F. Brett Cox event at Bear Pond Books

Norwich University professor and science fiction / fantasy / horror author F. Brett Cox will be holding a reading event for his upcoming collection of short stories, The End of All Our Exploring. The book will hit stores this month, and Bear Pond Books of Montpelier will host Cox on September 17th as part of its Sci-Fi Plus book club. He’ll read from the book and answer questions at 6:30PM.

RSVP here.

John Goodrich Signing

Local author John Goodrich will be holding a signing for two of his books, Dark Draughts and Hag, next month at the Bennington Bookshop.

The signing will take place on Thursday, August 9th from 7PM to 8PM.

Here’s what the books are about:


All David wanted was to rest and get better. He moved from Vermont to Boston to beat his cancer. Even before the boxes are unpacked, he and his best friend Sam notice an eerie presence in his new apartment building. The emaciated haunt is a roiling storm of fury with black iron claws and jagged metal teeth. She attacks David without reason or pity, leaving him in agony. Hag is a dark, brooding novel set in a blighted personal landscape. A story of deathless rage terrible love.

Dark Draughts:

Culled from nearly a decade of work, Dark Draughts is the first collection of John Goodrich’s short fiction. Discover a terrifying new god, and an old, well known one just as malicious. Encounter horror tropes broken and remade; dead and undead pharaohs, a compassionate ghoul, and a serial killer who discovers something darker than himself. Find out what happens to a man literally at war with himself. With stories set in Arkham, ancient Egypt, the blood-soaked battlefields of World War One, rural Vermont, and a hideous apocalyptic future, these stories encompass the terrors of the past as well as our fears for the future. Dark Draughts: Strong medicine for what ails us all.

RSVP here.

Harry Potter Great Winter Ball — This Saturday

Harry Potter fans will want to head out to Bristol this weekend: The Inn at Baldwin Creek & Mary’s Restaurant will be hosting the Harry Potter Great Winter Ball on Saturday.

Hogwarts in the Red Barn – Enjoy Harry Potter inspired food and speciality cocktails created by Stonecutter Spirits.

Muggles and wizards alike are invited to wear their finest robes and gowns. Just $75/ticket (must be 21 to drink) or just $50/ticket for a non-drinker

RSVP here.

Intel Futurist Reimagining The American Dream Is Studying…Vermont

What's the future of the American Dream? That's what Brian David Johnson, Intel Corp.'s chief futurist, wants to know, and he's conducting research in Vermont for his forthcoming book on the topic.

Brian David Johnson is the chief Futurist for Intel, and will be giving a talk at Champlain College tonight at 6:00pm at Argosy Gym in the IDX Student Life Center. VPR had a short chat with him:

On what, exactly, a futurist does

“As a technological futurist, I look about 10 to 15 years out in the future, and model how people will act and interact with technology. And I do that because it takes the Intel Corporation, where I work, about five to 10 years to design, develop and deploy the chip that goes into our computers. So it’s of vital business importance today for Intel to know what people will want to do 10 years from now.”

Listen to the entire article here.

Todd Lecture Series: Astronaut Col. Michael E. Fossum

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is going to get a fantastic visitor in late February: Col Michael E. Fossum, a NASA Astronaut who commanded the International Space Station. The lecture will take place on February 26th at Norwich University’s Northfield campus, and will be hosted by the College of Science and Mathematics.

Fossum joined NASA in 1993 as an engineer, where his primary responsibility was to evaluate the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for use as an emergency escape vehicle for (at the time) planned International Space Station. He was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1998 and supported several space shuttle missions as capsule communicator (CapCom). In 2006, he was a member of the crew of STS-121 on Space Shuttle Discovery, and in 2008, he flew aboard Discovery once again for the STS-124 mission. In 2011, he was part of the Expedition 28 and 29 missions aboard the International Space Station. In total, he has spent 194 days in space, which include 48 hours over the course of 7 spacewalks.

This should be a really exciting lecture. They are free and open to the public. Every time I attend one of these, I have found that I’ve come away with my thoughts provoked.

Springfield Steampunk Festival

This is something that we hadn’t known about before: Springfield, Vermont has its own Steampunk Festival! The event will be held later this year, but it’s worth putting on the calendar.

Here’s what the website says about how it came to be:

The Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival started as a Facebook group of like-minded Steampunk fans just sharing Steampunk photos and thoughts. The talk turned to the possibility of a Steampunk Festival and that talk turned into the real thing – The Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival. Steampunk takes its inspiration from science fiction writers of the Victorian age, namely Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. The fantasy worlds created by these authors combined with our present day knowledge of science and technology drives Steampunk imagination. A futuristic Victorian Age where technology is powered by steam rather than electricity.

