Potlatch - A Wandering West Coast SF Con's Journal|
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|Thursday, November 7th, 2013|
Book of Honor Nominees
Book of Honor discussion is in progress.
The nominated books are:
- Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum (sometimes translated as The Begum’s Treasure) by Jules Verne
- The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
- Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
- War With the Newts by Karel Čapek
- Methuselah’s Children by Robert A. Heinlein
- UBIK by Philip K. Dick
- The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
- Star Guard by Andre Norton
- The City and the City by China Mieville
- Yukikaze by Chōhei Kambayashi
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart
To discuss a book, you can comment here in this community, or on the Book of Honor
page at potlatch-sf.org
The Book of Honor should be readily available, in print, or easily found used, or in the public domain. If you know a good way to obtain a nominated work, please post a comment with the details.
I would like to encourage you to read a nominated work, or re-read it if you haven’t read it recently. Post a comment with your impressions! Why would it make a good Potlatch Book of Honor? Or why not?
|Saturday, July 20th, 2013|
|Sunday, June 30th, 2013|
Potlatch 23 Progress Report 1
Potlatch 23, the small but perfectly formed literary speculative fiction convention, is coming to San Jose, California on February 21-23, 2014. It will take place at the remarkably attractive and handily central Sainte Claire Hotel in downtown San Jose. Our website is www.potlatch-sf.org
Registration is now open! Potlatch 23 memberships are $40 through July 15th. Youth memberships are $25. Children (6 and under) are free. Join now to nominate the Book of Honor and participate in the discussion.
You may register online
. You may also register by mail. Download our registration form
, fill that bad boy out and send it to Potlatch, P.O. Box 103, Mountain View, CA 94042 along with your check. Please make checks payable to Potlatch.
We will be publishing a restaurant guide to the area, so if you have a favorite restaurant in San Jose, let us know!
Want to keep up with us on social media? We have a lovely Facebook page
. We're on Twitter as @potlatch23
, because we're incredibly literal like that! There are Potlatch communities on LiveJournal
. We haven't started a Tumblr yet, fandom is a bit shy about being photographed, and we love to comment. Leave us a message, start a thread to discuss possible Books of Honor, tweet your questions.
We hope you'll join right away and help us in the fully democratic process of choosing the annual Potlatch Book of Honor. Let your voice be heard! We're listening.
Publications: Lucy Huntzinger
Chair: Tom Becker
Auction: Dawn Plaskon, Cindy Scott
Hospitality: Sarah Goodman
Logistics: Rich McAllister, Linda McAllister
Local Guide: David Bratman
At-Con Registration: Randy Smith
|Saturday, June 22nd, 2013|
Potlatch 23 On-line Registration
On-line registration is up and running!
You can go to the registration page
and become a member of Potlatch 23. You can also order banquet tickets and Potlatch t-shirts.
We are extending the early rate of $40 through July 15th so people who want to join on-line still have a chance to do so at the early rate. This is a really good deal. Check it out.
|Wednesday, March 27th, 2013|
I am pleased to announce that Potlatch 23 will be February 21–23, 2014 at the Sainte Claire Hotel in San Jose, California.
Memberships are available at a discounted rate of $40 through April 30th.
We are hoping to make Potlatch 23 the most inclusive Potlatch ever. The Book of Honor will be chosen by a vote of the members. The program will be based on suggestions by members (similar to WisCon), with the final decision made by a vote of the members.
For more details, check potlatch-sf.org
|Thursday, January 24th, 2013|
|Tuesday, January 15th, 2013|
To/From the Airport
Redmond Town Center is 24 miles from SeaTac airport. Anything other than throwing money at a taxi requires some amount of forethought on your part. Taxi or town car services become more cost-effective when shared; feel free to use the comments thread on this post to communicate your arrival time and arrange meetups.
Note that if you’re arriving late Friday night, your trip will be affected by a weekend closure
of the SR 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington, which begins at 11pm, ending 5am Sunday.
By the way, some map searches have been giving me a generic “Redmond” when I ask for “Redmond Town Center” or “Redmond Marriott Town Center”. What that defaults to is quite close to us, luckily.
will run $70-80.
David Levine reports some good experiences with Aces For Hire town car service
, 206-518-8411. Shuttle Express also has town cars/limos
for 2 to 8 people that can be arranged in advance. They quoted David $45 for one person (round trip $80), or $51 for two (RT $92).EastSide Town Car and Limousine
charges a flat $fee per car from SeaTac to Redmond destinations. Call 206-853-6146 or see EastsideTowncars.com
. On the web they say $55, on the phone $66. (Note that EastsideTowncar
.com is someone else.)Shuttle Express
runs scheduled hourly service to its partner hotel the Redmond Inn for $22 per person. This puts you just over a mile away from the Marriott, so it might be right if you love to walk or can call on someone to pick you up. Call 425-981-7000 or see ShuttleExpress.com
for more info, optional inbound reservations, mandatory outbound reservations.Public transit
costs $5.25 per person. 50 to 100 minutes depending on time of day. SoundTransit’s LINK light rail train runs between the airport and downtown; then walk about a block to transfer to bus #545 Redmond.
