"madeline ashby"

"By His Things Will You Know Him," a short story

“My father kept things. I mean, he didn’t like to throw things away. Nothing.” I looked into his eyes as I said these words. I’d said them before, to explain my spotless desk...

Border Town design jam

Madeline Ashby (whom you'll remember from such Boing Boing features as Surfaces - a short story for a thesis on border security sez, "This is an invitation to join a 2-day design jam in Toronto, focused on user experience problems common to international border crossings. I'll be there Friday to give a talk, but what I'm really excited about is what the other jammers will produce. The theme of the jam is 'Everyone Must Pass...' and the design challenge will be presented at the event. After that, teams will develop their own solutions to the problem. And all those solutions will be Commons licensed, so they can be shared with border towns around the world!" Read the rest

Surfaces - a short story for a thesis on border security

The dilemma of how to reconcile the needs of security with the desire for humanity is the defining question of the twenty-first century.

This sentence opens my thesis, "Loss Prevention: Customer Service as Border Security," written for the strategic foresight and innovation program that I just graduated. I decided to write about the future of border security after my friend and fellow writers' workshop member Peter Watts was beaten, maced, and arrested at the Port Huron border crossing. I remember the decision very clearly. Peter was facing a prison sentence, and I was on the phone with David Nickle. I was in tears. But as we spoke, something overwhelmed my despair. Something hard and sharp enough to cut a path down the centre of my life. An idea. Read the rest

Design fiction about cities divided by international borders

Madeline Ashby sez, "The Border Town design studio has been invited to the Detroit Design Festival to exhibit costumes, board games, 3D-printed snowglobes, mixtapes, and other kipple of an awesome nature about cities divided by international borders. I wrote a story scattered over the Internet about the future of border security in Istanbul, and Wednesday I'll open my first art installation where visitors can explore it. Our team has met and exceeded our initial kickstarter request, but we're still looking for funds to take the exhibit elsewhere and to build new prototypes. If you're in Detroit next week, please come say hi!" Read the rest

UPDATED: Tolkien estate censors badge that contains the word "Tolkien"

Update: I was wrong. Writing on behalf of the Tolkien estate, Steven Maier, partner at the Oxford law firm of Manches LLP, says, "Zazzle has confirmed that it took down the link of its own accord, because its content management department came across the product and deemed it to be potentially infringing."

Not content to censor a book that combines literary criticism and fiction by including JRR Tolkien as a character, the Tolkien estate has shut down Adam Rakunas, who makes and gives away buttons that have the word Tolkien on them:

Back in the late 2009, I got into a Twitter conversation with Madeline Ashby about geek culture, fandom, and a bunch of stuff like that. Madeline wrote, "While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion." I thought this was an excellent encapsulation of the divide in SF/F/Whatever fandom, and thus took to Zazzle to make little buttons with her quote. I bought a bunch, handed them out at a few conventions, then I had a kid and promptly forgot all about it.

Until today, when Zazzle emailed me to say they were pulling the buttons for intellectual property right infringement.

And guess who complained about their rights being infringed?

I've tried to come up with something more to say about this, but I'm too angry and confused and tired to say anything more than I did in the title of this post. Have fun milking your dad's stuff, Christopher Tolkien!

The Tolkien estate has long had a censorious bent -- a writer I admire was forced to put a series of books that in no way infringed upon Tolkien's copyrights out of print because the estate threatened to make her publisher's life a living nightmare (not naming names, because the writer has chosen not to go public with the story). Read the rest

On Peter Watts's sentencing hearing

Madeline Ashby, Dr Peter Watt's friend (and mine) has written a beautiful piece on Tor.com about Peter's sentencing hearing: "This is a love story. This is the story of one man who had no idea how many people were in his corner. Not just the people standing up for him in court, or the ones who wrote letters to his judge or to the governor of Michigan, but the people all over the globe who donated to his legal fund, who bought his books, who talked about the case with their friends and neighbours, who blogged it and tweeted it and kept the conversation alive." Read the rest

Toys R Us puts elf toys in the science section

Madeline Ashby sends us this photo of "Elf" toys filed away in the Toys "R" Us "Science" section, noting, "My husband and I braved Toys R' Us on the final Sunday before Christmas to bring the happy mutants this FAIL. Our theory is that Toys R' Us committed a classic logic fallacy: science = nerdy; elves = nerdy; elves = science. It's the only explanation we can think of for what is an epic failure of toy taxonomy."

Educational Toy FAIL

(Thanks, Madeline!)