The event will be held later this year on September 11th through the 13th: admission will run you $65 at the door, $50 in advance, with a bazaar, and a number of other events that will be announced in the near future.

This is pretty cool, and it fits nicely into the legacy of the region: as the website notes, the Precision Valley was once an industrial powerhouse in the young United States:

Springfield Vermont is in an area called Precision Valley. Once a bustling industrial age town, Springfield was known far and wide for its gear shaper, tool, spindle and grinder factories. Springfield and the Precision Valley have a rich history of industry and innovation. That’s why we are turning Springfield into the Steampunk Capital of Vermont!

For more information, visit their website. You can also ‘like’ the event on Facebook.

Todd Lecture Series: National Security Implications of Climate Change


Norwich University will be hosting Gen (RET) Gordon R. Sullivan, former chief of staff of the US Army, for an installment of the Todd Lecture Series entitled National Security Implications of Climate Change.

The lecture will take place on February 5, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in Plumley Armory. The lecture will be hosted by the College of National Services.

I’m a big fan of this lecture series, and General Sullivan is an excellent speaker: this will be a really interesting talk.


Geek Mountain State: The Holiday Gathering

At our recent Book Club meeting, an idea came up: GMS should host some sort of holiday gathering. To that end, we’ve just planned such an event! Join us at Tilt Classic Arcade and Ale House on Sunday, December 21st at 2:00pm. We’ll occupy the top floor, play some games, chat with fellow Vermont nerds and generally enjoy ourselves!

We hope that you can make it: Let us know here, so we can plan accordingly.

Ugly-Sweater Party at Tilt Classic Arcade


Yelp is welcoming Tilt to South Burlington (I didn’t realize that this was a thing, Yelp holding welcomes), with an appropriately ironic Ugly Sweater Party. They’ll be providing some free food, and there’ll be some prizes.

Here’s the details:

Yelp wants to welcome Tilt Classic Arcade & Ale House to the neighborhood Mr. Rogers-ugly-sweater style with an evening of free appetizers, fun arcade games, an ugly sweater photo booth, a free raffle and a prize for the ugliest sweater.

The scoop:

– Tilt and Yelp will supply attending Yelpers with a limited number of free appetizers such as Cheesy Pinballs, Loaded Gravy Fries and GMO-free, organic chicken wings.
– Tilt will be giving Yelp attendees some credit to try out its amazing arcade games.
– There will be a free raffle for those Yelpers who check into the event on their SmartPhone Yelp app, including a gift certificate to Tilt.
– There will also be a prize for the Yelper who wears the ugliest sweater.

Come early while the apps are still hot and fresh, wear your ugliest sweater, and don’t forget that Tilt has an extensive craft beer selection on tap and off.

The event will kick off at 5:30 pm on Friday, December 12th. Here’s their full page.

Orion Live Viewing Parties

Tomorrow morning, NASA will launch an ambitious mission: the first test flight of the Orion Spacecraft. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is a vehicle designed to take humans beyond Low Earth Orbit – the first spacecraft since the Saturn rocket (which powered the Apollo missions) to do so. This is particularly exciting, because it’s in these vehicles that we’ll begin to head to other places in the solar system. Our next destinations are likely asteroids or Mars.

Saint Michael’s COllege will be hosting a viewing party to watch the launch tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. The launch will take place at 7:05 am, barring any holds in the countdown. Here’s what they have to say about it:

Beginning at 6 AM, guests are invited to learn about Orion, view the flight from launch (scheduled for 7:05 AM) to splashdown (at approximately noon), and enjoy live mission updates throughout the event. Guests will hear NASA commentary prior to Orion’s launch, and learn about the flight and mission objectives through interviews with experts at NASA, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance. They will see the launch pad and launch control center, and feel as though they are at the launch site when the main engines ignite.

The event will be hosted by Dr. John O’Meara of Saint Michael’s college and will be located in Cheray Hall 101 at St. Michael’s College. The event is free to the general public.

Across the state, the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, won’t be open for the launch, but from 11:00am to 1:00pm, they’ll be broadcasting the event and splashdown in the museum. Stop by on Saturday for a re-broadcast of the launch, where they’ll have trivia and activities.

For those unable to make the events, the launch will be livestreamed on NASA’s website.