Evil High Priestess Still Popular

by wjw on August 2, 2020

I just got a note from Google, which keeps track of everything, to inform me that the most popular page on my blog is a 2012 post about Madonna being the High Priest of Satan.

It’s good to be remembered, but I hadn’t thought it would be for this.


Virtual Worldcon

by wjw on July 31, 2020

Despite the odd technical glitch, I’ve been enjoying the world’s first virtual worldcon.  It’s a very science fiction-y thing, meeting and seeing friends scattered over the States via a server in New Zealand.

I’ve had a good time on my panels, and my reading (from Fleet Elements) seemed to be well-received.  (I think I had more people listening to my virtual item than I usually get at a live reading.)

After the reading I was supposed to meet with my readers in one of the chat rooms, but technical glitches— all caused by my own inexperience with the software— led to my being unable to find them.  If you were one of those expecting me, please accept my apologies.

Congratulations to the Hugo winners, and a special congratulations to Ty and Daniel, whose Expanse just won for best series.


Don’t Blink

by wjw on July 27, 2020

So the good news is that the paella was much better on the second try.  Jasmine rice was surprisingly good with the dish.

The bad news is that early Monday I’m having eye surgery.  Keep your fingers crossed.


New Zealish

by wjw on July 26, 2020

I will be a participant in this year’s Worldcon, which was to be held in New Zealand but will now be held online.

I’m posting my appearance schedule below.  The first time given is New Zealand time.  I’ve found that to convert from New Zealand time to Mountain Daylight Time (where I live), you need to add six and then subtract 24.  For instance, if the program item is at noon on Friday in New Zealand, then you add six hours (to 1800 or 6pm), then cross the Date Line and subtract 24, which means that the event will be held at 6pm on Thursday MDT.  If you’re not MDT, you’ll have to do the conversion to your own time zone yourself.

Also, to tune in to program items, you have to be a member of Conzealand.

Here’s my schedule.  The MDT time for the item is below the list of participants, in caps and boldface.

Wild Cards: Writing the Mosaic Novel Format: Panel

30 Jul 2020, Thursday 09:00 – 09:50, Programme Room 3 (Webinar) (Programming)

Wild Cards is a collaborative series edited by George R. R. Martin & Melinda Snodgrass. Set in an alternate post-World War II Earth, Wild Cards is about super heroes and super villains who developed their powers after a virus hit the Earth.

What are mosaic novels and how have they been used in the Wild Cards series?

Peadar Ó Guilín, Walter Jon Williams, Melinda Snodgrass (Stealing Fire Productions Inc.) (M)


Reading: Walter Jon Williams Format: Reading

30 Jul 2020, Thursday 10:30 – 10:55, Reading Room 1 (Programming)

Walter Jon Williams


Great Worlds in SF Format: Panel

31 Jul 2020, Friday 13:00 – 13:50, Programme Room 1 (Webinar) (Programming)

A satisfying SF world is more than name. What makes such a world appealing to the reader? Does that appeal correlate with the depth and complexity of the writer’s creation? What aspects — physics, biology, history, other — are important?  What are good examples, and maybe what are some bad ones?

James Davis Nicoll (James Nicoll Reviews / University of Waterloo Theatre Centre), Fred Lerner D.L.S. (M), Amy (A.K.) DuBoff, Walter Jon Williams, Sheila Williams (Asimov’s Science Fiction)


From Page to Screen: Screenwriting 101 Format: Panel

2 Aug 2020, Sunday 10:00 – 10:50, Programme Room 2 (Webinar) (Programming)

So you finally get your dream to write for movies or TV. How is it different from writing prose? Experienced screenwriters share their secrets with you today!

Dr Candice Michelle Goodwin (RWC Productions), Catherine S. McMullen (M), Zaza Koshkadze, Walter Jon Williams, Melinda Snodgrass (Stealing Fire Productions Inc.)



Tapa Out

by wjw on July 19, 2020

IMG_5142So last night’s experiment in cuisine was seafood paella.  I’d never made paella before, and I’ve probably eaten it less than half a dozen times in my life, but I had a new skillet that I thought would do a good job with it, and the ingredients were to hand, including the terrific saffron that Patricia Rogers gave me a while back.

In addition to shrimp and bay scallops, the paella had ham, chicken, and chorizo.  I looked online for recipes, and found dozens of them, all claiming to be authentic recipes garnered from a grandmother born in Andalusia or wherever, so I felt free to mix and match whatever seemed good.   (I am not one of the purists who claims that paella has only chicken and rabbit and no other protein.)  All the paella I’ve eaten in the past was a little bland, so I thought chorizo might fix that, along with red pepper flakes.

And the paella was, well, pretty good.  (It tasted much better on the second night.)  Next time I’ll look for arborio rice, or some other kind of rice other than the standard white rice in my pantry.

But not bad for a first attempt.  Next will be better.



July 12, 2020

Here you find me and my sparring partner Heironymus Bash ready for the renewed New Mexico lockdown that begins Monday.  Bars will be shut.  Indoor restaurants will be closed, though there will still be takeout and outdoor patio dining at half capacity.  Masks are mandatory in public, even for joggers and other people doing exercise. […]

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Toolbox Turnout

July 8, 2020

I’m delighted to report two new novels by graduates of Taos Toolbox, The Wysman by Dorothy A. Windsor, who was at the very first Toolbox in 2007, and Bad Parts by Brandon McNulty, who attended much more recently than 2007, though I cannot recall the exact year. The Wysman is a YA fantasy, and you can read more about […]

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July 6, 2020

One thing that lockdown permits is time for a lot of big projects, provided that the projects can be carried out at home.   So right now I’m involved in boxing up a lot of original manuscripts, which I’m donating to the archives at Texas A&M, where they will spend eternity in a climate-controlled bunker, […]

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July 4, 2020

We decided to do a big Fourth of July celebration, just the two of us, in part because we need cheering up.  So I put on a patriotic aloha shirt, with US Navy ships on it, then made some lovely, tender sous vide ribs, collard greens, and sweet corn, and there will be ice cream […]

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July 2, 2020

The Coode Street Podcast usually does lengthy interviews with writers, but has responded to the COVID by doing short ten-minute interviews in which we talk about what we’re reading in lockdown. So here I am, along with my reading.

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