Friday, May 16, 2008

James Morrow in the Dog Cemetery

What more need be said? There are strange things to be found on the long road between Philadelphia and Montreal. This is one of them. Here's a photo of James Morrow thinking appropriate thoughts in the dog cemetery.

Congres Boreal was delightful. I think it was Jean-Louis Trudel who told me that it was modeled after Readercon. But quite frankly, while Readercon is crammed with smart and articulate people, the conversations were better at Boreal.

I don't have the time to do a full con report. Among those present were Elisabeth Vonarburg, Karl Schroeder, Jo Walton, Catherine Dufour, Claude Lalumiere, Yves Meynard, and (briefly) Donald Kingsbury. I talked, I listened, I learned, I did a one-question interview with Karl which I've already sent to the New York Review of Science Fiction, and I posted a few photos on Flikr. You can find them here.

Kathryn Cramer also has some pix of Boreal up on Flikr, including one of me as the Clown of Death.

Me . . . In . . . Spaaaaaace!

A website called has posted a "NASA List of books, movies, television shows, and music maintained on the International Space Station (ISS) for recreational/off-duty consumption." And guess who just barely squeaked in? The surprisingly genre-heavy list of book (lots of Lois McMaster Bujold, for example) includes several issues of Asimov's Science Fiction, one of which contains "The Word That Sings the Scythe," a revised-for-stand-alone-publication section of (yes) The Dragons of Babel. One small step for a writer, one giant leap toward getting a Lunar crater named after me someday.

You can read the list here. There doesn't seem to be much music on it. Maybe the astronauts have all got their own iPods?

What You Can Do (Part 2)

Marianne did a little more thorough search of the Web than did I and came up with Charity Navigator's list of the most effective places to contribute money for disaster relief in China. These include "4-star charities" Direct Relief International, Mercy Corps, United Methodist Committee on Relief (all three working with partner agencies in China) and ADRA (on the ground in China). You can check it out here.



Pat J said...

So that's what James Morrow looks like, eh? Not quite what I imagined.

But then the only two authors that have ever looked the way I pictured them are Joe Haldeman and William Gibson.

(John Scalzi doesn't count, because I read his blog before he published a novel.)

Michael Swanwick said...

Well, it's not a great photo. There's one over at Flikr that looks better. But if you ever meet Jim, you'll not be able to imagine him looking anything other than as he does. It's that half-quizzical, half-cocky grin.

Oh, and a Footnote to History: Decades ago, I chanced to be present when Algis Budrys passed on the Joe Haldeman the mantle of SF-writer-who-looks-like-Hemingway. "You can have it," he said. "I don't want it."

Michael Swanwick said...

erratum: TO Joe Haldeman, I meant.


David Stone said...

Whoa, I didn't know that Science Fiction World was published in Chengdu. I remember reading a few stories several years back that were published in anthologies put together by people who (I think) are involved in editing that magazine.

Say, have there been any anthologies of Chinese SF translated into English since the early 1990s? I wonder if that might work as a fund raising project... I'd donate some time to it!

Ruhan Zhao said...

---I wonder if that might work as a fund raising project...

That sounds like a good idea. I know that some Chinese SF stories are as good as those Hugo/nebula nominees or probably even the winners. It is pity that no Chinese SF stories have been translated into English for about two decades.

David Stone said...

Hey Ruhan, I am interested in learning about the current Chinese SF... I used to live over there but I didn't know anyone who read SF (or at least good SF, as opposed to the junk that was found everywhere in the bookstores). I read a few stories about 5 or 6 years ago, but I never kept up with it. (Chinese is not my native language).

Can you drop me an email (see profile) so I can ask a few questions about Chinese SF? Assuming that your hands are not full right now, of course...

Ruhan Zhao said...


I could not find your email from your profile. Would you please tell me how to contact you?


David Stone said...

Sorry about that! I thought that I had it set to reveal my email. You can just email me at:


replacing the % with periods, and the (AT) with @. Thanks!