marthawells: (Zoe)
Getting ready to leave for ApolloCon today. The con had to change the schedule last minute, because the Fan Guest of Honor, Candace Pulleine, passed away.

Candace Pulleine was a long-time Houston fan (and long-time cat person), who first found fandom through Doctor Who. Active for many years as a Friends of Fandom/Houston Science Fiction Association board member, Candace was also a concom member for both MysteryCon and CONTEX. She was the founder of REVELcon, Houston's long-running media/fanzine convention.

Here's my schedule:

Friday 8PM Seattle I Of Blood Spatters and Fingerprints

No one wants to guess the end of the story after the first few pages.
A satisfying mystery gives you clues that are insightful but not
overly obvious. Logical, but still fantastical enough to thrill the
reader. Our panelists discuss how to walk the fine line between
believability and predictability. Sarath (M), Wells, Crider, Ramirez

Saturday 9am Writers Workshop

Saturday 2pm Reading: Martha Wells, Mel. White

Saturday 3pm Autograph Martha Wells, Bev Hale, Jamie Hardy, Cat Osborne

Sunday 11am There and Back Again: Middle Earth Revisited
It has been nine years since the denizens of Middle Earth graced the
big screen. Our panelists will discuss the legacy of the Lord of the
Rings trilogy and upcoming films based on 'The Hobbit'. Wells (M),
Jones, Pace


Steven Harper Piziks: Those in Need

My son Sasha is homeless.

That’s a difficult thing to say. I worry about him all the time, and it’s a rare that an hour goes by that I don’t hope he’s okay. There are reasons he isn’t living with me. They’re complicated and difficult and terrible. The situation is the least worst of all choices.

For the next year, I’m donating all the royalties I get from my ebooks at Book View Cafe and from Amazon to the Delonis Shelter. Every time you buy one, you’re making a donation.

I’ve made a cash donation as well. Can you join in? Even a few dollars helps. You can donate on-line with a credit or debit card at the shelter’s web site:
marthawells: (SGA Team)
It's rained in the afternoon over the past two days, just short tropical thunderstorms, but man is that a relief. This time last year it hadn't really rained since February and the fires were starting.

I'm finished with most of my web site makeover and reorganization, but I'm waiting to let it go live until I get back after this weekend. I don't want to discover hideous HTML errors while I'm out of town.

Jack the kitten is doing fine, except for waking up at 5:00 am and purring and trying to lick my face. And trying to eat everything in sight. You can really tell he was feral before the shelter got him.

Book recs:

I reread Moon Over Soho Ben Aaronovitch to get ready for Whispers Underground, the next book in the series which is coming out next month. This is a great series, about a young police constable who ends up apprenticed to London's last living wizard as part of a special Metropolitan police unit. The books are funny and fast-paced and good mysteries, with a really neat original take on magic and magical creatures. If you like the episodes of Masterpiece Mystery with "Inspector" in the title and you like fantasy, these books are perfect for you.

The Crow God's Girl by Patrice Sarath. This is the third book in the Gordath Wood series and it's out now on kindle.


I'll be at ApolloCon in Houston, TX this weekend. Last year, I was goh and got to go on the special VIP NASA tour with my husband and Ann VanderMeer, which is the most fun I've ever had at a con.

The posts I did about it were:

* Mission Control and Docking with the Space Station, and the Stardust Lab.
* Neutral Buoyancy Lab and the Antarctic Meteorite Collection Lab
* More Mission Control photos
* Building 9 and the Lunar Rover and the Shuttle Mock-up
* Building 9, and the Lunar Viewing Lab, and Rocket Park
And I did a post about it for SF Signal: NASA Up Close and Personal, for SF/F Writers and Editors


Oh, The Siren Depths has it's final cover!

under the cut )
marthawells: (Indeed)
Yesterday I spent catching up on everything, finishing off a couple of blog posts that I owe, worked on my Doctor Who essay a bit more, and got about 775 words toward my Clarion West Write-a-Thon goal. I didn't try to count any of the re-writing I did last week, since I took out almost as much as I wrote. I'll do another snippet post later today.

One of the highlights of the con for me was the little girl who won the masquerade. She came as the Book Fairy, decked out in book covers, and had the cover of The Cloud Roads around her neck:

photo - the Book Fairy )

Friday I had the Opening Ceremonies, plus:

Not So Happily Ever After - Alexis Glynn Latner (M), Derly Ramirez, Martha Wells, Rhonda Eudaly, Stina Leicht
We talked about the real endings of fairy tales and the variants, the one where Hansel and Gretal are actually captured by the Devil and he tries to bleed Hansel to death on a "sawhorse," the real story of Sleeping Beauty, etc. I tried to remember the one which has a second half that was taken out over time, that when the princess is saved by the prince and taken back to his kingdom, she has to defeat his evil (mother or stepmother or wife) and got through various trials to save him. And also what lessons they were trying to teach, how the changes effected that. I also recommended Thorns, the first short story I ever sold back in 1995, and is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the witch's perspective.


