Posted here upon request from Daniel:
Daniel A. Rabuzzi (’80, Folk & Myth major, Quincy House) announces that ChiZine/CZP (Toronto) has just published his second fantasy novel, The Indigo Pheasant, sequel to The Choir Boats (2009, also by CZP). Locus selected it as one of their “New & Notable Books” in November. Reviewers described the first volume as “Gulliver’s Travels crossed with The Golden Compass and a dollop of Pride and Prejudice,” and “a muscular, Napoleonic-era fantasy that, like Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series, will appeal to both adult and young adult readers.” Daniel’s wife, the artist Deborah Mills, created the cover art and the illustrations. Available worldwide in paper and all standard digital formats– ISBN: 978-0980941074, and ISBN:978-1927469095. For more information, please see www.danielarabuzzi.com, or Daniel’s page on Facebook. You can reach Daniel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.No comments
Friday Alumni Central 4pm-10pm Ticknor Lounge; HRSFA History Scavenger Hunt begins
Gather one, gather all, into the Ticknor Lounge! Sign in to the reunion, drift around, meet alumni you knew or never knew. Tell stories of HRSFA-way-back-when or HRSFA-last-year.
This is a great time to begin the HRSFA History Scavenger Hunt. Should you choose to play, you will be an aspiring historian all weekend. You’re given a random list of years, and for each year, you must find a chunk of HRSFA history. Remember, primary sources (that is, first-hand accounts) are the quest of any good historian! At the end, prizes will be given according to some secret system devised by Tom and Rose, and stories will be placed (when possible) on the HRSFANS wiki.
Friday night hangout 10pm-? Quincy Qube
Rediscover the joys of a classic college experience: hanging out in a dorm together, as late as you want! There could be games. There could be snacks and trips to convenience stores. There may be conversation in which we all discover the answer to the question of the meaning of life. But there will probably not be homework.
Nota Bene: The doors to Quincy require swipe-card access. To get in, call Elisabeth (310)486-2085, or follow the instructions that will be posted next to the Quincy main entrance.
Saturday Alumni Central 8am-5:30pm Ticknor Lounge
Hint: Ticknor is unlocked at 8am. If you’re up early, great; if you’re /still/ hanging out in Quincy, perhaps you’d like a change of scene to Ticknor.
Saturday future-planning breakfast with the board 9-10:30am Ticknor Lounge
If you can get here between 9am and 10:30am, start off with Breakfast with the Board, and have your say about sundry serious matters. Possible topics include HRSFANS online networking, professional support for undergraduates, local events, and more.
Saturday Book Club 11:30am-1pm Ticknor Lounge
Two of our Vericon guests, Vernor Vinge and Lev Grossman, have written books that the online-meeting HRSFANS Book Club chose to read. If you’ve read “Children of the Sky” by Vinge or “The Magicians” by Grossman, now’s your chance share your enthusiasm/frustration with the rest of us at a Book Club follow-up meeting. And we can gossip about the authors, too.
Saturday dinner 6-9pm Kirkland Dining Hall
This is the Big Classy Event of the weekend. If you like your Vericon Masquerade Ball costume enough, come wearing it! Get a little space from the hectic activities of Vericon and the reunion, to sit down and relax for a few hours. It’s a big plated dinner with delicious food, $40 (or lower prices if you ask for assistance), with a little bit of speeches and gratitiude. It ends at 9pm, in time for the Vericon Masquerade Ball at 10 if you’re into that, and get the second half of Milk&Cookies.
Saturday night Noncons and hangout 12:00am onward Lowell SCR
A really comfortable space the undergrads usually don’t get to use, in which we will do ridiculous things known as Noncons! These are fake elections, in which we make up the categories and the candidates as we go along. Drinking is good if that helps you get silly. (Noncons won’t start until after the Vericon masque is over, so there’s no need to duck out early).
Sunday Alumni Central 8am-3pm Ticknor Lounge
Ticknor opens at 8 again; after 3pm, cleanup and such happens.
Sunday family activity 10am Ticknor Lounge
Kids are always welcome in Alumni Central, but we will have some special story, craft and snack time Sunday morning with Team Martin. Of course, grown-ups are always welcome even without kids!
Sunday noon: HRSFANS History Scavenger Hunt concludes
Present your Scavenger Hunt stories to Tom and Rose! I have no idea what they intend to do, but I’m sure it will be amusing.
Invade Vericon Sunday-only
It is worth advertising three events at Vericon that are great for alumni to attend even if you don’t go to the rest of the weekend:
1) The Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God) is going up at 10:00 AM. Some talented undergrads have undergone great suffering, watching a terrible movie over an over again until the best jokes come out of them. Expect to laugh all the way through this showing.