The airport light rail station is a bit of a schlep. It connects to the 4th floor of the main parking garage, which seems to be at the terminal’s Skybridge level. Look for Skybridge 6? (See their map.
) Buy a $2.75 ticket before boarding. This is the terminus, so all trains are northbound.
International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake stops all offer nearby transfers to the #545 bus, up at street level. (ID: 4th and Jackson. Pioneer Square: 4th & James. Westlake: 4th & Pike.) Pay $2.50 cash fare on boarding. Eez nize buss. Get off at 166th Avenue in Redmond, the first stop after the Redmond Transit Center. Walk south on 166th, west on 76th, then south on 164th to the hotel (about 1/3 mi. in all).
|Sunday, December 9th, 2012|
I really, really, really want to be there, but airfare starts at $300 . . . (Amtrak is the same, but takes two days)
|Wednesday, November 21st, 2012|
|Sunday, October 21st, 2012|
Guess what?!? Sooner than anyone thought, it's Potlatch! It's
Foolscap! Buy one, get both!!! Yes, soon in a Seattle area near
you, now with Extra Bonus Foolscap Content, Potlatch 22 is coming:
February 1-3, 2013 at the Redmond Marriott Town Center. We'll be
sharing the hotel side-by-side with
The bonus content: your membership in Potlatch gets you all the
usual Potlatchy goodness, plus includes a Foolscap membership, with
full access to Foolscap program, art show, chocolate reception, and
general silliness, plus some cool new fusion items leveraging the
resources of both cons.
Gosh. How did we get here? Serendipitous circumstance, plus a
touch of evil genius. Team Foolscap needed to move their convention
off their long held September dates, and the Permanent Floating
Seattle Potlatch Committee had independently been feeling overwhelmed,
over-committed, and understaffed at the specter of pulling together
a full Potlatch only a year after the last one, without our usual
year off. And yet we had no prospects of another city able to run
a Potlatch in 2013. The PFSPC thought we would let 2013 go by the
way, then see if we could recruit enough new blood to make another
run at hosting a Potlatch in 2014. Cue the Foolscap folk, in the
person of Dave Howell, evil genius, who thought it would be a pity
to let a year go by without a Potlatch, and also didn't want Foolscap
to be seen as encroaching on the Potlatch time slot. So when Foolscap
decided to move to February they offered Potlatch a chance to play
along: two conventions, one hotel, one hospitality suite, two program
tracks, and members mingling freely between the two, getting All
the Stuff: Clarion West Alumni Readings. Nancy Pearl, Foolscap
GoH. Board game night. Book of Honor: Jo Walton's Among Others.
You Build It open programming -- where the members brainstorm and
create panels on the spot. Taste of Clarion West writing workshop.
Book swap. Reading group. More choice, more stuff, and each
committee focusing on what they do best.
We think this is a win for everyone: those of us who have been
doing Potlatch get to have another one with a significantly smaller
people points overhead -- Foolscap has already settled the hotel,
for instance. Meanwhile, Foolscap gets an out-of-town attendee
bump in a year that might have been small due to the switch in
dates. Everybody gets the synergy and cross pollination of mixing
the two compatible but slightly different convention cultures and
constituencies. Frankly, I think this will be a very cool, very
exciting con -- this is the most excited I've been about running a
Potlatch in years. I'm hoping you agree, and would like to come
out and play along.
If you would like to join us for this effervescently brave
experiment, and try a Potlatch with a bit of Foolscap in it (or
vice versa) -- please visit the Memberships
page to buy your membership today via PayPal or post.
Membership rates are:
Attending Membership: $50
Student Membership: $25
At the Door Attending: $75.
Hotel rates will be $109 per night, not including parking,
and will be available through the
Hotel registration page. But please wait until we announce
hotel registration availability to be sure to get the correct room
rates. (The linked page does not yet include the correct room rate.)
This sudden, unexpected Potlatch is brought to you by Jack Bell
and Jerry Kaufman, Programming; Suzanne Tompkins, Hospitality; David
Levine, Communications and Taste of Clarion West writers workshop;
Kate Yule, Local Guide, and [Your Name Here] in a dazzling array
of supporting and participating roles. If you would like to help
make this an even better Potlatch, please contact
Expect lots more updates and announcements as we plot with the
Foolscap cabal, invent new ways to party, and build to a massive
February Potlatchy crescendo. Meanwhile check us out on Facebook
or the ever popular Potlatch website
But right now, we're on a short time line here, so please
buy your membership now, now, now!
