Official ConFusion to say thank you to everyone who 
supported us. We'll have ribbons and shirts and some other 
surprises to give away, food and drink, plus a DJ Scalzi-inspired 
playlist and a slideshow of our favorite pictures from the con. 
Join us in the Erie Room Friday night!

Saturday 10am: Dearborn 
Building a Better Dragon
No two writers imagine the same dragon. How would
yours be different? Flying, fire, temperament,
teeth: what makes a good dragon?
Christian Klaver, Philip Kaldon, Cinda Williams Chima, 
Steve Buchheit

Saturday 11am: Southfield 
Time Travel Devices, Doors, and Deus Ex Machinas
How to travel through time (in literature and media)	
Philip Kaldon, Ferrett Steinmetz, Andrew Zimmerman Jones, 
Laura Resnick
 
Saturday 4pm: Dearborn 
Time Travel (im)Possibilities
Would 1.21 gigawatts get the job done, or would
the flux capacitor even work? Time for our panelists
and audience to debunk our favorite time travel
devices in literature and popular media.
Bill Higgins, Philip Kaldon, Ron Collins, 
Andrew Zimmerman Jones 

Sunday 10am: Warren 
Tomlinson/Kaldon reading
Patrick S. Tomlinson and Philip Kaldon read from their works.
This will be the first public reading from
the opening chapters of The Lost Kingdom YA project
I am working on.  I had planned to read this at
WindyCon, but alas the weather kept us away from
Chicago in mid-November.  Their loss is your gain.

Sunday 11am: Erie 
Science or Science Fiction?
Science fiction novels continue to impress with
amazing technological advances in so many areas.
What's more impressive, though? That some of them
are reality! Come talk about some of the things
you see on the news today that you first read
about years ago in a book.
Philip Kaldon, Jason Sanford, Andrew Zimmerman Jones, 
Patrick S. Tomlinson, Brent Seth 



Note: Room map is from 2013. (Click on map for larger.)

Anyway, these are all fun panels to be on and I am very excited about my reading.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
Now with Updated Almost-The- Final-Schedules and Room Maps!

Not this coming weekend, but the next. Back to the ConFusion -- Friday 16 January to Sunday 18 January 2015. The Doubletree Hotel Detroit/Dearborn?, 5801 Southfield Road, Detroit, MI 48228, is hosting for the third year.
Back to the ConFusion, the 41st ConFusion by name and 42nd annual January gathering (starting with the AA Realx-I-Con in 1974), is a go! 2015 looks to be an exciting year--it will be the year that Marty McFly really traveled to in Back to the Future II, whatever that Facebook meme says, so look out for those hoverboards, they must be right around the corner. (No, seriously, look out!) We're anticipating another excellent con, with the first-time appearance of author Karen Lord, researcher Dr. Cynthia Chestek, and gaming gurus Monte Cook & Shanna Germain. We'll also welcome back Heather Dale, now performing as our Music Guest of Honor. And then there's Aaron Thul, longtime fan and conrunner, returning after two years away as our Fan Guest of Honor. Please do join us, and we hope to see you there in January!
For some previews, I just discovered ConFusion has a cool Tumblr.

Six panels, moderating one -- and a reading! Now with panelists and rooms!

ConFusion Schedule for Dr. Phil Kaldon

Friday 6pm: Dearborn
Every Creature (Real and Fantastical) Poops
You may have read the book Everyone Poops, but it's 
so human-centric. What about mermaids, centaurs, 
and other fantastical creatures? Let's see if we can 
analogize from real species to arrive at a theory of 
fantastical pooping. (Caution: conversation may stray 
into food, sex and gestation.)
Rowena Cherry, Cindy Spencer Pape, Lucy Kennedy, 
Dr. Phil Kaldon

(Friday 7pm: Michigan - Big Top
Opening Ceremonies)

Friday 8pm: Warren
Ghosts of SyFy Past
Come reminisce about the actual science fiction SyFy
used to show, and talk about the network's plans to
get back to its science fiction roots.
Julie Winningham, Philip Kaldon, Aset, Steve Drew'

