Brian Staveley Reddit AMA

Local author Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor’s Blades / Providence of Fire, is currently holding a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything):

I have to open with an apology. You folks were kind enough to vote me the 2014 “Best Debut” Stabby for THE EMPEROR’S BLADES… and I haven’t posted a single photo. Churlish, very churlish. I’ll make it up to you tonight in fine fashion: if there’s something you want to see stabbed with a 12-inch dagger, let me know, and I’ll do my best to impale it.

I’m also happy to answer questions about my second book, THE PROVIDENCE OF FIRE, or even my untitled third book, although those answers will probably be misrepresentations or outright lies.

I’ll be back at 8:00 PM EST! Hope to see you all here. Feel free to pile up the questions in the mean time…

Ask your questions here.

The Hickok Stone House Observatory

The Hickok Stone House - PAMELA POLSTON

This is neat: Seven Days has a cool story about a landmark home in Burlington with an odd dome at the top. The dome is a former observatory, at one point, the largest in the state:

The rooftop observatory, which takes the place of the cupola associated with the Italianate architectural style, contained a telescope 6.5 inches in diameter that could magnify objects up to 400 times. It was, in its day, the largest telescope in the state of Vermont, notes the 1991 edition of the Burlington neighborhood guide written by David J. Blow and published by the Chittenden County Historical Society.

Read the full article here.

Colin Trevorrow to helm Intelligent Life

Colin Trevorrow - H 2015

Burlington Vermont resident Colin Trevorrow will be working on a new film following Jurassic World, according to the Hollywood Reporter: Intelligent Life, which has just been picked up by Dreamworks. Not much is known about the film, but it seems to have come out of a story that he’s been working on for a while, about a UN Ambassador tasked with First Contact duties.

It’s a move that reteams him with Steven Spielberg, who executive produced the Universal movie through his Amblin Entertainment banner. It also reunites him with Jurassic‘s Frank Marshall, who will produce with Trevorrow and production banner Big Beach. Connolly is executive producing.

Plot details are being kept secret, but the project is said to have its roots in an earlier Trevorrow-Connolly project titled The Ambassador.

That project was intended to act as a follow-up to the duo’s acclaimed indie Safety Not Guaranteed and set up at Big Beach, the shingle run by Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub, as a low-budget sci-fi thriller. Ambassador told of a U.N. worker in a department that was to represent humankind in the event of alien contact. The man falls in love with a mysterious woman who turns out to be an alien.


It’ll be interesting to see where this one goes!

Additionally, Trevorrow has been tapped to direct another film, The Book of Henry, according to Variety.


Geek Things for March 31st, 2015

  • Story Explorers: Water, 10:30 am, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Free with admission, $9.50-12.50. (Kids)
  • Spring Blood Drive, 12-5 pm, Dion Family Student Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester. (Blood)
  • The Art of Digital Storytelling, 6:30 pm, Studio 266, Burlington. (Writing)
  • Gaming for Teens & Adults, 5-7:45 pm, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Tech Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30 pm, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. (Tech)
  • Board Game Night, 5pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Embracing not-yetness in emerging technologies and digital learning, 12:30 – 1:30pm, Franklin Environmenteal Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Tech)
  • “Charles Sheeler and Albert Einstein: Pioneers in the Exploration of Spacetime.”, 4:30 – 6pm, Mahaney Center for the Arts 125, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Talk)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • MTG:Cubesday Tuesday, 6:30pm, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Tuesday Night Magic: Chaos/Grab Bag/Garbage Bag Draft, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Magic the Gathering Commander, 2pm – 4pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • ASL Gaming Night, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Waterman Bldg 338, Memorial Lounge, UVM, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Magic the Gathering EDH/Casual play, 6:00pm, Triple Play Games, Claremont NH. (Gaming)

SciFi Chocolate



This is pretty sweet.

Recently, Emily McCracken had the reins of the THISISVT twitter feed, and shared a couple of pictures of the chocolate sculptures that she put together a couple of years ago: chocolate inspired by retro sci-fi posters!

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I love all things retro. And what’s more nostalgic then old movie posters? Especially those with colossal gorillas, crazy space robots and futuristic urban dystopias.

The movies I decided to base my sculptures on were:

Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, and follows characters overcoming trying to overcome the various classes of their city. It was the most expensive ever movie ever filmed at the time. It also featured the female robot Maschinenmensch, which is an awesome German word that translates to “machine human”.

