Sunday, August 29, 2010

ArmadilloCon 2010 toastmaster speech: Google's secret deal with SFWA

In her Armadillocon toastmaster speech, Nancy Kress said Google is trying to strike a hush-hush deal to publish SFWA members. Not their books, but the members themselves. They'll use replicator invented by Bruce Sterling, that prints 3-dimensional shapes.

The first person Google wanted to "publish" was Ray Bradbury, if only he could be torn away from watching a certain video. (I think she's talking about the recent, viral "<Expletive> me, Ray Bradbury".) But then Google decided he's not a good candidate, because the materials required to replicate Ray Bradbury would be too stylish, rich and expensive.

Instead, Google decided to replicate the whole "Analog mafia". That didn't go well either, because the Analog mafia said they didn't want to be printed. Being hard science fiction writers, they fear that due to quantum effects, their replicas won't be accurate or fully functional.

Fan guest Elspeth Bloodgood interjected that Google should replicate Harlan Ellison, because he's not fully functional anyway.

In between getting "phone calls" from Google with further details on the deal, Nancy Kress introduced ArmadilloCon guests, bringing up each guest's funny or remarkable biographical details. For example, Kress said Rachel Caine is more dedicated to deadlines than anyone else she knows. Rachel once typed the whole weekend with a compound fracture in her arm, before a surgeon had a chance to set it, just to meet a deadline.

Nancy Kress holds up famous boxer shorts

Then Nancy Kress held up a pair of big, stripy boxer shorts with a lipstick print on it. She said it was one prominent editor's (name withheld) underwear, and it will be auctioned off for charity. She speculated that the lipstick print was Pat Cadigan's, and also reminisced about Armadillocons of yore when Pat Cadigan ran a charity auction with a bullwhip. She stood in the hallway, cracking her whip to get people to get into the auction room -- and it worked. They raised the amount of money they were aiming for.

Each guest may have introduced himself or herself -- if they did, I draw a blank on anything they may have said, except for Michael Bishop. Bishop said he was disconcerted that he was named steampunk literary guest of honor, because he hasn't written any steampunk. The con committee must have thought that his birthday fell in the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign.

Pictures from Armadillocon 2010 and writers' workshop are in my photo gallery.

1 comment:

Pat Cadigan said...

That is indeed my lipstick print. The boxers belonged to Gardner Dozois and somewhere, I have a photo of Nancy and me wearing them...together.