Monday, November 22, 2010

Reflections Collections -- 11/22/10

Topics covered:

Reading for the Future is Official!

Reading for the Future is now officially incorporated in the state of Utah.

Dave sent the word out this past Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, writing these words to the rff Talking RFF Yahoo! Group as well as the other RFF groups,
"Articles of Incorporation for Reading for the Future (RFF) were accepted by the State of Utah.  We have a post office box and a bank account.  Next step is 501(c)(3)
Thanks for the support, Dave Anderson"

For months the paperwork has been submitted but there was a request to redo parts. That resulted in a few major decisions that required the Board of Directors, Trustees, and a few committees to discuss, agree on, and describe in terms acceptable to Utah. Finally, all is done.

Dave and others have worked diligently to accomplish this incorporation, fulfilling a dream spawned in the early 1990's, furthered in 1999 with the creation of the various rff Yahoo! Groups. (There were regional and working committee groups in addition to the rff group.) Additionally, most of the fees for incorporation were paid by a few members out-of-pocket (or as sponsors or private donations if you prefer those terms).

In a 10/10/10 email to the group, David Glenn Anderson stated that, "RFF started in 1996 at LACon III as a grassroots organization at the
same time as the first Goldenducks [Awards; see website]."

Reporting on Facebook and the Reflections

Facebook activity is reported in the 2 weekly FB Reports: 11/16/10 and 11/21/10.  In the latest FB report are links to 2 sites useful for teaching with science fiction.

According to Facebook Stats, the Reading For the Future page on Facebook has been viewed daily 623 times and boasts 155 active users.

According to the Blogger Stats, The Reflections blog has been viewed 360 plus times to date, with about half of the visits occurring in November. The most popular page to date is the Krysia Anderson page.

A Hobby for Speculative Fiction Readers

I do not take the best photos. Hence I use photo effects to add interest to images. Then I imagine the world in a fictional universe where the image would match reality. This is a hobby easily taught to children who read books on fantasy and science fiction. Take the children on a photo safari to look for images that match the worlds in the books they are reading. Then let them alter the photos in the weirdest ways. Ask the child to relate the picture to a passage in the fictional book he/she is reading.

Historical Snippet

The second email to the rff Talking RFF Yahoo! Group was from physicist and educator, science fiction fan, and author of the Physics in Science Fiction presentation, Andrew E. Love, Jr. He talked about finding the book Yanked and a series called Last on Earth that he suspected would be YA. The series was a story about 25 teens who found themselves alone on Earth. He also reported, in 1999 mind you, an article from the Washington Post that recommended science fiction for youth:
"4) Science fiction. Start with Robert Heinlein juveniles (e.g. The Star Beast), move up to Jules Verne and a classic anthology such as Adventures in Time and Space, then take the jump to light-speed with some of the great swashbuckling classics, such as Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, William Gibson's Neuromancer, Leigh Brackett's The Sword of Rhiannon, and Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness."
per Andy Love,"Summer reading suggestions from Washington Post (Sunday July 4, 1999 - probably a link that won't last forever"

Andy Love is another person that helped shape the RFF group of volunteers into the active body of worker bees and sci fi fans that they are. He often asked provocative questions that got the group discussing favorite books, value of science fiction, what makes good sci fi good, etc. He frequently added to the list of YA and suitable books. He has been an active sci fi con participant. And he is still asking and adding, and presenting.

On the Web: Science Fiction Awards Watch and other Awards Lists

I have visited several sites on the web lately that offer awards to authors and illustrators of children's books. Of interest to RFF are those that deal with speculative fiction. Hence, I was excited to find this site that lists awards given to science fiction literature: Science Fiction Awards Watch,

In the right panel of the site and its pages is a list of the awards currently listed. Information for the award is submitted by people associated with the award; so if your award is not listed, do contact the site.

Books listed for children and YA on the site that are in a book list appear here: in a list I suspect is incomplete.

SFAW has a page devoted to the Golden Duck Awards that was posted in 2007 and modified in 2009. The 3 different awards presented as Golden Duck Awards are not listed separately in the list of awards in the right panel, but only under the Golden Duck name. (Please note that the SFAW has the Eleanor Cameron Award misspelled.)

In RFF, member Linda Stuckey is active with the Golden Duck Awards, DucKon, and Super-Con-Duck-Tivity. The latter two are organization, convention and major fund raiser for the Golden Duck Awards, which include stipends.

Also not mentioned are the two awards/listings given to children's literature by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and by Cybils,

C.L. Smith and her husband write fantasy novels. Her husband writes specifically for children. Cynthia also critiques novels for children, especially those of the speculative genre, and posts these critiques on her blog.

Cybils Awards are given annually to children's fiction authors as judged by bloggers who volunteer to judge, including youth. This site, too, posts critiques of children's books, especially YA fiction. Cybils is the acronym for Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.

In researching this post, I came across 2 other awards sites. I promptly posted a link to each on the Reading For the Future page on Facebook. Visit them from there or check out next week's FB Report for the links. Bye for now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

FB Report: Lots of Links on Speculative Fiction -- 11/21/10

This has been a quiet week on Facebook. 

