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Launch Pad, Here I Come!

I’m just trying to get tickets booked — it’s harder than I thought! — but since Mike Brotherton has announced the list of attendees for this year’s Launch Pad Workshop, and since I’m one of them, I figured it would be remiss if I did not include an expression of heartfelt glee here as well.

We weren’t asked to keep it to ourselves that we’d be going, but I figured I’d wait until the announcement went out, just the same. Also, I’ve been pinching my arm to make sure it’s real. If you take a look at the list of people, you’ll that I’ll be among some giants of the SF field, as well as other creative folks. (Poetry, science-based comedy, video game writing…) Somehow, tiny little me, I got invited to the big kids’ table, and I’m both flattered as hell, and a slight touch terrified. Which fork do I use first again?

For those who don’t know, and are too lazy to click the link, Launch Pad is a workshop (funded by NASA) which aims to teach writers about modern science — astronomy, to be precise — in the hopes that what they learn will inform their writing. Better science in their writing means better science in the public imagination, the importance of which I imagine is self-evident. It’s a one-week summer workshop in Wyoming.

(… which sets me up to being in the Western USA for much of July, before going down East and up into Montreal for much of August, including WorldCon.)

I’m thinking this is going to be absolutely brilliant: I’m even eager to get the textbook so I can start studying ahead! Now if only I would hear back about my air tickets!

Oh, yeah, and an amusing anecdote: I told someone (a Korean) at work about this, and the conversation went like this:

“Hey, I’m going to be visiting Wyoming this summer!”

“Who’s that?”


“Wa Yo-ming? Sounds Chinese!”

Now, I can’t help but imagine some alt-hist Zheng He timeline where Wa Yo-ming is a Chinese astronomical observatory preserve, far from the spaceports of Asia.

Ironically, I made the same kinds of mistakes at the last Astronomy-for-SF-authors workshop I attended (as described here), but then again, it was held in Korean…

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