Tag Archives: science fiction

Mining Our Biblical Matriarchs

A workshop on Friday, September 2, 2022 at Chicon 8, presented by Sally Wiener Grotta

The women of the Bible (Eve, Esther, Miriam, etc.) have been amongst the West’s most enduring female archetypes. As lush and varied as any mythology, their stories have been reinterpreted by every generation’s artists, clerics, and political leaders, according to how they expected women to be. However, these archetypes have been largely overlooked by modern spec fic authors. In this workshop, we’ll have fun challenging and toppling common preconceptions about various women of the Bible, as we mine this rich mother lode for SF&F story ideas.


The following are my notes and amplifications. I am solely responsible for their content and any mistakes.
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Rang Gaeilge, 8ú lá na mí Mheán Fómhair 2022

Duinnín agus Professor Moriarty

Dineen and Professor Moriarty

fuaduighim… I take by force, abduct; I carry off (as the fairies a child); put to flight, drive away, blow away; Is amhlaidh do fuaduigheadh í, hers was a case of abduction, al. she was carried off by the fairies.

fuadaigh Take away by force; abduct, kidnap
  • Bhí ceathrar fear cruinnithe in uimhir 122b Sráid an Bhéicéara i Londain. Bhí an lá go breá amuigh, cuid éigin aeir agus gile sa chathair arís ón uair go raibh deireadh leis an ngeimhreadh agus laghdú ar líon na dtinte guail. Bhí coiscéim níos airde faoi na capaill agus ní raibh croíthe lucht díolta pósaetha chomh trom agus a bhíodh ar laethanta fliucha éadóchasacha.
    Istigh sna seomraí mar ar mhair[indirect relative clause] Searbhlach de Hoilm agus a chara an Dochtúir Bhatson, bhí an t-aer trom le deatach, ámh, deatach píopaí agus an deatach áirithe sin a éirionn ó bhaithisí na bhfear nuair a bhíonn cruacheist á plé agus gan réiteach acu uirthi.

    There were four men meeting at number 122b Baker Street in London. It was a fine day outside, some air and brightness in the city again since the end of winter and a decrease in the number of coal fires. There was a higher step about the horses and the hearts of posy sellers were not as heavy as they used to be on desperate wet days.

    Inside the rooms where Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson lived the air was heavy with smoke, however, pipe smoke and that particular smoke that rises from the heads of men when they are discussing a difficult issue and have not settled it

    gile Whiteness, brightness f
    laghdú Decrease, diminution; reduction m
    tint tent f
    gual coal m
    coiscéim Footstep; pace f
    croí heart m pl croíthe
    lucht Content, charge; fill, capacity; cargo, load; (Class, category, of) people m
    pósae Posy, flower m pl pósaetha
    trom Weight; burden, oppression m
    éadéchasach Despairing, hopeless
    ámh Indeed, truly; However
    baithis Top, crown (of head) f
    cruacheist Difficult question; conundrum f
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Chicon 8

Thursday

On Thursday, Sept. 1, Mia McDavid and I drove to Chicago for Chicon 8: The 80th World Science Fiction Convention at the Hyatt Regency Chicago . This was our 5th Chicon. Previously we had attended:

Despite some glitches, we really enjoyed the Con, and visiting downtown Chicago again.

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Capricon Notes

As I wrote previously , Mia (my wife) and I spent last weekend at Capricon, a Chicagoland science fiction convention. We went to most of the Capricons in the ’80’s and ’90’s, but in our first years in Minnesota the pressures of parenthood prevented us from going. Those have eased somewhat and we have been to most of the Capricons (and Windycons) since 2009. While most Capricons have been in the Chicago suburbs, this year the convention was downtown, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

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Windycon 2021

My wife Mia and I spend the past weekend in Chicagoland. Friday and Saturday we were at Windycon, a science fiction convention that we have frequently attended since the 1970s. This was first SF con we have been to since the world shut down for Covid-19. There was no Windycon in 2020. Covid, of course, has not gone away, but this year Windycon was back, with changes. There were very strict and detailed Covid policies. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test were required for admission. Masks were required everywhere except “while … actively consuming food or drink in the consuite or green room” or for performers while performing and at least 6 feet from anyone else. Bill Roper has a positive con report, with which I completely agree.

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Rang Gaeilge, 27ú lá Mí na mí Aibreáin 2021

Duinnín agus an Bhadhbh

Boladh … smell, scent; Boladh an scéil, hint of the story; Boladh na húire, the smell of earth, a smell presaging death (Ker.); Boladh an tsionnnaigh, “a fox smell,” a peculiar smell said to be hereditary in certain families …

  • Bhí an tAthair Pádraig ag obair ag a bhinse sa Leabharlann Náisiúnta nuair a thug sé foai ndeara go raibh lochán gréine ar an urlár. Ni scáil na gréine, go fírinneach, a dhúisigh óna néal é ach scáil phréacháin a dhubhaigh an ghile ar an urlár le rince beag earraigh a dhein se ar dhíon gloine na leabharlainne. ‘Badhbh!’ arsa an tAthair Pádraig. ‘Leid ón mBé.

    Father Patrick was working at his bench in the National Library when he noticed a pool of sunlight on the floor. It was not the image of the sun, in fact, that woke him from his nap, but the shadow of a crow that darkened the light on the floor with a little spring dance that he performed on the glass roof of the library. ‘War-goddess!’ said Fr. Patrick. ‘A sign from the woman/muse.’

    binsebenchm
    lochánsmall lake, pond
    scáilshadow, shade, darkness, reflection, image
    néalcloud, napm
    préacháncrow, rookm
    dubhaighblacken, darken
    gileWhiteness, brightnessf
    díonroof
    LeidHint, inkling; prompt; pointer, cluef
    Woman; maidenf

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Blinking Astronomical Photographs

Low-Cost Approach to Scanning Historic Glass Plates Yields an Astronomical Surprise. Technical details at Precise Photometric Measurements from a 1903 Photographic Plate Using a Commercial Scanner.

Professional astrophotography used to be done on emulsion-coasted glass places. That was how astromical discoveries were made for nearly a century.

More than an estimated 2.4 million glass plates are out there in collections in North America alone. These were taken starting in the 1890s right up until the 1970s, when CCD (Charged Couple Device) detectors started to come online for astronomy. Of these, only an estimated 400,000 plates have been digitized to research quality

The team in this article has found a much cheaper way to proceed with this process, using off-the-shelf hardware.

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