Reading For the Future "The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis will include a replica of his writing studio, his typewriter, an unopened box of his Pall Mall cigarettes, and some rejection letters from publishers. He got lots of rejection letters."
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Opens in Indianapolis
The author Kurt Vonnegut’s friends and family agree that his museum belongs in Indianapolis, the hometown with which he had a complicated and not always complimentary relationship.

Reading For the Future Teaching with Jules Verne
One of the great resources to be found at our Website!
Reading for the Future
Teaching with Jules Verne. Considered by some “The Father of Science Fiction”, in the 1800’s Jules Verne predicted many of the technologies that are reality today. Though Verne was not a scientist, he did have a passionate interest in it as well as a brilliant imagination. He was one of the few writ...

Reading For the Future In researching my next article I came across this site. GREAT books for teaching science including one of my all time favourite short stories Nano Comes to Clifford Falls by Nancy Kress.
10 Books that Prove Science Fiction Just Got Harder
Why do so many books labeled "hard science fiction" actually contain technology that works pretty much like magic in a fantasy novel? Hard science fiction is supposed to be the branch of SF that's rigorously scientific, and doesn't gloss over difficult problems like faster-than-light travel.

Reading For the Future From Lynn E Cohen Koehler...looks like something good to get behind.
Captain Planet Foundation Home
The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to fund and support hands-on, environmental projects for children and youths. Our objective is to encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in th...

Reading For the Future From Lynn E. Cohen Koehler
Lynn E. Cohen Koehler Anyone going to Philcon? This weekend!
Philcon 2010
The 2010 Philcon Science Fiction Conference

Reading For the Future From Lynn E. Cohen Koehler
Lynn E. Cohen Koehler educational grants for environmental projects
Captain Planet Foundation Home

Reading For the Future for those of you in the SFWA - Nebula Nominations are OPEN
SFWA’s 2010 Nebula Award Nomination period is open
SFWA’s 2010 Nebula Award® nomination period is open from November 15, 2010 to February 15, 2011 23:59 PST. Active and Associate SFWA members are eligible to submit nominating ballots.

Reading For the Future For the record, my 15 year old son thinks it's CGI
Hatsune Miku: Japanese HOLOGRAPH Plays Sold Out Concerts; Science Fiction Comes To Life (VIDEO)
In what is surely a terrible omen not only for musicians but also the continued existence of the world as we know it, holographs are now playing sold out concerts in, where else, Japan. Holographic idol Hatsune Miku is the creation of the group Crypton Future Media, using software from Vocaloid, and

Reading For the Future From David Brin: What
if America lost its knack and desire to make things? My graphic novel,
Tinkerers, is set in 2024, a dystopian future where manufacturing has
declined precipitously; young people head into service careers, and
nearly all innovative products come from overseas. After a catastrophic
...failure, our protagonist searches for answers…Written with Jason Land; Available from Amazon in January. Join the Facebook page
See More
Forward | Graphic Novel

Reading For the Future Hey, the first half of science fiction is science, right?
GeekMom » Blog Archive » Five Ways to Teach Science With Star Trek
The class was taught by a man with a magical cabinet. Behind its doors were rows and rows of VHS tapes holding every episode of every season of every Star Trek series that had aired to date. And they weren’t just for rewards after a tough test or days we had a substitute–he used them to teach scienc...

On valerie's wall from Lynda Williams
Libraries reinvent themselves as they struggle to remain relevant in the digital age,0,6514361.story
Kathy DeGrego's T-shirt lets you know right away she isn't an old-school librarian.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FB Report: Lots of Links on Speculative Fiction -- 11/16/10

From Valerie's Wall: Chris McKitterick I've been Kindled!
writing [link is to photo album with images of his new book]
Comment from M,Kitterick [11/9/10]Chris McKitterick ... it's a BOOK! If you want to read more, check out some sample chapters here:

From Valerie's Wall via David Brin: David Brin
In science fiction, it’s harder to portray a smart, functioning future civilization (i.e. Star Trek) struggling with ongoing conflict, than to rely upon a heroic ubermench in a dystopian setting filled with clueless citizens. Having done away with kings, we still come back to those hierarchies in fiction, as elite saviors are so often chosen on inherent qualities of birth or blood, i.e. Dune, Star Wars, The Matrix…

From Valerie's Wall Lynda Williams and 2 other friendsAngela Lott
Krysia Anderson were tagged in Lynda Williams's video.
Okal Rel Event at VCON Oct 2010 [HD]
Filk singing, micro-readings, buttons, crossword and a challenge duel with real fencers featured in the launch for Avim's Oath by Lynda Williams, Misfit Leaves Home by Krysia Anderson and the Opus 4 anthology at VCON in Vancouver, October 2, 2010.
Length: 5:53

From Valerie's Wall: Science Fiction Book Club shared a link.
Comic-Con 2011 :: Registration
Registration information for Comic-Con International 2011. July 21-24, 2011, (Preview Night the 20th) at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

Reading For the Future Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith discuss their new steampunk fantasy novel The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire (Book 1) Attendees are encouraged to dress up in costume!
Upcoming Events for Teens | Flyleaf Books
The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, Vampire Empire brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

