09 August 2009

I'll Remove the Cause

... but not the symptom, this weekend of Anticipation (2009's World Science Fiction Convention) in Montreal.

  • Fallout from the ghostwritten science articles I noted: A medical professor demonstrates — using social networking theory — that the review article requires further review for its scientific value. This would be bad enough if it was limited to science — more than bad enough — but it's not. "Yellowcake," anyone? Or how about corporations as "persons"... which is based entirely on a remark in the syllabus of a 140-year-old Supreme Court case (a nonofficial part of the opinion prepared by the Reporter of Decisions)?
  • You say tomato, and I say this is an interesting demonstration of the value of biological diversity... combined with the converse of the invasive species problem. It's perhaps a cautionary tale for interstellar colonists, too.
  • Congratulations to the Reno bid for the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention. Although it helps to win an election if you're the only candidate that followed the rules to get on the ballot, it wouldn't be the first time that the SMOFs had decided otherwise... so I guess I start thinking about Nevada in a couple of years.
  • Here are my simultaneously grouchy and sincere congratulations to all of the Hugo Award finalists. They're grouchy because, in the final analysis, Roberts was right, Scalzi and cohorts were wrong, and a popular vote doesn't select the "best" of anything — particularly for an Australian ballot, which is designed to produce the least objectionable result from among those possible. They're sincere because it's an accomplishment indeed making enough fen love your work enough to get onto the ballot. In any event, this year's winners include (my idiosyncratic choice of which categories to list; fuller list available shortly at the official site):

  • And then it's time to watch a really bad network science fiction show. The two hours last week of Defying Gravity were excruciating... but I'll give it one more chance, if only to watch all the cop-show alumni (and alumnae) struggle with the idea of a closed environment.