Saturday 10am: Dearborn 
Building a Better Dragon
No two writers imagine the same dragon. How would
yours be different? Flying, fire, temperament,
teeth: what makes a good dragon?
Christian Klaver, Philip Kaldon, Cinda Williams Chima, 
Steve Buchheit

Saturday 11am: Southfield 
Time Travel Devices, Doors, and Deus Ex Machinas
How to travel through time (in literature and media)	
Philip Kaldon, Ferrett Steinmetz, Andrew Zimmerman Jones, 
Laura Resnick
 
Saturday 4pm: Dearborn 
Time Travel (im)Possibilities
Would 1.21 gigawatts get the job done, or would
the flux capacitor even work? Time for our panelists
and audience to debunk our favorite time travel
devices in literature and popular media.
Bill Higgins, Philip Kaldon, Ron Collins, 
Andrew Zimmerman Jones 

Sunday 10am: Warren 
Tomlinson/Kaldon reading
Patrick S. Tomlinson and Philip Kaldon read from their works.
This will be the first public reading from
the opening chapters of The Lost Kingdom YA project
I am working on.  I had planned to read this at
WindyCon, but alas the weather kept us away from
Chicago in mid-November.  Their loss is your gain.

Sunday 11am: Erie 
Science or Science Fiction?
Science fiction novels continue to impress with
amazing technological advances in so many areas.
What's more impressive, though? That some of them
are reality! Come talk about some of the things
you see on the news today that you first read
about years ago in a book.
Philip Kaldon, Jason Sanford, Andrew Zimmerman Jones, 
Patrick S. Tomlinson, Brent Seth 



Note: Room map is from 2013. (Click on map for larger.)

Anyway, these are all fun panels to be on and I am very excited about my reading.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2009)
Not this coming weekend, but the next. Back to the ConFusion -- Friday 16 January to Sunday 18 January 2015. The Doubletree Hotel Detroit/Dearborn‎, 5801 Southfield Road, Detroit, MI 48228, is hosting for the third year.
Back to the ConFusion, the 41st ConFusion by name and 42nd annual January gathering (starting with the AA Realx-I-Con in 1974), is a go! 2015 looks to be an exciting year--it will be the year that Marty McFly really traveled to in Back to the Future II, whatever that Facebook meme says, so look out for those hoverboards, they must be right around the corner. (No, seriously, look out!) We're anticipating another excellent con, with the first-time appearance of author Karen Lord, researcher Dr. Cynthia Chestek, and gaming gurus Monte Cook & Shanna Germain. We'll also welcome back Heather Dale, now performing as our Music Guest of Honor. And then there's Aaron Thul, longtime fan and conrunner, returning after two years away as our Fan Guest of Honor. Please do join us, and we hope to see you there in January!
I had four panels and a reading, but they've given me two more panels, from Friday evening to Sunday noon. Including an important reveal -- see below...

Preliminary Schedule for Dr. Phil Kaldon


Friday 6pm: Every Creature (Real and Fantastical) Poops
You may have read the book Everyone Poops, but it's 
so human-centric. What about mermaids, centaurs, and 
other fantastical creatures? Let's see if we can 
analogize from real species to arrive at a theory 
of fantastical pooping. (Caution: conversation may 
stray into food, sex and gestation.)
Rowena Cherry, Cindy Spencer Pape, Lucy Kennedy, 
Dr. Phil Kaldon

(Friday 7pm: Opening Ceremonies)

Friday 8pm: Ghosts of SyFy Past
Come reminisce about the actual science fiction SyFy
used to show, and talk about the network's plans to
get back to its science fiction roots.
Update 12-19-2014: I asked and no, this 8pm panel
does NOT conflict with the Opening Ceremonies, which
are scheduled for 7pm. So you have no excuse not to
come to the so-called SyFy Channel fish fry... (grin)

Saturday 10am: Building a Better Dragon
No two writers imagine the same dragon. How would
yours be different? Flying, fire, temperament,
teeth: what makes a good dragon?

