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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity



A First: A Review in the Wall Street Journal

August 26th, 2011 by Steven Gould

Gosh.

I have never been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal before. Color me chuffed!

One thing that Gould, Heinlein and Kipling would all agree on is that a clever kid beats a fool adult any day. A young mind can absorb skills, techniques and practical knowledge—those are the basis of civilization, not metal and gadgets.

Posted in Daily Life | 2 Comments »

indieWIRE is rooting for Buddy Holly

April 21st, 2011 by Steven Gould

Lovely article on the Buddy Holly projected at long-time independent film coverage website indieWIRE where they say, “In today’s in-production column, indieWIRE takes a look at an adaptation of the geek-approved sci-fi comic novel “Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede,” which has Jon Heder in the role of a young man who is the target of a resurrected Buddy Holly.”

Read it here.

Posted in Daily Life | Comments Off

Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well Development Teaser

April 15th, 2011 by Bradley Denton

The “development teaser” for the film version of BUDDY HOLLY IS ALIVE AND WELL ON GANYMEDE was released this week.  But since I’m having trouble linking to YouTube, I’ll just send you to the movie’s website (www.aliveandwellmovie.com), where you can click a button on the front page that’ll take you right to the video.

(fixed by the video fairy)

Produced by Molly Mayeux for Dahlia Street Films, written & directed by Robert Rugan, and starring Jon Heder.  It’s a lot of fun.

Posted in Daily Life | 3 Comments »

Balloon Bass and the BOX.

September 10th, 2010 by Steven Gould

Ballon Bass And Box Jam – Watch more Funny Videos

Thinking about Bob and Brad.

Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments »

Earthquake in the Living Room.

May 22nd, 2010 by Steven Gould

Eldest Daughter, AKA Noble Girl, is doing experiments for her Independent Science Project. We built an earthquake table and she is busy destroying civilization (for values of civilization made out of magnetically coupled straws and cardboard.)

She’s using my iPad and an acceleration app called iSeismometer to measure the frequency at which her buildings collapse, then emailing the data to her own account, right from the table.

What have you destroyed today?

Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments »

“To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing.”

March 24th, 2010 by Steven Gould

Yet even she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her by scraping her skin off with tiles and bits of shell. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them.

Socrates Scholasticus 5th century AD

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s not easy being a woman in the sciences.

Hypatia, born somewhere between 350 and 370 AD, died March 415 (see above) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt. Considered the first notable woman in mathematics, she also taught philosophy and astronomy. She was killed by a Christian mob who falsely blamed her for local religious turmoil.

Notable quotes:

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”

“Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for under standing those that lie beyond.”

“To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing.”

Happy Ada Lovelace day. Large chunks of above from the Wikipedia article on Hypatia.

Posted in Daily Life | 5 Comments »

What I did on my vacation…

March 19th, 2010 by Caroline Spector
Okay, so it’s been a while since I posted anything here at EoB.

I have many excuses — most of them are pretty good.  My favorite is that we spent the last year remodeling most of the house — including the kitchen.  This is a special kind of hell.  I know child birth is supposed to be tough, but at least it ends in a relatively short period of time. And my ob-gyn has never looked me in the eye and promised me my exam would be over in a certain amount of time only to have it drag on for months.

However, I did learn a few things during the remodeling process.

First, contractors are delicate flowers. Really. Oh, sure, they’re sweaty, cranky, and prone to never showing up on time. But like the Wicked Witch of the West, they will melt if it rains. (I have never seen a contactor in the rain.  So that whole Wicked Witch thing is wild speculation, but, you know, it would explain a lot.)

Me (on the phone): “Uhm, hey, it’s Caroline.  It’s eleven and you guys said you’d be here by nine.  I hate to be a bother, but could you give me a call and let me know when you’re going to be here?”

Me (on the phone): “Yeah. It’s Caroline. Again. It’s noon and y’all still aren’t here. I kinda need to run some errands. Could you please call and let me know when y’all will be here?”

Me (on the phone): “It’s Caroline. Seriously.  What the hell? It’s two o’clock and no one is here. And I haven’t had a call. Jesus jumped-up Christ on a moped, how difficult is it to pick up the fricking phone and let me know that you’re not even going to bother to come. Fuck me!”

