January 12th, 2006

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Arisia Schedule

This weekend, gnomi and I will be at the Arisia science fiction convention. For those who want to hear us be part of panel discussions, here is our schedule:

Friday 6 PM: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (NSB)
Friday 7 PM: All Things in Moderation: How to Run a Panel (MAB)
Saturday 11 AM: The Future of Star Trek (MAB)
Saturday 12 noon: Blogging for Writers (MAB)
Saturday 1 PM: SF in Science Education (MAB)
Saturday 3 PM: Gone Too Soon (NSB)
Saturday 5 PM: Research in the Age of Google (NSB)
Sunday 12 noon: Popularity of Alternate Universes (MAB)
Sunday 2 PM: Is This a Lightsaber I See Before Me? (MAB)

Hope to see some of you there!
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In Praise of Bob Greenberger

It's not often that a friend gets fired and both Mark Evanier and Peter David post about it on their blogs. I imagine that now many more people in the world know of Bob Greenberger than did last week. I haven't had as long a friendship with Bob as those two esteemed gentlemen, but I figured I'd take the opportunity to praise him publicly.

Bob is an editor and a writer who has been working in the comic book industry for many years. Back around 2000 or 2001, our paths happened to intersect and we became friends. I was delighted to discover that Bob had been an editor on many of the comic books I had most enjoyed as a teenager. In particular, he was the editor on the DC Challenge comic book, a round-robin romp through the DC universe that brought in minor characters from all over and somehow still managed to be wrapped up successfully at the end. At the time we became friends, Bob was working at Marvel Comics and he brought me in to see the offices; he did the same thing for me once he found himself back at DC Comics. (Although I had visited DC before, when I was about 8 years old, thanks to Al Milgrom; but that's a story for another time.)

I can very much attest to Bob's skills as an editor. Out of friendship, we've occasionally shared works in progress with each other for feedback. Bob is extremely perspicacious; I was having trouble with a few of my more ambitious stories, and he showed me how to get them to work. He's also helped me a lot with a few comic book proposals I've developed; although no one has agreed to publish them as of yet, working with Bob on them has been a major learning experience.

Bob is also one of the funniest men I know. He has a delightful sense of humor and a dry wit. A few years ago, when he was running the movie previews during the Arisia masquerade half-time, those of us watching over the hotel television system weren't getting the previews but rather shots of Bob reacting to them. He didn't realize that he had an audience laughing at his various nods and headshakes. I decided to call him on his cell to let him know about the problem, and later on, he said to me, "My phone rang, and I asked myself, who would be calling me while I'm busy on stage?" Then he looked at me with a sardonic expression. "Burstein!"

I know Bob will bounce back. After all, that's what superheroes do.