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November 25, 2005

Geek-Related Activities

Just to catch you all up on the nerdly events as they transpire in my life:

1. The Ghost Brigades will be a featured alternate selection of the Science Fiction Book Club for March, 2006, so those of you in the SFBC, that's something to look forward to. The SFBC has been pretty good to me -- Old Man's War made it on the club's Bestseller list last year -- so I'm happy to continue the association.  

2. I've gotten my programming schedule for the Synthetic Confusion convention in January, so I guess that means I'm going. I'll post my full schedule a little closer to the convention date, but I will note that I'm scheduled to give a reading, and I'll most likely read the first chapter of The Android's Dream, which, you may recall, is the one which begins "Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident, but he was willing to try." Trust me, you don't want to miss this.

3. Speaking of conventions, I'm going to be "Nifty Guest" at the 2006 edition of Penguicon. This means that while I don't ascend to Guest of Honor status, I am nevertheless held in enough esteem that I get an additional ribbon, and also free soda (although as I understand it everyone gets free soda. Never mind). Regardless, I do think this is indeed fairly nifty, and naturally you may expect to see me there as well.

4. I've also decided -- just now -- that I will indeed be attending Boskone. Because as I understand it, there is no better time to visit Boston than mid-February. And I for one am willing to believe it.

5. Back to book news: I've been informed by people who know such things that the Russian version of Old Man's War is slated for June, 2006. Because I know you've all been waiting. Personally I can't wait to see what my name looks like in Cyrillic.

That's the extent of my geekiness right now.

Posted by john at November 25, 2005 03:55 PM

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tobias Buckell | November 25, 2005 05:41 PM

I'll see you at Confusion, and I'm considering Boskone to launch Crystal Rain at :-)

D.F. Manno | November 25, 2005 07:28 PM

I recently became an SFBC member, so The Ghost Brigades will be one of the four books I buy to fulfill my membership obligation.

Lee | November 25, 2005 08:57 PM

You might want to play around with the translation here:


It will also be fun if you translate some words into Mandarin, Kanji and even Zwahili if you book will be published in other languages. Above all, you might want to see a translation into Klingon.

Anonymous | November 25, 2005 10:27 PM


Except the "L" will look more like an inverted V.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Detroit cons, where I can do more neat Cyrillic tricks for all those interested in such--stuff.

David Klecha | November 25, 2005 10:28 PM


Except the "L" will look more like an inverted V.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Detroit cons, where I can do more neat Cyrillic tricks for all those interested in such--stuff.

Martin Wagner | November 25, 2005 10:48 PM

Hope this works.


Possibly ДЖОН СКАЛЬСИ with the soft sign after the "Л" ('L") in the last name. There's no exact "z" equivalent in Cyrillic; the closest is a "zh"-sounding consonant "Ж". Note how they would combine the "d" ("Д") with the "zh" to create the "j" sound of "John".

David Klecha | November 25, 2005 10:59 PM

I bow to Martin Wagner's HTML skillz, though I have to politely beg to differ with his transliteration. The letter that looks a lot like a 3 very nearly resembles "z" in usage and pronunciation and would be the second-to-last letter in the last name. The transliteration of Pizza Hut, for example, uses the "3" letter and names like Asimov or Izmailovsky, in Cyrillic, would be spelled with it, not with "C", the "S"-equivalent. "J," on the other hand, has no Russian equivalent, and they use the dipthong Martin demonstrates so aptly.

Dunc | November 25, 2005 11:57 PM

Hey, a reason to go to Penguicon!

(Actually, I've had several reasons to go to Penguicon. I just never have. Long story.)

Martin Wagner | November 26, 2005 01:25 AM

David: You're right! How'd I miss that one? Forgot my lessons from college, dangit (well, it's been many years). So the real spelling would be: ДЖОН СКАЛЗИ.

Yes, the "З" makes a "ze" sound, sort of like "z".

Martin Wagner | November 26, 2005 01:33 AM

Having fun with this. My name would be МАРТИН УАГНЭР. Boy, this is geeky.

David's looks interesting: ДАВИД КЛЭЦЩ.

Christopher Davis | November 28, 2005 12:19 PM

Not to detract from the Cyrillic geekery, but I will note that Boston's architecture lets you avoid the weather quite a bit. The Sheraton, which is the Boskone hotel, is connected directly to the Prudential Center mall; that has a skybridge to the Copley Place mall (and attached Marriott) as well as a direct connection to the MBTA Prudential station; Copley Place has a skybridge to the Westin, and an underpass to Back Bay Station, which has Amtrak and MBTA service.

It is possible to stay under cover, and mostly indoors, from your departure airport until your return to said airport. (Airport shuttle bus to Blue Line to Green Line E to Prudential; the malls have plenty of restaurant options.)

Besides, we haven't had a snowed-in Boskone since 2003. (Arisia got the traditional blizzard this year.)

John Costello | December 6, 2005 11:42 AM

There is indeed a 'z' sound in Russian. It's the character that looks like a '3.' This does not mean that any z will be transliterated as a '3,' for example the Russians have Zhelazhni because that's how the Rumanian name is already transliterated. They also had 'Lutsius' Sheppard because of the Roman connection (I sent a friend a correction to 'Loo-shus' but whether it took...)
Yes, indeed, Boston is ideal in February. Only an idiot would come here when there was no snow on the ground or a blizzard bearing down on the hotel (most Boskones I remember from Framingham and the more recent ones where either in the middle of @#$#@in' snow storms or so cold you _had_ to eat at either the hotel or the connected Prudential Center food bar -- it has good choices, anyway, so long as you don't mind salt or are on an OA diet!) This means you will have trouble getting to Chinatown except by subway (I can direct you -- some great dim sim if you don't mind freezing your tail off.) The even closer Thai and Japanese and Indian places are a painful (and I do mean painful!) five minute walk. Do not expect to do the Freedom Trail or see Harvard Yard unless you are resident in Minnesota and actually think Massachusetts is subtropical this time of year.

But this is when the cheap rates are.

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