Conventions and Solar Sailing

First, the Shieldrunner news: Barnes & Noble's Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog has included our heroines in a fabulous list of "The Best Ragtag Crews in Space Opera," which I believe is relevant to all our interests. Also, I have seen Gravity of a Distant Sun's cover and it is beautiful. If it turns up online anytime soon, I'll point you to it.

The anime convention I volunteer in, Nan Desu Kan, is happening August 23-25. Please maintain control of your tails, wings, skirts, weapons, and children while viewing the art at the art show. Con guests include Ray Chase and Robbie Daymond, whose voices you've almost certainly heard in one thing or another, and Pannon of the podcast "Cosplay Stitch and Seam." I will attempt to update my profile photos before the con but I'm not at all sure I'll manage it, so prepare for an older, frecklier, redder version of me than you see online. If you miss me at the NDK art show, I'll be attending Sirens in October.

My online discoveries of the month include:

Ecosia, a search engine that uses ad dollars to plant trees. Ecosia's search results are from Bing, Microsoft's search engine, so they're not bad. I'm willing to sacrifice some anonymity to let a website tell me how many trees my ridiculous queries are getting planted.

Janelle Shane, one of the funniest people on the internet (with some help from her nerural networks), has a book coming out in November 2019! Read her announcement to learn more about her AI-titled book, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You. If you've never visited before, you must check it out. The candy heart messages written by a neural network are classic, but the neural-network-generated Harry Potter spells and thesis titles are also hilarious.

And finally, LightSail 2 is a whole-ass spacecraft orbiting Earth under solar power, as sci-fi foretold. Solar sailing is real!

R. E. Stearns