CMU’s “Life in Space” Team at Parsec Meeting April 8th

CMU’s “Life in Space” student team led by Diane Turnshek made the final round! Their design to make life better for astronauts is now in competition with designs from teams at the University of Texas and OSU. The three teams already won laptops. Can you help the CMU team win a trip to Cape Canaveral? Vote once a day until Monday, April 3.
http://www.cmu.edu/piper/briefs/2017/march/march-30/news-briefs.html#astronaut

The team will also be speaking about their design at 2 pm on Saturday, April 8 at the Squirrel Hill Branch of the Carnegie Library (corner of Murray and Forbes) hosted by Parsec, Pittsburgh’s premier science fiction and fantasy literary organization. Free and open to the public.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEsKZhMeWJo

Nebula Awards Conference in Pittsburgh

51st Annual Nebula Awards Conference

May 18, 2017 (Thursday) through May 21, 2017 (Sunday)
Marriott City Center, Pittsburgh

 

SFWA members and other individuals who are interested in science fiction and fantasy are welcome to attend SFWA’s Nebula Conference. People who purchase memberships for the Nebula Conference may participate in workshops, programming and special events throughout the weekend. You do not need to be a member of SFWA to buy a membership for the Nebula Conference; all are welcome. You can buy Nebula Conference memberships and Nebula Award Banquet tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-sfwa-nebula-conference-tickets-27153384504

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Costuming at Confluence

Confluence (July 29-31 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel)

Costuming

We haven’t had a formal masquerade in a good while, but this year we plan to give out ribbons and prizes for hall costumes, including a signed copy of Mary Soon Lee’s CROWNED to the “most heroic costume” and special guest Lawrence M. Schoen will use YOUR NAME as a character name in his next novel for a “really, really” good costume based on the sentient animal characters of BARSK.

Confluence Program

Program Update for Confluence (July 29-31 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel)

Program

Principal theme this year: heroic fantasy (our Guest of Honor is fantasy author Saladin Ahmed). But we will also have lots of SF, science, horror, and writing panels, and special guest Lawrence M. Schoen will be talking about both the Klingon language and the sentient elements of his Nebula nominated novel, BARSK. We have an outstanding filk track, and this year many of our filk guests will also be appearing on panels and in workshops.

If you’d like to take part in the Confluence Writing Workshop (July 30, Saturday morning), send a short story or part of a larger word (up to 3,000 words) to conprogram@parsec-sff.org BY JULY 15 and then come to Confluence to go over it and improve it with the help of a brace of professional writers and editors.

Saturday will also be David Hartwell Tie Day: wear your gaudiest tie in honor of a friend, dealer, panelist and editor who was a Confluence regular until his recent untimely death.

On Saturday evening, Steel City Improv Theater will present USS IMPROVISE at 8 PM – it looks like it will be a lot of fun.

And of course, panels, workshops, readings, art show, dealer’s room, autographing sessions, kaffeeklatsches and literary beers, plus a couple of book launches and the camaraderie of our con suite.

 

Confluence News

Pittsburgh’s annual literary science fiction / fantasy / horror convention, Confluence, is coming up on July 29-31 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel, 1160 Thorn Run Road. Coraopolis, PA 15108.

Registration

Online registration is available through July 22. Mail-in deadline is July 11. If you pre-register, you will save $10 on a full-weekend adult membership. There is also a $5 discount for paid-up members of PARSEC.

Alpha Book Signing July 27

The Alpha book signing will be on Wednesday, July 27 from 7 to 9 pm. Authors involved: David Barr Kirtley, Karina Sumner-Smith, Tamora Pierce, Seth Dickinson and Amal El-Mohtar.

Location: The Greensburg Barnes & Noble is at 5155 Route 30, Greensburg, PA 15601 (724-832-0622).

Mary Soon Lee’s poems

Mary Soon Lee has four more poems online:
 
Inheritance,” a poem about King Xau and the dragon, in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.
 “Roasted Chicken,” a poem about cooking with Lucy, in Songs of Eretz.
 “Giants,” a poem about my parents, first published in the Atlanta Review, now reprinted in Songs of Eretz
 “Micha,” a short King Xau poem, also in Songs of Eretz:
 
She also has a poem in Dreams & Nightmares #102, another King-Xau-and-the-dragon poem, titled (imaginatively) “Dragon.” The poem is not available online, but a pdf of the whole issue can be ordered for $1. Ordering information is at: Ordering Dreams & Nightmares

I cut the cable, but I didn’t cut the intertubes, oh no-o

by Joe Coluccio – President, Parsec
Apologies to Bob Marley.
Joe Hollodck
Cable TV is a seductive mate. We pay the exorbitant price not only in hard earned bucks but in some loss of self and a dose of atrophying physical and mental ability.

Newton Minow, then director of the FCC, in a speech in May of 1961 called television a “vast wasteland.” They named the S.S. Minnow of Gilligan’s Island after him. Telling it like it is, is never popular. Continue reading

Man, I Am Harshing My Own Mellow

by Joe Coluccio, President, Parsec

Writing is a chore. Writing is a joy.
Reading is a joy. Reading is a chore.

It is 2016 yet; I have been living my life of the 21st Century smack dab in the middle of the 20th. I have been leading my life in the sphere of my parents. I am aware of the world buzzing around me. I am aware of the growing non-cognitive consumer commercial crassness enveloping the globe, the poor in the thrall of the wealthy. I also know it was always thus. Been, to offer the other side of my titular cliche, down so long, looks like up to me. Continue reading