Excerpts From a Con: CapClave 2013

Copyright 2013 by Paula S. Jordan

CapclaveOne reason (of many) that I go to SF&F conventions is to get my brains stirred up and my writing reinvigorated. CapClave did that beautifully this year, thanks to inspired programming and a host of inspiring guests.

Here are a few of their fascinating insights into science, fantasy, fiction and the universe in general.

On the History of Dragons:

“More than likely, St. George actually fought a really big (30 foot) crocodile.”

“Dinosaur remains are still being exported from China as dragon bones.”

Dragon: “… the name given to every big thing that goes bump in the night ..,” or to “… 1arge dead beasties washed up on the beach.”

On Science In Fiction:

“Story comes first, but bad science detracts from the story.

“Human-based sciences are the hard ones. Sub-atomic particles behave the same day in and day out. That’s easy.”

“We need our best thinkers doing science instead of law.”

Inge Heyer, on Planets of Other Suns:

Inge Heyer Astronomer

Inge Heyer

“998 planets have now been found, and more every day … hot Jupiters and icy Jupiters, hot Dwarfs and icy Dwarfs, Lucifer Planets and orphaned planets and pulsar planets. Some, even large ones, are so close to their stars they have 3-minute days. Astronomers thought planets wouldn’t be possible in double star systems; to date we’ve found planets in three of them.”

Advice to Writers:

“When you’re having a down day, go to Amazon and read all the one-star reviews of classic books.”

“Use all the class, gender and ethnic assumptions you want to, but make the characters more complex than the stereotypes.”

“Even good guys can be hard to live with.”

Howard Waldrop, on his 1998 story Mr Goober’s Show:

howard23d“A science fiction view of the world in which the first science fiction was being written.

(More on Howard next week.)

Sharyn November, on Young Adult Fiction:

“All the books are true, I just don’t know the people.”

Sharyn November, Firebird Press

Sharyn November, Firebird Press

“Not everyone will grow up to read Tolstoy, but I can keep on slipping them some of the good stuff.”

Quoting Jane Yolen, “Young adult literature is the front line in the fight for first amendment rights.”

Scientist John Ashmead,on improving invisibility:

“A sufficiently advanced science can be even better than magic.”

George R. R . Martin

George R. R . Martin

And last but far from least, the two giant pleasures of the weekend: George RR Martin and Howard Waldrop reading their own work.

My thanks to all concerned.

Photo Credits:

Inge Heyer: Aroundspace.com

Howard Waldrop: Sff.net

Sharyn November: David Shankbone

George R. R. Martin: Karolina Webb

About Paula S. Jordan

Paula S. Jordan is an Analog writer, former orbit analyst, and a blogger, with a an alien contact novel in third draft. It’s all her dad’s fault: giving her that science fiction book at seven years old!

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