Saturday 11am: Time Travel Devices, Doors, 
and Deus Ex Machinas
How to travel through time (in literature and media)	
Ferrett Steinmetz, Andrew Zimmerman Jones, 
Laura Resnick, Dr. Phil Kaldon

(Saturday 3pm: Mass Autograph Session)

Saturday 4pm: Time Travel (im)Possibilities
Would 1.21 gigawatts get the job done, or would
the flux capacitor even work? Time for our panelists
and audience to debunk our favorite time travel
devices in literature and popular media.

Sunday 10am: Tomlinson/Kaldon reading
This will be the first public reading from
the opening chapters of The Lost Kingdom YA project
I am working on.  I had planned to read this at
WindyCon, but alas the weather kept us away from
Chicago in mid-November.  Their loss is your gain.

Sunday 11am: Science or Science Fiction?
Science fiction novels continue to impress with
amazing technological advances in so many areas.
What's more impressive, though? That some of them
are reality! Come talk about some of the things
you see on the news today that you first read
about years ago in a book.
No room assignments yet -- hopefully it won't be a LONG walk/roll from adjacent events. Anyway, these are all fun panels to be on and I am very excited about my reading.

I've said it before -- ConFusion is one of my favorite weekends of the year and I was gypped out of it last year. So if you can, please come on over!

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: Dr Phil Confusion 2013 (dr-phil-confusion-2013)
Friday 18 January 2013
8:00p
Michigan


After my 7pm panel upon arriving and checking into ConFusion, I did a quick run through Registration -- and then on to the Opening Ceremonies.


Con Chair Lucy Kennedy. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


And Programming Chair Dave Klecha, helping out with introductions, up until the introductees started taking over. (grin) (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Guest of Honor Mary Robinette Kowal and Science Guest of Honor Jennifer Ouellette. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Mary was invited as SF/F writer and professional puppeteer, and then there was no time for doing puppetry. Dave Klecha said he invited her just to have her tell the story of The Worst Puppet Show Ever, which she did. And required the rocket to her Hugo award as a prize -- that Hugo rocket got a lot of workouts at ConFusion!


Guest of Honor Charlie Stross -- with Hugo demonstrator Mary. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Subterranean Press Guests Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard whooping it up at the fun of being invited. And asking for and getting... (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


... their escorts. Security maybe? (multiple-grins) (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Then I went by Ops and got my name plate sign for my panels -- it turned out it was hidden inside another sign which was why it wasn't at Registration -- hit up the ConSuite for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then up to the room to work.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: Dr Phil Confusion 2013 (dr-phil-confusion-2013)
No Ferrett at ConFusion 2013

Some of you may know author Ferrett Steinmetz. I've run into him at cons for a couple of years and have been reading his blog and some of his stories for a while. Neat person, comments on all sorts of things. Last year I shared a reading with Ferrett (DW) which was a lot of fun.

And then about a week ago, Ferrett posted that he hadn't felt well and headed off to the ER. Heart attack -- triple bypass.

At my reading with Mary Turzillo this year, Mary brought a bag of various nail polishes. Ferrett had posted that people do "pretty princess nails" and send him pictures. No, I didn't do it -- I have a phobia about ink/paint/stains on me. But Steve Buchheit looked over the scarlet red polish, but finally decided to do a couple of nails in gold glitter, a coating of which Mary had done, too.

So naturally I took pictures -- in black & white. (grin)


Steve Buchheit showing off his efforts. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Mary's sparkly nails. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Elsewhere At ConFusion

Have a slice of pi, Ferrett. (irrational-grin)

I'm assuming that this was an art installation on the wood frame around the raised central lobby bar area -- lovely calligraphy of Pi and hand written... (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


... for 20 or 30 feet! (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Then there was Al Bogdan's photo shoot for Jim Hine's charity fundraiser, involving Jim, John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, Patrick Rothfuss and Charles Stross trying to recreate a real book cover with impossible poses:

Here's the photo.


And the mocked up cover. (Click on photo for larger.)


