Thursday, January 26, 2012

What famous scientist mistakenly thought he had discovered plutonium -- a decade before it was actually discovered?

TechTalk radio ep. 251 includes a host of Thanksgiving-esque tech tidbits and, sadly, a trivia question that perhaps on I find interesting: What famous scientist mistakenly thought he had discovered plutonium -- a decade before it was actually discovered?

If you're the kind of geek that gets off on the historical minutia surrounding elemental physics -- and you know who you are -- you'll also likely enjoy pointing out all the errors I make in my weekly radio factoid from last fall.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dragon*Con 2011: A n00b's Tale, Part IV

Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan) and William Adama (E...
Image via Wikipedia
[When last we left our plucky D*C n00b, he was recovering from an unexpected Jedi-themed dance party. The infodump expands to the penultimate day of the con.]


Again, my day began around 8:30 am as I snuck away from my hibernating roommates to scrounge breakfast at Peachtree Center. I think I stupidly drew from the Dairy Queen well, which is always a mistake. Nonetheless, I hit the panel scene about 9:30 and called an audible, electing to abandon my plans for the Skeptic Track's "Secular Plan to Take Over America" - I didn't want to brave the zealot crowd - so I snuck into the line for the other zealot crowd magnet, the Star Wars track. Specifically, the "Truth and Mythology of Star Wars" headlined by Timothy Zahn and Gary Kurtz.

Takeaway: I now know where the Star Wars franchise went wrong.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tangent's Online's best of 2011 sci-fi short fiction list includes...wait...ME?

Science fiction 2Image by Glamhag via FlickrI have exactly one paid fiction publication to my credit. Ever. And someone thinks it (just barely) qualifies as some of the best sci-fi short fiction of 2011. Thankfully that someone has some street cred, because it's the gang from Tangent, which just happens to specialize in reviewing and critiquing sci-fi short fiction.

My short story "Perfection" from the April issue of Redstone Science Fiction is considered one of the 50 or so best sci-fi short stories of the year. And this isn't some random blogger list. This is the group of people who critique sci-fi shorts as their raison d'etre. My name sneaks in besides the likes of Rudy Rucker, Nalo Hopkinson, Rachel Swirsky, Ian MacLeod, Greg Bear, Laura Ann Gilman, Bud Sparhawk, Nancy Kress, Jackie Kessler and Jay Lake.

Yes, I am making inappropriate squee noises right now, of the Japanese schoolgirl variety. No, I am not ashamed.

I owe some thanks. First, to Mike Ray, the EIC at Redstone who took a chance on a nobody and gave me my first sale. Second, to my fellow SF Signal irregular Matt Sanborn Smith, who was kind enough to tweet me about the Tangent selection. I'm a lucky guy.

Also, I guess I'm obligated to get to writing some short fiction in 2012. I have a meager reputation to maintain.