Florida Supercon 2015 Pictures

Here are many of the pictures I took at Florida Supercon. It was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Many thanks to Chelle Olson (Literal Addiction to Detail – Owner), Erika Hayden, and Brandon Timothy for the entertaining days, including the 1.5 – 2 hour commutes each way every day. We were very sleep deprived and giddy on Sunday nights drive home.

 

Superheroes Supercon2015 Swarm The Green Goblin - Spiderman - Supercon2015 The Joker Supercon2015 Three Musketeers Supercon2015 Supercon2015 Steampunk Supercon2015 Scary Supercon2015 Rogue & Grover Supercon 2015 Renaissance Festival at Supercon Rampage Supercon2015 Prey Supercon2015 Pirate Day 1 Owner Holy Shah Beads Day 1 NestleQuikBunny MST3K Tom Servo Supercon2015 Lu of ShopVeralu Lu & Stephanie Day 1 Jurassic Park Car Supercon2015 Jon Snow Game of Thrones Supercon2015 Joker Supercon2015 Joker and Harley Jason Vorhees Supercon2015 Holy Shah Beads as Harley He was going for Totoro Face Painting Toothless Exquisite Supercon2015 Han Solo Princess Leia Supercon2015 Groot Rocket Guardians of the Galaxy Gorgeous Supercon2015 Elsa Frozen Supercon2015 Deadpools with a Mini car Darth Vader Supercon2015 Dark & Dangerous Supercon2015 Cobra Commander Supercon2015 Christophe and Sven Chelle and Jigsaw Chelle - Literal Addiction to Detail Castiel Supernatural Supercon2015 Captain America Photobombed Supercon2015 Brandon Timothy as Pan - Grover Black Widow Supercon2015 Beetlejuice Lydia and Chelle Bane Supercon2015 Anonymous Elf Supercon2015 Agent Carter Supercon2015 Alien Balloon Creature Supercon2015 All Ready To Go Day 1 Amazing Supercon2015 Angry Gingerbread Man Supercon2015

Halloween Blog Hop 2011

Welcome to my stop on the Just Romance Me Halloween Blog tour. Comment below to qualify for a FREE copy of my novella Contagion. This scene is a standalone. Follow this hop to the end and fill out the form to win a kindle.

A Haunted Cabin in the Woods

The screams from the backyard grew louder and Tessa blinked as the sound pulled her from her memories. Halloween had been one of her family’s happiest times. Living in the Appalachian mountains, it was hard to scare the people who lived there. But one year, her father dressed up as a black bear and scared everyone. The evening started at sunset when her father put on his bear costume and wandered, on all fours, to the lake a hundred yards from the back porch. He made sure he was seen by the neighbor children. He recorded the sound of a frightened bear that had been caught in a trap over the summer. Her mother sewed a small music player and portable speakers into the costume. The sound echoed across the lake. Her brothers covered themselves in blood and intestines and ran screaming down the longest dock and dove into the lake. Halloween almost got cancelled that year. Until her dad took the bear outfit off and her brothers walked out of the lake laughing. He retold that story every year. He was a twisted man and I miss him.  

The screams in the backyard changed to yelling. Tessa pulled on the hat for her witch costume and walked outside to see what was going on. Jasper was a young dragon, fifty years old, fluorescent green, and currently had a neighbor child trapped on the back porch. As soon as the door closed behind Tessa, he wrapped both arms around her legs.

“Save me Miss Tessa. That animal is going to burn and eat me!”

She recognized Corey from the other side of the lake. He was a hefty boy of 10 or 11 and dressed as an ogre. Jasper hated ogres and the only thing that kept him from killing as many as possible in the Otherworld was his ogre allergy. He sneezed fire every time they got close so they won’t come near him.

“This is a child, Jasper.” Her smile let Jasper know she was okay with the boy being so scared his pants were wet. “You can let him go. He is not a real ogre.”

“I AM a real ogre,” Corey insisted. He stuck his lips out but didn’t dare turn his face away from hers.

“Dragons burn ogres with their breath, Corey. Do you want Jasper to burn you to death?” She asked.

“No ma’am.” He wiped tears from his face with his sleeves improving the makeup.

“Where are your parents, Corey?” She pulled the child off her leg.

“My brother brought me but when your dragon scared me, he took off.”

Teenage laughter came from the edge of the woods. “I’m right here you blubbering idiot.” A lanky teenage boy, yet to grow into his height approached the porch.

“Jasper, what do we do to bullies who abandon family in the woods?” Tessa asked Jasper.

The teenager’s face paled and he stopped a few feet from the porch.