Reading For the Future 'Libraries have always been there for me.'
I thought you might enjoy this perspective.
The Official PHYLLIS A. WHITNEY Web site - How Libraries Create Authors, by Julie Kramer
Through her books and articles on the craft of writing, Phyllis A. Whitney inspired countless writers over the years. The following speech given by author Julie Kramer during the Library Journal breakfast at the Public Library Association Conference in Minneapolis

Reading for the Future Wall from Laura Lind Reluctant Readers! What’s a Parent to Do?
Cache County School District
Reluctant Readers! What’s a Parent to Do? David E. Forbush Ph.D. Director of Special Education Cache County School District If They Don’t Read Much, How Are They Ever Gonna Get Good!” The relationship between any skill, e.g., basketball, playing an instrument, or driving a golf ball straight down the

Reading For the Future
Prize Is Created for Gay Literature for Young Readers
The new award, called the Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, is for an English-language book “of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience,” the association said on Monday. Stonewall Awards for adult books have been handed out since 197.

Reading For the Future
For Elementary, Middle, and High School!
Young Novelist Workbooks | NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program
You have found NaNoWriMo’s 100% awesome, non-lame Young Novelist Workbooks! These are our "Third Editions," brand new for 2010. They are updated for accuracy and are clearer than ever. Our middle and high school books now even have pages on submitting excerpts from a novel for publication!

Reading For the Future
Hey, the first half of science fiction is science, right?
GeekMom » Blog Archive » Five Ways to Teach Science With Star Trek
The class was taught by a man with a magical cabinet. Behind its doors were rows and rows of VHS tapes holding every episode of every season of every Star Trek series that had aired to date. And they weren’t just for rewards after a tough test or days we had a substitute–he used them to teach scienc...

Reading For the Future From David Brin: What if America lost its knack and desire to make things? My graphic novel,
Tinkerers, is set in 2024, a dystopian future where manufacturing has declined precipitously; young people head into service careers, and nearly all innovative products come from overseas. After a catastrophic...
Forward | Graphic Novel

Reading For the Future
For the record, my 15 year old son thinks it's CGI
Hatsune Miku: Japanese HOLOGRAPH Plays Sold Out Concerts; Science Fiction Comes To Life (VIDEO)
In what is surely a terrible omen not only for musicians but also the continued existence of the world as we know it, holographs are now playing sold out concerts in, where else, Japan. Holographic idol Hatsune Miku is the creation of the group Crypton Future Media, using software from Vocaloid, and catastrophic...


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reflections Collections -- 11/7/10

 A day early, but hey...!

New Blog Posts


Currently in the Works... describes a proposed workshop series to be presented at Worldcon next year in collaboration with AboutSF.

A note to new members tells how to get involved in the volunteer efforts of RFF.

The FB Report...10/31/10 might have been posted a bit late but that does not reduce the wealth of links and comments. And don't forget the latest FB Report...11/7/10.  As of 11/6/10 there were 251 people who "Liked" the Reading For the Future page on Facebook.

Also, I have begun thinking of the FB Report as another newsletter. So I have listed links to the FB Reports in a list on the Newsletter page.

Read A Grab-Bag of Thoughts..., where William Wood, in a comment to David Brin's post on Facebook, 10/23/10, wrote a thoughtful essay on values. He completed the essay with words on the usefulness of science fiction in exploring alternatives. He graciously allowed a reprint of the essay in this blog.

A poem on books by a YA is referenced in the FB Report. The poet has allowed a reprint here. Read about teenager Krysia Anderson and her book and poem.

I set up a blog post that uses comments to add details for science fiction conventions. Add your own comments to help grow the list. Read Upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions that Have Come to my Attention--or just skip to the comments.

Last in the list of new posts, there is the KISS, which is mentioned at the end of this one.

Nuggets from the Web


Found: this website of children's book abstracts and reviews. The book list is generated by a an author of children's speculative fiction, Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Robert Sawyer,, tossed out a question for whether a phrase is funny on a Facebook posting,[10/29/10].

Within the resulting comments is the recommendation for reading White's Sector General novels and a clever Tom Swifty: "Isn't this a 'Tom Swifty'? Sort of like 'Take the prisoner downstairs', he said condescendingly," offered D. Hutton.

Reflections gets New Color


Cie donated some photos of her ceramic products for use in dressing up the blog. These could refer to works of fantasy or the sci fi of Card, McCaffrey, Lee and Miller, Heinlein, or others since they write tales of dragon-like aliens. With a little photo-editing, they should be usable multiple times each. She also sent a set of royalty-free NASA photos that can be used, including the one above.

What's Up in the RFF Groups

Viewing the Planets Uranus and Jupiter
I sat outside one evening with a pair of binoculars and looked at the brightest evening planet a few nights ago. I saw a white oval image trimmed in blue. Using my sister's phone's Google app--which at the time I thought was an iPhone app; but later discovered that her phone was a different brand--my sister, my brother-in-law, and I identified the oval as the two planets Jupiter and Uranus. However, we could not believe that we were actually viewing Uranus.

