lobolance: (Default)
This weekend I got to attend a few Frameline films. Friday night's treat was *The Polymath*, a film about Samuel R. Delany.
Delany has long, long been one of my favorite writers, science fiction and autobiography and an essay or six (I am still uneasy after reading an essay about the lack of science behind so many AIDS proclamations and procedures). He's inspired me, given me hope, and left me utterly in the dark. There are works I need to reread, having acquired enough experience in the world now that I hope I would 'get' them better. But lest ye wonder why, then: back when I was in my late teens I discovered his early/mid works, and in them was treasure. What I would call now a 'queer sensability' filled them (though that phrase wasn't aroudn yet). I found characters without gender, characters with body modifications (though I didn't know that phrase either! at least it existed) of the highest tech sort, gay sex... all food for an alone queer person.
Just a couple weeks ago I acquired a copy of *Phallos*, a graphic-novel sized (and styled, with art! yea!) novel, the first new Delany I've read in a time. It's like an orgasm of Delany tropes. Yet more than that... it is the pay-off of years and sentences and novels of bitten fingernails and here-and-gone-again objects. Poetry and sex converge in as hot and impossible and nasty a Delany way as ever (and this is a book about a book, which is itself fiction...). In this book, Delany reveals the core of so many of his works, his philosophy; the missing piece. Literally (in a couple sense of the word).
So, there I am, reading *Phallos* almost as slowly as I can stand, so it won't end, a basic reader's trick, and along comes a new lover who I tell about this writer, who attends this film festival yearly, and he looks at the catalog, and my ghod there is a film about that guy Lance was talking about (to synopsize that story),  and off we went to the hot, hot movie theater (San Francisco holds up not well in the occasional heat wave).
Treasure, treasure. The director was there and spoke afterwards; so much that didn't make it into the film. My own observation was a wish for some quotes that were about the *people* (aka characters) in Delany's works (particularly I'd've like a science-fiction character or two; after all that's where the vast majority of his readers found him); it's the living beings inhabiting these artisicially described, often ugly worlds, that are the connect-to-able for the readers. And I can understand a director's artistic choice is his choise. Still. It was also a bit long in the middle, as films often seem; I don't doubt the oppressive theater 'helped' there as well.
The film kinda goes backwards in time, with quotes and bits of lectures and photos. I began to remember who I was when I found his work, how I worked so hard to find his books and to get as much as I could out of them. And then how I got more info through living, and continued looking for his works, and they got harder to grok at times. But always I could mine a nugget or six, and wanted the rest...
It was interesting to see a kind of parallel existence; who he was as a writer, trying to put his experience into his works, a positive gay and literary man, and then me, a youth trying to find, understand, express my own queer, kinky self. I am so greatful for Chip's works (and speaking of: I remember reading *Locus* at the time, and working out eventually that Chip WAS Samuel!), and now for this film. I think the film would be of interest to anyone into Delany himself, great writers, black writers, gay writers, gay experience.
lobolance: (not thinking)
Bet you missed it.

Most likely you never heard of it.

Masters of Science Fiction is/was a new show on ABC, featuring episodes based on fiction by science fiction authors (gasp!). Originally ABC commissioned 6 episodes. Then they cut it down to 4; so it went from a 'series' to a 'special.' It's airing on Saturday nights at 10pm in August. Can we say stillborn?

And yet... set your VCR/DDR/TIVO up if you haven't already! I caught "A Clean Escape," the first episode (thank you, Comcast DDR), and it was hella impressive.

The production values were high, the acting was superb (Mark Rydell's expansive confidence,  Judy Davis' white-faced rage and thoughtfulness). The story unfolded very nicely - though I do have a couple of quibbles with the wrap-up. Still, this is a show not to miss.

And good luck at not missing it.
lobolance: (Default)
Last Friday night, I spent a very amusing evening watching several episodes of an ancient *Commander Cody* serial, with a couple of good friends. We Mystery Science Theater'd until we hurt laughing... and then I was falling asleep! A fine line that, humor to 'done now!'. There were office chairs on the rocket. Honest!

