Friday, September 06, 2013

Return of the MAC

I spent 5 wonderful years working at McMaster University for the campus store formerly known as "Titles Bookstore."  McMaster was a fantastic place to work, the people, both at the bookstore as well as the amazing staff and faculty that I got to know while I was there were amazing, and it is an opportunity and experience I cherish.

I am delighted, next week, to return to my old McMaster stomping grounds as part of a pretty amazing multidisciplinary celebration of Robert J. Sawyer's archival donation to the University Library Collection.

In honour of Rob's generous donation, the university is hosting a special three day conference entitled Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre from Friday September 13th through Sunday September 15th.

Special guests at the conference (apart from Robert J. Sawyer) include John Robert Colombo, Julie E. Czerneda, David G. Hartwell, √Člisabeth Vonarburg, Robert Charles Wilson, and Chris Szego. 

Never mind the amazing content and people involved, but get this:  The conference is FREE.

There is more information hereHere's the Tentative Program.  And you can check out the Facebook Page.

Rob and I in front of McMaster's Espresso Book Machine - 2010

I am delighted to be doing a talk and presentation called "Digital Pi: The Transcendence of Digital Publishing" -- I will be sharing some of the things that I have learned, in over twenty years of bookselling, about how digital technology is allowing authors, publishers, academics, students and readers amazing opportunities to share and explore the world around them in bold new ways.  I will, of course, be talking about the Espresso Book Machine at McMaster, how publishers and universities have embraced a "deliver digital / print local" methodology, how innovative publishers are evolving to embrace eBooks and other born-digital projects that take publishing to exciting new levels.

And I will, of course, tie much of my thoughts back to the writings of Robert. J. Sawyer.  I mean, the man owns virtually every eBook reader known to mankind and has been doing readings off of a handheld digital device of one form or another for as long as I can remember.

Rob doing a reading from his novel WATCH on an ereader March 31, 2010 at Titles Bookstore

When I was at McMaster and working on various POD experimental projects in publishing, such as CAMPUS CHILLS, an all original anthology of Canadian horror stories set on campuses across Canada by some of Canada's most amazing writers of dark fiction and printed and launched on the EBM's at McMaster, Waterloo and University of Alberta bookstores, Rob was an avid supporter of the project, and wrote a wonderful introduction for the book.

Campus Chills Contributors: Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Foottit, Mark Leslie, Sephera Giron, Michael Kelly, Edo van Belkom (McMaster Book Launch October 2009)

Rob has given so much to the science fiction and academic communities.  It will be a special thrill and an honour to participate in an event that celebrates him and his donation to a wonderful university.

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