Kage Baker was fond of the saying, It never rains but it pours. That, and a shrug, were her responses when life got peculiar and troubled.
Mind you, I think the phrase actually refers to the quality of Morton Salt (THE salt of our childhood) to continue pouring even when the weather was damp. Kage loved the old-fashioned labels, and salt in the house meant security to her. However, she chose to use it as shorthand for times when lots and lots of things went wrong; especially if things got weird and then went wrong as well. Weird diseases cropping up among our friends, or half the people we knew getting fired because their companies all relocated to East Earlobe, Nowhere In Particular. Animals running loose in the streets, or rashes of spontaneous human combustion.
All those happened a lot in Pismo Beach. But enough weird things happened the rest of the times and places we lived that Kage thought she discerned a pattern. And it had nothing to do with salt. Though if things weird enough, she’d start laying down salt at the front door of the house to repel malign influences. Or at least slugs.
Things have been riotously unpeaceful and rough around here lately. This is why I have not been posting much,Dear Readers. My nights have been spent in vigil over my sick brother-in-law, and my days have been spent sleeping. The household is trying to rally to a schedule to keep things as comfortable and peaceful as possible, but it’s been hard. Fate has not been helpful, and Ray has been taken hard. No one has enough sleep.
Slowly, though, things are approaching some plateau of normalcy among our current mountains of madness. And despite the troubles, I am still going to BayCon this weekend. It’s a war of conflicting responsibilities right now, but I’ll be a lot more use to Kimberly if I take a couple of days off to run around a convention.
Pursuant to the possibility that some of you, Dear Readers, may want to visit, here is my (at the moment, approximate) schedule of panels:
Science fiction: juveniles vs. YAs.
25 May 2019, Saturday 10:00 – 11:30, Synergy 5 (San Mateo Marriott)
In the 1950’s and 60’s, master writers like Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein wrote outright juvenile novels alongside their adult works. Eleanor Cameron wrote the Mushroom Planet books. Walter Brooks wrote Freddy the Pig, which not only starred frankly talking animals a la Animal Farm, but included actual space aliens. John Schealer wrote about Zip-Zip the Martian. No sex, no dystopias, no sparkles, no teenage angst. Panelists discuss the shifts in genre literature for young people.
Kathleen Bartholomew (Self-employed) (M), Rebecca Inch-Partridge, Gideon Marcus (Galactic Journey)
Evolution: What it is, what it isn’t, and what mistakes are prominent.
26 May 2019, Sunday 11:30 – 13:00, Engage (San Mateo Marriott)
A discussion about what evolution can bring us, and what it sadly will never produce, despite the fervent wishes of fiction writers.
Jacob Fisk (M), Jay Freeman, Kathleen Bartholomew (Self-employed), Dr. Ellen Coatney (Contra Costa College)
The Stars are Right!
26 May 2019, Sunday 13:00 – 14:30, Engage (San Mateo Marriott)
The resurging popularity of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos
Ian Grey (M), Frank Wu, Carrie Sessarego (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), Kathleen Bartholomew (Self-employed)
Ebooks, audio and good old fashioned paper
27 May 2019, Monday 10:00 – 11:30, Connect 3 (San Mateo Marriott)
How many hundreds of books do you keep in boxes? And yet, does your heart belong to e-books? If yes, why? If no, why not? Is there a future for mixed media? (Bartholomew)
Kathleen Bartholomew (Self-employed) (M), Sarah Williams (Merrie Pryanksters), Marjory Kaptanoglu, Dr. Wanda Kurtcu (Retired Educator)
Urban Legends in Science
27 May 2019, Monday 11:30 – 13:00, Connect 3 (San Mateo Marriott)
Salt causes high blood pressure. We only use 10% of our brains. Vaccines cause autism. Where does this stuff come from, and why do these fallacies persist? Scientists and science-knowledgeable fans dissect some of the crazy things we hear.
J.L. Doty (M), Deborah J. Ross, Kathleen Bartholomew (Self-employed)
When I am not in one of these panels, I will be sitting in the bar and restaurant, knitting. Or I will be in my room, flaking out and hopefully posting. My general email is firstname.lastname@example.org, if anyone is hunting for me. My cell phone, when it is on, is 805-904-8040.
And now, back to our disasters already in progress. At least we don’t have slugs. Maybe Kage was right about the salt …