A Celebratory Dinner

Because today is Jim Macdonald’s birthday, we drove down to Littleton, NH, to the Little Grill, a Brazilian restaurant whose food Jim – who’s been to Brazil, because during his youth his dad worked there for several years – vouches for. (One of the co-owners has Brazilian roots; how he or she ended up in Coös County, NH, I don’t know, but the oddest people sometimes do.)

Anyhow, on Fridays and Saturdays they have Brazilian Barbecue Night. This is “barbecue” in the Australian, or “things cooked on a grill,” sense of the word, not the American “things smoked or slow-cooked in a pit” sense. The way it works is like this: For a flat price you get your choice of sides from a buffet, and then the waiters keep coming around to your table with grilled meats of all kinds on skewers until you tell them to stop.

The grilled meats tonight were slices of lamb, slices of beef, slices of pork, chunks of steak wrapped in bacon, chunks of chicken wrapped in bacon, chunks of chicken covered in herbs and garlic, chunks of pork covered in herbs and garlic, grilled pork sausages, and also slices of grilled pineapple. Also grilled beef short ribs, but only Himself had those, because by then I had cried “Hold, enough!”

If you’re ever in Littleton, NH,on a Friday or a Saturday night, give it a try. But not if there are any vegetarians or vegans in your crowd, because this is not a place for them.

The Unified Doyle and Macdonald Boskone Sked

DOYLE

Worldbuilding Within Epic Fantasy at the Dawn of a Modern Age
Format: Panel

14 Feb 2020, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 1 (Westin)

Fantasy is real, but so is scientific discovery. When an epic fantasy is set during the transition from a rural society to an emerging, world-transforming industrial age, how does the setting help define the parameters of the story? How does it affect the creation of characters? Is a Victorian-Era feeling inevitable? What other examples can be used as models? When magic is at play, how might it alter the evolution of an industrial revolution?

Reading: Debra Doyle and James Macdonald
Format: Reading

14 Feb 2020, Friday 20:00 – 20:25, Griffin (Westin)

The Future of Libraries
Format: Panel

15 Feb 2020, Saturday 10:00 – 10:50, Marina 4 (Westin)

The card catalog is already kaput. How long can stacks, carrels, and tome-laden tables last? How soon till the world’s One Big Library is seamlessly interconnected with everybody’s local, a collaborative sharing space with digital pipes to every seat and a helpful robotic assistant “manning” the “desk”? Any room left for the most systematically refined information storage technology of all: the book?

MACDONALD

Reading: Debra Doyle and James Macdonald
Format: Reading

14 Feb 2020, Friday 20:00 – 20:25, Griffin (Westin)
Editing from Agent, to Editor, to Publisher
Format: Panel

15 Feb 2020, Saturday 14:00 – 14:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Writing is only half the work when crafting a story, novel, or article. Once the words are on the page, what happens next? Our panel discusses the review, revision, rewriting, and more needed at each stage of the process before the finished piece lands in the hands of a reader.

Seeing Through the Tech Hype
Format: Panel

15 Feb 2020, Saturday 16:00 – 16:50, Marina 3 (Westin)

With so many new innovations and discoveries, it’s easy to get carried away by the possibilities of what a shiny new technology can actually accomplish. What questions should you ask to see through the tech hype surrounding everything from driverless cars, gene editing, and artificial intelligence to VR gaming and 3-D printing? What’s really possible? How do fiction and entertainment media affect the writing, publication, and understanding of actual scientific and technological advances?

More Magic!
Format: Children – DragonsLair

16 Feb 2020, Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Galleria – Dragonslair (Westin)

Jim Macdonald does stage magic.

When Is Death?
Format: Panel

16 Feb 2020, Sunday 14:00 – 14:50, Burroughs (Westin)

Death is as intrinsic to the human experience as life, but what does death really mean in fiction … or in reality? Do we pass on to another existence? Will we be written back into the sequel? Will we be uploaded into a quantum network to exist as long as the hardware doesn’t fail? How has our imagination affected our understanding of death over time?

No Kidding, It Was Cold Last Night.

The overnight low in our back yard was -27°F (that’s -32.8° Celsius, for those of you in metric climes.)

It was so cold in our kitchen that the water in our teakettle froze.

So cold, that taking the trash to the dump sounded like a good idea because it meant we could drive around in a well-heated Subaru Forester for a while. (If you live in a cold and snowy country, try to buy cars made in cold and snowy countries. The people who make them Understand.†)

Tonight’s supposed to be warmer, with a low of around 17 above. Which doesn’t sound warm, I suppose, until you realize that it’s about 44 degrees warmer than last night.


According to Google, the temperature in Hokkaido right now is 16°F, which is four degrees colder than I am.