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Charlie Stross At Penguicon

by Matt Arnold last modified 2006-09-11 13:17

With the addition of Charlie Stross to Penguicon's already-stellar 2007 Guest of Honor lineup, it's fast becoming the premier destination for science fiction fans in April.

One of the computer-savviest, internettiest, award-winningest science fiction/fantasy/Lovecraftian authors, Charlie Stross, will fly here from Scotland to be a Guest of Honor at Penguicon. In my excitement, adjectives have begun to fail me-- behold how I must kludge them out of other parts of speech. I am so geeked about this I'm nearly lapsing into Lojban.

I noted aloud for the past several months that when I got Cory Doctorow for Penguicon 3.0 in 2005, he was the only full GoH we ever had who was a science fiction author. The rest were fantasy. Well this year, both of our Author GoHs are SF! This year, with Charlie Stross, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder, Nick Sagan, Sarah Monette, and Sarah Zettel, we have now officially Guestified and Niftified so many award-winning leading lights at the cutting-edge of genre fiction where it's at its most vigorous, this lineup is shining like a heavenly firmament.

Penguicon's Head of Guest Liaisons, Anne Murphy, and I got to spend time with John Scalzi, Tobias Buckell, Anne Harris and Sarah Zettel (all of whom I look forward to putting on programming) at the Kerrytown Book Fair in Ann Arbor yesterday, where they gave a panel about science fiction. I told Scalzi about seeing his friend Charlie Stross at Penguicon, and he said the GoH lineup is verging on an embarrassment of riches. The total number of awards, nominations, and other forms of prestige possessed by our GoHs and Nifties is difficult to calculate with human science. Scalzi came up with a great idea, to have a panel about awards: Who do they benefit-- the authors or the readers? Does it give credibility? Who pays attention?

With the attendance of Christine Peterson of the Foresight Nanotech institute, and the numerous scientists who I'm recruiting, combined with all the Hard SF authors, there's a clear sub-theme emerging this year about futurics.

Another sub-theme I see emerging is the Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos.

  • Charlie Stross writes, among many other things, spy thrillers about the British Secret Service in a modern world of Lovecraftian magical horror.
  • A Cthulhu sequel for the Munchkin card game has recently been illustrated by John Kovalic and written by Steve Jackson.
  • Plans are in the works to perform "A Shoggoth On The Roof" at Penguicon, a stage musical combining the Cthulhu Mythos with the music from "Fiddler On The Roof". "There are some things that man was not meant to adapt to musical theatre, and A Shoggoth on the Roof has long been regarded as a musical that cannot and must not be produced." Please contact Penguicon if you want to be added to the cast.
  • We plan to screen the black-and-white silent film "Call of Cthulhu" which the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society recently produced in authentic Mythoscope(TM). Here's hoping my friends and I finish translating the speech cards into Lojban in time, and we'll show the translation simultaneously. There are some things man was not meant to know, and the best way to hide it from them is to write it in Lojban.

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