Previously: Swedish children demand end to gender stereotypes in Toys R Us ... Toys R Us receipt cruft, an inch-by-inch analysis - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Toys R Us' sneaky trick loses in court Nano Air Vehicle takes flight - Boing Boing Weta's new cheaper, delightful, detailed plastic rayguns Boing Boing The $4000 handmade rattle - Boing Boing Read the rest

Montreal World Science Fiction Convention program is live

Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention (to be held in Montreal this year) is almost upon us, and the programming committee has put together a kick-ass program, and they've put it online. Here's my program items -- hope to see you there!

Friday 10 AM: Intellectual Property and Creative Commons, with Laura Majerus and Felix Gilman (2-032, P-512CG)

12:30PM: The New Media, with Melissa Auf der Maur, Tobias Buckell, Neil Gaiman, and Ellen Kushner (2-126, P-511BE)

3:30PM: Reading, with Charlie Stross and Connie Willis (2-224R, P-512AE)

8PM: Prometheus Awards, with Fred Moulton, Jo Walton, John C. Wright and Charlie Stross (2-349, P-524A)

9PM: Cecil Street Irregulars: A Canadian Writing Group, with Doug Smith, Karl Schroeder, Madeline Ashby, Michael Skeet, Dave Nickle, Jill Snider Lum and Sara Simmons

Saturday 9AM: Stroll With the Stars (a morning walk!), with Ann Vandermeer, Gay Haldeman, Joe Haldeman, Peter Atwood and Stu Seigel, 3-005, Riopelle Fountain

10AM: Autographs, with Ellen Datlow, Jean-Claude Dunyach, David Anthony Durham, Felix Gilman and Robert Silverberg, 3-053S

5PM: Kaffeeklatsch, 4-263K, P-521C

9PM: Gaiman Reads Doctorow (Neil records one of my stories for an upcoming audiobook), with Neil Gaiman, 3-342, 5-511BE

Monday 9AM: No User Servicable Parts Inside, with C Meeks, Howard Davidson and Jack William Bell

Oh, and a note to Montrealers: the convention centre WiFi is CAD$395 a day!, so I'm hoping to rent someone's 3G modem, like the Fido Stick modem. I'll pay your whole month's data-tariff and I promise not to download porn or warez or anything else likely to get you in trouble with your ISP. Read the rest

New issue of Flurb!

Yee-haw! It's Christmas around here because Rudy Rucker's just released a new ish of his peripatetically published by inevitably brilliant science fiction ezine, Flurb!

Rudy Rucker: Qlone

Madeline Ashby: Fitting a New Suit

Michael Blumlein: The Big One

Brian Garrison: 3 SF Poems

Charles Platt: The Gnirut Test

Brendan Byrne: The Loa and the Gaping Jaw

Jetse de Vries: Random Acts of Cosmic Whimsy

Bruce Sterling: Computer Entertainment Thirty-Five Years From Today

Flurb!

(via Rudy's Blog) Read the rest

Tesseracts 11 Canadian sf anthology launch in Toronto this Sat

This Saturday, Toronto's Bakka Books will host the official launch of Tesseracts 11, the latest volume of the seminal Canadian science fiction anthology series that launched 22 years ago. I was immensely privileged to co-edit (with Holly Phillips) this year's edition, and doubly privileged to buy knockout stories from the likes of Daniel Archambault, Madeline Ashby, Greg Bechtel, Nancy Bennett, Lisa Carreiro, Peter Darbyshire, Khria Deefholts, Candas Jane Dorsey, Susan Forest, Kim Goldberg, Andrew Gray, Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry, Stephen Kotowych, Claude Lalumière, John Mavin, Randy McCharles, Steven Mills, David Nickle, Kate Riedel, Hugh Spenser, Jerome Stueart and Élisabeth Vonarburg.

I've read every volume in the Tesseracts series, and published in some of them. I remember reading the first Tesseracts on the Cummer 42 TTC bus on the way home from school and having my mind so blown by stories from Margaret Atwood, William Gibson and David Kirkpatrick that I missed my stop and had to walk home (reading all the way). It was an incredible honour to co-edit one of the successor volumes.

There will be launch-parties for the book all across Canada, including Vancouver and Calgary.

Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 3:00pm Bakka-Phoenix Books 697 Queen Street West Toronto, ON

This year, Tesseracts Eleven brings the series to a new height, with a blend of past and present writers, with their own individual visions of the future. The literature of Tesseracts Eleven has been critically selected and shaped into the collection you see by this year's editors, two of Canada's finest writers - acclaimed authors Cory Doctorow and Holly Phillips.

Read the rest

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