Today’s brief episode on SpeakEasy Radio deals with Ham on Heels, S. L. Johnson‘s illustration that inspired it, Henri Bergson, Totie Fields and more. In my abundant free time, I have a book to write on comedy. Maybe someday I’ll get to it…
I had a great time at my talk on Saturday. There was a big crowd who proved very enthusiastic. I was rather glad that Vonnegut’s nephew Kurt and his son didn’t introduce themselves until after the talk or I would have felt rather self-conscious talking about their family members. Kurt said that his father Bernard had been recording video for the forthcoming documentary. I was one of the Kickstarter contributors, so I am eagerly looking forward to it. I remembered to take a picture of the sign for the talk but I realise I took the wrong side so my name isn’t even there.
The Mabee Farm site is quite interesting. There’s even an old cemetery and of course, right now there’s the It Came from Schenectady exhibit of SF/F from the capital region, including some Albacon members.
Accidents in a Very Busy Place: Kurt Vonnegut in Schenectady
presented by K.A. Laity
Saturday 4/11/15 at 2:00 PM at Mabee Farm Historic Site
Kurt Vonnegut, the renowned and beloved author, spend an important part of his life in Schenectady. The region influenced his work, and Schenectady appears as the setting for many of his stories. K.A. Laity will discuss Vonnegut’s time in Schenectady– as a PR man for GE, and as a volunteer fire fighter– and the region’s legacy in his work.
I’m making the talk available because it’s not really something intended for publication, but I know people who weren’t able to be there are interested. It’s a bit of a DIY situation because I don’t have time to combine the two pieces: so here’s the text and here are the slides. It’s far more entertaining with the slides.
It Came from Schenectady: Science Fiction in the Capital Region
(at Mabee Farm Historic Site through September 2015)
What if you had a superpower? What if you could travel through time? What if machines overtook Schenectady? “What if” questions inspire writers, artists, and filmmakers to create new worlds and imagine alternate realities. Featuring an Apollo EMU spacesuit (and a replica you can try on!), experimental equipment and machinery from GE, original science fiction cover art, hand-made costumes, an interactive studio set, film footage, and more, It Came from Schenectady: Science Fiction in the Capital Region invites you to discover the “what ifs” that inspired the creations of local science fiction innovators, including Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Nelson, and Glendora. Join us on a journey through time and space as we explore the legacy of science fiction in Schenectady County!
Join me at the Schenectady Historical Society’s Mabee Farm at 2pm for a talk about Kurt Vonnegut’s Schenectady years. I talk a lot about Player Piano as well as a bit about Cat’s Cradle and Welcome to the Monkey House. Quite shamelessly I mention Owl Stretching, too and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention So It Goes as well. I hope all the jokes work — how can you go wrong with Vonnegut after all? Part of It Came from Schenectady: Science Fiction in the Capital Region, so I look forward to seeing what else is there.
Do note, if you’re coming by boat: The Mabee Farm is located on the south side of the Mohawk River about 1 mile east of Lock E-9 and four miles west of Lock E-8.
I should have chartered a boat!
I’ll be the guest tonight at 6pm (11pm UK) on the live radio broadcast of Speculative Fiction Cantina, sponsored by Writestream Radio and hosted by S. Evan Townsend. You can call in and ask questions! I’ll be sharing the mic with Laurel A. Rockefeller, who writes the Peers of Beinan series and promises she will do some singing. I think I’ll read from the forthcoming Blood Moon, which is the second in the Breton Lais series from my alter ego, Kathryn Marlowe. It’s based on Bisclavret, the tale of the werewolf knight, so I think I’ll read the opening chapter where he glories in being a wolf. The first Breton Lay is of course Knight of the White Hart based on Guigemar. I’m attempting to stay very true to the original tales while expanding them to novel length yet keeping Marie de France‘s breathless pace. As the reviews say:
“A great beginning to new a new series. An interesting and intriguing tale of true love, the meaning of love, sacrifice, a Knight’s honor, magic,and, yes, romance. Intense and emotional at moments. The setting is interesting, with Knights, Medieval Romance,a bit of magic, a battle for love. The characters are intriguing, as well, as will capture your heart. I will follow this series to it’s conclusion. A sweet romance with a few twists and turns.”
“At once with the high romance and idealistic notions of medieval knighthood – this is a tale replete with the grandeur of nobility and the steadfast resolve of a Knight who has to learn his lesson the hard way; that Love is not merely a fancy for the Tales but a cause worth hardship and sacrifice.”
“A masterful storyteller Marlowe delivers her story will skill, wit and clear delight. Also it starts with jousting, which is never a bad thing!! I am telling you nothing more than that, go discover it for yourself!”