Sunday, July 26, 2009

The quest for mathematical truth in Seattle: Logicomix creator part of fall lecture line-up

Berkeley Computer Science professor Christos Papadimitriou, co-creator of the graphic novel Logicomix (due out Sept. 28, 2009 in the United States), is part of the early fall line-up of Seattle Science Lectures. Papadimitriou speaks 7:30 p.m., Fri. Oct. 9 at the Great Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca Street), Seattle.

Logicomix tells the story of the epic quest for the Foundation of Mathematics. Philosopher Bertrand Russell, turned superhero for the tale, recounts how the intellectual adventure led astray many great thinkers including Frege, Hilbert, Poincaré, Wittgenstein and Gödel.

Seattle Science Lectures is co-sponsored by the Pacific Science Center and University Book Store. Tickets are $5. Priority seating for Town Hall Seattle members.

Need more science sooner? Try one of the upcoming Science on Tap events:

"Toxic Chemicals and Hormone Disruption: Reproductive Health Effects in Fish, Frogs, and People," with Fran Solomon, adjunct professor at University of British Columbia, 7 p.m., Mon., Aug. 31, at Ravenna Third Place Pub, 6504 20th Ave. NE, Seattle.

"Sound Garden: A Radar Odyssey Through the Northern Lights," with John Sahr, electrical engineering professor at the University of Washington, 7 p.m., Mon., Sept. 28 at Ravenna Third Place Pub, 6504 20th Ave. NE, Seattle.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Steampunkery at The Columbia City Theater

Local musical steampunk purveyors, Abney Park, will play an all ages show Aug. 9 at The Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle. Tickets (on sale soon) will be $15 for the 21 and over crowd (full bar in effect), $7 for teenagers, and free for pre-teens. The show will include aerialists, fire breathers, a fashion show, and Steampunk artists and vendors. Abney Park will shoot a concert length DVD at the show.

Captain Robert says the venue has everything "we always dream about having for a show," including Victoriana: chandeliers, curtains, and a grand piano. Ladies and gents, the last Abney Park show in town at the Seattle Steampunk Soiree was, indeed, a smashing affair.

Steamcon, need we say, will be
Oct. 23-25, at the Seattle Airport Marriott. Special guests include Tim Powers, author of The Anubis Gates, winner of the 1983 Philip K. Dick Award and artist Paul Guinan, check out his history of Victorian era robots, and musicians Abney Park.

Pacfic Science Center: Harry Potter, cocktails, and Transformers

Posted on behalf of the Pacfic Science Center:

Harry Potter/Half-Blood Prince
Harry In IMAX Worth The Wait: The latest film in the Harry Potter series is now open at regular theaters. Due to studio agreements, it doesn't open in IMAX until July 29. So why wait? Well, how about twelve minutes of the movie's explosive opening sequence in spectacular live-action IMAX 3D! Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince: The IMAX Experience is sure to be one of the most popular films we've ever shown at Pacific Science Center's Boeing IMAX Theater. Be sure to see it on the biggest screen in town! Get your →tickets now!

Science With A Twist...And Harry Potter: Tickets for our next 21+ event are selling fast and the reason is simple: this Science With A Twist involves the world's most popular young wizard. Make your plans now to join us for science, cocktails, and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince: The IMAX Experience! That's July 30, with cocktails and science demonstrations at 6 p.m. and the film showing at 7:20 p.m. →Get your tickets now!

Time Running Out For Transformers:
If you haven't yet seen the incredible Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen: The IMAX Experience please note that time is running out. Your humble correspondent thinks this is one of THE best sci-fi/action films in years. Gigantic, battling robots on our six-story screen! You must see it on the biggest screen in town before it closes July 28. →Buy Tickets

Spaced Out! A New Exhibition from EMP|SFM Opens Aug. 15

SEATTLE—Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) will welcome its newest exhibition Aug. 15, 2009.

