The March PARSEC meeting will feature Ann Cecil searching for Confluence topics.
So start thinking about any movements or trends in sf/f/h you might have spotted. They can be as simple as: "Why vampires are popular and werewolves aren't" or as genre-spanning as a trend toward crossover novels in literature. Come to the meeting and throw out some ideas. Idea tossing is fun.
Speaking of idea tossing, if any of the members has an opposing view about any of the topics I've written about in my editorials, feel free to write a rebuttal. A good debate is also fun. I shouldn't get my own way all of the time.
At this point, I have to confess that I usually miss trends in the book world until they're fading away. As a young reader, the New Wave went straight over my head. Cyberpunk finally sank in when it was in its eleventh hour.
I first started reading science fiction when I was fifteen. I'd been a fan of the original Star Trek and liked genre movies. The first science fiction book I read was Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night. I don't remember how I came to read it, but I knew I wanted more of the stuff. My favorite authors were Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, and Delany, conveniently in alphabetical order. I didn't know they belonged to different factions and would have considered it irrelevant if I had. I liked what they wrote. And I'd appreciate it if one of you could explain what The Einstein Intersection was actually about.
Currently, the literature is the usual mix. A few titles that come to mind:
Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt has generated a lot of talk. It will probably influence books with alternate history plots for some time. Jack McDevitt's Chindi is well written adventure and great fun. Probability Space by Nancy Kress is a fine conclusion her trilogy. In Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick ties time in knots and it has dinosaurs. Terry Prachett's Night Watch is another in a long list of very funny novels. Can Prachett write a bad book? I recommend Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang, The Birthday of the World and Other Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin, and The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.
I probably missed an even greater number of good books because of lack of time. So if any trends are lurking out there, they'll most likely take me by surprise.
Fortunately for us book addicts...er... lovers, books are surviving in the year 2003. In spite of corporate mergers and bottom lines, the war on terrorism, and plummeting retirement funds, they're still there. I hope this trend will continue for many year s to come.
Speaking of topics, if any of the members have ideas for PARSEC meeting topics, feel free to mention them to one of the officers.
Chris Ferrier's poem "The Fortune Teller" has been nominated for the Rhysling Award.
Mary Soon Lee's story "The Immigrants" appeared in The Third Alternative #33.
Barton Paul Levenson sold the story "Writer's Block" to the premiere issue of Dark Seasons and it is already online there.
Ken Chiacchia sold the story "And Yet It Moves" to Paradox.
Former Worldwright Paul Melko recently rejoined for a few meetings while he was working in the Pittsburgh area. As a result of this, we are certain, he sold the story "Kirby Drogan and the Two Giants" to Spider Magazine.
Tim Esaias had the story "After School Activity" in issue #36 of Alien Worlds, and resold "Osmund Considers" to the Greek magazine Dramatourges Of The Yann, and resold "Fame" to France's Science-Fiction Magazine.