Sunday, September 8, 2019


In case you missed it, so you don't:Hey all, apologies for the quietness on Positron lately.  Lots going on offline for me. A couple SF/F things that have caught my eye, and then a grab-bag of Chicago events:
  • I'm very pleased to see that the 2020 SFRA conference will be in Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Wired had a great article, What Sci-Fi Can Teach Computer Science About Ethics, featuring some work done here in Chicago. Emanuelle Burton & Judy Goldsmith presented on some of this work back at the 2016 Worldcon, and it's rad to see it getting some attention.
  • Congrats to the 2019 Hugo Winners, including Chicago's Mary Robinette Kowal for The Calculating Stars.
  • Jeannette Ng's Campbell Awards speech, was brief and to the point, calling out Campbell as a fascist and highlighting what's going on in Hong Kong. This take on Campbell is accurate and not new, but I think the combination of lots of people reading Nevala-Lee's Astounding with the resurgence of fascism and white supremacy made it the perfect time for Ng to call it out.
  • In response to this speech and the conversation it sparked, the name for the award is being changed to "The Astounding Award for Best New Writer". Which is pretty rad.
  • In the wake of this, there were a lot of conversations going on around other problematic or potentially-problematic awards, including The Tiptree. That name is not being changed at this time, but Alexis Lothian has a great write-up from the Tiptree Motherboard on the topic.
Lots of good stuff going around Chicago lately:

  • The Semicolon recently opened in River West, right by the Grand Blue Line stop. It's an art gallery as well as a book shop, and it's BYOB!
  • Uncharted Books left their long-standing location in Logan Square, but they've successfully relocated to a great new space in Andersonville.
  • This coming Monday, 9/9, Women & Children First is hosting a Midnight Release Party for Margaret Atwood's The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale.
  • Tuesday, 9/10, you might be interested in The Meekling Talks, a really fun/bizarre series that touches on surrealism and magical realism. Repeats monthly for the fall at The Martin 
  • Thursday, 9/12, Otherworld Theatre is holding the next of their Gateways series, where playwrights create short one-acts from science-fictional prompts.
  • VampCon is September 20-22 in Rosemont, featuring some writers and all things vampiric.
  • The Chicago Steampunk Exposition, also featuring some genre authors, is September 27-29, also in Rosemont.
  • The Story Studio's Writer's Festival is back; genre fans may be interested in catching Jac Jemc, Juan Martinez, and more; the lineup is really great this year. October 5 & 6 at Columbia College.
  • The Chicago Humanities Festival this year features George R.R. Martin in discussion with Eve Ewing (10/11), as well as a talk by Ta-Nehisi Coates (10/2), whose new novel The Water Dancer.
  • Eve Ewing & GRRM are guests of note at the Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner, if you happen to have a large chunk of disposable cash for a good literary cause.
  • Finally, Windycon is on the horizon, November 15-17th in Lombard.
Author Talks! 
There are some cool ones coming up:
Book Clubs!

And, as always, there are simply loads of great SF/F bookclubs going on in Chicagoland--have as many of those as I can catch, along with other fun stuff, on the Upcoming Events calendar.

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