Edward Willett

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Welcome to Hassenpfeffer!

Hassenpfeffer (n): A highly seasoned stew of marinated rabbit meat. Welcome to Hassenpfeffer, a brand-new blog by American-living-in-Canada science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction and computer author Edward Willett. No doubt you are already thinking to yourself, "Hassenpfeffer! That's a stupid name for a blog!" Au contraire. It is the perfect name for a blog--or, at least, for this blog. If you will refer to the definition above: 1. "Highly seasoned." What better goal for a blog than to be highly seasoned with (among other things) wicked wit, astonishing analysis, fascinating facts, lovely links, powerful prose, and annoying alliteration? 2. "Stew." A stew implies a variety of ingredients, which this blog ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 17:56, September 12th, 2003 under Blog | 4 Comments »

Torcon3: The 61st World Science Fiction Convention

For my first non-introductory post, a few comments about the 61st World Science Fiction Convention, held in Toronto over the Labour Day weekend. This was my fourth WorldCon; my first was ConAdian in Winnipeg in 1994, and I've since been to ChiCon in Chicago in 2000 and ConJose last year in San Jose. Although I've certainly heard/read about disorganization and disasters at TorCon, from my point of view, everything went swimmingly. I was on two panels, "Day Jobs for Writers" and "Writing For Children," both of which happened when and where they were supposed to and with the people they were supposed to involve. The only disruption I experienced was caused by the arrival of a ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 18:41, September 12th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

What I’m Reading v1.0

I hope to regularly post notes on what I'm reading. Currently... Hybrids, the third book in Robert J. Sawyer's "The Neanderthal Parallax." Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling (down to the last chapter--comments to follow soon). Asimov's Science Fiction, October/November 2003. I would love to subscribe to Asimov's, Analog and Fantasy & Science Fiction, but I don't have time to read them all, so I subscribe to Asimov's and read occasional issues of the others. Thoughts on all of these once they're completed.

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:10, September 13th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

Greenhouse hurricane?

Does this remind anyone else of Bruce Sterling's novel Heavy Weather?

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:18, September 13th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

New Technique Could Lead To Widespread Use Of Solar Power

"Gentlemen, we can reduce the use of fossil fuels. We have the technology."

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:20, September 13th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

Generic Science Fiction Convention

Now this is funny--unless you're a con virgin, in which case, it won't mean a thing.

Posted by Edward Willett at 6:04, September 14th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

Reading report

Well, I finished both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling and Hybrids by Robert J. Sawyer over the weekend. Briefly: My wife and I disagree over the latest Harry Potter book. Although we both enjoyed it, I thought it was one of the strongest of the set, while she found Harry's teenage angst a little overdone and thought the language wasn't as rich in this book as in the previous ones. I didn't notice any particular difference in the language--Rowling isn't a great stylist, and she continues to overuse adverbs (he said boldly)--but that's been the case from the beginning. As for Harry's constant state of low-grade anger, maybe ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:36, September 15th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

Barbarians at the gate!

"'He is a man who writes what used to be called penny dreadfuls'...That they could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy.'" Harold Bloom, self-appointed arbiter of what does and does not have literary value, commenting on the fact that the National Book Awards is planning to give its annual medal for distinguished contribution to American letters to Stephen King. No sign of an inventive human intelligence in Stephen King? I submit there are more signs of an inventive human intelligence in the average King story than in many whole books of so-called literary fiction. ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 21:20, September 15th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

This week’s science column

For more than a decade now I've been writing a science column for the Regina Leader Post (and other places). Pretty much every column is now online, and I post each new column as it's written. This week's is now up; it's on The Dinosaur Demise Debate. There's a subscription form at the top of that page you can enter your e-mail address into if you'd like to receive my science column free very week.

Posted by Edward Willett at 20:39, September 16th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »

China Will Launch Yuhangyuan In October

I suppose it's too much to hope that this will energize the U.S. space program the way Sputnik did? *Sigh.* Yes, I suppose it is. Better brush up on Chinese if I want to retire on the moon, as the teenaged me fully expected to be able to do by the time I turned 65 in 2024...

Posted by Edward Willett at 0:51, September 17th, 2003 under Blog | Comment now »