Authors… in… SPAAAAAAAACE!!!

…Well, not exactly. But as close as we can get without becoming astronauts or paying $5K for the privilege. I’m a-goin’ to Launch Pad!

Bwhuh? you say. To which I reply, from the Launch Pad website:

Launch Pad is a NASA-funded education/public outreach effort supplementing Mike Brotherton’s space-based astronomical research. Our budget allows us to provide a workshop that is essentially free to participants. Our primary goal is to teach writers of all types about modern science, specifically astronomy, and in turn reach their audiences. We hope to both educate the public and reach the next generation of scientists.

Though my first novel/trilogy is fantasy, I do write some science fiction, so I’m seriously psyched about going to this. On top of that, I’ll apparently be there with a whole lot of other cool people, some of whom are Big Names (::wibble::). First off, the event is organized by noted skiffy author Mike Brotherton; then the guest instructors this year will be Phil Plait and Joe Haldeman. Then my fellow students will be:

  • Julie V. Jones
  • Gord Sellar
  • Marc Laidlaw
  • Owl Goingback
  • Scott Sigler
  • Tara Fredette
  • Brian Malow
  • Pat Cadigan
  • Carolyn Clink
  • Robert Sawyer
  • Andy Duncan
  • Ed Lerner

The coolness!! OMG the coolness!! ::hyperventilates:: I’m all aflutter.

I can’t wait. Going to have to seriously motor on book 3, though, because I suspect that if I haven’t finished it by the time I go to this workshop, my head will be so full of sciency things that I may not be able to write fantasy for a bit. =)

7 Responses »

  1. As soon as I’m in a better financial position, I am totally applying for that program! I’ve been drooling over it for years. (I know the program is free, but airfare isn’t, and I don’t think food and lodging are either.) I also feel like I should sell a novel first so I don’t take a slot away from an actual working author.

  2. Yay! You’ll love it and you’ll also be amazed at how much of it applicable to Fantasy, too.

  3. Actually they provide financial assistance on the airfare too, if you request it (I did). From what I understand, most applicants do, and most of the accepted folks this year will be getting it, as I understand.

    Dunno about food and lodging; I haven’t gotten the details yet. I’ll pass that on when I know.

    I don’t know if your chances are any greater if you sell a novel. It sure as hell helped me, because I suspect my short stories haven’t been sufficiently recognized in the field to have gotten me in otherwise. But you’re better at short stories than me. Several people I know have gone who’ve only published short stories (actually I know that applies to Gord Sellar, Andy Duncan, and a couple of other people in this year’s class, too). They’ve been nominated for the Campbell and whatnot, but hey — you’ve been nominated for the Nebula; I think that compares. =) It would also help that you’re an underrepresented group in SF.

    I think you should definitely apply next year. Keep in mind also that it’s funded by NASA — no telling when the funding will dry up with a government agency. (That’s one of the reasons I finally decided to apply, for fear the recession would kill it.)

  4. Actually, I’m hoping it will help me with the end of Book 3, where I’m going to have an Ominous Event occur with star patterns. =)

  5. I’ll definitely be asking you to bend my ear about it when you get back, then!

    (On a tangent, is there any way to get this site to email me when someone replies to one of my comments? I only noticed this one because I’d replied to another thread and decided to come back and check this one out again.)

  6. That’s one of the many small annoyances about WordPress; no, I haven’t figured out how to make it send a notification of followup comments. I know such a thing exists, probably as plugin I’ll have to install, but I haven’t *found* that plugin yet, and every search I make for “comment email” or whatever seems to find nothing. I’ll have to talk to someone who has the feature installed already and find out what it’s called, I think.

    Also, I spoke with someone who attended LaunchPad last year, and housing was free too. Meals were partially covered — breakfast and lunch were provided, dinner was on your own, though most people did it together.

  7. Testing, testing… Jen, I think I have just successfully installed a “receive comments by email” plugin recommended by a fellow WordPressian. It’s not as smooth as LJ’s, but it should serve the basic purpose.