Friday, May 29, 2009

The Lambda Awards are up!

The Lambda Literary Awards seek to recognize excellence in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature. Each year, over 80 judges -- writers, booksellers, librarians, journalists -- assess the entries in more than 20 categories.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The School Locker Banned Book Library

Kat Atreides has gone out on a limb to talk about the library of banned books she runs out of her school locker - methinks this kid will go far. Hopefully they'll let her finish school first.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Memorial Day Books for Kids

As we acknowledge the sacrifices our men and women have made to preserve our country and way of life, I propose some wonderful kids' books for Memorial Day:

Memorial, by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan
A boy listens to the story of a Memorial tree planted in 1918 - a tree the town council wants to cut down.
grades 3-4

Under the Blood-Red Sun, by Graham Salisbury
About Pearl Harbor and the Japanese-American Internment camps in Hawaii.
grades 4-6

Heart of a Shepherd, by Roseanne Parry
A boy's dad gets shipped out to Iraq and he must help his grandparents keep the ranch going.
grades 4-6

Heroes, by Robert Cormier
An 18 year-old returns from World War II with a Silver Star, a face lost to a grenade and a mission.
grades 7-9

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Winnahs! 2009 Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society

is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009

Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest.

1st - "The Hoard Keeper" - Brenden Bogley- New Market- home school

2nd - "Dreamland for Insomniacs" - Margaret Renninger - Silver Spring- Montgomery Blair high School of Montgomery County

3rd - Snow Angel - Helen Zhao – Reisterstown- Carver Center of Arts and Technology of Baltimore County

Honorable Mention tie –

a. "Welcome to Earth, May I take your Order" - Peter Veres -
Odenton – home school

b. "On the Bright Side" - Ali Schwartz –Seaford – Worcester Prep

Awards will be presented by the Compton Crook Award winner at Balticon 43, Maryland ’s oldest Regional Science Fiction Convention at the Hunt Valley Inn on May 23, 2009.

The Chalker YWC is open to all Maryland High School students, ages 14-18. Stories are judged “blind” by members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. The winners receive $150 (1st), $100 (2nd) and $50 (3rd) , a B.S.F.S. T shirt and membership in the convention. Stories may be read at

To enter the 2010 contest, rules are posted on

Teaching Science Fiction to kids - an inexpensive workshop

This Memorial Day, Balticon is hosting an afternoon workshop to prepare teachers to develop a class on science fiction for primary or secondary students. Questions can be directed to We also have details at the shop - contact us for more information.

Balticon is in Hunt Valley this parking charges! Oh - if you aren't already attending Balticon, the charge is only $11!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A note on conjunctions

I've been listening to NASA TV in the background (after checking out Mark Steiner's podcast - see below). The Space Shuttle crew is getting into their sleep cycle, having snagged the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and locked her down in the payload bay.

They keep muttering about conjunctions with space debris. I finally realised that - while we watch conjunctions of planets all the time from Earth - when you're UP THERE, something coming THAT CLOSE is a bit worrisome.

Ah, good news, conjunction came and went and it seems nothing got punctured.

Tomorrow should be interesting - they get to look 'under the hood' on HST and start the tune-up/replacement.

What a great bunch of people,

One of Reisterstown's Own on Mark Steiner

Mike Weddle, of Under Witz Mountain fame, was on Mark Steiner yesterday! Catch the podcast here.

We had him at a great book signing awhile back - go, Mike!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mr. Author USA - Hot/Cute/Nice-EyeCandy Authors

In honor of Mother's Day, we are choosing our favorite Hot Authors.

Manil Suri, author of Age of Shiva
David Baldacci - who does great things as well as being author of The Whole Truth
Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm
Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections

Who is your favorite?
Lauretta & Anne

PS And - though they aren't authors - any of the guys in Porn for Women and Porn for Women of a Certain Age

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday to Us! - Free Books + "Metal Music"

Constellation Books turns 2 this Monday - but we're closed Monday - so we are having a free-review-book-giveaway on Sunday (tomorrow), the 3rd and Wednesday, the 6th.

Come on in and ask where we stash our Advance Reader copies and take home a free book!
While supplies last, of course.


PS I thought I was a geek but this goes above and beyond: YouTube user bd594 has produced a cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody, " using a ScanJet, a TI99, an Atari 800, amongst other things. Talk about your metal music. We used to kid around in the Baltimore Symphony Chorus about Symphony for Copier and Vacuum Cleaner, but MAN.