No WEMs Allowed: Multiculturalism Steampunk - Alexis Glatner, Kathy Thornton, Martha Wells, O.M. Grey (M), Mel White
We talked about setting SF or fantasy steampunk in other countries, other cultures, other times. I'm still a big advocate for Ancient Egyptian steampunk. I think it would be awesome. And we also got into steampunk set in India and Ancient China, and talked a bit about the exploration fleet that China sent out at one time, pointing out that steampunk is often about adventurous exploration, and that a steampunk fantasy or alt history starring Zheng He would be awesome.

I also did the Guest of Honor interview, an autographing, and a reading (I read from The Serpent Sea, so it was a pretty full day.


Researching Things That Don't Exist - Alexis Glynn Llatner (M), Martha Wells, Linda Donahue, Julia Mandala
We talked about research as a way to help you create fantasy settings and cultures, that knowing what the real thing is like makes the flights of fancy more real, and how research spurs your imagination. I recommended Atlas Obscura as a great place to get ideas and get your creative thinking going.

World in a Box, Just Add Water - Martha Wells (M), Kerry Tolan, Linda Donahue
This was a panel on worldbuilding, and we talked about where you start, how far you go (leaving spaces open for later development), not putting up boundaries to the reader's imagination. That again knowing how real things work helps you learn how to build fantastic things. About having a structure that is logical and internally consistent, even though that logic is not our Earth logic and does not use our physics, and bears no resemblance to the way things work in the real world.

And that was it!
marthawells: (Default)
Okay, this should be my last photo post. Here's a guide to all the others:

Mission Control and Docking with the Space Station, and the Stardust Lab.

Neutral Buoyancy Lab and the Antarctic Meteorite Collection Lab

More Mission Control photos

Building 9 and the Lunar Rover and the Shuttle Mock-up

This is the rest of Building 9, and the Lunar Viewing Lab, and Rocket Park:

This is the view from the commander's seat of the shuttle mock-up.

more photos )
marthawells: (Default)
ETA: Photos are back! Urge to kill Live Journal fading!

If the photos every reappear, here's a guide to my NASA VIP Tour photo posts so far:

Mission Control and Docking with the Space Station, and the Stardust Lab.

Neutral Buoyancy Lab and the Antarctic Meteorite Collection Lab

More Mission Control photos

Building 9 and the Lunar Rover and the Shuttle Mock-up

More Building 9, Lunar Rock Lab, and Rocket Park.

These two Facebook galleries should be public, so some of the photos are available here and here.
marthawells: (Default)
Continued from this post.

These are photos of our adventures in Building 9, with the lunar rover, the shuttle and space station mock-ups, our adventures climbing around in the shuttle mock-up without falling or hitting our heads, and much more.

Star Trek fans, look carefully at the poster:

more photos )

That's all for now. At the con yesterday, we got to meet astronaut Stanley G. Love and see a presentation about his shuttle mission to the space station, and two space walks.

It's been a really excellent con.
marthawells: (Default)
Continued from this post

A few more Mission Control photos:

From the Apollo Mission Control:

This is the Red Phone.

more )

From the new Mission Control:

Another view of the new mission control, while the ship was docking with the space station.

more )

More later. An astronaut is going to do a presentation at the con, with video of his shuttle mission. Then I'm doing my programming pretty much for the rest of the day.

Friday I had the Opening Ceremonies, plus:

8:00 PM Not So Happily Ever After - Alexis Glynn Latner (M), Derly Ramirez, Martha Wells, Rhonda Eudaly, Stina Leicht
On the real endings of fairy tales, origins, implications, etc.

Today it will be:

12:00 noon No WEMs Allowed: Multiculturalism Steampunk - Alexis Glatner, Kathy Thornton, Martha Wells, O.M. Grey (M), Mel White

1:00 Autographing

3:00 Guest of Honor interview

4:00 guest of honor reading

Continued in this post.
marthawells: (Default)
Continued from this post

We also toured the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, which has a giant (very giant) water tank, filled with mock-ups of the shuttle and the space station modules, where the astronauts train for space walks. And the Antarctic Meteorite Collection lab.

more photos )

I still have a lot of photos to go, and a lot more to talk about, but I need to get dressed and eat breakfast and go to the convention. Today I have my guest of honor interview and reading and a signing, and a panel. Plus, this is the one year anniversary of Night Shade Books making an offer for The Cloud Roads. So yay!

Continued in this post.
marthawells: (Monuments)
As guest of honor at ApolloCon, I got to go on an all day VIP tour of NASA with my husband and editor goh Ann VandeMeer. It was incredible. We saw stardust in a lab. We saw an unmanned Russian supply ship dock with the international space station from Mission Control. We saw meteors recovered from Antarctica that came from asteroids, the moon, and Mars. We saw lunar rocks. We climbed in and out of the space shuttle simulator and I got to sit in the commander's seat. We saw them putting a module down in the giant (and I mean giant) water tank in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. I really can't describe how awesome all this was.

For Stargate fans, this is where they keep an eye on Atlantis.

And Thor

That's Kwatsi Alibaruho, the first black flight controller. We did actually see him from the front when he walked in, but weren't fast enough to get a picture.

More photos under the cut: more photos )

I'll post more from the other labs and the shuttle simulator later.

ETA: Continued in this post


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