Gravity, by Jason Chin


I’m always amazed at how you can discover ‘geek’ things in Vermont just by turning over a rock. Case in point, a forthcoming children’s book by Jason Chin called Gravity. I stopped by the Phoenix Bookstore in Burlington, where the striking cover caught my eye.


What keeps objects from floating out of your hand?

What if your feet drifted away from the ground?

What stops everything from floating into space?



Chin is a Vermont illustrator, and happened to be in the store when I bought a copy of the book. (We’ll be chatting with him later this week). The book is due out on April 29th, but if you head over to Phoenix, they’ve got a ton of copies on hand. They’ll also be holding a book launch for Jason on Saturday, May 3rd at 2:00pm.

If you’ve got kids (or if you just like their books), this is a stunningly illustrated book with a neat science message for little ones. Highly recommended.

Center for Cartoon Studies Donates Scholarship to Vermont Department of Libraries

We talked recently about the Center for Cartoon Studies and their summer programs. For the sixth year, the school is donating a full scholarship to the Vermont Department of Libraries for a Vermont teenager to use to attend the Create Comics summer workshop. Applications for interested parties are due May 2.

Create Comics is a ‘boot camp’ for cartoonists. The 5-day workshop packs in the essentials for producing your own comics. Through lectures, exercises, and group projects, students learn about story structure, page composition, pacing, materials and techniques, character design, drawing, environmental drawing, and production. Students collaborate on a comic anthology that they self-publish during the workshop. Create Comics is for both beginner and advanced students age 16 and over.

Any Vermont student age 16 or older is eligible. This year the workshop will take place in White River Junction, Vermont, July 7-11, 2014. This full scholarship, includes the workshop, supplies, light breakfast, full lunch and evening student activities. Vermonters interested in the scholarship should apply through the local school or public library.

For the application form, please visit the Vermont Department of Libraries site.

Shadows and Tall Trees 2014


A new issue of Shadows and Tall Trees has been announced, and a Vermont author (and, Vermont SF Writers Series alumn) is in the table of contents: F. Brett Cox. Here’s the contents:

  • Eric Schaller – To Assume the Writer’s Crown: Notes on the Craft
  • Michael Wehunt – Onanon
  • Robert Shearman – It Flows From the Mouth
  • Charles Wilkinson – Hidden in the Alphabet
  • Kaaron Warren – Death’s Door Café
  • Tara Isabella Burton – The Golem of Leopoldstadt
  • F. Brett Cox – Road Dead
  • V. H. Leslie – The Quiet Room
  • Ray Russell – Night Porter
  • Myriam Frey – The Statue
  • Conrad Williams – Shaddertown
  • Robert Levy – The Vault of the Sky, The Face of the Deep
  • Christopher Harman – Apple Pie and Sulphur
  • Alison Moore – Summerside
  • Ralph Robert Moore and Ray Cluley – The Space Between
  • C.M. Muller – Vrangr
  • David Surface – Writings Found In A Red Notebook

This is one of the foremost Weird magazines publishing now. Order your copy here.

Geek Things for April 22nd, 2014

  • Board Game Night, 5pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Hoopster Gliders, 11:00 am, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Lab Coat Investigations, 1:00 pm, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Exploring Magnets, 3:00 pm, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • NOOK “Apptivity”, 6:00 PM, Barnes & Noble, South Burlington. (Tech)
  • “Night Sky” Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • Naruto CCG, 4:30pm – 8:00pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • CSI & Technology Symposium, 5:00 PM – 7:00PM, Dole Auditorium, Norwich University, Northfield. (Tech)
  • Red Cross Blood Drive. 9am-3pm, National Life, Montpelier. (Blood)
  • Earth Day Celebration, 10am-5pm, Hunger Mountain COOP, Montpelier. (Earth Day)
  • Solar Home: Heating & Cooling Info, 6-7pm, Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier. Pre-register 223-8000 x202. (Solar)
  • Mike Bond ‘Rampant poaching of African elephants in The Last Savanna’, 7-8:30 pm, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. (Authors)
  • Pirate Party, 9:30-11 am, Fairfax Community Library, Fairfax. (Kids)
  • Vacation Movie – The Pirate Fairy, 10-11:30 am, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. (Kids)
  • Fairy Stories & Drop-in Craft: Make a Fairy House, 11 am & 12-2 pm, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston. (Kids)
  • Wild Winooski: Earth Day Wild Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk, 5:45 pm, Purple Shutter Herbs, Winooski. $15-30. (Earth Day)
  • Earth Day Alien Invasion: Invasive Species Workshop, 7 pm, Justin Morrill Homestead, Strafford. Upper Valley. $5-10. (Earth Day)
  • ‘The Human Experiment’, 7 pm, Aiken Center, UVM, Burlington. (Documentary)
  • Knights of the Mystic Movie Club, 8 pm, Main Street Museum, White River Junction. (Film)
  • Story Explorers: Mud, 10:30-11 am, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Free with admission, $9.50-12.50. (Mud)
  • ECHO Earth Week’s MudFest, 10 am-4 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Regular admission, $9.50-12.50; free for kids ages 2 and under. (Mud)
  • Homework Help, 4:30-7:30 pm, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. (Kids)
  • Gaming for Teens & Adults, 5-7:45 pm, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. (Gaming)

The Wizard’s Cave of Comics and Games – Reopening?