2) The Vericon Charity Auction (theme: Doctors Without [Spatiotemporal] Borders) will be holding 1:00 PM. We have the personal guarantee of the ConChair (himself a comedian of some note) that this new Vericon event will be highly entertaining.
3) The Sassafras group, which has several HRSFA alumni in it, is giving a concert at 2:30-3:30 PM. They are well worth hearing: as Vericon puts it, “Mixing medieval harmonics with modern energy, the sound of Sassafrass is unlike anything you’ve heard and stunning close harmonies with lyrics and themes inspired by folklore, fantasy, and ancient myth.”1 comment
The 2nd Quadrennial HRSFANS reunion will be occurring March 16-18, 2012, at Harvard, alongside the 12th annual Vericon. This is an occasion to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, to reminiscent about the past and to plan for the future–and to attend a convention featuring open gaming and open anime, alumni-written LARPs and a HRSFA-written MST3K, a masquerade ball, a charity auction, and guests including Lev Grossman, R.L. Stein, and Guest of Honor Vernor Vinge. We’ll be adding information as it comes in on the HRSFANS wiki–you can check there to stay up-to-date on all the details.
Members of HRSFANS and former members of HRSFA are invited. Guests are also welcome, provided a member assumes responsibility for their conduct and their enjoyment of the event.
All attendees are requested to register for the reunion. Anyone attending the Saturday dinner must indicate so on their registration and pay the additional cost.
Current members of HRSFA are welcome to stop by and say hi! Since we expect members of HRSFA will want to spend very little time at the reunion instead of Vericon, current student members of HRSFA are not required to register for the reunion unless they plan on seriously raiding our snack stash. So as not to draw people away from Vericon en masse, we’d like to discourage undergraduates from attending the Saturday dinner.
The reunion will host “Alumni Central”, a space in Boylston Hall where Alumni can meet up throughout the weekend. Alumni Central will be stocked with snacks and low-key reunion activities. In addition, we’re planning the following events:
- Friday night late: relax and hang out after the con in the Quincy Qube
- Breakfast with the Board on Saturday morning: Let us know what’s on your mind, and brainstorm with us about plans for the future!
- Saturday night Dinner: a sit-down dinner in Kirkland House
- Saturday night “Classy Soiree” after the masquerade ball: party in the Lowell Senior Common Room–snacks, booze, and the alumni edition of non-constitutional elections.
- Activity for alumni and their children TBA: If you’d like to be part of that discussion, contact Rose Martin, or email contact at hrsfans dot org.
You can register for the Reunion here.
You can register for Vericon here.
There are, of course, a variety of accommodations options in Harvard Square. Some of these are described below. We’ll add information as we continue researching options, and if you know of a good option we’ve missed, feel free to let us know and we’ll add that.
Short-Term Apartment Rental
We believe that the most cost-effective (though not necessarily the least labor intensive) commercial accommodation strategy is to pool with a small group of people and rent an apartment for the weekend. There are a variety of such listings here, which can often offer accommodations for 4 people at $50/person/night (give or take), in addition to common space and kitchens (for people who like that sort of thing). In order to get the best search results, I recommend the search terms “Harvard Square Cambridge MA” and guests “1″.
- In most of these cases, the budget-conscious strategy is to sleep two people in each bedroom and also some people on living room couches. Since living room couches are less private, it’s recommended that people sleeping on couches pay less per night than people with private rooms.
- In some cases, the price of the accommodation is fixed, regardless of how many people are staying there. In other cases, the owner will specify an additional charge per person over some number. You can get an idea about this from the page, but it’s always worth checking with the landlord explicitly, since the answer will often be different. In either case, you can make a calculation about privacy vs. cost-cutting when you decide how many people you’d like to recruit to share a space.
- Some of the spaces advertised on airbnb.com are actually private rooms in the landlord’s apartment or house. This may require less coordination with other reunion goers, and it may again be less expensive, in exchange for less privacy and less social common space available.
- Keep an eye on cleaning fees. Note that these rentals usually require security deposits.
- Questions or concerns about this approach to accommodations? Contact Elisabeth Cohen, or email us at contact at hrsfans dot org.
Hotels and B&Bs
For those who find the “rent an apartment” plan daunting, renting a hotel is of course easier. The Harvard Square Hotel is unfortunately closed for repairs during Vericon this year. Other options include:
Looking for someone to fill out your room in an apartment or hotel? You can post what you’re looking for here (this will involve signing onto the HRSFANS wiki, which takes about 30 seconds if you’ve never done it before).
Other Local Information
Vericon maintains information about parking, local eateries, game stores, and hotels here
The full reunion registration (including the Saturday night sit-down dinner in Kirkland) costs $60. Registration without the dinner costs $20, and registration by-the-day costs $10/day.