Even so, I just had to share my excitement with other RFF members. Knowledgeable members responded with information sent to me via the group messages.

David A. had just written about a member that had responded with the signature "Clear dark skies, good seeing, carpe noctem and ad astra,Project Astro volunteer and EPO volunteer for SAS; Your pace Cowboy Wrangler of Nebulae-Celebrate IYA 2009-- 400 years at the telescope," saying, "Dave D. is basic RFF in the Seattle area. He is [a] guy who knows the stars in the sky on a first name basis." So I asked my question of the group.

"Dave D, Project Astro volunteer and EPO volunteer for SAS; Your Space Cowboy Wrangler of Nebulae- Celebrate IYA 2009-- 400 years at the telescope,

"Last night I viewed the planets Jupiter and Uranus (?) with binoculars. To me the object seems so oblong, white on top and bluish on bottom that I felt as if I was actually seeing Uranus. Unfortunately, I could not steady the binoculars nor focus them sufficiently to see an actual disk (I needed my glasses and probably cataract surgery to boot.). But emotionally, I felt as if I had seen both planets even though logically I know only one was visible at that magnification. At what magnification can one see Uranus now, anyway? We used my sister's iphone app to id the bright planet up at early evening. First time I had seen the app. Useful to me, as I am still a very amateur star-gazer.

"I also understood why people believe in UFO's because holding the binoculars in my hands allowed my pulse to vibrate them. Did that planet ever jump around! It zipped through the viewing field like a hummingbird, flitting from flower to flower and back again, twirling. If I had trusted the steadiness of my hands, I would have sworn that the bright object was on a "controlled flight path."

"The planet was beautiful, even when seen naked-eye.

"Can we figure a way to include the astronomy associations in the blog?"

In response I got this information:
"As for what magnification you can see Uranus at, I know that if you have absolutely perfect conditions, & know exactly where to look, Uranus is actually visible naked eye. Most people don't have anything near perfect conditions (too much light pollution + weather), though, so the magnification you need depends on what your conditions are like. The Clear Sky Clock, at...(for Logan, UT, you can change the location)...can help you determine what your conditions are like. Uranus is conveniently close to Jupiter currently, you can use [this star chart] by Sky & Telescope magazine to track it, or Starry Night or Stellarium (Stellarium's freeware, btw)."[Modified for blog post by VC] ~Laura Swift Lind of StarHouse Discovery Center.

To which David D. responded, "all this is good advice.........."

"As to Uranus, then I did see it! Barely. As an extension of Jupiter. I felt so."~Valerie C.

Laura also provided this additional information:
"A good introductory backyard astronomy book is NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe by Terence Dickinson, Adolf Schaller, Victor Costanzo, and Roberta Cooke (Sept. 12, 2006)(sic[typo "Sep" corrected])."~Laura Swift Lind of
StarHouse Discovery Center.

And David D. provided this information:
"A 4 inch rich field- f4- telescope using an eyepiece of at least 20mm; is best. Mounting your binoculars to a tripod will help and the best are 7X50 power. Jupiter should appear pale yellow with one black line near the equator- normally has two, second one disappeared recently-don't worry it will be back in coupla years. Uranus is slightly upper right in same field of view and should appear pale blueish green or greenish blue. You can download a freeware planetarium program called Stellarium off the net."

So, People, when viewing the evening sky and seeing the large, bright "star," take a closer look. Soon the two planets will be separated by too many degrees of arc distance to be seen as one white oval trimmed in blue. Such a sight will be decades in returning.

Such a rare site makes the sci fi stories of merchants to the planets and between solar systems more astonishing. If only such travel were actually possible by commercial traders today! Oh, how wonderful is the imagination of our favorite sci fi authors!

~Valerie C.

Making RFF a More Tightly Knit Group

David-Glenn Anderson, founder of the RFF groups, is closing the various regional branches of the RFF Yahoo! Groups and moving the members to the rff Talking Reading for the Future Yahoo! Group, which shows up in one's Yahoo! group listings simply as rff.

This way, he won't have to keep copying messages to the different groups. Also, most members are already members of the main group. Furthermore, group conversations are of interest to most everybody, anyway, so this way we all get to share.

A Note from Valerie

Historically, the conversations have been interesting and chock-full of information concerning links and philosophy and literary critique. At times there have been some personal tidbits. All of which has enabled the group to get to know one another a bit better and has resulted in the group becoming a social network of friends as well as collaborators in the volunteer endeavors aimed at advancing the mission of RFF.

Are you a new member? or thinking of joining? Read about how you can get involved

LOL with Hugs and KISSes
And that brings us to KISS and a discussion of rff group jargon.

FB Report: Lots of Links on Speculative Fiction -- 11/7/10

This past week in Reading For the Future page on Facebook
Reading For the Future From Laura Lind - A charter school in Logan, UT needs a library. Currently, they have science books from the 1950's! And not very many books period. They also need to upgrade their building so they can have a room for their ...library, and they need a librarian.
This @bing Our School Needs entry is in the finals. Come vote to help them made it!
Our School Needs A Library!, Bear River Charter School, Logan, UT 84321

Reading For the Future Kami Marin Garcia posted a site some of you might be very interested in checking out.
YALITCHAT.ORG - we write, read and live YA
Membership organization for those interested in fostering the advancement of young adult literature worldwide.