Of course the big reveal was scheduled for 3pm -- RIGHT DURING MY READING. So when Jim Hines came to the 4pm panel we were on, he came bearing one of the signed prints, which I had him model for me. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

So this page is for Ferrett. Enjoy the fun.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: Dr Phil Confusion 2013 (dr-phil-confusion-2013)
Al Bogdan

Al and I keep doing dueling photographs at various places. As we sat in the corridor outside the ConSuite -- I was heading back to the room and the corridor, ConSuite and bank of three elevators all form a sort of chokepoint in the Doubletree -- I squeezed off a couple of shots. Though Vibration Reduction has greatly increased the odds of me getting pictures in all these low-light, available-light situations, autofocus efficiency is low and besides, with slow lenses and dim light you can't always keep track of whether you've got a nice facial expression.

Al was griping about the latter. Something about it being too easy to turn such multiple shots into animation. So I assured him, that if that was the case, I'd create an animated GIF for him. And the rest of the world.


Al Animated -- just because I can...
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

But here's a little reunion of the 2004 Clarion gang -- me behind the camera, Al and Sarah Gibbons.

Sarah and Al sitting in corridor chokepoint outside the ConSuite. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Sarah Gibbons

Sarah was our "copy girl". A grad student who slaved over the Clarion copier at MSU and turning our 115 stories and 385,562 words of deathless SF/F prose into reams of copies for the 18 writers, staff, archives and all the instructors. A very thankless and necessary task.


I kept running into, and running by, Sarah Gibbons -- so I finally stopped to get a picture, so I could mention that I saw her here at ConFusion. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


After Sunday's "SF Radio" performance, Patrick Rothfuss signs one of Sarah's books. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: Dr Phil Confusion 2013 (dr-phil-confusion-2013)
Duel in Dearborn

Back in October I wrote about a NASFiC bid for Detroit in 2014 (DW). No way were the NASFiC in Detroit people NOT going to be at ConFusion. But the Kansas City in 2014 people were also there -- each group had an endpaper ad in the program and their tables were next to each other. The KC crew had hats. I'm very fond of hats, but could not in good conscious fund the enemy campaign. (grin)

****
UPDATE: 1-22-2013 Tue -- I am reminded that "The Kansas City bid is for the 2016 Worldcon / Detroit is bidding against Phoenix for the 2014 NASFIC". Dammit, and I knew that! I cheated myself out of a hat because I wasn't paying attention. (In my defense the KC table was at one of the chokepoints in the hotel layout and whenever I was passing the table I was trying to slip between hordes of people --- and I don't "slip between hordes of people" easily.) (grin)
****

Meanwhile, Al Bogdan was busy taking pictures of people holding up a NASFiC in Detroit license plate. I stole a few from the NASFiC in Detroit Facebook post:


Steve Buccheit, Jim Hines and Dave Klecha. (Click on photos for larger.)


Mary Robinette Kowal, John Scalzi and Patrick Rothfuss. (Click on photos for larger.)


Some Imperial intervention, Dr. Phil and the Dalek delegation. (Click on photos for larger.)

To vote FOR a NASFiC in Detroit, you will need to be a supporting or attending member of Lonestar 3, the 2014 WorldCon in San Antonio TX. Join us in making this a reality!

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (kate-winter-coat)
When We Lived In The U.P. We Called This Monday

As I write this at 5pm on Monday, MLK Day (Observed) and Inauguration Day (Observed), it's 9°F outside. News reports the roads as slick -- it's been snowing all night. But the lake effect here outside Allendale is nowhere close to the 6-14" predicted.

I won't mock the weather, though. Even if we had much tougher Januaries in New York, Chicago, the U.P. and here in previous years, the mild winters of late mean that the local drivers aren't used to the skating rinks. And they forget the basic Physics which suggests that road salt doesn't do much at 9°F. I'd thought of going to the P.O. Box today, but with being off at WMU for MLK Day, there was no reason to go out and test the roads in the middle of the day. So I caught up on sleep, and watched the TV coverage from D.C. And edited lots of photos from the weekend.