And for the super science; the TV, pre *Commander Cody* watching, was discovered to be very dusty, as TVs often are. So, as the glass teat was dusted, one of my friends revealed that yes, TVs do attract more dust, this having to do with the electrons being forced to the front of the machine, which attracts more dust... particularly dust with a slight radioactive charge. To verify this amazing claim, said friend then pulled out a Geiger counter (I kid you not). We tested the ambient radiation level (nearly nonexistant), and then tested the dust wiped off the TV by the handy dandy Swiffer duster, and ye gads, there were clicks on the counter!

It was all wonderfully 1950's.

Though not everyone probably has friends who own Geiger counters.
lobolance: (Default)
(Remember the bumper sticker?)
Happy 40th Birthday to Star Trek!

(thanks for the day reminder, [livejournal.com profile] kevin_standlee!)

(I LOVED the props at Worldcon!)
lobolance: (k/s)
I had a very unexpected and kinda nifty Harlan Ellison track in my Worldcon experience this year.

To start with, yes it was entirely inappropriate (shock value monkey tho he is) for Harlan to grab Connie Willis at the Hugo ceremony. That was not cool. I don't condone it. The man can be an idiot.

I first encountered HE's work when I was in junior high. SF for me started with a few kid's books in grade school (only a very few were to be had!), then I found Asimov in particular by late grade school, and also Heinlein and Clark in early junior high, etc. Great stuff.

Around late junior high, I discovered a bunch of short stories that rocked my world, and gave zing to my ideas about writing (yes I was writing even then). They were by Harlan Ellison. 'I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream'. 'Pretty Maggie Money Eyes' *Deathbird Stories* and so on and on! (yes I first found him for writing 'City on the Edge of Forever'; *Star Trek* was pretty much the source of everything for me, after all it came on when I was six.)

I'm not exactly sure what convention it was at that I first saw Harlan. Somewhere in Seattle, certainly. A Puget Sound Star Trekker's (PSST) con? An early Norwescon? (I could probably look at my photos and figure it out.)

But I do remember waiting outside the speaker's hall after first seeing him, heart pounding, waiting for an autograph, trying to think of something wise to say. A typical story I know, but still, it's mine. I heard him read works in progress (including the hysterical sex aliens...), rant at the Glass Teat, etc etc. Words!

August 2006. It had been a LONG time since I'd last seen HE at a con. So it was a wonderful surprise when I got the schedule and saw he was gonna be at LAcon, and do a talk. I confess I was initially a bit disappointed by the "lecture"... because it was all stories, answering questions; I'd wanted to hear what was on his mind now, what he was thinking about (criticizing). However, some of the stories were great. I actually felt honored when at the end of the talk he spoke about never being a victim, about choosing action, about writing... Powerful stuff. He said this was likely his last con.

I have some sense of the circle of time, from my early cons (including LAcon2; I wore Reynolds Rat on my backpack, and no one seemed to know who he was....) to now. Harlan spoke of seeing the early greats (like Isaac Asimov) age, and he and his contemporaries moving into the 'most active writers' slots... and now I see him aging (and so of course myself). Not entirely comfortable stuff, but immensely real and human and vital. I still love the way words roll off of his tongue.

I wish him lots of peace and a continued flow of words from his house on the hill.

I loved that, hours after his talk, Harlan still sat behind a long table and signed books and talked with fans. Mr. Prickly. Uh huh.

I loved that he received as well as gave an award (yes again he was an ahole in the process) at the Hugos... and actually seemed touched by it. All told, this was a much happier, more relaxed man than the one I first saw 25 years ago. I am happy for him.

Nostalgia, inspiration, thinking... and a love of words. Thank you for being there, Harlan.

PS Yes I know he was an ahole on stage.
lobolance: (uncle)
That was my fortune from my Serenity fortune cookie from Baycon's D(r)ive in movie on Saturday night. :-) The Browncoats rocked! In addition to the special fortune cookies, they handed out Shiny ribbons (so we could all grow just a little longer in our ribbon collection). And lots of them danced in costume later at the Shindig. I'm sure they'd be a great bunch to hang out with (the Silicon Valley branch), but I don't have the bandwidth. So I'll enjoy them when I may!

All told, I really enjoyed Baycon this year. Part of it was I took my time... went in (I didn't stay at the hotel) pretty late each day, as I was out late each night, and did an awful lot of sherpa-ing the first couple days (entire Evil Genius party Stuff went to the con in my car), and part was just attitude. :-) And the presence of friends, both long-established and new. Cool to know, and get to know, some of the [livejournal.com profile] basfa folks better, as well as see many of my kink community.

