All posts by MarthaWells

[GUEST POST] Mark W. Tiedemann on Science Fiction: It’s Not About the Buttons

Mark W. Tiedemann has been publishing science fiction since 1986. In 2000, Mirage, an Asimov Robot Mystery, appeared, first of a trilogy in Asimov’s Robot City universe, followed by Compass Reach, Metal of Night, and Peace & Memory, all part of the Secantis Sequence. Compass Reach was short-listed for the Philip K. Dick Award, and 2005 novel Remains was short-listed for the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Mark has also worked as a professional photographer. In 2005 he was elected president of The Missouri Center for the Book, the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. During his tenure, the organization was instrumental in the establishment of Missouri’s first State Poet Laureate position. In 2011, Mark retired from the Center. He is represented by the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

It’s Not About the Buttons

From time to time I have this conversation, usually after having spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get a computer to work properly (or at all):

“You know, for a guy who writes science fiction, you are a real technophobe.”

Or Luddite, depending on how angry I am at the machine in question.

On its face, it’s a fair criticism. But the fact is, I’m not a technophobe. I love technology. Part of my early attraction to science fiction was because of the cool machines. Computers, spaceships, robots, all that marvelous, labor-saving, sometimes-menacing, awesome high-tech hardware appealed to a latent modernist sensibility. Far from phobic, my difficulties with operating technology stems from a basic impatience with the internal workings of just about any mechanical device, and in this sense, yes, programming a computer, and all the related minutiae of operating it, equates to mechanical devices.

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[GUEST POST] Martha Wells on NASA, Up Close and Personal

Martha Wells is the author of nine fantasy novels, including The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her newest novel is The Cloud Roads, just released by Night Shade Books. Her next novel from Night Shade will be The Serpent Sea, coming out next year. Her publications also include two Stargate: Atlantis novels and several short stories.

NASA Up Close and Personal, for SF/F Writers and Editors

For the past few years, one of the perks for the guests of honor at ApolloCon, in Houston, Texas, is a VIP tour of NASA, led by Paul A. Abell, Lead Scientist for Planetary Small Bodies. If you are ever lucky enough to be offered the chance, you want to take this tour. Put on your comfortable shoes and leap into the car, because you don’t want to miss it! It takes about eight hours with a break for lunch, but it is worth every second. I was lucky enough to be an ApolloCon guest of honor this year, and took the tour the Thursday before the con started, with my husband and Ann VanderMeer, the ApolloCon editor guest of honor.

You do need a security clearance, and for each section a briefer/escort who works in that particular area will join you to give that part of tour and answer questions and be happy when you stare at everything with wide eyes and tell them how incredible it is.

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