Rusty, a goblin with a desire to be the worlds best chef, answered. “Jasper burns their clothes off and I barbecue them over the fire.”

Rusty pointed to his chef’s apron, “Cooking Raw” was written across his small chest in crimson red letters.

The teenager lunged for his brother, grabbed the boys small pudgy hands and took off. “I’m sorry to bother you Miss Tessa. And you have the best haunted house on the lake this year.” He yelled as they ran across the yard.

“Haunted house?” Rusty asked.

“They think you are wearing a costume Rusty.” Tessa answered laughing.

“But this is my favorite apron,” he replied with a hurt look on his face.

Tessa knew the boys would tell everyone in the neighborhood so she moved the candy dishes from the front to the back yard.
Dad would be proud.

 

Leave a comment, I’m giving away a copy of CONTAGION and a signed book card. 

Graylin

Script for World’s Dumbest

My Little Foray into Scriptwriting

In my family we frequently begin conversations with “You can’t make this shit up.” My recent experience with that began two weeks ago when I was asked to put together a script for World’s Dumbest on TruTV. I created a scene for 5 of their regular cast members with my own twist.

Today, I’m happy to announce they accepted the script and are reviewing it to see if they can use it.

I will announce it if they do, as soon as I stop jumping up and down!! If they can’t use it – I had a lot of laughs writing it and remain flattered I was offered this chance.

Graylin

A Newtonian Universe

Stirring up trouble

I participated in a Twitter chat last Friday with fellow science-fiction/fantasy writers, in which it was suggested by one commenter that it would be a good idea for a writer to study science in order to better his or her writing.  I made the perhaps foolish comment that if any writer were to really study physics, they would quickly learn that most of what they have been reading and writing is impossible.

This caused a bit of a debate, to say the very least.

Faster than the speed of light

But it’s a defensible statement; I just needed more than 140 characters to do it.

Start with space travel in science fiction.  It’s understood that everything in space is a great distance away from everything else in space, so the only way to go tooling around the galaxy in space ships is to posit the existence of faster-than-light travel (FTL for short).  The problem is FTL is impossible.

It’s easier to appreciate this if you look at time and space as parts of the same thing, i.e., spacetime.

Approach #1: Imagine two buckets, one called space and one called time, with enough water to fill only one of the buckets.  Sitting on Earth right now, let’s say 1/4 of the water is in the space bucket and 3/4 is in the time bucket.

Got it?  Okay, now: per Einstein, the faster you move through space the slower you move through time, so  on a rocket ship moving away from Earth at great speed you’re going to be moving some of the water from the time bucket and into the space bucket.  (It’s the same water because space and time are part of the same thing; there is a direct trade-off.)  The closer you get to the speed of light the more water is added to the space bucket and the less water there is in the time bucket.

When you reach the speed of light all the water is in the space bucket and none is in the time bucket.  And here’s the problem: you’re out of water, and buckets.

Approach #2: the faster you go the greater your mass becomes.  At the speed of light you become infinitely massive.  There is nothing beyond “infinitely massive”.

Approach #3: the cosmic speed limit isn’t really the speed of light: it’s the speed of particles without mass.  There is no such thing as negative mass objects, so there is no such thing as particles that can travel faster than that speed.

There is no Stardate

Here’s another problem: time is a strictly local concept.  There is no non-local “now”.

As stated above, the faster one moves the slower one passes through time.  But this statement presumes the existence of an objective “time” one can pass more slowly through, which is inaccurate.  It’s more precise to say that time passes more slowly for a rapid traveler from the perspective of another observer

What this means is, the Starship Enterprise’s five year mission to explore strange new worlds may be five years of ship time, but it’s thousands of years–conservatively–of Earth time.

There is no Stardate to enter into the captain’s log, because a common “date” would imply a universal measure of time, and there is no such thing.  In Einstein’s universe, time and space are both malleable and subjective.

Tooling around in a Newtonian universe

And that’s the real problem with modern science fiction: most of it is set in a Newtonian universe, rather than an Einsteinian one.  In Newton’s universe you can travel as fast as technology will allow, time is an objective thing, gravity is a force that can be countered, a laser is something that can be dodged, and so on.

Ah, you might say, Einstein could be wrong!  Or better, there are things we simply don’t know yet that could make these things possible!

Okay, but here’s the problem: if you’re writing science fiction and positing that one of the laws of thermodynamics is incorrect, or that Einstein’s theories are incorrect, you’renot writing science fiction any more.  You’re writing fantasy.  There may not be any magic, but the science you’re using is impossible, so it may as well be magic.

