NEWSLETTER: DECEMBER 2000 Digital Papyrus newsletter

Digital Papyrus

"Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily"

Date: December 2000
Issue No. 15

New Books
Fiction Corner
Movie Buzz
Con News
Space Babel
A Short Break From Gravity
The Hook in the Book
Last Word

Why are we here? The much debated, beaten about, recycled question. Are we here just at the whim of some invisible deity that will reward us with Paradise if we siphon off globs of piety for its sake? We, humankind, worship the idea that we are here for a purpose. But in the same token, why were the dinosaurs here? What was their purpose other than to regale us with their mysteries and their fossils. Their spectacular disappearance haunts us to this day and their vanished world is a limitless source of ideas for our hungry imagination. The world would be poorer without the dinosaurs. In fact, they are still very much with us -- in their stories. Maybe we should just lighten up a bit, eject some of the highfalutin dogma (not all -- dogma is fun to tweak around with), sit back and think: we create worlds, fill them up with personae we hate, we love, we despise, kill them, replace them, blast them off across strings of nebulae, destroy galaxies, rebuild new galaxies: we are the stuff of stories, the fulcrum of science fiction. We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here -- may our stories never die out.

New SF books in December

Tor Books


The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro
Eternity's End by Jeffrey A. Carver
Genpei by Kara Dalkey
The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford
The Lesser Kindred by Elizabeth Kerner
Mars Crossing by Geoffrey A. Landis
White as Snow by Tanith Lee
Ventus by Karl Schroeder

Trade Paperbacks

All of an Instant by Richard Garfinkle
More Amazing Stories, ed. Kim Mohan

Mass-market Paperbacks

The Man from Mundania by Piers Anthony
Candle by John Barnes
Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
Voyage to Eneh by Roland Green
Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans

Del Rey Books


MANIFOLD: TIME by Stephen Baxter

THE TENTH PLANET: FINAL ASSAULT by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Daw Books

TAILCHASER'S SONG (Special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition) by Tad Williams

ALTERNATE REALITIES: Wave Without a Shore, Port Eternity, Voyager in Night by CJ Cherryh.

WARRIOR FANTASTIC edited by Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers.

Future Books from Ace Science Fiction

The Coming by Joe Haldeman

Phule Me Twice by Robert Asprin with Peter J. Heck

A Different Light by Elizabeth A. Lynn

Cry Republic by Kirk Mitchell

News From The Edge: Insanity, Illinois
News From The Edge: Vampires of Vermont
News From The Edge: The Monster of Minnesota, by Mark Sumner

Fiction Corner


THE DESPOBLADO by Steven Utley -- A female photographer tours the Paleozoic by barge with a crusty older man and his silent companion.

WHEN IT CHANGED by Joanna Russ -- A gender-bending classic out of the past that's as provocative today as it was when first published.

At the Bottom of the Garden - a short story by Jo Walton

Movie Buzz

Star Trek X: Brent Spiner working on Star Trek 10 story

Time to rejoice for Larry Niven fans? Ringworld Movie Around the Corner

A rich look for the RINGS 28 November - Notes from Ian McKellen


Brian Fuller on the final episodes of Star Trek "Voyager" -- Brian Fuller answers your questions

Con News

January 5-7, 2001 (Georgia)
GAFILK 2001: MY GHOD IT'S FULL OF GHOTI. Ramada Inn Atlanta Airport South, College Park, GA. GoH: Tom Smith; TM: Robert Cooke; Interfilk: Tim & Anne Walker. Theme/Focus: Filk. GAfilk 2001 Home Page

January 12-14, 2001 (Massachusetts)
ARISIA '01. Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers, 64 Arlington St., Boston MA. GoH: Lois McMaster Bujold; AGoH: Wojtek Siudmak; FGoH: Wombat - Arisia '01

January 12-14, 2001 (Tennessee)
CHATTACON XXVI. Clarion Hotel, Chattanooga TN. GoHs: David Brin, S.M. Stirling; AGoH: Jill Bauman; SGoH: James Patrick Kelly; TM: Charles L. Grant; Regional Artist Guest: David Matthews - Chattanooga Science Fiction Convention, Inc.

January 12-14, 2001 (Virginia)
MARSCON 2001. Ramada Inn, 500 Merrimac Rd., Historic Williamsburg VA; 1-800-666-8888. Guests: Peter Schweighofer, Patty Jackson, Bud Webster, Rikk Jacobs,Luna-C. FGoHs: Jeff and Sholom West; SMOF: Julie Wall - MarsCon 2001

January 12-14, 2001 (Washington)
RUSTYCON 18. Everett Holiday Inn, Everett WA. AGoH: Real Musgrave; GoHs: Bob Mayer, Joe Dalton, Robert Doherty, Bob McGuire, Greg Donegan - Rustycon 2001

January 19-21, 2001 (Michigan)
CONFUSION. Van Dyke Park Suite Hotel, Warren MI; 810-939-2860. GoH: Sarah Zettel; AGoH: Carla Speed McNeil; FGoH: Tom Barber; TM: Kathy Becker. Theme: SF&F - ConFusion 2001

January 19-21, 2001 (New York)
GENERICON XIV. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Theme: SF&F- Genericon XIV Main Page

January 26-28, 2001 (Massachusetts)
VERICON. Harvard University, Cambridge MA. Theme: SF&F - VeriCon

Space Babel - the latest in Science, NASA and Other Agencies

Mark your calendars: Don't miss the world premiere of Inside the Space Station on Discovery Channel, a Watch With the World event, on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET/PT -- Discovery.com: International Space Station

Also, follow Mission Endeavour: Space Station Power Trip. Complete coverage, live streaming video, track ISS on your computer, etc. -- Complete mission coverage of NASA's STS-97, a construction flight by shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station

Europe plays a major part in future Mars exploration -- ESA SCIENCE

Sand in Earth orbit? -- Flowing Sand in Space

Smile A Short Break From Gravity Smile

Top 10 Ways To Tell If A Redneck Has Been Working At A Computer:
10: The monitor is up on blocks
9: Outgoing faxes have tobacco stains on them
8: The six front keys have rotted out
7: The extra RAM slots have Dodge truck parts installed in them
6: The numeric key pad only goes up to six
5: The password is "Bubba"
4: There is a gun rack mounted on the CPU
3: There is a Skoal can in the CD-ROM drive
2: The keyboard is camouflaged
1: The mouse is referred to as a "critter."

The Hook in the Book

As I slowly descended towards the surface of the little planet, I found myself searching for a land which promised to be like England. But no sooner did I realize what I was doing than I reminded myself that conditions here would be entirely different from terrestrial conditions, and that it was very unlikely that I should find intelligent beings at all. If such beings existed, they would probably be quite incomprehensible to me. Perhaps they would be huge spiders or creeping jellies. How could I hope ever to make contact with such monsters?

STAR MAKER by Olaf Stapledon

Last Word

"Naturally, in writing hard science fiction, it helps a good deal to have a thorough grounding in science. This does not necessarily mean graduate degrees in it, however, though some science fiction writers do possess such things. Frederick Pohl, for instance, never went to college and is entirely self-educated in science -- and can write hard science fiction with the best of us. Therefore, if your ambition is to write this variety of science fiction, don't give it up just because you feel your formal education is insufficient. Larry Niven's "Neutron Star," is a classic hard science fiction story that won the science fiction Hugo award. I said to him once (filled, as I was, with envy), "Gee, Larry, I could have written that story. I wrote an essay on tides once ..." "I know," said Larry, "I read that essay. That's what gave me the idea for the story." I could have chewed nails."

Isaac Asimov
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