See you in Redmond,
|Wednesday, February 29th, 2012|
Book of Honor Suggestions
At the "How We Pick a Book of Honor" panel at Potlatch 21, the audience suggested a great variety of books, including books by living authors, non-fiction, non-science fiction, and children's books. I tacked my own suggestion onto the end. ( See the listCollapse )
Thanks to all for the many interesting suggestions.
|Sunday, February 19th, 2012|
|Thursday, November 24th, 2011|
|Thursday, March 17th, 2011|
Pictures from Potlatch
's pictures from Potlatch can be viewed here
Does anyone have any pictures of the program book display and the T-shirt display when everything is there? These pictures are still in progress.
|Saturday, March 12th, 2011|
Say, this would be a swell place to post what details exist so far about next year's potlaltch.
(like the address to send the money to, hint, hint.)
|Friday, March 4th, 2011|
Tough Guide to the Post-Apocalypse
Here are my notes from the Tough Guide to the Post-Apocalypse panel. Sorry, fonts (bold/italic) were lost.
The Tough Guide to the Post-Apocalypse
by Philip K. Slick
Zombies are a stylistic choice - it's hard to do steampunk stuff now that the trees are all gone - they're hard to ignite but they burn quite well - you can use leftover android lubricant as a starter fluid - do zombies use voodoo economics?
Leftover computers may or may not be available, depending on whether there was an electromagnetic pulse (but zombies have no pulse) - computers may be reduced to "person who computes" (mentat) - there may be computers in orbit that zap any resurgence of technology
Shortage of power means that computers and other tech can be used in places where solar power is available - hydroelectric and wind power may also be used
A single übercomputer may have caused the apocalypse in the first place and is now worshipped as a God - an ex-California Governor may be involved
The Apocalypse is the end of Life As We Knew It, or the way your mouth looks after eating that sour Japanese candy - a "lifting of the veil" to display that which is behind the world, the dawn of the New Jerusalem - like Utopia, which means both "good place" and "no place," Apocalypse is both the end of the old world and the dawning of a new and better world - not with a bang or a whimper, but a pratfall
Fashions in Apocalypse depend on the politics of the time and place in which the work was written - the current fashion depends on the fears of the time (atomic armageddon, ecological catastrophe, overpopulation) - the presentation may be science-fictional or horrific - the apocalypse may be escapist wish fulfillment, a chance to build the world as you would like it - the Cosy Apocalypse
People return to their old ways - the world becomes large again, in the absence of modern transportation and communication technologies - return to colonial or medieval lifestyles
Comedies about the end of the world include Dr. Bloodmoney, Dr. Strangelove, Good Omens, The Bed-Sitting Room - the apocalypse need not be grim
Why do we love the end of the world? It's a chance to start over with a clean slate - what if all the people vanished? (e.g. After Man, The Harvest, Re-Birth) - it's a chance to break all the rules - a chance to have the whole shopping mall to yourself - a chance to confront your fears about the worst the future may hold - a tremendously simplified world - it's very hot in YA right now (e.g. Hunger Games, Uglies, Ship Breaker) - we think of ourselves as the survivors who get to build the new world - a lot of good stories can be set in the rubble of the old world - a reaction to guilt about the current state of the world: we will be punished for our sins, but eventually redeemed - it also makes the lives we have now look ever so much better - we like to be scared - its a way of knocking the characters back along the Hierarchy of Need, reducing their priorities to the most basic - apocalyptic stories are a way of knocking issues of class away - the readers of apocalyptic fiction are those who are not currently fighting to put non-radioactive bread on the table - "what would we do if we couldn't continue our current cushy lives?" - people love to watch a train wreck or slow down to lookie-loo at automobile accidents - people are interested in things that are rare, distant, but could be potentially life-threatening - it's an evolutionary advantage to pay attention to rare and unlikely but potentially threatening event - a way to learn through observation or imagination
Apocalypse depends on point of view - from the perspective of the humans who have Left The Building, or the trees or the grass or the cockroaches, the end of the world could be a very good thing
Post-Apocalyptic fiction before the Bomb includes The Scarlet Plague, The Purple Cloud (a reaction to the gas warfare of WWI) and the entire New Testament
Alien invasion is a form of apocalypse (e.g. The War of the Worlds)
Darth Alfalfa says "I am your fodder" (I just thought of that one)
"Yonder lies the castle of my fodder"
Investigation of How Things Work - post-apocalypse as insight into human society - a kind of small-scale experiment in sociology - recolonization of a world without the need of interstellar travel - not all apocalypses involve humanity (e.g. The Star)
Use of humanity rather than technology - development of human power, human computers, selective breeding
Compound apocalypses involve the end (or the threatened end) of what's left of the world
