Miss Wendy and I arrived at night and had a terrific meal at Howie’s Waterloo which included a divine cullen skink and gave me the chance to say ‘I’ll have the pheasant’ which is not too common for me. In the morning we started with the Old Calton Burial Ground, which I visited on my very first trip back in 1980. I even took another picture of David Hume’s grave which I have in a yellowed old snapshot. They were dismantling the Christmas Market next to the Walter Scott Memorial, but this lovely caravan was still there waiting for me — but Wendy talked me out of rolling it away.
One of my favourite places in the city: history, folklore, memory and beauty. A late night battle by Hecate Sidlaw, an oasis in the city. The Howff is a gem. It’s #FolkloreThursday — what stories do you know about cemeteries?
Hear it now, too! Howff Field Recording
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!