Writing, Books, Painting, Politics, Neuroplasticity

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Invitation to kick off Neuro-Entanglement Conference April 2012

Barbara Stafford, a brilliant Visiting Professor (from the University of Chicago) at Georgia Tech,  author of many incisive books about the confluence of the latest neuro research and art, has invited me to read a selection of my fiction to kick off the Neuro-Entanglement Conference at Georgia Tech this coming April.  I am excited about this conference, as it sounds as if it will embody all of my most recent interests.  We live in an exhilarating time–we are in the midst of a revolution in neurology that echoes the revolution in physics that took place a century ago.  I think that it will change many aspects of society, technology, and culture.  It will change us.  We just don’t know how. 

The Neuro-Entanglement Conference is free and open to the public, so watch this space as the time draws near. 

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December 11, 2011   No Comments

“Verity,” by Pam Noles

My friend Pam Noles made this work of art for me.  It’s much more beautiful than in this photo.  I was waiting to hang it before posting a picture, but we’ve decided that will require a major rearrangment of Stuff On The Walls, so here it is. 

It was inspired by Queen City Jazz, and here’s a story:  I met Pam in Lakeland, Florida.  We both lived there.  She was on the Lakeland Cop Beat for the Tampa Tribune.  She had just been to Clarion, and wanted to meet other Clarionites and form a writer’s group. 

She showed up at my house one Saturday afternoon.  Soon we moved into the front yard, which was on Lake Morton, the main downtown lake/park in Lakeland.  Everyone has to drive around Lake Morton to get around.  It’s small, but it has Swans.  You can’t beat swans for peevishness and beauty. 

As we sat there, car after car slowed so that people could wave and say hi to Pam–she knew everybody in town because she’d interviewed them or contacted them about stories.  We had great fun, and I gave her the manuscript of Queen City Jazz, then a Work In Progress. 

This hanging is called “Verity” after the main character in QCJ.  Pam sent me the Details of Cloth Provenance with the hanging.  The red and green batik is hand woven and dyed by a woman’s collective in Ghana, the Bees are from “Vintage Mom Cloth from the ’70’s and “snippets from my dining room curtains, which were perfect Bee Yellow color.”  Other greens and yellows are from the Garment Disstrict in downtown LA.  And the Red Button in the center is Vintage Mom Stash. 

Wow. 

We’re hanging it so that it’s one of the first things you see when you come in the front door. 

Wow.  Thanks, Pam!

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November 12, 2011   No Comments

A nice photo by Rebecca Burnett at Georgia Tech

Dr. Burnett generously did a photoshoot last week.  It was very kind of her, and thanks to her expertise, we came up with some that turned out very well.  Credit for this photo is R.E. Burnett 2011

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November 12, 2011   No Comments

Signing This Shared Dream for Dean Royster

Jacqueline Royster, Dean of Ivan Allen College at Georgia Tech, where I am a Visiting Professor, came to my Barnes and Noble reading and bought a book!  I was so pleased to see her there.  She said that she and her husband, Patrick, are fans.

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November 12, 2011   No Comments

Science Fiction Symposium Georgia Tech Nov 17–Public Invited

 

If you’re in the Atlanta area, plan to come to the Science Fiction Symposium at Georgia Tech on November 17th.  The public is invited, and it’s free.  Here’s the schedule and description of events:  Science Fiction Symposium 2011 .  This is the same information on the Ivan Allen College schedule:  http://tinyurl.com/6w4r3rt

I will moderate a panel from 4:30-6 featuring Eugie Foster, Chesya Burke, and J. M. McDermott, which will include readings.  I hope to see you there! 

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November 11, 2011   No Comments

Halloween!!

What am I?  I am Everything From My Suitcase in Escondido, just before heading to a fabulous Halloween party on Saturday night near Escondido.  I am so sorry that I left my phone/camera behind (for fear of loss) because there were creaking caskets opening and closing, Eye of Sauron balloons, Skulls with Red Blinking Eyes, a Life-Sized Zombie Removing His Own Head, and lots of wild dancing to a great band next to a big stone bar and a pool.  Most everyone else had bespoke/rented costumes–I particularly liked the Tin Woodsman, Dorothy, and a Toto stand-in, their own Little Dog Too.  But this is me, doing my best with what was at hand–what a blast!  I danced and danced.

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October 31, 2011   No Comments

Seth Elgart on In War Times, Jazz, and Synthesizers

On Saturday, Seth Elgart, a synthesizer muscian who writes a blog called Box of Textures, “Thoughts on music, synthesizers, recording and other things,” wrote to me and asked if he could post some thoughts about In War Times.  I read his piece and was delighted, because it is all about how my father’s discovery of jazz, in the thirties, as woven into In War Times, took Elgart back to his own musical awakening, which occurred when he first heard synthesizer music.  He says that he got his first Minimoog in 1979. 

Here’s the beginning of his piece:

In War Times 

In Which a Science Fiction Author Writing About Jazz Completely and Unexpectedly Illuminates Why I Play Synthesizers
 
If I was 10 years older I’d probably be a sax player instead of a synthesist.
 
