This weekend (Sep 30 - Oct 2) I'm heading off to VCON 36, a science fiction convention in Vancouver, BC. I'm going to be sitting on several panels (including one on digital art, one on podcasting, one on games, and one on "messy science"), and I'll be giving two talks:
- "The Science Behind Larry Niven's Neutron Star". Larry Niven is the guest of honor, so I figured that this would be a good topic. I'll talk about what neutron stars are, and also about tidal forces (oops, I just spoiled the story for you... it's still worth reading!). This short story is one I discovered in a used bookstore back in the early years of grad school (early 1990's), and it started me on a kick of reading all of Niven's "Known Space" stories.
- "Constructing a Space Combat Game Consistent with Newton's Laws". Last year I talked about Newton's Laws in science fiction movies and TV. This year, it's with a miniatures boardgame.