Backyard at 4pm. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


View out the garage -- you can still see Mrs. Dr. Phil's tire tracks from this morning, not fully filled in. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

On The Way To ConFusion

With an Alberta Clipper bearing down on the Great Lakes, I kept a "weather eye" on the weather, so to speak. But Friday dawned as a cold but partly sunny day -- actually warmed up to the upper 20s or so by the afternoon. By the time I got to ConFusion, the weather was still clear, but the wind picked up. Biting wind. While I hid in the hotel on Saturday, the winds roared through, gusting up to 60mph and Sunday morning there was a report of some 96,000 homes without power.


Looking west to go south to go east... at the edge of campus, on the way to Dearborn/Detroit by 3pm. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
The Long Day

Four of my five panels, plus my reading, were all today. Pretty much only did my sessions, plus meeting people. Very satisfying day -- I mean, somebody has to help provide the content for all the people here. Passing the Registration desk today, I asked and found that we're over 800 here at Immortal ConFusion 2013.

Still not impressed with the new hotel, but I'll save it all for a good rant afterwards.

Saturday 19 January 2013
11:00a
Dearborn
Doing It Wrong... On Purpose
Story trumps all; sometimes research takes a backseat, anachronism becomes expedience, and logic needs to curl up next to physics and cry. What have authors deliberately done wrong to further the story? Do they have favorite examples of such? How does one do something "wrong" right? (Dr. Phil Kaldon, Holly McDowell, James Davis Nicoll (M), Laurie Gailunas, Ron Collins)

Lively discussion on the things we have to do for story. So are you "allowed" one impossible thing in a story before you lose your readers? Two? (grin) (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


The room wasn't completely full, so technically it wasn't Standing Room Only, but there was some crowding over by the door. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

And... A Balloon T.A.R.D.I.S. and a Dalek? (Yesterday someone had put a folded paper crane on the Dalek's plunger arm -- hee-hee.)

The balloon artist was funded by ConFusion -- as was the grant to build the Dalek the other year and require the builders to bring the Dalek for a couple of years. The laptop by the T.A.R.D.I.S. shows the balloon artist building it in Fast Forward. A little annoyed that I must've been fooled by the leaning T.A.R.D.I.S., so the picture isn't quite level. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

More coming.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
I'm Here

So far, not totally impressed with the Doubletree Dearborn -- I miss the Troy Marriott. But... it's ConFusion, so here we go!

Friday 18 January 2013
7:00p
Dearborn
Planning The Perfect Murder
Television and movies have given us the impression that forensic scientists are modern day wizards. In the real world, things work a little differently. This panel discusses the ways that television gets it wrong, both in what police can and can't do. Then they work out how to get away with murder...all in the name of fiction, of course. (Diana Rowland (M), Dr. Phil Kaldon, Sam Sykes)

First Panel -- Made it just in time, though I didn't have my registration badge until afterwards. (grin) (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Dave Klecha ran Programming this year. Here he is just outside the Michigan room after the Opening Ceremonies, as people waited for the Dessert Reception over in Erie to open. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)


Ran into my Clarion/WOTF pal Al Bogdan in the ConSuite. The really SMALL ConSuite in Room 124. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

On the other hand, the ConSuite DID have cashews. And the traditional con peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some things you just can't tamper with. (grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
Immortal ConFusion
18-20 January 2013

Doubletree Hotel Detroit/Dearborn‎
5801 Southfield Road
Detroit, MI 48228

It's almost time to drive across the width of Michigan and whoop it up in a ConFusion sort of way. They've got the Programming Schedule up on the ConFusion website now. So here's my five panels and a reading:
Friday 18 January 2013
7:00p
Dearborn
Planning The Perfect Murder
Television and movies have given us the impression that forensic scientists are modern day wizards. In the real world, things work a little differently. This panel discusses the ways that television gets it wrong, both in what police can and can't do. Then they work out how to get away with murder...all in the name of fiction, of course. (Diana Rowland (M), Dr. Phil Kaldon, Sam Sykes)

