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SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

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Keep up with the oldest convention in the North American west! [Jun. 8th, 2012|01:23 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention


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The Decline of SFWA [Jul. 26th, 2011|07:09 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

I used to be a member of SFWA.

It used to be an organization run by, and for the benefit of, authors.

Today I got a letter informing me that the price of Lifetime membership has gone from ten years' dues to five thousand dollars.

I suppose I should have seen the writing on the wall when they awarded the status of Grand Master to the man who trashed the first Hugo-winning work of the original Grand Master.

For the record, ballot counting for officers of SFWA is done by the League of Women Voters. I was raised by a woman who was, for a time, head of the Prince George's County, Maryland LWV; and I saw how they do things.

Your opinion of the honesty of the vote count may differ from mine.

As for my own plans, if I ever have five grand to spare I will get a power turbine attached to the grave of Damon Knight, SFWA's founder, and sell electricity generated by the spinning.

Matthew Joseph Harrington
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The fairy tales you hear are the ones where they leave witnesses [Jul. 7th, 2011|04:12 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

The Miller's Other Daughter

Matthew Joseph Harrington

Once there was a miller who had a daughter whose eye and hand were so fine she could spin straw as thin as a gold thread.

Word got around, as word will, and people got the story wrong, as they do. Had the king been more interested in having his people taught to read... well, even if the story had been written down, so it got told right, he probably still would have sent for her, since he had sent so much money to Rome to support the Crusade, and good cloth always means good money; but he might not have had so much trouble. Quite.

The miller was locked up in one of the servants' rooms, and his daughter was sent into a strongroom with bales of straw and a spinning wheel and told to spin straw into gold. (It didn't occur to the king to wonder why a man whose daughter could do that was sweating out his days making flour. Giving a man a job because his father used to do it is no guarantee he'll know what he's doing; often quite the opposite.)

The miller's other daughter, by a different mother, came home from the hill where she did her own work, found her home empty and the mill unused, asked around, and went to the king's castle to ask for her family back. It was a small kingdom, and she was there by morning.

She was nothing but polite, but the guards at the gate were far from it, and after she had put up with their nonsense for longer than she really had to, she hit them with the new millstone she'd been bringing home to her father after quarrying it out of the mountain with her bare hands. Then she went in and got her family back.

She didn't bother using any doors.

The miller lived out by the enchanted forest, and had a way with unusual ladies.

And Rumplestiltskin does not enter into this tale at all.

--Thursday, July 07, 2011, 3:57:06 PM
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Known Space detail [Sep. 16th, 2010|07:57 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

Does anyone besides me find it disturbingly hilarious that the Kdaptists are regarded as lunatics by other kzinti because they believe their universe was created by a man with a beard?
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Donations? [Jul. 19th, 2010|10:23 am]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

Does Silicon need any donations for the next fund raiser?  I have a veritable ton of stuffed animals, all in very good to excellent "like new" condition.

Let me know.
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No updates ? [Jul. 8th, 2010|05:38 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

Ya that

Seem that there is not a lot going on ,,,  when is the next fund raiser ?
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No Conbook this year [Jun. 14th, 2010|12:41 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

But stories nevertheless.


There is another world.
It is cold here. When men go north they come to endless mountains of ice. In the places where they can go south they find the same.

It is deadly here. In the lands where the sun is sometimes directly overhead, trees grow to blot out the sun, and plagues are bred. Men live among the trees, but fearfully, for in such places a man is meat, no more.

It is desolate here. Between the ice and the trees there is desert, where men have raised sheep and goats forever, and their herds have eaten every green thing that held the ground in place, so that where valleys have not trapped topsoil, bedrock is exposed.

The men live in families. Women are slaves, serving men and staying pregnant until they die. When two families meet there is usually a massacre, unless they are close to equal in strength; then women may be traded for herd animals. After a massacre the losing family's males are killed, down to the infants. The losing family's women are used daily until they are pregnant.
The only concept of rape is as a form of theft, from the man who owns the woman so used.

There is no history, for there is no writing, so stories change with every telling. If any knowledge comes into existence it disappears again.
There is no security, for there is no farming, so nobody settles in one place long enough to build walls.

There is no pity, for there is nothing to spare, so it is a measure of prosperity when unwanted elders can be left behind to starve instead of being eaten. This only happens in good years. They are rare.

In cold weather, wraps are made of felted wool. Hides are sometimes used until they rot, but tanning has never been invented. There are no trees suited to the purpose.

No one has named the world. Nobody knows it is a world. It is merely where they are.

No one has named the continents. Nobody has ever come up with the concept.

No one has named the human race. Each family is The People, and all others are Enemy— or food.

To the east of the great and tideless central sea is the oldest and bitterest of all deserts, more barren even than the one to the south.

In this desert all is rock.

In some places lichens grow on the rock, until some desperate family fleeing a stronger or hungrier family comes through and the herds eat the lichens off the exposed stones.

Every few centuries enough soil builds up for a little grass to grow. Then a family may stay for a while, until all the grass is gone and the new soil washes into the sea like the rest.

In the middle of this desert was once the most fertile land on the planet. There, forgotten millennia ago, a man once tried to grow grass that men could eat, and had a dispute with another man who wanted his herds to eat the grass.

It is a world where men are animals with hands. There are no monuments anywhere, and there never have been, nor will be. Nor can be.

Even bones are gnawed by goats, excreted, and washed into the sea.

There is no sign to mark the place where Abel slew Cain.

Matthew Joseph Harrington
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(no subject) [Apr. 13th, 2010|05:38 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

The first All-Hands Meeting is going to be at the CoCo's Restaurant (at Lawrence Expressway and Oakmead, in the banquet room) at 2pm, Saturday April 17th.

If you would like to order food, please arrive by 1:30 in order to minimize distractions during the meeting.

PLEASE be punctual. This is very important. We only have the room for 2.5 hours and there is a lot I need to cover.

If you haven't worked for SiliCon before and would like to volunteer, or you simply want to learn more about what's happening with SiliCon 2011, please attend!
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(no subject) [Apr. 10th, 2010|05:40 am]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

Rummage sale today (April 10th) to benefit SiliCon!

9a-4p, at 689 Locust St. San Jose 95110

100% of all proceeds will go towards SiliCon!

My laptop will be set up so people can pay with plastic or PayPal if they want.

If you'd like to volunteer to come out for a few hours and help, drop stuff off to sell, or just want to come by to see what we have and to say hi, I'd be happy to see you!

EDIT Cancelled due to weather. Will be rescheduled for later in the month.
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SiliCon has been good to me [Apr. 9th, 2010|09:00 pm]
SiliCon, an SF Bay Area Science Fiction Convention

...and I mean to do right by SiliCon.

You'll miss the Con this year, but I mean to post themed short fiction on this site for the fen.

Matthew Joseph Harrington
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