This is the last week of my Science Fiction class. I decided to make some changes to the final week of class to cover the necessary material and to strike out into new territory. Here’s the revised schedule for Monday through Thursday:
Monday: 9:20-10:20 Exam 2. 10:20-11:20 Lecture on Cyberpunk and short discussion of William Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” and Bruce Sterling’s Preface to Mirrorshades anthology.
Tuesday: Begin with episode of the X-Files by William Gibson and Tom Maddox, “Kill Switch.” Followed by discussion and retrocomputing demonstration that looks at the computing origins of cyberpunk. Please bring your laptop today for the in-class activity.
Wednesday: Global Perspectives unit on Taiwanese SF. First part of class: lecture on differences of cultural/historical development and issues of translation. Second part of class: Active learning exercise looking at translations. The two readings for today’s class are on T-Square under Resources.
Thursday: 9:20-9:50 Exam 3. 9:50-11:20 Exploring your SF imagination with Lego. Think about your favorite trope, image, science, or technology from SF and how you might build it with Lego bricks. We will spend time in class building your creation and then sharing your creations with the class as a whole. If you bring your ideas to class, I will bring the bricks (and a camera to record your work)!
The 2013 SFRA/Eaton Conference at the University of California at Riverside will take place from April 11 to April 13, 2013. The conference schedule is now online here.
If you are not committed to going for a presentation or panel, you should check out the awesome lineup of papers, panels, and author readings. If all of the special guests can attend, the awards banquet on Saturday night should be a blast, too. The SFRA/Eaton Conference is well worth your time and money, because it brings together the best SF scholars and fosters the best conversation, collaboration, and collegiality.
I really wanted to attend this year to revisit Riverside (a wonderful city with a great university and library collection) and see my many SFRA friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, I had to withdraw my paper prior to the deadline for personal reasons. Sadly, this will be the first meeting that I have missed since my first SFRA conference in White Plains, New York in 2006.
For everyone going to the SFRA/Eaton Conference, I wish you all a fantastic and energizing meeting, and I hope to see you all down the trail!
It is safe to say that I got shit done today. I met Professor Raja at Angel Falls Coffee Co. in Akron this afternoon, and we finalized the first issue of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies. It is an open access journal, so you may go here and read the first issue (or better yet, purchase a print copy so that you can really appreciate my page layout work while supporting the journal). I had some trouble getting the fonts to embed properly in the PDF of the issue for publication, but I finally ironed out that last remaining snag before we enjoyed a celebratory lunch of hummus and kebab wraps.
After I left Market Square, I drove down Market to The Bookseller and found four useful books: Science Fiction Discoveries ed. by Carol and Frederik Pohl, Crash by J.G. Ballard (blurb: “A startling off-beat novel of erotic violence”), Radu Florescu’s In Search of Frankenstein (mid-1970s volume on all things Frankenstein), and Jane’s American Fighting Aircraft of the 20th Century (this big book sports two F-104 Starfighters flying over a city port, and I will make good use of this tome when I’m writing my essay for the aircraft film genre essay on The Right Stuff).
When I got back home with some lunch for Yufang, I got back to work on the print version of the SFRA 2009 program. I worked on that program all damn day, except for a break to enjoy fish and chips and Heroes, but I just finished a rough draft complete with index. I’m very happy with the way the program looks, and I hope that everyone will be happy with the scheduling. Thanks go out to Craig Jacobsen for last year’s program InDesign file, Betsy Gooch for the artwork on the conference flyer that I used for the front cover of the program, and Lisa and Doug for carefully watching over my shoulder as I put the program together. There will probably be some changes, but I’m estatic that the lion’s share of the program is completed.
Oh, I did take a slightly longer break after dinner than I wrote about above. In fact, Yufang and I went out for a walk, and we put Miao Miao in a backpack that I wore against my chest so that she could look around while we walked. She was surprisingly good, but I did have to keep a hand on her to keep her from climbing over me.