Reading For the Future If you are near Seattle...
URSULA K. LeGUIN & ROGER DORBAND at Seattle Public Central Library | The Elliott Bay Book Company

Reading For the Future Another find from David Brin. Here he asks if the future of books is at stake. We must wonder what will happen to science fiction and books for children.
Steal This Author | The American Prospect

Reading For the Future David Brin finds the best stuff. On his page he said, "A fascinating take on the future of Africa, and how the optimism of science fiction can help inspire the next generation of young scientists to use technology to impact and change society: 'If we ever hope to achieve a sustainable level of technological development..., there is a huge Africa-shaped hole in the world of science fiction that must be filled.' –Jonathan Dotse, Science fiction author from Ghana."~Valerie
Fast-Forward: The Future of Science Fiction in Africa
Many Drums, One Beat

Reading For the Future Thank you Jeff VanderMeer for telling me :)
Omnivoracious: 2010 World Fantasy Award Winners
(2010 World Fantasy Award winner The City & The City: one book to rule them all and in the brightness bind them...except for enclaves of The Wind-Up Girl support.) The 2010 World Fantasy Awards, for achievement in 2009, have been..

Reading For the Future Thanks David Brin for the link :)
Delay the Decay: How Zombie Biology Would Work | Science Not Fiction | Discover Magazine
Apocalypse | Halloween is a-comin' and this Sunday brings us AMC's The Walking Dead. In honor of that, we're discussing The Ethics of the Undead here at Science, Not Fiction

Reading For the Future 10/30-Orson Welles scared the East Coast with his production of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS.
In the fall of 1938, genius extraordinaire Orson Welles, then master of broadcast theatre production for the Columbia Broadcasting System, produced and starred in an exciting on-air dramatization by Howard Koch, based on author H.G. Wells' classic science-fiction "The War of the Worlds"
Elsewhere this past week on Facebook
Bobbie DuFault via Twitter Greeting and Salutations. RustyCon is getting closer and closer. We are really gearing up now for the event....

Robert J. Sawyer Settling in for a day of work at the IFWA Write Off. But wait ... do I hear chicken wings calling my name?

Jane Fancher Posted a new post on their blog
Humanistic Novels. What's that?
I was having a discussion recently with a dear friend about politics, economics, Ayn Rand, and writing when he asked me a question that brought my side of the conversation to an abrupt end. When I said that I didn't write the same kind of book, that I was ...

In comments, J. Fancher, RE: The Captain and Lime states on 11/6/10,"Name : CJ Comment: [from blog ] :..."
[quoted from Cj Cherryh`Re: personal communication with J. Fancher, 11/7/10; used with permission~Valerie]

"I think good sf tries to be humanistic, in the actual sense of the word, meaning employing all human attributes in the best way---it's that 'going where no man has gone before' thing: exploring the unknown, ...with all antennae out. Encounting strange ideas, and not being afraid of them.
It's about overcoming fear. Fear of 'wrong thoughts'. Fear of failure. Fear of disapproval. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of discovering something one can't cope with.

"In that sense, science fiction has a real good grip on that 'humanism as a virtue' thing, which is why good sf scares people who are heavily invested in fencing their minds in barbed wire."
We aren't safe. We shouldn't ever be safe. We should make our readers think and wonder, and be always curious."

Furthermore, there was a discussion of the points of fiction that relate to literary critique. I share the discussion between 2 within the numerous comments to the blog post on humanist novels. Thanks to Leigh Perry,, and Jane Fancher,, for their gracious permission to use their words. [This sentence added 11/9/10]

Partial Discussion on Facebook, 11/6/10, Re: Jane Fancher post on "Humanistic Novels. What's That?"

Leigh Perry Okay, read your article. I would like to add-for myself-that we are also the sum of the exploration of the inside of our own heads. We are a work of sweet imagination made manifest through our need to name ourselves. See, its one thing if s...omeone else labels me... its another entirely when I label myself.

I refuse to close the lid on the gender box.

Jane Fancher @Leigh...totally! My characters are constantly exploring the insides of their heads! Some would say too much! :D As for the gender struggle...of course it's not over, socially or politically. Never said it was. I just tend to write on a br...oader canvas than that. I'm just saying that the struggle for identity...both of self and within a there regardless of gender or talent or money or sexual preference. Bigotry and social scaling is an evil that is not confined to women.

And all I was saying to my friend was that I write from the human/individual side of the equation rather than the political, economic or social side of the issue. I believe you can make all the laws you want, but nothing will really change until the hearts and minds of the people change. And if you change the way people think about one another, the laws won't make a whole lot of difference because the way they are employed will be from an empathetic point of view.
[Jane then added the quote in the box above.]

Leigh Perry (((hug))) @Jane... you rule girl! I wasn't critiszing you, just voicing what was rolling around in my head.

Jane-completely agree with you on the real need to change peoples minds. That it takes a great deal more time than some folks realize. And that that is where lasting change comes from.