Set up for the League of Evil Genius' party took much of Friday, but was entirely worth it.[livejournal.com profile] kingwyatt came out for the party, which made it even better for me. :-) He and Mo checked IDs. Yes, we were visited by Flare, and passed with flying colors. Most of the party, unayokUnayok tended the champagne bar, and I (as Dr. Hanso, which was entirely a hit, pleasing me mightily) conducted many experiments, offering noxious potions to the masses. We also got an excellent review in the daily zine the next morning, which made me happy. The tradition continues! Unayok and I had a similar let's-keep-it-low-stress attitude which was really nice. And my iPOD did just fine pouring out the tunes.

My friend Phyllis came as my guest for Sat. and Sun. She did a nice purpley-serenity-esque con-wear outfit, and even brought TJ sushi for dinner one night! :-) She went to at least part of a couple of my panels.

I finally understood why I was on the Costuming at Any Size panel - token male! It worked. ;-) I even contributed a couple useful bits. I was a bit nervous going in to moderate the big Firefly/Serenity/Whedon fannish panel (my first moderating in a Big room), but it all went well. Surely helped that I knew the panelists to one degree and another! That was nifty. My final panel was the Poly panel... which had way more attendees than we on the panel - or the room assignment people - had expected. It was terribly social studies for a good while, but got more personal after a bit. Cool stuff about kids and connecting long-term. Zip about sex! It's interesting, the topic has waxed and waned more than once in the years I've been attending cons.

I skipped out on Monday... the call of the sun and relaxing were just too strong. I do regret missing the Reselling Your Genre Art panel though. If anyone went and picked up any good tips, please let me know! Thanks.
lobolance: (Default)
Considering that I am reading *Anansi Boys* by Neil Gaiman right now, this tickled me.

LoboLance may actually be a spider-human hybrid


From Go-Quiz.com

Speaking of the book, I am enjoying it... kind've a follow up to *American Gods.* Now I know how Brits must feel when Americans write Grail stories, etc. It's a trip having a Brit write such a Native American style story. :-)
lobolance: (Default)
Had a fun experience last Friday night. I went up to the Queer Playground party at the SF Citadel. Saw many friends, a goodness (few potential play partners though, still it was a good trip). Saw someone playing with some of said friends... looking mighty familiar... though the red contacts made it hard to judge (less a problem were the vampire teeth).

Backstory is [livejournal.com profile] mmoose had told me some time back of making friends with a woman name of Melissa in Santa Barbara, who was into science fiction.

Once upon a time, I founded the Santa Barbara Science Fiction Alliance. A teen name Melissa was one of the members... she was bigger than life, and in some ways, one of the first to show me there were kinky people in the larger world (though I'd been plenty kinky at home). We had some interesting relationships between us... Anyhow. Could it be her?

So when a suitable time came, I wandered up to this curly- raven-haired woman, and said "I think we used to know each other..." and proceeded with the introduction. She squealed and threw her arms around me. It was good.
lobolance: (Default)
aka as the Seattle Hyatt and ghods be kind, a Quality Inn, in part.

I heard at the BASFA meeting last night that Last Guest Con just took place; the last sf con at the ol' Seatac Hyatt, home of many an early Norwescon and other cons. Ah, nostalgia for the old clashing carpets and the skyway fill me!

In that hotel, I first

Went to a not-just-Star-trek science fiction convention (ok, it was like my third con - an early Norwescon- but it was very exciting)
Found a fanzine room, where I got to handle ancient mimeo'd zines
First put my own fanzines out in a fanzine room
Helped a friend with movies, one of which was filmed in a long hallway, as the rug pattern was particularly good for making it look like it went on forever
Sat in a hall party, and ate a couple of everclear cherries. I was underage and not fond of maraschino cherries, but two of those things made me very relaxed indeed!
Sat in a casual party in an open area, discussing being bisexual for the first time in my life, with strangers around
Found connections to other parts of my life (note, being queer, and also being poly, as well as into science and history)
Hung out in an elevator party. like hall parties, these no longer exist (IME)
Hung out on the skybridge between hotel wings to See and Be Seen in costume
Walked from the hotel to nearby restaurants/fast food in costume

I can't say I'll miss the place, exactly, but I had a lot of good times there. May other hotels serve new generations of fen just as well.


lobolance: (Default)

September 2011

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