Spaced Out! The Final Frontier in Album Covers, presents 117 space-themed record album covers that were released between 1940 and 1969—the dawn of the space age. In these post-war years, humanity seemed to be on the verge of taking a giant leap into space, and popular culture reflected this through futuristic album themes.

Even if the music had nothing to do with space—which it often didn’t—artists insisted on a spaced-out theme for their cover art. Some album covers even display Seattle’s Space Needle as the focal point of the design for the Needle’s unique, space-oriented feel. The exhibition takes visitors back to when space was a mystery, and space exploration was adventurous and groovy.

“This is the first exhibition at EMP|SFM that truly encompasses both music and science fiction equally,” said Brooks Peck, curator of the exhibition. “Music buffs will enjoy this nostalgic look at a fun era of album cover design, and science fiction lovers will learn about the strong influence that science fiction had on popular culture in the mid-20th century.”

Graphic design buffs as well as vinyl record collectors and nostalgic baby boomers will appreciate the exhibition for its history and unique graphic elements. The exhibit will explore a variety of aspects of the fad, including musical themes and motifs found on the records and how excitement toward the space age was expressed in popular culture.

Organized by EMP|SFM, Spaced Out! The Final Frontier in Album Covers features albums from the collection of Cheryl Pawelski, the Vice President of A&R at Rhino Entertainment.

"I began collecting these albums first because I loved how beautiful some were, while others were just silly,” said Pawelski. “Over time I noticed that album covers with a space theme changed after we landed on the moon in 1969. The imagination that went into all of them captured my imagination."

The album covers reflect what people in the post-war era imagined space would be like. Musicians flocked to the fad and space themes invaded album covers of different genres, including pop, jazz, folk and classical.

The exhibition gives visitors of all ages an opportunity to experience first-hand some of the instruments used on the albums, including the Theremin, which was used to make “space sounds.” A listening station will also be available for visitors to hear 20 tracks from the albums on display. Those interested in creating their own interpretation of a spaced out album cover can star in their own version, complete with funky text, spaceships, planets and otherworldly objects. The visitor album covers will then be posted via slideshow in the exhibition.

The exhibition is scheduled to run through Jan. 3, 2010 on the third level of the EMP galleries. To preview a sampling of album covers, visit the exhibition section of

Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
330 Sixth Avenue North Suite 200 Seattle WA 98109
T: (206) 262-3245 F: (206) 770-2727

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Clarion West: Hopkinson reads three works

Clarion West's reading series, Six Summer Evenings of Science Fiction & Fantasy, continues to shine. On July 14, author Nalo Hopkinson showcased a range of lyrical, humorous, and dramatic writing talent. She began the reading with two short stories commissioned for very different purposes: "Men Sell Not Such in Any Town," for the scientific journal Nature (Sept. 15, 2005 issue) and "Snow Day," for Canada Reads, which incidentally incorporates the titles of all five of the books for the read that year including Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Hopkinson ended her reading with an excerpt from her forthcoming novel Blackheart Man (it's a year out plus the final editing).

If you missed the reading, you can hear the author narrate two of her stories on the audio book of her short story collection
Skin Folk. You can also follow along as she works on her novel in progress, Taint, @nalohopkinson and on her blog.

Up next week: Seattle writer Eileen Gunn interviews David Hartwell, senior editor for Tor Books and founder of The New York Review for Science Fiction, about the state of the publishing industry,
7 p.m., Tues., July 21 at University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle.

Then, Clarion West's series wraps up for the summer with a reading by author Rudy Rucker,
7 p.m., Tues., July 28 also at University Book Store.

The readings are free and open to all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Potlatch 19: March 5-7, 2010 in Seattle

Potlatch 19, a non-profit literary convention for readers and writers of speculative fiction, returns to Seattle in 2010, March 5-7 at Hotel Deca, 4507 Brooklyn Avenue NE.

Memberships are $50 through July 22.

Register online or see for more information at

Potlatch 18 was in San Jose. The books of honor were Ursula K. Le Guin's
Always Coming Home (1985) and John M. Ford's Growing Up Weightless.