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Episode 7: Lindbergh’s Mummy

September 20th, 2012 | Robin

Travel Advisory whisks us on an aural journey to Worldcon, courtesy of Ken, who brings back knowledge of Chinese SF, steampunk semantics, the best vampire novel of the last 100 years, and the dreaded hallway seminar. Along the way we explore the sub-cultural differences between the literary side of geekery and its gaming cousin.

We venture into the Gaming Hut to peer over the shoulders of Mike Mason and Paul Fricker as they refit the classic roleplaying game Call of Cthulhu for its seventh edition.

On the occasion of a $69 mil settlement of price-fixing charges by HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, The Business of Gaming contrasts mainstream publishing’s response to ebooks to that of the tabletop gaming world.

Finally, in History Bending, we squeeze gameworthy or fictionable material from the connection between aviator Charles Lindbergh and his associates, real-life weird scientist Dr. Alexis Carrel and pulp-writer/UFO investigator Donald Keyhoe. Referenced: The Immortalists, by David M. Friedman.

16 Responses to “Episode 7: Lindbergh’s Mummy”

  1. Jess Nevins says:

    Name dropped on the podcast! I can now die happy.

  2. waxbanks says:

    welp. just when i thought ‘harmontown’ was my new favourite podcast, i’ve got a new favourite ‘new favourite podcast’ podcast OK LOST IT THERE

  3. Lisa Padol says:

    I do a lot of conventions a year, including gaming and general sf conventions, most definitely including WorldCon. I assure you that we are not all, by any means, uninterested in post-Gutenberg works. To my delight. the Fancast Hugo (the Hugos are the sf con equivalent of the Ennies) is being given a trial run. And, for the last several years, much of the material up for a Hugo has been made available to WorldCon members as e-text.

    As for what to do outside of panels and the dealer’s room, options include:

    Evening parties — these are listed on the party board (which was harder to find this year than usual, alas) and also in the convention newsletter. This is where a lot of hanging out and socializing gets done.

    Filking — my favorite

    I don’t know if movie and anime tracks ran 24 hours, as I generally don’t make it to those tracks at gaming or sf conventions (although there have been exceptions — I first saw Shaolin Soccer at GenCon in Milwaukee, and I wanted to see Galaxyquest with fans).

    Dances — actually, last year’s WorldCon really shone in that area for us, as the Vintage Dance folks were in charge of the dance track, and there was a lovely four hour steampunk dance, with great costumes, as well as a Regency Dance, a Swing Dance, and the Toon Town Hop. This year, Josh made it to the Geek Prom for a while, but we did most of our dancing at concerts and filksings.

    Oh yes, concerts, some of which are amazing, but these usually happen during the day, so they’re competing for mindshare with panels.

    There was a gaming room, and I had to retrieve Josh from it once. It may have been exclusively board and card games, and I don’t know if it ran 24 hours, but it was there.

    Then, there are the special events, particularly the Masquerade (which I usually skip) and the Hugo Awards ceremony (which we’ve started to attend and which was lovely this year).

    As for the dealers’ room, I agree that GenCon’s is much larger. GenCon is where I do most of my convention spending (if only because it comes before WorldCon, and I want to be good by comparison there) — but, at GenCon, I tend to ignore the non-gaming booths. I am not there to shop for costuming material, however lovely the steampunk dewdads are. (I did make an exception for two pairs of cheap glasses which a) fit over mine and b) worked amazingly well as sunglasses.)

    Origins’ Exhibit Hall seems to me to be shrinking year by year, which is a pity.

    ComicCon and DragonCon are in a different class when it comes to the dealers’ room. DragonCon had three separate rooms when we attended in 2010, but did not have much in the way of books or gaming. It was the first time I got sensory overload from shopping. ComicCon is very focused, and more than a little scary. A dealer friend of mine pointed out that the dealers’ room at ComicCon is basically what there is to do, apart from lining up for two hourse to hope to get in to a panel.

    Then, there are larp conventions, where the dealers’ room may or may not exist. One recent development in the one we attend most often, Intercon, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is that there is now an extra day of convention where we have panels, board games, and general opportunities to hang out and talk when not in character.

    The panels are very odd because they’re focused on writing larps. This plus the relatively small number of people at the convention means that most people in the audience could just as easily be on the panel, so a lot of panels become roundtable discussions.

  4. taffy finger says:

    One of the best Podcasts(all episodes) out there, Length, topic, and tone. If I was a betting man, Ennie gold would be a wager I’d would true heartedly call a locke. ARRRR!

  5. Colin says:

    This has to be the highest quality gamer Podcast since FOREVER!

    As Taffy said, this IS Ennie Gold!

  6. Lisa Padol says:

    I did write up my notes from the Researching History That Never Happened Panel and put them on my blog.

  7. I know very little about the details, but there is a Chinese literary history of ghost stories, often horrific. (I saw a paper about this topic at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts about a decade ago; the focus of the article was on Todorov’s over-used definition of “the fantastic” as that shivering moment of suspension when you cannot tell whether a story about strange events is describing something unusual or something genuinely supernatural. The point of the paper was about how that hesitation perfectly fits perfectly the Chinese ghost story tradition. )

    And of course all those horror elements in Hong Kong cinema didn’t come out of nowhere.

    Also, Ken, you seemed to be saying that because Soviet sf was party-approved, it didn’t criticize the status quo. That’s got it exactly the wrong way around–science fiction was often the only literature that could criticize the status quo, precisely because it wasn’t overtly about the status quo. After the fall of the communist regimes, Soviet bloc sf writers were known to publicly wonder, “Do we need sf any more?”

    Great stuff. Would use again. A+++++++!

  8. Lord Shadowcat says:

    There was a gaming room at World-Con, and it did run 2h hours from 8:00 Friday Morning until 3 PM Monday morning. We had to close around Midnight Thursday night so that the staff could get some sleep.

    We had Board, Card, and some RPGs, and 2 hours of Life Sized Kill Dr. Lucky. I think we only had thin points from 2am until 7 am and even then there were at least 2 tables running.

    Ken you knew where it was, and neglected to mention it. See if we let you stow stuff in gaming again. 🙂

    John “Shadowcat” Ickes Chicon 12/World Con 70 gaming Guru.

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  10. Jess Nevins was pleased to be mentioned by name in this episode. I, on the other hand, appear only as a shadowy figure of mystery in the Worldcon Green Room. Who is to say which is better?

    Your mention of The Immortalists reminds me of my remarks concerning the footprints left by Alexis Carrel in science fiction. Though I doubt anything there will be news to you.

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