Mutants aren’t real

This doesn’t end at the edge of Einstein, either.  Basically every steampunk invention ever imagined is impossible–usually because someone’s violating the second law of thermodynamics, which expressly disallows perpetual motion machines.  Likewise, every super-powered comic book character violates the same law.  (How much food would The Flash need to eat to run that fast?  The energy has to come from somewhere.  When Iceman creates an ice ramp to travel on, where is the water coming from?  And on a separate note, by what mechanism does Superman fly?  There’s no propulsion: he’s just floating.  It drives me nuts that nobody even tries to explain this.)

I have seen it written–and I have written it myself–that the difference between science fiction and fantasy is whether one attributes the fantastic to magic or to science.  But the truth is, once you get past the masters of hard science– your Asimovs andBradburys and Clarkes– it’s all fantasy.  Whether the writer knows it or not.

(The Original post with comments can be found on Gene Doucette’s blog – http://genedoucette.me/2010/07/26/a-newtonian-universe/)

Gene Doucette

Review: Vampire Assassin

220px-Vampire_Assassin
(I’m nice when I review books – Cheesy, bad movies. No such luck.)
This is the movie for people who loved the concept behind Blade but thought the acting and special effects were just way too good. It was awful. The star of the movie is the writer, director, and co-producer. I’m leaving his and the names of the others involved out of this. I’m hoping they are ashamed and do not want to be associated with it in any way. This may be painful for any of them to read.
  • The background to the opening credits looks like sperm swimming in green vomit.
  • In the opening sequence, there is a dark vampire with a platinum blonde wig that is falling off. When s/he stops moving it keeps going for a second, stopping slightly sideways.
  • When vampires die, lightning jumps out of their chests. Although, it doesn’t hit anyone. That would be a great weapon!
  • The main villain vampire has a cape that can kill, suffocate, and strangle solely by pointing at the intended victim and snarling at them.
  • When the vampire turns into a bat, you can tell its a huge grey rubber bat from the store.
  • The cape is bullet proof, which begs the question, why would someone who is undead need a cape to bat away bullets in one scene and act like they don’t hit him in another one?
  • The hero has a girl, an Asian girl. This very pretty actress’ voice track is the only one that is off. In one scene with the hero, her voice track is noticeably off and his lines up just fine. Very weird to watch (other Asian actors in this movie don’t appear to have this problem).
  • During one scene, a vampire opens his mouth to show his fangs. There are gaps where they should be and then you SEE them wiggle into place. Like someone has them on a string and is pulling them into place from off camera.
  • All of the fangs were obviously whitened and then pasted on over the actors teeth. They didn’t match their color and you could see their real canines underneath.
  • After a battle at the police station, most of the cops awaken as vampires. However, they get up like 90-year-old zombies and shuffle across the floor. I don’t know what the premise is for them moving that slowly. It is never explained. One actor even leaves his head tilted like he cannot hold it up. Ten of them moved too slow to catch one man dragging our hero out of the way. Really.
  • The final battle sequence was very odd. Each time our hero meets a new opponent they each take a moment to individually show off their martial arts skills. There are even pauses so each can pose and look angry. 

This was a very bad movie. Watch it if you like to yell at the screen because you will have plenty of reasons.

Graylin

How a Bad Movie Changed the World

Cover of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Cover of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In 1992 I saw a movie that, while it wasn’t a very good movie, made this geek girl happy.  I am talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  No, not the television series starring Sarah Michelle Geller.  That was actually pretty good.  The movie, starring Kristy Swanson with an appearance by the post-Florida-arrest train wreck that was Paul Reubens, well, wasn’t.  Still, in one sentence that movie turned the role of young women on its head, and I applaud that achievement.

At the time I was the mother of a teen-age daughter who was growing up in a post-feminist culture.  Women no longer felt compelled to burn our bras or stage marches, but there was (and still is) a wage disparity, a cultural and career glass ceiling, inequities in medical care and research, and severe restrictions on women in the armed service.

This last, which banned women from serving in combat, among other things, reflected the outdated notion of women as the “weaker” sex.  It was that notion that Buffy challenged.  I am sure our readers are familiar with Buffy – the teen cheerleader who is forced to play the reluctant hero, and who eventually embraces her role.

There was another woman hero that year.  Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley from Aliens 3.  But in order for Ripley to be a hero, she had to go hundreds of years into the future.  Buffy lived in the here and now.  And she established a beachhead for the kick-ass heroine who became a staple of fiction.  Without Buffy the movie, there is no Buffy the TV series.  No La Femme Nikita.  No Sydney Bristow (one of my personal favorites).  Our current crop of urban fantasy heroines are the cultural descendants of the cheerleader with a stake.

