My Schedule At BayCon!

BayCon2014logoI’m so excited about BayCon – I’ll be doing seven panels in three days.  I’m practicing looking knowledgeable.  I’d love to meet some Geek Girl In Love fans at the convention as well as any fans of my reviews at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (I write under the name ‘CarrieS’).  So please stop by BayCon and say hello to the short woman in the book cape or the Jane Austen Steampunk outfit – that’s me!

Here’s a link to Baycon’s homepage:  www.baycon.org

And here’s my schedule:

1.  Steampunk’s Parents: Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne on Friday at 5:00 PM in Lafayette
(with G. David Nordley, Bob Brown)

Let’s visit the source of steampunk! Come discuss the classics!

2. BoF: Vaginal Fantasy Book Club on Saturday at 11:30 AM in Other 5
 (with SallyRose Robinson)

Come and hang out with people who love the Geek and Sundry Show Vaginal Fantasy BookClub. Join them as they share their love of paranormal romances and chick lit aand which episode an d books they love. Some of the Panelists are part of the In Person SF MeetUp-The Wicked Grounders.

 3. Paranormal Romance: Ripping Bodices Since… Yesterday? on Saturday at 3:30 PM in Napa III
 (with Irene Radford, D. M. Atkins, Deirdre Saoirse Moen (M))

 What is this genre? Where it come from, where is it going and does it even merit classification as a separate genre? If all you’ve read are stories about sparkly vampires, you haven’t even scratched the surface.

 4. Monsters In Love! on Sunday at 10:00 AM in Alameda
 (with Margaret McGaffey Fisk, Nick Facer)

Paranormal Romance is going all over the place these days. We have dino romance, wolf pack romance, there is even BigFoot romance! Where is this coming from and where can we take it? The Panelist give their takes, ideas and thoughts on all things romantic and monsters!

5. Creating family in fiction and in fandom on Sunday at 11:30 AM in San Tomas
(with Setsu Uzume, Brad Lyau, Colin Fisk, Tory Parker)

The idea of a family of choice is one that has always been powerful in science fiction and fantasy literature. Examples of groups who create familial bonds range from the Fellowship in Tolkien to the crew of the Serenity in Firefly. Similarly, Fandom has its own sense of belonging and fellowship. In this panel we talk about the different ways family can be defined and built, both in fiction and in our fan communities.

6. Strange Love – Using Romance Tropes in Science Fiction and Fantasy on Sunday at 3:30 PM in Bayshore
(with Amy Sterling Casil, D. M. Atkins, Deirdre Saoirse Moen, Beth Barany, S.L. Gray)

What are science fiction and fantasy’s most powerful love stories, and why do we love them so much? What’s the difference between a romance novel and a novel with romance? Find out how romance novels have changed in the last two decades, and how the digital market has opened up a whole new crossover world.

 7. Steampunk in Literature on Monday at 10:00 AM in Stevens Creek
(with Cliff Winnig, Laurel Anne Hill, Steve Frankel)

Discussion of Victorian technology and the proper use of steam power, gunpowder, goggles, and the pith helmet. Especially the goggles.

Mini Review: Parasite, by Mira Grant

Grant_Parasite-HCJust for the record, no one could possibly convince me to read a futuristic horror novel about the tapeworm zombie apocalypse except for the Mira Grant, author of the Newsflesh Trilogy.  NO ONE.  Second of all, this book ends on a major cliffhanger.  I just…I can’t take the stress.  Now I have to wait MONTHS to find out if we are all going to die because of tapeworm zombies!  Aaaargh!

In case the caps lock wasn’t enough to tip you off, I loved Parasite and it scared the bejeebers out of me.  Here’s the basic plot:  In the year 2027, a company named SymboGen has virtually eliminated all diseases and allergies by means of a simple treatment.  People who become hosts for the bioengineered “Intestinal Bodyguard” live medically charmed lives.  But the parasites begin to take over their hosts, causing them to behave in a zombie-like state.

This book was exciting and horrifying and thought-provoking.  I cared about Sally, the protagonist, even when I was annoyed by her.  By setting the story in the very near future, and by never forgetting the mundane, Mira Grant makes the danger feel like an immediate threat.  I admired the fact that her characters have to do things like eat and sleep and deal with Bay Area traffic.  The book was firmly grounded and that increased the level of dread.  The level of science seems good overall.  Mira Grant did a ton of research to write the book, and it shows.  And I deeply appreciated a general absence of gore.  Grant seems aware that we, the readers, are grossed out by the mere concept of the story, so she doesn’t have to gross us out more with gore or with explicit tapeworm disgusting-ness.  When there is gore, it’s effective, because of the overall level of restraint.

You can find my full-length review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.