Last week, we put out a call for updates on a bunch of gaming and comic stores, and we had a nice background comment on some of the gaming stores in Barre. There’s been a couple of them, and around 15 years ago, there was a store called The Wizard’s Cave, which existed for a couple of years before going under.

We ran a Google search, and found that one of the stores might be returning: The Wizard’s Cave of Comics and Gaming. According to the new owners, they’re currrently finalizing a business plan and working to acquire funding for the new store. However, their plan is to eventually find a downtown Barre location. They’ve set up an LLC , along with a facebook page:

Setting up a meeting to (hopefully) get the business plan worked out and the financial projections taken care of. We’re still working on funding and keeping an eye out for the right building. Thank you to everyone for the support!

This is pretty interesting, because there’s few offerings in Central Vermont. In the outskirts of Barre, you’ve got Wonder Cards and Comics, which isn’t the best of places for games (you certainly can’t easily host a games night there – it’s too cluttered), and it’s not located in any place that’s easy to get to if you’re in the center of town.

Hopefully, we’ll see a new venue open in the not-to-distant future. Barre’s on a bit of an upswing, and there’s certainly plenty of open slots in downtown for a gaming / comic store. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, go ‘like’ their page on Facebook.

Announcing the GeekMtnState Book Club!

We’re set to launch our next line of events through Geek Mountain State: the GMS Book Club! We’ve got a ton of readers who follow us, who’ve attended our reading events, and we figured that this would be a great way to get some of them together and chat about some of the more recent releases.

We’re partnering with the Pierson Library of Shelburne, which will host the series. The general plan right now is to meet on the first Thursday every month at 7:00pm. The first meeting will be on May 1st. Food will be provided!

May 1st: The Martian, by Andy Weir

Here’s what the book is about:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

RSVP here.

June 5th: Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey

Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.


July 1st: The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley

In The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it’s too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor’s final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.


Geek Things for April 21st, 2014

  • Casual Card Games, 5:30pm – 11:00pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Paper Cup Telephones, 11:00 am, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Lab Coat Investigations, 1:00 pm, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Creeping Colors, 3:00 pm, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Pathfinder Society, 5pm – 9pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Monday Night Magic, 6pm – 9pm, Village Pizza, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • Red Cross Blood Drive, 11:30am-5:30pm, Main Street Middle School, Montpelier. (Blood)
  • Agency of Natural Resources – Public hearing for new underground injection control regulations, 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM, Fox Room, Rutland Free Library, Rutland. (Environment)
  • Rock Collectors Camp: Fantastic Fossils, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. (Fossils)
  • Lego Fun, 2-3:30 pm, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. (Lego)
  • Solar Home Heating & Cooling With Air-Source Heat Pumps, 6 pm, Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury. (Solar)
  • Friends of Brownell Library Meeting, 7-8 pm, Koolvoord Community Room, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. (Libraries)
  • ECHO Earth Week’s MudFest, 10 am-4 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. (Mud)
  • Creative Writing Workshop, 6:30 pm, Studio 266, Burlington. (Writing)

Glow-in-the-Dark Radio #300!

Like listening to science fiction adventure? Join Writer, Reader and Host Mike Luoma for the 300th episode of Glow-in-the-Dark Radio! Mike reads from his books every week – right now it’s The Adventures of Alibi Jones! For this special 300th episode, you’ll hear chapters twenty-one, twenty-two and twenty-three of the novel Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur! Mike runs down the story so far beforehand, so you can enjoy the chapters even if it’s your first time listening in. There’s also a short “history” of the podcast, which began in the late summer of 2006.

Listen here.

The Week in Geek

This week’s top stories around the state. It’s been a relatively quiet week.


The biggest news came late last week: South Burlington Writer Lands SyFy Show with The Expanse. This is pretty awesome news: The Expanse series is pretty damn awesome, and it’s really cool to see that Hawk Ostby is the head writer for the show. Stay tuned: we’ll keep an eye on this and post up news as it happens. In the meantime, go pick up the books.

Speaking of books, Nate Herzog has a StoryHack Invitation: The Future of The Book. Record a video of yourself reading a book in the future, thinking about how books will change in the coming years. This should be fun.

Vermont Comic Con is still attracting attention, although there’s no news on the planning, other than it looks as though The Gamers Grotto of Bennington is sponsoring it. Quarterstaff wasn’t available?

Like showing off your geekiness while driving? Pick up a 802MTG Decal.

Bombadil and Other Middle-earth Mysteries: 11th Annual Tolkien in Vermont Conference Schedule was popular, although the conference was last weekend. Read our recap here. Interested in another conference? The 120th Annual Vermont Library Conference just opened up registration.

Interested in teaching reading to adult learning? The Vermont Adult Learning is hiring a Literary Specialist in Burlington.

In political news, the Vermont Senate votes to label GMO foods.

The graduating seniors of the game design program at Champlain College put the fruits of their labors on exhibition for the next two weeks at ArtsRiot.

Finally: this weekend, we’ll be holding our next entry in the Vermont SF Writer’s Series. Come out to Cold Mountain Stories tomorrow at 4:00pm at Quarterstaff Games to hear Pat Esden, Paul Hobden, Daniel Mills, Erika Nichols, Aimee Picchi and Brian Staveley read!