UnCommonwealth

The online journal of speculative fiction author Christopher Rowe.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

This one's for all the cops in the doughnut shops...

And it reads...Dear Kasey,

The so lovely so talented Nalo has posted a meme-theng about pop music. Way it works is, you go plug the year you graduated high school into the search box at top right on this page. The first link on the page that pops up will be to a list of the Top 100 (not to be confused with the Hot 100) songs of that year.

You can read Nalo's entry if you want to follow the instructions about highlighting and circling and arrowing which songs did it and which songs didn't for you. I'm not going to do that because I gotta go follow Eurosport's online coverage of today's stage of the Tour of Germany (Allez, Levi!) but suffice it say, reading the 1987 list sure made me smile a lot.

Funny how strongly I associate the videos with the song titles. Maybe I should have dedicated this entry to Tawny Kitaen.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Please

Go read this. Then spread it far and wide.

Via Patrick Samphire.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Joe College

I'm all registered for classes up at college now. I'm taking four courses totalling 13 hours to kind of ease my way in. Here's how all the undergrad goodness is looking for yours truly:

Elementary French I: MTWR (R is college for Thursday) 11:00-11:50.
History of Kentucky: MW 2:00-3:15
Cultural Diversity in the Modern World: TR 8:00-9:15
Literature & Genre, Special Topic: Kentucky Masters of the Short Story: TR 9:30-10:45

I did manage to hit two of my three scheduling goals (done by 4:00 pm, no classes on Fridays) and missing the third (nothing before 9) isn't really that big a deal now that I'm no longer nineteen years old.

Next up, finding a part time job downtown somewhere.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Just a link

Strange Horizons has an excellent interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, a good man and a great writer.

Classified

Tomorrow I'm off to college to sign up for college classes. It'll mostly be exciting 200 level coursework, foundational "gotta know algebra before you can study Elizabethan drama" type stuff. If anything interesting comes out of it I'll let y'all know.

Perhaps of more interest to you, my core audience, is that the details have been finalized on the class I'm teaching. You'll remember this from an earlier post, I'm sure:

Introduction to Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories

Christopher Rowe, a 2005 finalist for the Hugo, Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, will lead a workshop that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities associated with writing science fiction and fantasy short stories. We'll begin with group discussions of recently published stories; the later stage of the class is a full-fledged workshop where you'll write a story and also critique the work of other students. Heavy reading load! The 12 week workshop meets Wednesday nights from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm and is limited to 12 participants aged 18 and above. First meeting, September 14th. Cost: $100

The class will be here in Lexington at The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. I'm going to be working up some fliers to put up at local colleges and libraries, as well as in the comics and gaming shops. And of course, as you can see, I'm using the limitless marketing potential of the internet. I'd like to fill up the class if at all possible so that the folks at the Center might have me back for future sessions. If anybody has additional ideas for getting the word out, I'd appreciate it if you jumped on the comment button or dropped me an e-mail. If you live in Lexington and are interested in attending the class, you can contact the Carnegie Center through the website above or via telephone at 859-254-4175.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

All the News that Fits

While we were "travelling" last week (it's hard for me to use such an evocative word to describe such a banal experience--maybe "to travel" should be reserved for journeys on foot or by bicycle) I had a couple of opportunities to flip through USA Today. For those of you who don't live in the states, USA Today is kind of like a newspaper.

There was one feature in the paper that I thought was kind of interesting. It was sort of a state by state headline roundup, where many of the fifty remaining states of the former hegemony were listed by name, followed by a brief precis of the big news story in that state.

My question is this. Is there a comparable thing anywhere out there in the electrical universe for the whole wide world? Google News is close to what I have in mind, but they only list the top five or six stories in a handful of categories. I'm not looking for categories, I'm looking for geography--and of course I don't just want a bullet point version of the item, I want to be able to drill down through a link to more detailed stuff.

In short, I want to know everything that's going on everywhere in the world, but I'd like it packaged in an easy to read, easy to navigate form. Oh, preferably the stories linked to will be in English. But otherwise, no bias or agenda that isn't in line with my own, okay? Finally, if this kind of aggregator doesn't in fact exist, could one of you computer types whip one up? Thanks!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Just so you know

George Rowe the Dog? Big fan of Afro-Celtic synthpop. Don't believe the naysayers! I have the evidence of my eyes!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NoMoFoLiPa

FoLiPa is a sign-off I use sometimes when I write e-mails. It's a shortening of the phrase "Forklift Papers" and I use it to indicate that I need to get off the interweb 'cause I got big deal forklift papers to work on. Important dayjob stuff, y'dig? Richard suggests that I should put some kind of counter on this journal to count down the days until my move to the exciting world of underemployed studentdom. I don't know how to do that, so I'll just tell you that NoMoFoLiPa liftoff is scheduled for around 4:30 pm local time on Friday, August 19th.

Speaking of that dayjob, check out this pic that's one of the entries in this week's VeloNews photo contest.

And while you're just messing around looking at pictures on the internet anyway, check out this fab entry by Susan Marie Groppi and follow the link at the bottom to a great 1865 photo of a famous gray old man snapped (did they snap in 1865? maybe it was fwoomped) before he was famous and gray and old.

Also, there was a big sci fi convention over there in Scotland. I didn't win any big rockets, but some Californians gave me a little one (hopefully it's in the bag that US Airways has managed to find and not the one that Air Canada is denying the existence of) and we had a fabulous time. My reading went pretty well (I read the first chapter and part of the third chapter of my novel-in-progress) and the weird little "meet the 'pro'" thing I had was fun too, with actual people I didn't know there, even people from exotic foreign lands like Holland, Germany and Texas.

I'm not much on the con reports, so just go read this one, which kind of looks like a poem.