But I didn’t know that until I started reading Kathleen Ann Goonan’s book In War Times. Goonan writes amazing novels. They’re thick, heavy, and deep. In the best of ways, of course. And they’re filled with music, with jazz. Now I like jazz, but would not call myself an aficionado. Keith Jarrett, Branford Marsalis, Etta James, even, all favorites of mine along with many others. I’m much more of a rocker, though. But if I’d been born in 1940 or ’50 instead of 1960 maybe I would have turned out much like her characters.
 
The beauty of Goonan’s writing is how I feel almost immediately immersed, even though I’ve never been to those 52nd Street jazz clubs, or to the ones in Harlem. And when I was the impressionable age her characters were when they were listening to their first jazz platters, for me there was Switched on Bach, Yes, ELP, Genesis, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Larry Fast, and later, in high school, Tangerine Dream. . .
 
Continue to read at Box of Textures.  And give a listen to his sythesizer music; his first cd is K2, available online.  Perfect writing music. 
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October 31, 2011   No Comments

Kathleen Goonan at Center for Fiction’s Big Read Event

  

 On October 3rd, I participated in the  kickoff event for the Center for Fiction’s Big Read Event in NYC.

It was a great day.  The flight into NYC was splendid, as the day was clear and bright; I had lovely light-sheened views of rivers, bays, and bridges as we landed.  After checking in to my hotel, I visited the office of my publisher, Tor/MacMillan in the iconic Flatiron Building on 5th Avenue .

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My editor, David Hartwell, introduced me to many of the people who worked on THIS SHARED DREAM. 

 I signed books in his office while he worked.   

Around 5 PM we headed toward a great restaurant a few doors down from the Center for Fiction, where we met Jen Gunnels for dinner, after which we walked to the Center for Fiction for the Big Read Event. 

 

 

Anna North (America Pacifica), Charles Yu (How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe) and I were on a panel on which we discussed utoias and dystopias, moderated by Orbit editor DongWon Song (left).    An article about the panel, “Genre in the Mainstream, was posted on tor.com. 

Here we are waiting for the panel to begin:

 

 

Song, North, Goonan, Yu Center for Fiction

You can see a slideshow of the panel at the Center For Fiction’s website, where they describe the panel:

 
This panel explored the horrific and idyllic worlds that science fiction writers create in their works. Writers Anna North, Charles Yu, and Kathleen Ann Goonan with moderator DongWon Song discussed the universes of science and slipstream fiction.
 
NY - Times Square - Planet Hollywood And then, to Planet Hollywood on Times Square for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Annual Industry Event, a party for writers, editors, agents, and publishers. 
 
A good day.
 
 
 

 

 

 

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October 16, 2011   No Comments

Nanotechnology and the Body: A Convergence of Technology, Choices, and Ethics–RIT 2004

Kathleen Ann Goonan Rochester Institute of Technology Talk 

As I update my CV, I found the text of this talk that I gave Science fiction and fantasy literature play an important role in popular culture by shaping how people imagine and talk about the future.   Here is the announcement.  NOTE:  This is not in the future, but in the past, so don’t try to attend!  Just read the paper, above. 

Sept. 9, 2004
by Susan Gawlowicz
Follow Susan Gawlowicz on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

Writer Kathleen Goonan will discuss the role of science fiction in science discourse in her talk, “Nanotechnology and the Body: A Convergence of Technology, Choices and Ethics,” at 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 27, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science Auditorium at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Queen City Jazz, the first novel in Goonan’s series, the Nanotech Quartet, was a British Science Fiction Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of 1994. Mississippi Blues, Crescent City Blues and A Little Light Music complete the quartet.

Goonan’s talk is part of the special topics in communication class, The Discourse of Nanotechnology and Social Change, led by Diane Hope, Kern Professor in Communications, and Paul Petersen, special assistant to the provost on nanotechnology and former dean of the College of Engineering. The class is the third in a pilot program funded by the National Science Foundation exploring nanotechnology, ethics and society.

“Goonan’s quartet exemplifies the best of science fiction literature,” Hope says. “Her knowledge of real world developments in nanotechnology, her love of musical form and lyrical voice present a vivid imagining of what life could be like in both horrific and glorious possibilities.

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October 1, 2011   No Comments

Kosmopolis 2004

As I was searching for a text of the Keynote Address I gave at the 2004 Kosmopolis Literary Festival in Barcelona, Spain, I found these photos on my web site.  Marcial Souto, an award-winning scholar and translator, introduced me and moderated post-talk questions.  

Kosmopolis was a large, exciting literary event with many vectors–among them a great exhibit about Julio Cortazar, an exhibit of paintings by Gao Xingjian, the author of Soul Mountain, and an exhibit about war at which I saw, for the first time, an Enigma Machine. 

Strangely chilling to think about all of the history that flowed from this encription device, including Turing’s breakthrough and his subsequent contribution to the field of artificial intelligence. 

I was honored to be invited to give the keynote address, which was about the possibilities of nanotechnology and the ways in which it links or may, in the future, link the sciences, engineering, and the arts.    Text, Goonan’s Keynote Address at Kosmopolis, Barcelona 2004 

 

 

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October 1, 2011   No Comments