Me (answering the phone): “Yeah, what? My language?  Seriously? Do you have any idea how much they swear when they’re here? I made them cry? Oh. My. God. You have got to be kidding. Uh huh. Uh huh. But it wasn’t even raining, for fuck’s sake. Uh huh. Uh huh. Yeah. Fine. But I’m not sending them roses. Fine, daisies. No, I’m not going to send them candy. Well, sure I’d like the sink to get put in.  It’s been sitting in the guest bedroom for four months. Uh huh. So, nougat or cream filled?”

Secondly, things will happen if you leave the house. And the corollary: Carpenters are never happier than when they’re destroying someone else’s work.

In order to save some money (oh, the hysterical laughter that’s bubbling up in my throat even now), I decided to keep kitchen’s center island.  We were going to retro fit the cabinets.

I get home after going to the grocery store. The center island is gone.  There are two sad-looking pipes poking out of the floor.

Did I mention the island was gone? This was not an insubstantial item. It was ten freaking feet long, four and a half feet wide. Gone. Vanished. Poof!  It’s like an episode of LOST.  The Others have done something terrible and now they want me to believe that they’re the good guys.

Me: “The island is gone. Vanished. Poof!”

John (my carpenter, looking manically cheerful): “We had to!  We discovered the plumbing had been leaking into the base of the cabinet.  The wood had rotted. Hee hee!”

Me: But, but… the island is gone! Vanished! Poof!

John: We had to.

Me: “What time is it?  It’s cocktail hour somewhere. Wanna shot?  I think I need a shot. We all need shots. There’s tequila somewhere on the back porch. I’m going to find it.” 

Thirdly, painters are evil. Really, really evil.

Fourth, you can’t work in a house that’s being remodeled. And you can’t leave to work somewhere else because there are a million questions You Must Answer Now. And these are questions you have never once in your life thought about. Questions like: “How do you want the random tiles in the backsplash arranged?” and “Where do you want these outlets put?”

And my favorite part about the remodel: Living without floors.  Well, we had floors, but all the carpeting and old tile had been pulled out.  Which would have been fine, except that the floor guys, thoughtful fellows that they were, laid a skim coat down to help the new flooring material adhere better.  Then they wisely decided to wait on putting in the new floors.

The problem? A skim coat is mud. You have a mud flat. In. Your. House. I now know why pioneer women went batshit crazy. (Okay, aside from the crushing boredom, loneliness and the backbreaking work.)  They lived in what amounted to dry mud flats.  

There’s a lot of all kinds of crap that gets stirred up during construction, but I swear that skim coat was the worst of it.  I’m getting the vapors just thinking about it.

All my friends have instructions to smack me if I ever start talking about remodeling again because, like childbirth, you forget the pain.

Like I said, I’ve had my reasons…  

*Oh, and the damn island is back.  One day it just reappeared. Voila!

Mysterious Island

Posted in Daily Life | 10 Comments »

Standing Around the Locker Room Comparing Sizes

March 14th, 2010 by Steven Gould

Gardner Dozois linked to this on a list we’re both on.  It starts with our moon and then takes progressively bigger objects and sizes them against the previous, ending with the largest known star, VY Canis Majoris, a Red Hypergiant.

(Well worth clicking through to YouTube and Watching it in HD.)

VY Canis Majoris has a diameter of 2,800,000,000 kilometers.  I did some very minor math: if it were in our solar system (instead of our own sun) it’s edge would extend out to the orbit of Saturn.

There are lots of videos out there comparing sizes, but this is the best one I’ve seen so far.  If you’ve got a better link, do put it in the comments.  No rickrolling.  No porn.

(I take it back–if you want to rickroll me, go right ahead.)

Posted in Daily Life | 3 Comments »

Rory and I have Stories Coming Out. Bring Brains.