The discussion then continued with others and another thread of thought. Deep stuff, but not related to the mission of RFF.~Valerie

Jan Howard Finder ALBACON '11 proudly announces that its Media GoH is Keith DeCandido! The Home Page of Keith R.A. DeCandido
Annotations of Keith's work:Buffy the Vampire Slayer: BlackoutStar Trek: Articles of the FederationStar Trek: S.C.E.: Many SplendorsStar Trek: A Singular Destiny

Of concern to youth is this find of Jane's.

Jan Howard Finder via Kevin Andrew Murphy: GO GEORGE! YOU TELL HIM!
George Takei Speaks Out Against Anti-Gay Bully Clint McCance
George Takei's hilarious response to anti-gay bully Clint McCance, former Arkansas school board member who called for more gays teens to kill themselves.

Jan Howard Finder likes David Brin's status.
David Brin
A crew from the Colbert Report has just arrived at my house to interview me....on the subject of aliens and possible threats to humanity. What could possibly go wrong?

On David Brin's Wall: Chris Galdieri Didn't you feature something like this in Earth?
Scientist Creates a Bot to Argue About Climate Change for Him on Twitter | Slog | The Stranger, Seat

To which Shannon Heimburg replied, 11/5/10, "I want one for evolution."

David Brin via John Grigg: How would we deal with issues of identity if we could make copies of ourselves? Which one would be the real me? A terrific cartoon exploration of some fun philosophical quandaries....and a bit of a take on the concepts in my novel, Kiln People.
John Weldon's "To Be"
Canadian animation by John Weldon offering a lighthearted overview of a central problem of ontology: the continuity of existence.

The Speculative Fiction Database welcome @gloriaoliver to the site! #fantasy #ya
Gloria Oliver « The Speculative Fiction Database
Cat slave and Petting Machine extraordinaire. Also a Spec Fic Author with four Fantasy and YA Fantasy novels in print with more on the way three anthologies, and more books on the way. Member in good standing of EPIC and Broad Universe but have yet to make it into Cat Slaves R Us. Sample chapters

I did a search of speculative fiction on facebook and got this.
None of the other sites seemed suitable for RFF, except maybe the author sites.  And the Speculative Fiction, which Cie monitors, only relates to the RFF mission sometimes.

You might find the Wikipedia Young-adult fiction of interest.


Currently in the Works: Workshops for Teachers, Homeschoolers, Librarians, and Anyone Else Interested

David-Glenn Anderson has reported that many members of RFF are working with AboutSF on presentations for Worldcon in Reno, NV, August 17-21, 2011.

According to messages in the various groups, Dave and a group of RFF members, some who are also members of AboutSF, currently are working to update the lesson files, book lists, and workshop data in the RFF group files and the AboutSF website. Much of this work is in preparation for the Worldcon workshops. Some of it will be used in other sci fi con workshops and local school and library preparations.

Recently, Dave made this announcement in the rff group messages.

A Proposal for a Worldcon Workshop

as quoted from an emailed message from David-Glenn Anderson, 11/1/10

One of the projects we at AboutSF are currently working on is a proposal for a SF roadshow for Renovation, the upcoming Worldcon in Reno, Nevada. AboutSF is excited to partner with Reading for the Future (RFF) on this project. Together, AboutSF and RFF are suggesting five hours [of] work shop[s] for general public, homeschoolers, teachers and librarians.

The proposed roadshow explores the social importance and implications of science fiction and helps educators and others begin the process of choosing SF texts to teach. Presenters will also offer suggestions for how to structure formal SF courses and how to get course approval.

As AboutSF and RFF work to finalize the roadshow proposal, we'd love to hear feedback from you. Additionally, if you have any contacts with local teachers or librarians or others in Reno, please let us know. We're also interested in hearing from those who might want to help organize the roadshow in Reno (if we're accepted!). If you'll be attending Renovation and are interested in getting involved, send us an e-mail at aboutsf@....

AboutSF has hosted day-long workshops at Worldcons in Denver and Montreal and provided materials and panels for many other conventions over the last four years. Both AboutSF and RFF are enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing information about the SF workshop to audiences at Renovation.


So, everyone, send us your list of suitable speculative fiction, lesson ideas, book reviews, book critiques, suggestions, whatever. If you cannot make the convention itself, you can still help with information. Join the Reading for the Future group and send your email, or visit the Reading for the Future page on Facebook and add your discussion or comments. Or comment here. RFF welcomes your involvement.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gently KISSED eMails

More in the Discussion of RFF Group Jargon

Often members are told to remember to KISS their messages within the group.

In a discussion of meeting at one of the cons, members tended to reply with such enthusiasm that they forgot to delete extraneous parts of the message to which they were replying. After complaints over the length of reply emails, the high memory requirements for downloading a reply that included EVERY previous message in the thread plus the reams of information that Yahoo! Groups tacks onto each message, and the redundancy of reading each reply containing reply within reply..., Dave, the Group's owner-founder-moderator, knew we had a problem.