We can argue whether the words of a writer or director, spoken by an actor, should have more authority than a parent.  You can take the position that they shouldn’t and you won’t get any argument from me.  But let’s be realistic.  Our kids, especially by the time they are in their teens, do take many of their cues from the culture around them,  And that includes TV, movies, books, and music.

We can also argue whether Buffy started a cultural shift, or merely reflected it.  Certainly someone was eventually going to lead this particular charge, and perhaps it was a cultural inevitability.  But the truth is, Buffy did do it.  She spoke the line that signaled one teenage girl who put herself in charge of her own destiny; a young woman who most assuredly did not need to be rescued.

The scene in question is the final action sequence.  Buffy and her date are at the prom, dressed in their finest 90s attire, when the vampires attack.  Her boyfriend tries to protect/rescue her, and gets soundly defeated.

At that point Buffy steps up.  She turns to the battered boyfriend and says (if I may paraphrase) “Stay here.  I’ll take care of this.”

With those two little sentences, Buffy went from victim in need of rescue to hero who rescued those around her.

It was a moment every teenage – and younger – girl needed to hear.  Finally, someone besides a parent was telling them they could be the hero.  It was something every parent wanted her daughter to hear.

Thank you, Buffy – you made this geek girl, and all the geek girls that follow, very happy indeed.

Christine F York

Jumping the Fence

I’ve been attending science fiction conventions since the early 80s, long before I was writing seriously.  As a result, I have seen cons from a lot of different viewpoints: the wide-eyed newbie, the organizer climbing through the ranks of various concoms,  helping organize a Nebula weekend, chairing a World Horror Convention and a Potlatch, and finally jumping the fence to become a professional writer, and sit on the other side of the table.

This past weekend we (the DH and I) attended Radcon, a fabulous convention in Pasco, Washington.  We had a blast hanging out with friends from several states, talking about books and writing and agents and writing.  I can highly recommend the convention, and they really love their guests.  But there are differences between going to a con as a fan, and jumping the fence to the pro side.

Certainly cons have changed, but the difference between attending as a fan, or even a con runner, and as a pro are greater than I could have anticipated – at times almost overwhelming.

I think the biggest change for me was realizing that I am “on stage” and working at all times.  There is no longer the safety of being unknown, or being able to say or do the silliest or most outrageous things without worrying (too much) about the consequences.  Sure, I’m not going to be stalked by the paparazzi any time soon, but I still need to maintain a certain acceptable level of behavior.

You want an example?  OK, here’s my most embarrassing (anonymous) moment.  Many years ago my husband attended a World Fantasy Convention in Seattle.  We couldn’t afford two memberships, so I went with him and hung out in the lobby, reading.  At one point I ran into some fans I knew, who were running the Hospitality suite, and I offered to help.  I ended up running trays, picking up dirty dishes, and being a general dog’s-body for Hospitality – without a badge to give away my name.

At one point Ed Bryant walked by.  I had recently read his story “While She
Was Out.”  (If you haven’t read it, go track it down.  It is one of the best short stories.  Ever.)  I walked up to him, carrying my tray, and gushed all over him about how great that story was.  Ed was a bit taken aback (terrified might be a better description!) but he managed to stammer his thanks.  At that point my sanity returned and I realized how crazed I must sound.  I looked at him, smiled weakly, and said “And I’m not wearing a badge, so you don’t even know who I am,” and fled.

Of course I confessed to a friend, who knew Ed and immediately outed me, and I am sure I’ve been forever enshrined in Ed’s memory as that crazy woman from Seattle.  (I’ve moved, and considered changing my name – but I can’t afford plastic surgery. )

Would I dare to do that now?  Not on your life!  In fact, the shoe is now on the other foot.  If I ever write a story as good as “While She Was Out” (just in case you’ve forgotten the title), I may be subject to a crazy-fan attack. If so, I hope I can be as gracious – and calm – as Ed was.

But my point is that I can no longer behave that outrageously in public, without risking becoming the subject of gossip and derision.  I am no longer an anonymous fan without a badge, I am a pro with my name emblazoned across my chest, my picture in the program book, and my voice heard on panels.

I’ve been on the other side of the fence.  I know how fans and concoms talk
about pros who are obnoxious, demanding, and self-important.  I know word gets around about who drinks too much, gets grabby with other people’s spouses, or trashes hotel rooms.  I know that my behavior will be judged as an individual, not as an anonymous part of the convention attendees, and I have to act accordingly.