Saturday 19 January 2013
11:00a
Dearborn
Doing It Wrong... On Purpose
Story trumps all; sometimes research takes a backseat, anachronism becomes expedience, and logic needs to curl up next to physics and cry. What have authors deliberately done wrong to further the story? Do they have favorite examples of such? How does one do something "wrong" right? (Dr. Phil Kaldon, Holly McDowell, James Davis Nicoll (M), Laurie Gailunas, Ron Collins)

2:00p
Ontario
Let's Remake Star Wars
Star Wars stands as one of the most influential science fiction franchises in the world, but the titular movie is now 35 years old. In an era when a movie half that age is ripe for a remake, why would Star Wars be immune? What would a post 9/11, technologically more advanced original trilogy look like? How would characters change, as an audience would know who were twins, who gets the girl, and who is the father? Does the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 make this more likely, or less? (Dick Smith, Dr. Phil Kaldon (M), Josh Parker, Michael Underwood, Saladin Ahmed)

3:00p
Model T
Reading: Dr. Phil Kaldon & Mary Turzillo
Join Dr. Phil Kaldon & Mary Turzillo as they read from forthcoming works. (Dr. Phil Kaldon, Mary Turzillo)

4:00p
Dearborn
Lady Voldemort
How would Harry Potter have changed if the ultimate dark lord had been a female? (Dr. Phil Kaldon, Jim C. Hines (M), Sarah Zettel, Steven Harper Piziks)

8:00p
Dearborn
Pop Culture In SF/F
Fantasy has its urchins, Sci-Fi the dilettantes...but what about everyone else? When crafting a world either fantastic or futuristic, what do we imagine that the common folk would do for fun? What news or events would they discuss? Would they know what village produced the most heroes, or debate the thrust/weight ratio of government warships? Would there be a general popular culture in an imagined past? Could we avoid one in an imagined future? Does the addition of these elements do more than aid verisimilitude? (Brian McClellan, Dr. Phil Kaldon (M), Holly McDowell, Lawrence Schoen, Sam Sykes)


(Click on map for larger.)

So if you're at this end of the globe, come join us for a weekend of SF/F fun. We're in a new hotel this year and the weather... well the weather is expected to be coldish and there may be some snow. But I'm not seeing the blizzard we got one ConFusion a few years ago. (grin) Anyway, Monday is a university holiday -- MLK Day -- so should I get snowed in...

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (seasons-best-kate)
It's January and You Know What That Means

So the New Year has rolled over and the new semester begins on Monday. But in just a couple of weeks, it'll be time for ConFusion -- Friday 18 January to Sunday 20 January 2013.

After being held at the Troy Marriott from 2004-2012, ConFusion gets a new home at the Doubletree Hotel Detroit/Dearborn‎, 5801 Southfield Road, Detroit, MI 48228.

Today I got an email with the:
Preliminary Schedule for Dr. Phil Kaldon

Friday     7:00:00 PM  Planning The Perfect Murder
Saturday  11:00:00 AM  Doing It Wrong… On Purpose
Saturday   2:00:00 PM  Let’s Remake Star Wars
Saturday   3:00:00 PM  Reading: Dr. Phil Kaldon & Mary Turzillo
Saturday   4:00:00 PM  Lady Voldemort
Saturday   8:00:00 PM  Pop Culture In SF/F


Don't have the room locations yet, and of course this is a new hotel for me, but barring any weather disasters, I will be there and if you're in the area, you should come, too. ConFusion is a great SF/F con and I've been delighted to attend and participate for about a decade.

As for the reading, given that the theme this year is Immortal ConFusion, I think I will be reading from a story that I've been working on for some time, "On The Report Of The Navy Auditors".

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (pleased-to-meet-you)
The Magic of Books

Michigan writer Jim C. Hines [personal profile] jimhines launched his first DAW hardcover book, Libriomancer, this week. Since first seeing him at ConFusion years ago, I've attended quite a number of Jim's book launch/tour/events (DW) across the width of Michigan. So making a run up to Schuler's Books on Alpine in Grand Rapids at 7pm tonight was pretty much a no-brainer. Especially when you have a book about a Yooper librarian!