Stupid or Sweetie?
Dave claimed to use "Sweetie" among friends. I figured that guys like someone with a name like J. Gunn would object to "Sweetie" and might prefer stupid, but Jim G. said he didn't mind being called Sweetie under the circumstances. To make matters worse, back in early September, Dave wrote, "Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) is key..."
Dave instituted the KISS rule. "Keep it Simple Stupid"--or more nicely put, "Keep it Simple Sweetie"--and reminded members of the technique for solving the large-Kb-download, redundancy problem. Of course, this, too was a reply within a reply...but he KISSed.

Now anyone who gets frustrated reminds us all with the instruction to KISS. And some use the term to indicate that KISSing has in fact occurred to the rest of the reply message sans extraneous stuff.

Dave even recently reminded us with, "We need to KISS everything on this mailing list....If you KISS then I have a chance to give you a timely response."

Then he added, "Who said Sorry this is so long but I did not have the time to KISS?"

Some now type KISSED or KISSing or even ---KISSED--- to show where previous email quotes were removed.

But it didn't stop there. Me being me, I had to make a big deal out of it all. So once I remarked in the midst of a dialog chock full of redundancies, "KISSES but no hugs." This got no response. Then I started playing with the words. "Kissed, but no hugs," and "Kissed away." However, this got no response, either. Not even an lol or a :) or an ;). Ah, well. Maybe I'll get attention if I write a blog post. Uhm...

How to KISS: When you reply to a group email, remove the parts of the original message that are not essential to your reply.

To see examples of why KISSing is necessary, visit the group site and take a look at the messages by topic. Within a topic, expand the topic thread. Check out a few topics by using the Prev link to see older topic threads. You will quickly see the need for KISSing, especially if you go back to messages from a few months or years ago.

Of course, the KISS term is still used to remark on making emails, instructions, and any writing succinct. Maybe KISS really means, "Keep it simple and succinct."

Getting Involved in Reading for the Future

Have you just joined the Yahoo! Group for RFF? Are you just trying to figure out what we do? Are you interested in getting more involved? Got a suggestion? Want to know why there is so little discussion of ongoing projects? Want to know why so little seems to be happening? Maybe this will answer some of those questions.

A Note from Valerie C.--Re: My take on getting involved in RFF

For new Members and the Public,
a Special Note

Known as RFF or as rff Talking Reading for the Future, the rff Yahoo! Group welcomes you to explore and/or to join this public network of RFF members.

Much of the actual hands-on, nitty-gritty collaboration is done behind the scenes in actual face-to-face meetings like those afforded at science fiction conventions, private emails and in the private group called RFFOrg. Some is done in rff messages.

New members that want to get involved in a volunteer project should mention that to the rff group, called [Talking RFF] in the subject line of the emails, and wait for instructions from one of the RFFOrg members, like Dave (David-Glenn Anderson) or any one of a dozen others, to tell you who to contact about that project. Some of the collaboration will be done within the public group, rff. Either way, your volunteer efforts and suggestions are welcome.

Or feel free to just dialogue. Or share links. Or ask questions. Or to just lurk (i.e.,reading messages but not doing much else). We are all just glad you are on board.

Of course, no spamming or soliciting or advertising or -- well, you know what's generally considered good group conduct; and if you don't, well, someone will tell you when you have broken the rules.

And don't forget to share. Share the the information found on the site with the general public, your local schools and libraries. Share your links, book lists, book critiques, book reviews and such with both rff and with the general public, your local schools and libraries, too.

your rff-blogmaster and member of the RFF Outreach Committee.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Krysia Anderson, A YA herself, Writer and Poet: her new Poem and new Novel

This post: the Novel; the Poem; Krysia's words.

Elizabeth Wood writes of the novel Misfit Leaves Home by Krysia Anderson, "Woven in the intricate fabric of the ORU, Misfit explores the themes of class and discrimination, duty and individual choice, heredity and destiny."[personal communication, Oct. 2010]

A lofty challenge for the best of authors, an impressive accomplishment for a young woman who can only recently vote, she is so young. Currently, Ms. Anderson is touring local schools, talking to English classes about her work.

This novel is written in the Okal Rel Universe, invented and copyrighted by Lynda Williams, an active RFF member and mentor to Ms. Anderson and other aspiring writers. Learn more about the Okal Rel Universe and both authors.

Krysia Anderson, of Canada, had this to say about her interest in science fiction,
"My love affair with reading really started when I was in grade 4. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was the very first real book I read on my own and ever since then I can't stop. At first I mostly read fantasy, but as I got older I branched out into science fiction and now I even enjoy non-fiction. Although science fiction is definitely my favourite."

Krysia Anderson shared her newest poem with the Reading For the Future page on Facebook and graciously allowed it to be reprinted here.~Valerie

Books are Masochists 

a poem by Krysia Anderson

Books are Masochists
They call out from the shelves
Screaming harlots of a medium
Hold me
Bend me
Love me
Abuse me
Just so you can soothe me
Throw me across the room if necessary
Stay with me long into the night
and when you're done and satisfied
cast me aside and pick up another one

Open and shut me until my spine breaks
And my pages fall out
Scattering themselves everywhere
They whisper
Read me
And I am eager to oblige

©2010, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 1, 2010

FB Report.: Lots of Links on Speculative Fiction -- 10/31/10

FB Report...10/31/10

To get a richer feel for the Facebook experience in advancing the mission of RFF, I have broadened my search for pertinent links to include a few friends.

