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Science Fiction Double Feature

Hello and welcome to the Science Fiction Double Feature review post that you’ve all been waiting for (ammendment: you probably didn’t know this was coming; I’m the one who’s been waiting to write it).  First on the list for tonight, the Steampunk Project of the Century.

In my science fiction class, everyone was required to do a group presentation.  So, with the magnanimous grouping of General Steph O’Connell, Captain Elizabeth Kendrex, and myself the Spymaster, we traveled through time in our airship the HMS Nostalgia to recruit members of English 342 to join our cause.  The problem — the government.  In our alternative world, the oppressive government is controlling everything, down to our chauffers.  The Steampunks are rebelling against them, and we need your help to fight the tyranny and injustice!

Highlights of our presentation:

  • Blasting “Airship Pirate” by Abney Park while the General kicked in the door.
  • Criticizing your plastic-coated electronic devices that would run so much more beautifully with steam power and clockwork.
  • Ousting a government spy among you and then eliminating him.
  • Recruiting two new soldiers in the fight against the government.

If you are interested in looking at our presentation, we used Prezi to make it, so you should be able to click here and find it (let me know if this link is bad).

The Spymaster, The General, The Captain

Our second feature tonight is Philcon.

Surprisingly, I lasted 21 years in this world without having ever been to a con before.  I don’t know how that happened (probably something to do with location), but I’m glad that the problem has been remedied.

The General and I headed down to Cherry Hill, NJ (aka the shifty Jersey part of Philly) on Friday, November 18th for the first day of Philcon.  We got to the Crowne Plaza Hotel with plenty of time to spare, so after a lunch at Friendly’s, we hang around in the hotel lobby.

When we finally get our badges, we start doing awesome stuff.  Favorite lecture of the night: The career of a short story writer.  We also went to a discussion on whether neuroscience would replace psychology, will the ebook completely replace printed books, and the (ill-fated) Time Traveler’s Ball.

So you know, a large part of why Steph and I went down on Friday night instead of waiting til Saturday to go with the rest of the group was for the Time Traveler’s Ball.  It was a massive disappointment thanks entirely to a DJ who wouldn’t stop playing crappy techno music.  We left the ball, got hit on by a sleazy pirate, and left.

On Saturday, we got stuck in traffic and didn’t make it back to the con until 11 am (the original aim had been 9:30).  We met up with our friends from Nyack and spent the day attending various and sundry lectures and seminars, including the fantastic panel discussion entitled “Pirate, Ninja, Alien, Big Damn Space Hero”.  Obviously, Big Damn Space Heroes won (two words: River Tam).

But one of the real highlights for me was Cory Doctorow’s reading and keynote session.  Doctorow read the prologue and half of the first chapter of a still forthcoming novel.  He read prose for an hour (which is hard to do) and kept me engaged in the story (engrossed, even).  I do not know how he did that.  Then during his keynote session, he lectured on copyright law and the possible changes to copyright laws that will make our lives a living hell.  He was brilliant.

And we got a picture with him!

Leann, Me, David, Steph, Stuart, Pinkham, and Cory Doctorow


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