The basic idea is of a class of wizards who are libriomancers -- people who can reach into a book and pull out an object from the book. Of course it can't be bigger than the book in width and some books are locked by the Guild -- no One Ring To Rule Them All -- but swords and other things are fair game. And it sounds like our hero not only loves books, but loves being able to do magic with books. Who wouldn't?

A Bite To Eat and Then On With The Show

I drove up from WMU in Kalamazoo to Schuler's in a steady rain -- the temps were running in the mid- to upper 60s! -- in plenty of time to buy some books and then hit the Chapbook Cafe to get "my usual":

English Roast Beef with Aged Cheddar and Fresh Horseradish Cream, and Caesar salad. Plus the inevitable Coke. (Click on photo for larger.)

Saw Jim arrive while I was eating, later gave him a hard time because he's been busy the last couple of days updating the Amazon sales figures and watching the book fly off the shelves. Needless to say, it hasn't been a productive writing week for him. (grin)


Waiting for the clock to strike seven. (Click on photo for larger.)


Oops -- false start. The rep from Schuler's had to come in and properly introduce Jim. And remind every one that Schuler's is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Yay, Schuler's! (Click on photo for larger.)


About my new book... You don't just listen to Jim, you get to watch, too. (Click on photo for larger.)


In the Q&A part, of course Jim's recent postings about the poses of women (and men) in urban fantasy covers. Here we are demonstrating the bare midriff reveal, including Jim's insulin pump. (grin) (Click on photo for larger.)


Some of the crowd of about two dozen at Schuler's. Say, isn't that SF/F writer Mary Robinette Kowal in my row? (Click on photo for larger.)


Dave Klecha (center), who will be handling Programming for ConFusion in January and indeed that is Mary Robinette Kowal, who was in the area doing audio recordings. Both Jim and Mary Robinette are up for Hugos at WorldCon in Chicago in a couple of weeks. (Click on photo for larger.)



And on to the task of signing books... (Click on photo for larger.)

Congratulations, Jim! Great launch week and now we have a copy to read.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (pleased-to-meet-you)
Invites

Penguicon is a great and novel con. It's SF/F and Linux. (grin) Excuse me, it's an "Open Source Software and Science Fiction Convention". This year it's 27-29 April 2012 in Dearborn MI. And therein lies the rub. WMU's Spring Semester grades are due on Tuesday 1 May 2012 at noon -- and I will have 240 papers to grade.

So I had to decline when The Ferrett, the Literary Track leader, invited me to join in the fun and do some panels. You may recall that The Ferrett and I shared a joint reading at ConFusion this year. Bummer. I've been to a Penguicon. In fact, I was around at ConFusion when the first Penguicon was being planned. Then it was too close to ConFusion in the calendar. Now, most years, it conflicts with Grading Week. The one year I got to go, I think it came right after grades were due.

But today I was really disappointed. And pleased at the same time. The Science Track people invited me to be a Nifty Guest at Penguicon. A Nifty Guest isn't a Guest of Honor, but gets a lot more benefits over just a panelist. They've seen the Dr. Phil road show doing my science talks and panels at ConFusion and wondered if I could do the same for them.

This was a nice invitation and now I'm very sorry that I can't cross the state and play with the nice crazies at Penguicon. Even if I wanted to try to risk everything and do it, the weekend before is the Spring Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers -- and that's a whopping eight miles away at GVSU this year. So I'd be really crazy to miss that.

Well, you can't have everything. Let's see when they schedule Penguicon for 2013...

Cheated

Remember that this weekend is short an hour, as the social engineering of time under the revised DST2007 rules takes effect.


Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (worldcon-70-2012)
I Knew This Day Was Coming

But when I got to ConFusion this year, as I entered the hotel from the parking elevator, two women looked at me and one said, "You look like George Martin." It's true. I've seen pictures of George R.R. Martin, best-selling author of Game of Thrones and more -- Time magazine named GRRM to their "2011 Time 100" list of the "most influential people in the world" -- and he looks very much like Dr. Phil, especially in hats.