King Kong (1933)

Everyone knows who King Kong is, but I wonder how many people have watched the original stop motion film? It’s wonderful and deserves a viewing.

Forbidden Planet (1956)

Considered one of the greatest sic-fi movies of all time, this was the first film depicted humans traveling in a starship of their own creation. Set entirely on another world in interstellar space, it really stretched people’s imaginations.


It’s worth checking out her website: she’s got a bunch of pictures of other SF-related projects that look really cool.

Providence of Fire Wine Pairing Event


Last year, Brian Staveley and Windham Wines in Brattleboro joined forces to do a wine pairing event based on the characters from his first novel, The Emperor’s Blades. Now, they’ll be back together with a sequel event!

On April 11th at 5:30pm, join Brian and Windham Wines with an event that pairs up wines and The Providence of Fire:

That’s right — one my favorite events from last year is BACK. On April 11 at 5:30, at Windham Wines here in Brattleboro VT, we’ll be pairing characters from the novel with a variety of great wines. Weird, right? It’s awesome. Last year, for instance, we decided Gwenna was a rustic Chianti — rough around the edges, earthy, rustic, but powerful. I read a little passage involving Gwenna, we drank Chianti, then on to the next one…

It’s $25 dollars for the evening (plus tip for the server). Last year it lasted a couple of hours and we tasted eight or nine wines. Spots are limited, so if you’re interested, get on it quick by calling Windham Wines at 802.246.6400.

Geek Things for March 30th, 2015

  • Warmachine/Hordes Night, 6:00pm, Triple Play Games, Claremont NH. (Gaming)
  • Mystery Book Club – Innocent Blood & Talking about Detective Fiction by P. D. James, 6:30pm, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier. (Mysteries)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • MTG:MNM Brap’s, 6:30pm, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Pathfinder Society, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Casual Card Games, 5:30pm – 11:00pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • L5R Constructed, 7pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)

Of Course Sen. Patrick Leahy Will be in the next Batman Film

Ben Affleck Talks 'Batman' During Senate Hearing

It’s no secret that Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is a huge Batman fan. He’s had cameo roles in a couple of recent Batman films, including Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Batman: The Animated Series. It comes as little surprise that he’ll have a cameo in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:

Actor Ben Affleck gave away a closely held secret about the upcoming “Batman” film while testifying on Capitol Hill this morning.

“To Senator Leahy, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my co-star in Batman. The role is marginally smaller than mine but I understand you’re quite good,” Affleck said to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on diplomacy and development.

Word comes after Affleck testified on Capitol Hill the other day. (via)

Vermont’s Own Pinball Wizard Heads To Nationals

Steve Daniels is Vermont's first State Pinball Champion and is competing in the U.S. National Pinball Championship.

VPR has covered Steve Daniels, one of the members of South Burlington’s Pinball Co-op, who has recently advanced to the National Championship at the Pinball Hall of Fame!

When Daniels first started playing pinball in college it wasn’t such a passion, but more of a distraction. After taking a long break from the game, he got back into pinball around 10 years ago.

“I like the real physics of it,” he says. “Interaction with a steel ball and flippers … It includes a lot of the same strategy as video games, but on top of that there’s a ball that bounces and spins and jumps over the flipper occasionally, doing things that can’t possibly be programmed.”

He says becoming Vermont State Champion took a little bit of luck, a good amount of skill and some strategy. And “maybe a little more luck than I’m acknowledging,” he says, laughing.

Listen to the entire story here.

Geek Things for March 27th, 2015

  • Early Bird Math, 11 am-12 pm, Richmond Free Library, Richmond. (Math)
  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – See our homepage for format, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Creative Writing Workshop, 10:30 am, Studio 266, Burlington. Free; preregister at (Writing)
  • Friday Night Magic, Triple Play Games, Claremont NH. (Gaming)
  • Fun night at Co-op, 7pm – 10pm, Pinball Co-op, South Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Standard Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Varying Format, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • FNM – Dragons of Tarkir Release Draft, 6:00pm, Dark Tower Gaming, St. Johnsbury. (Gaming)
  • Tabletop Sanctuary, 6:00pm – 10:00pm, Crowe’s Nest, Randolph. (Gaming)
  • MTG:FNM Brap’s, 6:30pm, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • FNM at the Book Garden, 7:00pm, Book Garden, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic: Draft, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • Flames of War Open Play, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Black Moon Games, Lebanon NH. (Gaming)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)