March 8th, 2010 by Steven Gould

From the Preliminary Cover copy:

Two years ago, readers eagerly devoured The Living Dead. Publishers Weekly named it one of the Best Books of the Year, and Barnes & Noble.com called it “The best zombie fiction collection ever.” Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams is back for another bite at the apple — the Adam’s apple, that is — with 43 more of the best, most chilling, most thrilling zombie stories anywhere, including virtuoso performances by zombie fiction legends Max Brooks (World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), and David Wellington (Monster Island).

Read More »

Posted in Daily Life | 9 Comments »

More On Texas A&M’s Upcoming SF Exhibit

February 19th, 2010 by Steven Gould

It’s Hyper Cool.

Promoted from the Comments, Dr. Hal Hall, Librarian and Curator of Special Collections says:

Thanks for mentioning the Exhibition. Elizabeth Moon will also be speaking at the opening. Take a look at the large banners on the Cushing Library building at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36274857@N05/sets/72157623267964811/

Posted in Daily Life | 3 Comments »

Tourists

February 17th, 2010 by Steven Gould

"Tourists" by Sean Craven

So, Sean Craven, long time commentor here at Eat Our Brains, sold his first fiction to Tor.Com a while back. I was delighted because I saw the story as his submission to the Viable Paradise Writer’s Workshop where I got to meet him in the flesh. Click the pic to check out the excellent revised version.

Posted in Daily Life | 6 Comments »

Facts Formed, Lessons Learned

January 7th, 2010 by Bradley Denton

2009 was a banner year here at Casa Ramrod, assuming that the banner said “Mission Accomplished” in a font called “Clueless Irony.”  (Yes, I know.  It’s been done.)

Nevertheless, I think I learned a few things in 2009 that may serve me well in 2010, especially if I retain the backup option of hiding under the covers.  Here, then, are a few 2009 True Facts and the lessons I’ve taken from them:

True Facts:  In June, I was diagnosed with small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  SLL/CLL progresses slowly and is considered indolent.  So rather than start treatment, I’m engaged in “watchful waiting.”

Lessons Learned:  As I already suspected from my own personal habits, “indolent” is not a bad thing.  Barring meteor strikes or other accidents, then, I’ll probably live more-or-less normally for many more years.  I’ll just have to regard my body as if it were a suspiciously unattended package at the airport.

True Facts:  During both my endoscopy and colonoscopy, I was given a wonderful “twilight” anesthesia that made me forget the most uncomfortable and unpleasant parts of the procedures.  But I was given no “twilight” during my bone-marrow biopsy, so I remember every undignified second of it.  Afterward, however, I was given a snack.

Lessons Learned:  Drugs are good.  But so are cookies.

True Fact:  On the same day that a doctor first said the word “lymphoma” to me, I received an email telling me that the movie version of my second novel would begin filming in October.  This coincidence seems to indicate that God is a merry prankster.

Lesson Learned:  Not really a big fan of merry pranksters, here.

True Facts:  The movie did not begin filming in October.  Or November.  Or December.  This seems to indicate that Hollywood is a merry prankster as well.

Lesson Learned:  See above.

True Fact:  I have an amazing spouse who always has my back despite the fact that I’m a foul-tempered old crank who’s addicted to cookies.

Lesson Learned:  None.  I already knew that.

True Fact:  My friends aren’t half-bad, either.

Lesson Learned:  Suckers.

True Fact:  Throughout 2009, the first picture that popped up in a Google Images search for “Bradley Denton” was a photo of me kissing Steve Gould.

Lesson Learned:  Make one mistake, and you pay for it the rest of your life.

Posted in Barb, Brad, Daily Life, Dammit!, Health and Safety, Steve | 5 Comments »

Let’s Agree to Disagree

January 6th, 2010 by Steven Gould

Scott Edelman, over on Twitter, pointed out this amazingly awful attack on the great writers of science fiction by David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service.  It’s not quite James Bond, Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but it does have a ring to it.

Anyway, his post, titled Beware of Science Fiction, uses Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Kurt Vonnegut, and Gene Roddenberry, as examples of agnostic or atheistic proponents.  His descriptions are factual, using quotes from the writers in question.  After reading every one of the quotes, my reaction is “Right on!” but he seems to see them as, uh, damning.

