Sunday, November 25, 2018

Except they forgot about Elvis...

...Elvis was also a part of the JFK assassination conspiracy!

OK, some childish humor in the middle of the night as I wanted to share this link to a very good piece CBS News did on conspiracy beliefs. The story focuses on the psychology and appeal of extreme paranoia. It is good to see the media's and academia's approach to the issue taking this turn. Whether or not conspiracy theories about JFK, the Freemasons, the New World Order, and the Illuminati are real are no longer questions fit for constructive discussion. They have all been disproven beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt. All right? Deal with it! Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, the Illuminati don't exist, and neither does the new world order. What both the social sciences and psychology need to probe at this point is why do people keep believing in things that are unprovable?

This story has some great information and excellent links to understanding the psychology of the conspiracy theorist.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The latest in conspiracy fashions

Another great part of the Philcon 2018 sci fi conference was finding the latest in (anti)conspiracy fashion. Even among people who like very imaginative, out-of-the box entertainment that encourages imaginations to run very far away, today's conspiracy culture has become a theater of the absurd.

Monday, November 19, 2018

All good things...

Well, the Philcon 2018 science fiction convention might have come to an end, but I’m still impressed by how much benefit can be gained for writers starting out in fiction, those working on staying in touch with their fans or establishing their fan base, or just networking with other writers, editors, an people in various positions in the publishing industry. As one of the panels on the marketing of one’s work – no matter how big or how small one’s publishing house is, a writer today MUST be ready to do a lot of selling – some 80% of book purchases are made by people based on the recommendation of their friends. So writers really do need to get out among the fans, make a good impression, sign autographs, and tell some good stories and give good advice on panels.

And yup, that’s yours truly, signing an autograph for someone who will hopefully become a devoted fan.

And she did say that the “dark side of conspiracism” premise of CONFIRMATION was indeed intriguing!

Friday, November 16, 2018

My activity schedule at Philcon 2018

Now that I was able to finally get out of Jersey City after a night of being stranded in my office by a really nasty noreaster, I'm heading off to Cherry Hill, NJ, for the Philcon 2018 science fiction conference. The following is my schedule of panels, readings, and book signing.

Barna William Donovan

  • Fri 6:00 PM in Executive Suite 623—Readings (3330)
  • Samuel Delany (mod), Barna William Donovan, Mark Wolverton
  • Fri 7:00 PM in Autograph Table—Delany, Donovan (3343)
  • Samuel Delany (mod), Barna William Donovan
  • Fri 10:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three—Room Discussion: Westworld (3161)
    Have a theory about season two's timeline? Speculation about where the show will go next? Want to discuss what it means to be human in a world that we now know can [REDACTED], or whether or not you're ready to welcome our new android overlords? Because we do!
  • Barna William Donovan (mod), Paul Levinson, Anastasia Klimchynskaya
  • Sat 10:00 AM in Plaza IV (Four)—DCEU: A Light at the End of the Tunnel? (3177)
    We all know that Warner Brothers has had a bit of the problem with their DCEU movies. But the latest trailers for Aquaman & SHAZAM look like they’re finally turning the page to a Brand New Day...
  • Barna William Donovan (mod), Marshall Ryan Maresca, Andre Lieven, Orenthal Hawkins
  • Sat 2:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—The Robot "Other" (3087)
    Creating empathy for humanity's not-quite-human creations was groundbreaking with Frankenstein, but now, stories told from the perspective of A.I. are common enough that they've become their own sub-genre. How do these stories affect how we perceive ourselves? Have we reached the point where we have more empathy for robots than we do for other humans?
  • Joan Wendland (mod), Anastasia Klimchynskaya, Barna William Donovan, Neil Clarke, David Walton
  • Sun 11:00 AM in Plaza V (Five)—Writing A Film-Friendly Novel (3134)
    What elements should you keep in mind while writing a novel if you're hoping to eventually see it onscreen?
  • Richard Stout (mod), Elizabeth Crowens, Barna William Donovan, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Carl Paolino, Michael D'Ambrosio
  • Sun 2:00 PM in Plaza V (Five)—The Planet of the Apes (3128)
    Is the reboot of the franchise a deserving successor to the original series? Do the modern-day "prequels" reflect a change in how we view our world- and humanity's place in it?
  • Ken Altabef (mod), Barna William Donovan, Kim Kindya