If you’d like to attend the reunion, we’d like you to be able to attend without cost as an impediment. The registration form includes the option to request financial assistance. If you would like to contribute to financial assistance in order to help other HRSFANs attend the reunion, that option is also available during registration. In either case, you’ll be contacted by a member of the reunion staff to discuss specifics. We will treat both financial aid requests and offers as confidential (“double-blind”)No comments
Daniel Rabuzzi (’80) has a retrospective about the recent Toronto Spec Fic Colloquium on Modern Mythologies up on his speculative fiction blog at http://lobsterandcanary.blogspot.com/2011/10/toronto-specfic-colloquium-modern.html. The colloquium webpage itself is at http://www.specfic-colloquium.com/. I guess it’s too late to recommend the colloquium for this year, but perhaps locals and approximate locals might consider attending next year?No comments
I just ran across this description of the Daniel Bartlett Memorial Mathematics Lectures. Hosted at the University of Arizona, they honor Dan Bartlett ’03, a HRSFAlum who passed away in 2006.
This isn’t particularly timely, I realize, but I thought others might be interested to know about it regardless. While news of Dan’s death did percolate through the alumni community, I at least had not heard any specifics in connection with it. The linked page includes a very nice section about Dan.
The lectures themselves are apparently designed to inform a general audience about higher mathematics, and are held annually at the University of Arizona (Dan was studying Algebraic Geometry at the UA math department at the time of his death). The next one will apparently be held this fall, and information about it can be found here.No comments
By the way, if you’d ever like to post something here, but you don’t want to get your own posting account, email your post to me and I’ll put it up.
If you’d like to post often enough that this sounds like a hassle, email Emily and she’ll set you up with an account of your own.No comments
The following post was written by Tony, and is posted here at his behest:
In anticipation of vericon TWELVE, in 2012, which is TWELVE months from now, I wrote a song: The Twelve Days of VeriCon:
On the twelfth day of Vericon my hrsfa gave to me… Twelve Friends a greeting Eleven Creatures Tapping Ten Boards of Gaming Nine Authors Signing Eight Alums Carousing Seven Movie mockers Six Larps late-running Five Viral Memes Four Cosplay teams Three Common rooms Two Burdicks runs One And a ConChair in a Tizzy
Dennis Clark has made a new social networking tool. At his request, I reproduce his introduction to it, below:
I’ve just finished making something I really want to show you all.
Since leaving college, I’ve missed HRSFA-Social pretty hard. It was just totally great when you were feeling bored to be able to send one email and summon a bunch of people to come hang out while not feeling like you were spamming the entire world with your lack of cool. In this spirit, I present:
Named after everyone’s favorite Vamp Willow utterance, BoredNow is a cross between a realtime HRSFA-Social and the WoW dungeon finder — it’s an attempt to solve the ludicrious problem that it’s easier to organize a group of your friends to do something in a video game than it is in real life. I’m hoping that fellow HRSFANS at Vericon will find it useful for organizing pickup games and going out to eat and maybe for some things I haven’t thought of yet.
Right now, I have a realtime chat feature working along with the ability to join a pickup group and a randomized activity picker that will choose a game for you based on the number of people in your group and the amount of time you all have available. There’s much more to come, but I wanted to see if anybody liked the idea in general before building things that nobody wants.
I’m trying to spend the time between now and Friday developing a mobile website in addition to the desktop one (and maybe just one more feature), along with making sure that my server doesn’t fall over. If you’d like to help me out, I’d love it if:
1) You just came by the site. I’m new at this whole webhosting thing and for various reasons I’m running on a server I configured myself. I’d love to get some load so I can fix anything I can pre-Vericon.
2) You added some more activity ideas. Right now I have about six games in the database, which is essentially enough to make sure that the feature works but nothing more. I have a submission form up for anything you suggest, and after you do I’ll give the additions a cursory review and toss them right in the mix.
3) You told me what you think. Is this the worst idea ever ever ever? Please let me know before I waste any more time! Bug reports, feature requests, love notes, hate notes, whatever. There’s a comment form up (and you all have my email) so it’s easy to inform me about the depths of your fury.
4) Last, of course, I’m pretty much trundling around boston until vericon with nothing to do but work on this. I’m up for anything people want to do as long as I can stay within wifi range in case the server blows up. You know how to get in contact
So thanks for listening, sorry for the spam, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you all think.
I just ran across Law and the Multiverse, a blog which tackles legal issues raised in superhero comics. I’m not a comics enthusiast or a lawyer myself, so I have little expertise with which to judge its quality, but I’d be curious to hear the opinions of those who know more about either of these things than I do.No comments