He finishes with:

Science fiction is intimately associated with Darwinian evolution. Sagan and Asimov, for example, were prominent evolutionary scientists. Sci-fi arose in the late 19th and early 20th century as a product of an evolutionary worldview that denies the Almighty Creator. In fact, evolution IS the pre-eminent science fiction. Beware!

So, I’m guessing that evidence based science is just right out of the picture, for him.

I laughed when I read the informational paragraph at the bottom of the website which includes:

OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

In conclusion, I’m making a unilateral deal with him.  He shouldn’t read ANY Science Fiction and I’ll promise never to read his web site again.

(also posted at Steve’s blog, An Unconvincing Narrative)

Posted in Daily Life, Religion, Science Fiction | 8 Comments »

Petrogypsies Reloaded

January 3rd, 2010 by Rory Harper

Huh. I doubt if this post counts as being substantive, but what the hell.

I just thought I’d mention that Dark Star Books has re-issued my first (okay — so far my only) novel in trade paperback format.

You have no idea how delighted I am and how grateful I am to Tom Knowles for shepherding this project though a lengthy and difficult gestation and birth. Tom’s an old friend who has partnered with a guy who just happens to own a multi-million dollar printing installation. They’re aggressively entering the market with small-run books that can then immediately ramp to print-on-demand and near-instant shipping when the sales call for it. This is likely to be the most survivable business model for small-to-medium publishers in an age when the old business model is dying an agonizing, prolonged death.

Because they’ve almost completely cut out the middle man and aren’t engaging in that monstrous practice where books are destroyed and stripped covers get returned for credit, they can sell at a highly-competitive cover price. And they make extremely high-quality product with great exterior and interior art, printed on acid-free paper, with thick covers and library-quality binding. They’ve got a good line-up of titles already in place, including Robert Asprin’s last novel, ‘No Quarter’. Later this year, we should see John Steakley’s ‘Werewolve$’.

Also, Tom did something almost unheard-of in the publishing biz — He got me and Brad Foster to exchange emails before Brad did the art, to make sure the final cover pleased us both. Brad came up with some neat ideas, including some fun in-jokes with the patches on the jumpsuits that Henry Lee and Star are wearing.

Brad basically nailed it in first draft, except that we had a little back and forth about what Sprocket’s drilling toungue should look like. We decided to step back from showing that, since, well, certain dirty-minded people might think the tip looks like a gigantic penis…

Also, I mentioned that I’d like to see lots of cleavage on the cover. Brad’s one of the Secret Masters of Cleavage, so that worked out okay.I think it’s a perfect cover, especially considering that the book’s being aimed at the YA market.

Tom got me over to watch the print run, which was another wonderful experience. I phone-vidded some of the visit, which I’ll likely post here, once I’ve gotten it edited.

The book is just now coming into stock at Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble. It’ll be available unpredictably in stores in small amounts. You can also order any of their titles directly from Dark Star, of course.

I hope this adventure works out for Tom and Dark Star, because he wants to see the sequel, ‘Sprocket Goes International’, in time to print for this next holiday season, and then, hopefully, ‘Sprocket Goes Interstellar’ the year after.

Now all I gotta do is write them.

:

Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments »

I Suspect Rory Harper Is A Vampire

January 1st, 2010 by Steven Gould

We traveled for the holidays visiting mostly family and some friends in Texas. Among these were supposed to be Rory but he wasn’t answering his phone or texts or emails. Then he did.

“I’m completely turned around,” he said. “I’ve flip-flopped my day-night cycle, staying up all night and sleeping all day. That’s why it took so long to respond.”

A likely story. I suspect he was too busy draining some luscious co-ed in the back alleys to check his phone. I mean, here you are sneaking up on someone and your phone goes off. It must make it difficult to hook up, so to speak.

Now, I can’t personally confirm this since business and weather stuff conspired to scoot us out of the state before planned, but just look at that picture and draw your own conclusions.

I guess we’ll know in February. Blind Lemon Denton and the Lemonaids will be playing AggieCon and Rory plays guitar for them. If he shows up during the daylight hours, I guess I’ll have been mistaken.

Or is that Sunscreen SPF 15 X 10^3?

Posted in Daily Life | 1 Comment »

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