And don't forget that the different items are altered for this blog post. Refer to the original Facebook site to see the unmodified version.

David Brin, "Science fiction can infect children with the dangerous mental habit of imagining things different than they are."
Contrary Brin
An occasional online journal to handle discussions generated by "The David Brin Site" ( ) Courteous argument is welcome...

I asked several people who commented on this question if they could be quoted. They said yes. Some of their comments are to be included in an article later.

David Brin, "From memristors to artificial cells to the semantic web. Fifty ideas to change science forever: Cast your vote for which will most profoundly affect our future:"
Competition: 50 ideas to change science forever - 22 October 2010 - New Scientist
Which of the 50 ideas presented this week and last do you think is most likely to change the face of science? Tell us, and you could win a tablet PC

David Brin, "It’s not quite Star Wars, but science fiction is changing the modern battlefield: with the advent of spy saucers, big dogs, stealth ships, nuke proof tanks, airborne lighsaber, and a flying humvee."
» WTF Weapons, From Spy Saucers to Flying Lightsabers
Admiral Gary Roughead, the Navy's top officer, is all about practicality these days. In a document he issued to his sailors earlier this week, he vowed that when it came to military gadgets, the Navy would "only develop those capabilities we need, not just want." In these tough economic times, Rough...

Reading For the Future, "Thanks to Cat Rambo (one of my favorite Escape Artist authors) for bringing this to my attention. National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30."
National Novel Writing Month
Thirty days and nights of literary abandon

David Brin, "For a bit of humor: an ordinary day obeying the laws of physics, like it or not"
Unpopular Science -
One man's unhappy encounters with the laws of physics.

This post above reminded me of David Brin's book The Practice Effect, which I recommend as suitable for YA.~Valerie C.

David Brin shared a link.
Stories vs. Statistics -
How do the worlds of storytelling and scientific probability differ? A mathematician counts the ways.
Said David Brin, "A mathematician weighs in on the contrasts between stories and statistics. Stories tend to focus on atypical individuals, peculiar circumstances, random occurrences… and the occasional improbable coincidence (or even a deux ex machina). And yet the author tries to populate stories with realistic details and true-to-life characters – to help the reader suspend disbelief."

Reading For the Future, "#1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9 are Speculative Fiction (and sound very interesting...)"~Cie
Top Ten Teen Reads | At Your Library
Every year,as part of Teen Read Week, teens from all over the country vote for their favorite book published during the previous year. The winner from this year's ballots? Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

Vonda McIntyre' "I got interviewed at IO9 the other day.,(IO9's native URLs are very long and sometimes give away the punch line.)Vonda N McIntyre When I was in England in 1979, my British pb publisher showed me the cover (see thumbnail below) and I swear my heart nearly stopped. It's actually kind of pretty in a design sort of way, but I'm not squeamish about snakes and I still would not like them crawling over my face. I forget how many copies the book sold, but not nearly as many as they hoped, and I can't say I blame book-buyers.
Feminism, astronauts, and riding sidesaddle: Talking to Dreamsnake's Vonda McIntyre
It's Dreamsnake weekend for Blogging the Hugos! Today, an interview with author Vonda McIntyre about writing 1979's Hugo-winning novel, how much things have changed for women in SF, and how she hopes you don't notice the trick she pulled.

Kevin J. Anderson Signed and presented a book to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed al-Qassimi today, was surrounded by a mob of paparazzi
 via Twitter  @TheKJA on Twitter
 [10/26/10] [reported on Facebook as part of the link below]
Kevin J. Anderson, "I presented him with THE MAP OF ALL THINGS last spring at the BEA, through an intermediary, which is why he invited me to come to Sharjah. This time, because he is a big supporter of the arts, we gave him a signed copy of the Writers of the Future 25 Year anniversary book.

From William Wood, "What's better than a 4-hour-long director's cut of Avatar? How 'bout two more of 'em. Gad.
James Cameron’s Next Movies: Avatar 2 and 3
James Cameron will take moviegoers back to Pandora in a pair of Avatar sequels that he promises will deliver the same visual and emotional impact of the original sci-fi smash.

Reading For the Future, "Ink Plots is at SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery (601 West 26 Street, 15th floor, New York City) though November 6."~Cie
GeekMom » Blog Archive » Ink Plots: The Tradition of the Graphic Novel
If you’re a fan of graphic novels, or even if you’re just curious about the format, there’s a great show running right now at my alma mater, School of Visual Art. Ink Plots: The Tradition of the Graphic Novel shares the work of artists influential in the creation of the genre who just so happen to b
6 minutes ago · Comment · LikeUnlike · Share · Promote · Flag

REading for the Future, "Lynda Williams said I should share this poem of mine with you. Books are Masochists They call out Krysia Anderson"

Reading For the Future, "This author of YA fantasy-horror puts book lists of children's and YA books, with abstracts and reviews, on her website."~Valerie C.
Children's and YA Science Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults
bibliography of fantasy and science fiction books for kids and teenagers