Apocalyptic mission statement: often post-Apocalyptic fiction involves The Search for The Thing Left Over from the Old World, or the Attempt To Prevent Being Overrun by Mutants - in The City Not Long After the mission of the post-Apocalyptic society was to make art - some post-Apocalypse societies are focused on restoring civilization, others are focused on avoiding the mistakes of the Before Time
Tragedy can be found in many ways in post-Apocalyptic fiction - often those things that were important in the Before Time break down and become a sad parody of themselves
Rebuilding - some post-Apocalypse fiction covers the crash, some covers the rebuilding afterward (e.g. Lucifer's Hammer), some both, some take place a long time later - we like to see both the tearing down of the old world and the building of the new world (e.g. Farnham's Freehold) - Ballard did this several times - Short story "Lot" covered only the end, the movie Panic in Year Zero based on it showed the rebuilding as well - many of the most tedious New Wave stories were nothing but "everything breaks down, everybody dies" - sometimes there are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know and there's conflict between those who wish to rediscover the old knowledge and those who want to stop them
Glass half empty / glass half full / glass turned into radioactive slag
Even Cicero said that "times are bad, children disobey their parents, and everyone's writing a book" - every generation believes it is the last
Mortality - Apocalyptic fiction is young people's way of dealing with the realization of extinction of ego - the world today is different from what I expected and I'm more philosophical about it - what if we did manage to change the world? - what happens when we outlive our parents? - we live "larger" lives than our parents did; an apocalypse is a way of making the world smaller and more comprehensible again - we simplify the lives of people of an earlier generation, but their lives were as complex as ours
The post-apocalyptic world is a stand-in for our world - our world has finite resources, conflict, existential threats, fears about the future etc. but the apocalypse strengthens and focuses attention on these problems - "how can we bring children into such a horrible world?"
Saving the Library is a demonstration of the writers' fannishness - "my obsession is the thing that will save the world!"
Reinvention of technology - any reinvention will perforce be different from today because the post-apocalyptic environment is different - many resources were relatively easy to obtain when we first began to exploit them (literally lying around on the ground) - on the other hand, post-apocalyptic societies will find many resources conveniently pre-mined and left lying around in the form of manufactured goods
Post-apocalyptic picaresque novels (e.g. Davy, Julian Comstock) show adventure in a new, bucolic world
Wish fulfillment - we fans assume that we will be among the Heinleinian survivors - most women carry bags containing everything needed to re-start civilization - "if the apocalypse happens, at least I've got my Leatherman"... "and a book to read!" - Diana Paxson's post-apocalyptic world is basically the SCA - in Sterling's Dies the Fire the filkers defeat the SCA because, as goddess worshippers, they are nicer
If I survive the apocalypse I will finally be able to finish reading my To-Be-Read pile, and I'll have space to store it - just don't break your glasses
The apocalypse represents the end of time - you now have all the time in the world - do you or do you not restart time? (So far we have restarted it every time this has happened)
The post-apocalypse as morality play - the population reduced to such a small number of people that it becomes a question of psychology, denial, and interpersonal dynamics
The Last Fan On Earth Sat Alone in a Room - there was a LoC on the door
Repopulation - We Who Are About To and other works deal with the question of reproduction and repopulation - who should breed, how much, and why? - should the "imperfect" (e.g. insulin-dependent diabetics) be allowed to survive and breed?
Two raccoons look out on the human world - one says "now?" and the other replies "be patient, they're screwing it up as fast as they can" - one Rotsler cartoon shows a fuggheaded character saying "what, you mean evolution isn't over?"
|Sunday, February 27th, 2011|
Whither Potlatch? Talk about it now, and/or come to the panel!
At 9 am next Sunday morning (March 6) at Potlatch 20, there will be a panel called Whither Potlatch? Here's the description: For a while it looked like Potlatch 20 might be the last one in its current form. A Potlatch 21 committee has now been formed, but this is still a worthwhile discussion to have. Let’s have a general conversation in the Potlatch community about when, how, and whether to keep holding Potlatches. What are the possibilities?
And here's an excerpt from an email that Suzanne V. Tompkins, one of the co-chairs of Potlatch 19, sent out last month: We think that the entire Potlatch community is entitled to have a say in what happens next. If Potlatch is a coming together and sharing event as it's meant to be, then how it evolves isn't strictly up to this small group of old fans and tired, here in Seattle.
Whaddya think? I won't be on the panel myself, but I'll be there in the audience, hooting and hollering at Tom Becker, Jack Bell, and Ulrika O’Brien and generally making a nuisance of myself. No, wait. We're talking about 9 am on a Sunday. I'll be there, calmly and quietly listening and pretending that I'm not just finishing my breakfast. I hope to see you there, too, or in discussion here.
|Thursday, February 24th, 2011|
I too have a room and am looking for a roommate, I'd rather keep my reservation if at all possible :)