Wed, 25 July 2012
New York Times bestselling authors Brandon Sanderson, Timothy Zahn, John Ringo, and Eric Flint are joined by Janet Morris, Patrick Vanner, Richard Groller, Michael H. Hanson and Phillip R. Cox; as well as three artists: Melissa Gay, Michael Bielaczyc, ~mel-mel; and several convention organizers: Warren Buff, Brandy Spraker, Derek Spraker, Elayna Little Cook, and LibertyCon's Founder, Uncle Timmy. Mentioned are: The Space Proletariat, and a writers club called The Fictioneers.
Dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of the science fiction and fantasy convention LibertyCon, this over-sized episode contains 17 short interviews gathered from around this year's con. This episode is intended to give you a little of the feel and flavor of the con.
LibertyCon's organizers have a strong science and engineering background, which manifests itself in the number of panels which are dedicated to science and engineering topics. This year alone, they had 17 hours of science panels; which I estimate to be about 20% of their total programming. Over the last nine years this con has given me many brilliant scientists and researchers to interview. People from NASA, DOD, DOE, even DARPA. As well as academicians, inventors and innovators.
LibertyCon has been so helpful to me that, last year when I could not attend because of my brother's wedding, they recorded more than ten hours worth of science for me to use in the show. This may sound like a minor thing; just someone flipping a switch somewhere, but it was not. They had to borrow a sound board and microphones from The Atlanta Radio Theater Company, set them up in the appropriate rooms, verify it was recording each panel properly, and then burn it all onto a DVD and snail-mail it to me. LibertyCon has been very good to me, and to this show.
This was a special LibertyCon in that Uncle Timmy (its founder and leader for the last 25 years) is stepping down after this one. This was an emotional time for many because Uncle Timmy is such a big lovable man, full of modesty and kindness for everyone. To me his is a man we can all love and admire.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the July 25, 2012 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 99 minutes]
Announcement: For a limited time, one of my novels is on sale. The Kindle edition of Skinbrain (Cerebrodermus Fantastica), my most recent and most futuristic novel, has been reduced to just $2.99. That's right, under three bucks for what I consider my best novel. Here is a description of some of its main characters:
Cast of Characters:
Leather -- A runaway teenage girl. Tough and bold, she is learning to scrape out a living in the alleys of the largest city on Big Sandy: one of several dozen human inhabited worlds. Sleeping under bridges and in the dusty basement of an abandoned church, she takes the name Leather because it makes her feel tough, and she is determined to survive. She falls for a con-man named Johnny Bopp, and runs off with him straight into an assorted gang of mostly alien criminals.
Peter -- An evil little physicist who lusts after Leather and dreams of securing her to his torture rack, which at the moment holds an alien physicist he'd kidnapped weeks earlier, and from whom he’s been extracting scientific secrets. Peter plots to kill all the other gang members and capture Leather alive and undamaged so that he can damage her slowly and repeatedly for his morbid sexual enjoyment.
Breensdil -- A large and gentle insect-bearing alien. His people are peace-loving and nonviolent, and he is their greatest living physicist. Unfortunately, he is being tortured for secrets of advanced physics by Peter who intends to use these secrets to create more powerful weapons he can then sell to his Neo-Nazi allies on the colony world of Ironfeld.
Pug -- An easy-going frog-like alien of vast power and wealth who secretly owns and manages this galaxy. Each of her people own and manage one galaxy; by their laws anyone not up this task is aborted even if they are an adult. She causally decides which civilizations within her galaxy will live and which must be destroyed. She likes this new human civilization, and has an odd fondness for Johnny Bopp.
Johnny Bopp -- A happy-go-lucky human con-man and jewel thief who enjoys the company of aliens. A xenophile, he is forever seeking new things to see and do and taste and experience.
Eve Adams -- A beautiful and voluptuous android containing, and controlled by, a pair of octopus-like aliens who think as one because they are permanently mated. Driven by their obsession to studying human beings, they attempt to seduce Johnny away from Leather using their sensuous android body.
Aristat Sookirat -- Johnny Bopp's loyal friend. A bright red alien criminal who has more than once killed to protect Johnny. And needs little provocation to do it again.
The situation they find themselves in:
On a planet far from Earth, remains of a long dead alien civilization have been found. But this news has not reached the authorities—nor will it. Fourteen murderers—a mixed bag of human and alien criminals—have seen to that by killing the team of forty scientists who discovered the remains. These professional criminals combine their talents to search through the rubble for a hypothetical alien super-weapon. Leather thinks she's got what it takes to rub shoulders with the worst of them but soon realizes she’s in way over her head. Worse, as conflicts struggle to tear it apart, she learns just how unstable a team of criminals can be. Call it anything you like: treachery, betrayal, or just reducing the number with whom one must share the final spoils. Here, as in all of life, cowards and the dead reap nothing.
Skinbrain (Cerebrodermus Fantastica). It's a fun read. Check it out.