Monday, August 18, 2008

A visit to NORAD

On the Thursday of the Denvention con, I went on a day trip to the old NORAD command facility in Cheyenne Mountain with about 20 other SF writers. In the official photo above we are standing in front of the iconic entry tunnel. The trip was the inspiration of author Jeff Carlson, who was interested in the site as a setting for scenes in an upcoming novel.

Jeff has the names of those in the photo here as well as a link to a larger version. And here's a story about the visit by Annalee Newitz in the SF ezine Io9. Another visitor, author John Joseph Adams, has another story about the trip for SCI Lucky me no havta write anything.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

MOS cover art

I attended the Tor Rollout Panel at Devention last week and got my first glance at the cover art for my second novel, Mind Over Ship. I am very pleased, and I think it's my best cover yet. It's from noted British illustrator Paul Youll, and it depicts the space station, Trailing Earth, and an Oship under construction. It gives an impression of the vast scale of the space yards. It's a beaut!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Launch Pad

This week I'm attending Launch Pad, an amazing workshop for science fiction writers and others involved in bringing astronomy to the public. It's the brainchild of astronomer and SF writer Mike Brotherton and is funded by NASA. Through lectures and labs, we are getting a refresher course in Astronomy (or in my case, my first formal class).

I won't go into greater detail because at least one of the attendees, Mary Robinette Kowal, is doing a great job blogging the experience. In her photo above, the discerning reader can see my shoulders and balding head behind author Nancy Kress and next to David Levine. Jerry Oltien, who is an author and one of our instructors is in the green Hawaiian-print shirt. We are busy exploring Kirchhoff's second law (A low-density gas excited to emit light will do so at specific wavelengths and thus produce an emission spectrum) and comparing our laboratory observations with a spectrometry chart.

Tonight we go to the Wyoming Infrared Observatory to check out the big telescope there.

Next week I continue on to Denver (along with most of the workshop attendees) for Worldcon.