My CapClave Schedule!

CapClave DodoVery excited to be attending Capclave again this year. This my neighborhood convention so I cannot miss it. In addition, as posted previously, my story was nominated for the WSFA Small Press Award for Best Short Story.

I’m also really looking forward to attending a couple of the panels on the schedule. The content alone promises to amazing. And I’m already researching and taking notes for my panels to make sure we give you the best panel possible.

Friday 6:00 pm: Ask Authors Anything (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
Panelists:Day Al-Mohamed, Mike McPhail, James Morrow, Lawrence Watt-Evans (M)
Authors answer questions from the audience. Anything goes.
Saturday 10:00 am: Democracy… IN SPACE! (Ends at: 10:55 am) Salon B/C
Panelists:Day Al-Mohamed, Larry Hodges, Alastair Reynolds, Benjamin Rosenbaum (M)
With all these space empires around, why are there so few space democracies? What authors see a future for democracy? Why are there so few democracies in fantasy novels not set in the real world?
Saturday 4:00 pm: Non-Western Influences In Fantasy (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Salon B/C
Panelists:Day Al-Mohamed, Ann Chatham, Alex Shvartsman, Michael Swanwick (M)
Traditionally, most fantasy has been based on Western folklore, usually with a medieval-inspired setting. However, alternative settings and concepts are becoming more common with writers mining Asian, African, Native American, and Middle Eastern sources. What writers do this most effectively? How do you decide what traditions/concepts to adopt and how do research/use them? Is it cultural appropriation when writers incorporate themes from other traditions, and how do you so appropriately?
Sunday 1:00 pm: Separating The Author From The Work (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Rockville/ Potomac
Panelists:Day Al-Mohamed (M), Bill Campbell, Shahid Mahmud
Should works of fiction be judged independently of their authors? If an author has good books but bad politics should they be shunned? What if the author has a character say bad things in a book (and what if that character is the hero?)

USCG Reflections and the 9/11 Boatlift Story

11 September 2001- Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial U.S. aircraft, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

US Coast Guard units, including Reservists and Auxiliarists, were among the first military units to respond in order to provide communications, security, evacuation by water and render assistance to those in need. Coast Guardsmen assisted in the search and rescue efforts as well as the cleanup operations after the attacks. – From USCG Northeast

We remember the events that happened today with a promise to be Semper Paratus for our family, friends, neighbors and countrymen in their time of need.

WSFA Small Press Award Nomination

swordandlasercoverI am ridiculously excited! I just found out, via Facebook of all things, that my story, “The Lesser Evil” is a finalist for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award for Short Fiction! Special thanks to Bill Lawhorn for letting me know!

The story was in Sword & Laser, edited by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, April 29, 2014. I have to admit, this is one of my favorites and I am so glad to see it nominated. Is this what it is like seeing your child off on the first day of school and they come back that afternoon with a bright Crayola picture? I couldn’t be more proud of it. So, of course, had to “pin this to the refrigerator.”

The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2014). All voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.

Other nominees (whose stories are amazing) include:

“All of Our Past Places” by Kat Howard, published in Unlikely Story #9: The Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

“Careful Magic” by Karen Healey published in Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press, August 2014.

“Cookie Cutter Superhero” by Tansy Rayner Roberts, published in Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press, August 2014.

“Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon, published in Apex Magazine, Issue 56, January 2014. – (Note from Day: I absolutely adore this one)

“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon” by Tom Crosshill, published in Clarkesworld Magazine, December 2014.

“N is for Nanomachine” by C.S. MacCath in A is for Apocalypse, edited by Rhonda Parrish, Niteblade, August 2014.

“Qasida” by Rosaleen Love in Secret Lives of Books, edited by Alisa Krasnostein , Twelfth Planet Press, June 2014.

“Vanilla” by Dirk Flinthart in Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press, August 2014.

The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association (www.wsfa.org) and will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (www.capclave.org), held this year on October 9-12th in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


National Center for Civil and Human Rights Lunch Counter Experience

I was fortunate to be invited to present at the Society for Disability Studies national conference this summer. It was an amazing event and I had a great time talking about my upcoming documentary on the Invalid Corps. You can hear a little of what I talked about here.

However, while we were there, we wanted to do a little sightseeing; among those sights was the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Considering that most of my career as in governmental affairs has more than touched upon issues of civil and human rights, it was a “must see.”  And I wasn’t disappointed.

It was creative and compelling. The biggest thing that struck me was how it was designed to be immersive. The amazing use of newspapers and photographs, but in particular, television news reports playing on vintage monitors, stacked in the center of rooms, projected on walls, the sights and sounds buffeting you, felt like time travel. Frighteningly so even.

Perhaps the most striking is the recreation of the 1960s Woolworths’ lunch counter as a simulation where you can experience what it was like to be a protester at one of the sit-ins. You put your hands on the counter…just like the protesters…then experience what it was like to sit there. Dishes being thrown, names being called, you hear threats, and you feel the chair kicked, over and over…

Headphones, with the sounds; sensors and mechanics in the chair, so it shakes and vibrates as if from blows. A powerful experience that lasts 1 minute and 35 seconds. From the timers, it seems most people didn’t last the full time. I can only imagine doing it for hours.

How long could you last?

Civil Right Counter - How Long Would You Last?