I always figured that if I made it to a WorldCon, I'd probably have to wear a "I Am Not George RR Martin" hat or button. Well, getting confirmation of the resemblance seals the deal. After all, I intend to be at WorldCon 70 / ChiCon 7. And GRRM will be there, too. Maybe I'll order I AM NOT GEORGE RR MARTIN stickers for the name badges, so I won't be alone. (grin)

Separated at Birth?


Dr. Phil vs. George R.R. Martin

Born September 1948 1958
Graduate of Northwestern University
Writes Epic Fantasy Military SF
Large, Beard, Glasses
Wears Black, Hats, Suspenders
Taught Attended Clarion West
And attending WorldCon 70/Chicon 7

Even In The 80s



I hope George will see the humor in this. We really need to be on a panel together. (double-trouble-grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
Last Sunday -- 22 January 2012

I had my first Sunday panel at 10am -- and kindly did not try to shoot Doselle Young early on a Sunday morning. Sundays are always a tough gig. When I arrived in Salon G, I announced that panelists now outnumbered audience members. Eventually, the audience turned the tide. (grin) And after some probing around, we warmed up to the topic of adapting novels to the small screen -- and ran with that in other directions. (evil grin)


The obligatory picture of Jim C. Hines at an 11am panel on the Future of the Publishing Industry. I swear that some people are so eager to blow up the industry and point to every iteration of the Kindle/iPad/iPhone/Android App/etc., that these panels seem to be on every literary track. But the truth is, we still don't know where this is going. (Click on photo for larger.)


On the stage with our Science Guest of Honor Dr. Harley Thronson (NASA). (Click on photo for larger.)


The audience for my last panel... (Click on photo for larger.)


... on Science and Society. Naturally since no one was in Salon E after us, we ran over. (Click on photo for larger.)


Why is there a Christmas tree lurking in the back of Salon E on the 22nd of January? Wasn't it on the other side of the door the day before? ***

Funny story about the tree. At Saturday's 3pm panel on The Writing Process, someone asked about the Christmas tree. Or was it a Hanukkah bush since it seemed to have a blue-and-white theme. With a group of SF/F writers on the dais, thoughts immediately turned to the idea that it was an alien. That it thought it was in camouflage -- or else dressed as it thought an honored ambassador might dress. I suggested that it had researched us, but it had gotten the calendar wrong.

There's got to be some stories in there.


Another steel gray day driving home. As we pass the exit for MSU in East Lansing, there's fog ahead. (Click on photo for larger.)

But I got home safe and sound -- and Mrs. Dr. Phil had made spaghetti!

Dr. Phil

PS -- Oh, and the ConFusion 2012 webpages have been moved over here to the Stilyagi Air Corps (Ann Arbor) archives.

*** -- It was moved for the Saturday night dance. It didn't move by itself. At least... I don't think it did.
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-confusion-2012)
Thanks, Al!

Al Bogdan as previously mentioned (DW) took a nice picture of me after I took a picture of him. (grin) He also took the other photos featured in this post, since as you'll see, I was otherwise busy.


Hmmm, looks like the beard is even whiter than Al's picture from ConFusion 2009.

The Physics of Digital vs. Film Photography


My first ConFusion timeslot was my talk on digital photography, which went very well. Given the room setup, I ended up sitting next to the projector.


This is just after I took the second picture of my audience at the end of the talk. In the background you can see that I ended by pointing out that we need advanced digital cameras in order to post more cat pictures on the Internet. (grin)

Reading with Dr. Phil Kaldon and Ferrett Steinmetz


After Ferret read a story about a brain without a body, I switched my reading to a story about a body without a brain -- set in my usual 29th century military SF universe. This was "Andromache", my Silver Honorable Mention in the Q4 2011 WOTF contest (DW).


Tighter shot shows that I'm reading my story from a Sony eReader, which I've found very effective over the last couple of years. Yes, that is a Pepsi -- it's what the hotel had. (evil grin)

Dr. Phil

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