Saturday, April 21, 2018

Norwescon Blog III—A Wrinkle in Time


On one panel, YA authors Tina Connolly and Fonda Lee surprised me by both expressing their admiration for A Wrinkle in Time. This was part of a theme of stories in which children and teens did not rebel against their parents—surprise! Parents or parent-substitutes are supportive in some stories. Sometimes a child has to rescue a parent. A Wrinkle in Time shows both.

 Moderator Lish McBride, with Tiny Connolly and Fonda Lee


When news of the movie came out, I decided to read A Wrinkle in Time. I couldn’t get through it. Yes, I realized it’s a children’s story. I read Peter Pan as an adult, and reread 101 Dalmatians as an adult. But A Wrinkle in Time didn’t work for me.

I didn’t see the movie, for the reasons the critics gave it a thumbs down for. But there’s this wonderful 90-second version. The movie cost one hundred millions dollars. I would be surprised if this version cost more than ten bucks.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Norwescon Blog II—Supplemental


I was determined to see Carrie Vaughn. I had spoken to her at the 2011 Worldcon in Reno, Nevada. My novel manuscript Dust after Slaying features a unique main character for an urban fantasy—a married woman.

Just about all urban fantasies with a female protagonist highlight her as very single, at least at the start of a series. That way she can fall in love with a good guy, or more commonly some bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Sometimes the good guy is the bad boy. And there was at least one urban fantasy where the female protagonist had three different guys of three very different ages interested in her.

So I had asked Carrie Vaughn if she knew of any urban fantasies where the woman starts out married. She did not, and she said her own character of Kitty only got married in the fifth book of the series. But she encouraged me in my efforts, saying I should write something different in the field.

She did a reading at this year’s Norwescon, and I managed to thank her at the end for her encouragement. She looked gratified—I didn’t realize how much an established writer would enjoy seeing her effect on an aspiring one.

I was going to ask her for an autograph on her young adult novel Martians Abroad, but there really wasn’t time.



The cover art is especially good. Polly was raised on Mars, which has one-third the gravity of Earth. Notice how elongated her torso and limbs are.

But obviously, I have to use this entry to post an excerpt from Dust after Slaying. Dee is talking on the phone to her best friend, Hope. Dee’s younger brother is Jeremy. As a married urban fantasy character, she has to deal with a real difficulty: babysitting. 
____________________________________________

“Okay, we strike back twice as hard. We strike at Issaquah this afternoon. If you’re too distraught to make it, let me know.”
“I’ll be there.” Hope’s voice was convincing. “Childcare?”
“I can’t raise my parents on the phone for some reason. Since Jeremy’s already there with you, and if we can use your SUV for any unforeseen rough travel, you can bring him over with your kids to babysit both yours and mine, then we take off in the SUV.”
“Someday, we’re going to get confused and have your mother babysit my kids at Doctor Teutonicus’ office. Implements?”
That was their term for weapons. Dee glanced around. For this conversation, she knew it paid to make sure neither child popped up beside her like mushrooms after a rain. Nathan was taking a nap, after some scrubbing had finally managed to get the gooey smell of butterscotch off his fingers. Miriam was busy drawing a salmon based on her own observations, to compare with the same from the Lewis and Clark expedition. “Bring sharpened garden stakes. Road flares. Garbage bags, in case we have to be neat.”
“Okay. Abel and Seth, garden supplies, car safety implements, and garbage bags to be tidy. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah. Jeremy. Did you want to say something to your sister?”
His voice came on, resigned. “Wherever you go, there you are.”
“Thank you, Thomas √† Kempis.”

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Norwescon Blog 1—Supplemental


This weekend I attended Norwescon, the largest science fiction/fantasy convention in the Pacific Northwest. I’ll have a couple of things to say about authors, but first let’s have some pictures:


The background is somewhat complicated, but I hope you can see the bow in her right hand and the quiver behind her right shoulder. It was the authenticity of the arrows that caught my eye. I didn’t think at the time to ask if she was a female Green Arrow, so I don’t know.


Here are some volunteers waiting to learn the art of Norse fighting. The woman at the left came in her own chain mail, which impressed the instructor.



Harley Quinn. That’s a very large hammer.



At a glance, you can tell she’s from the mirror universe of Star Trek. (My apologies to her dark-haired friend. Her picture didn’t come out.)



This young guy has a mechanical right hand that is highly articulated—think of certain scenes from the Terminator movies. he could actually close the fingers.



Power Girl wowed everyone with her barbells. But is there something familiar about her?



Yes, I’m sure I’ve seen her before.

This is kind embarrassing. There’s this one person, Torrey Stenmark, who teaches organic chemistry and who was Ms. Marvel a couple years ago.

There’s this other person, Tereshkova, who has dressed up as Padm√© Amidala and as Star Trek characters.


They’re the SAME PERSON! I’ve been so fooled by wigs.

[Permission granted to use any photo on this post, so long as it is labeled “Photo by Mark Murata”]

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