So, I was working on a delightful post about Jackie Chan and Jet Li’s The Forbidden Kingdom. I had a not-insignificant amount written, actually, when my Internet connection decided to die inexplicably. Unfortunately, I discovered this when I saved my work in progress, and thus my work was sent off into the aether, apparently without being cached locally. This has so irritated me that I don’t think I’m going to actually finish that review tonight. I am too full of rage.
So, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. This seems to happen regularly, cycles of on-again, off-again productivity. Fortunately, that means that we’re due for a flurry of activity here. For the next week, expect a new post every day as I catch up on some stuff I’d been meaning to write about. With my discussion of movies, I’ll go in reverse chronological order, so that my most recent experiences might be of some use in deciding what to see.
But, before any of that, some thoughts on an event I attended on Monday night. It was the launch event for the Canada Council Heritage Series entitled Foresight: Speculative Fiction in Canada. It consisted of a panel moderated by Michael Skeet, and featuring James Alan Gardner, Karl Schroeder, and Peter Watts. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take notes, so I can’t really offer a play-by-play. It was interesting and entertaining, however.
Given that there was some predefined focus on Canadian speculative fiction, most of the questions presented by the moderator were in that vein, covering the role of environment in Canadian SF, the difference between Canadian and American SF, and the like. Skeet ran a smooth panel, with Gardner, Schroeder, and Watts playing off each other’s answers — or occasionally contradicting each other. It must be said, however, that the best sound bite for the evening goes to Peter Watts’ definitive statement, “The environment is our bitch,” referring to how SF writers use the environment to make their point, not just as a setting.
The panel lasted for about 45 minutes, with a 15 minute question period at the end that had some good questions from the audience. One question I remember asked each panelist what current science is most inspiring to them, and surprisingly (given the differences of the authors involved) they were all interested in recent cognitive neuroscience developments, with Watts and Gardner specifically interested in the link between neuroscience and religion. (Caveat: I may be confusing the specific science name with something else, but I basically mean “brain stuff”.)
Much to my wallet’s dismay, Bakka-Phoenix was there selling books, and so I bought the story collection Ten Monkeys, Ten Minutes from Peter Watts and the paperback Vigilant from Gardner. (I didn’t buy anything from Schroeder because I own all of his stuff already.) On the upside, I now have a few additional signed books in my collection.
Anyway, I’m keeping my eye on the schedule for other nearby events in this series from the Toronto Public Library. Naturally, I’ll blog about any other events I take in.