Still, it’s a small price to pay for the chance to meet readers and other writers, to catch up with old friends and make new ones.  And maybe, just maybe, find someone who loves your work so much they act a little crazy.

Christina F York

“I’m a Geek Girl, world! Deal with it!”

big bang theory new season

Image by Heavybm via Flickr

Watching this week’s episode of ” The Big Bang Theory,” I was reminded that it takes all kinds of people to make a well-rounded society.  Think about it for a minute.  If there weren’t so-called normal people, how would we recognize
our fellow geeks?  Or would EVERYONE be a geek?

No, I want those other people, the mundanes, the normals.  Not just because they make us stand out, but because they make us examine who and what we are.  They make geekdom a choice.  I can choose to get my geek on, but only because I have something to compare it to.

Let’s go back to the example of “Big Bang Theory.”  Penny is the character who actually makes that show work.  Face it, would we watch the show if it was only Raj, Sheldon, Leonard, and Wolowitz sitting around making geek-talk?  Not forever, though I have to admit the tabletop battle with ketchup-bottle orcs and superheroes had me in hysterics – mostly because I’ve had those conversations.  But the real comedy comes from them bumping up against the mundane world – frequently in the person of Penny – and proudly flying their geek flag, even in the face of adversity and scorn.  They are geeks, they know it, and they don’t apologize.

In many ways this is the same battle we women “of a certain age” waged for
decades.  We faced discrimination and scorn, we were paid less because
men “needed” higher wages, we were marginalized in the workplace; to
paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, we couldn’t get no respect.  Yet some of us
learned to hold our heads high, to make ourselves seen and heard, and to stop apologizing.

I still bump up against the “normal” crowd, and I am glad they are there, but
I hope I have learned to live the way Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Wolowitz do: true to my inner geek, proudly standing my ground and proclaiming “I’m a Geek Girl, world!  Deal with it!”

How about you?

Christina York

The Geeks Have Won

Once upon a time, there was a group of outcasts known as “Geeks.” But that was in another century. In this century, the geeks have won. How do I know? Look at the most popular segment of pop culture: television.

Every network and every cable channel has at least one series that touches on science fiction tropes, often without any explanation. Not because they can’t explain, but because they don’t need to. They just expect the viewers to know what they’re talking about – and the audience does. We accept time travel, robots, aliens, high-tech spy gear, space travel, parallel universes, and the myriad fantastic creatures without a qualm. Forty years ago Uhura flipped open a communicator and we were gosh-wowed. Now, a Gossip Girl flips open a sub-compact cell phone, voice activates a phone call, and we all understand it. The future is here, and there’s a little geek in all of us.

Want another example?

Crime shows are a staple of network television. Have been since the beginning of television – Dragnet debuted in 1951, Jack Lord protected our 50th state in the 70s, and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. spent a decade solving crimes for the F.B.I. Every one of those series showed us men with a strong jaw and a strong right hook serving and protecting, and detecting. But all that changed in the last few years, with the rise of the geeks.

Currently, NCIS is the top-rated show on television. Sure, it has Mark Harmon – a fine actor and easy to look at. But it also has a female lead that breaks all those last century molds. Abby Sciuto is the ultimate geek girl. She’s smart and competent and she does (gasp!) science. She’s still a girl, with many “girly” attributes, including her concern and connection with her co-workers, but she’s not some tough guy’s secretary or girlfriend. She’s a strong person all on her own, and she isn’t the only one.

Face it, Geek Girls. We’ve won!

Christina York

Twilight Addiction

Cover of "Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edit...

Cover of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

I haven’t read Twilight.  I know, I know, I’m behind in the culture. I should have something to praise or to snark.  Or both. I read Harry Potter as the phenom developed—before the first movie, even. I plan to read Twilight. I do.  Honest.

Okay, maybe I hoped the phenom would die down. Maybe I hoped everyone would forget it before I got to it. But it’s only revving up, and I know it. And I know I need to read it. And I know I’ll probably enjoy it.

Because, you see, I believe way down in my heart of hearts that bestsellers, beloved by millions, have something good in them. Something I will like muchly. So I know I’ll like Twilight. But I’m afraid to.  I’m afraid I’ll get bitten—pun intended—by the Twilight phenom.

And articles like Monica Hesse’s in The Washington Post don’t help. How quickly can a sane adult fall from feminist literary critic to fangirl accessing her inner 17 year old?  (Lemme tell you, as a die-hard romance reader, pretty damn quick.) But don’t take my word.  Check this out because it could happen to the rest of us, those of us who haven’t opened Twilight yet.  Yet, being the operative word.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/18/AR2009111804145.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Kristine Kathryn Rusch