April 17th, 2005


Rocket Science

Yesterday whilst I was at the Independent Press Cooperative meeting in lovely Centralia, WA, the inestimable Patrick Swenson of Fairwood Press gave me the fresh-off-the-griddle ARC of Rocket Science, my short novel of UFOs, cryptoNazis, and dysfunctional families in small town Kansas, circa 1945.

Rocket Science Cover

Yes, it can be preordered now.
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As promised, the SFnal bellydancing report

Well, as promised, here is the SFnal bellydancing report. I went over to Baladna's Arabic Nightclub and Restaurant in a little upscale strip mall in Lake Oswego. (Trust me, this is a somewhat unlikely combination.) After ordering falafel and a Coke, and having a nice chat with an old veteran drinking at the bar, I used my astounding deductive skills to realize I should be talking to the tall gal with the green hair in the bellydancing costume. This turned out to be Urbana, the organizer of the event, and one of the members of Ravenpyre, a small troupe of bellydancers and firedancers who work together. The event was a fundraiser to get them to a convention in New Mexico this coming summer.

Urbana invited me to sit at the front table with her troupe partner Maylori (not dancing that night) along with a rotating cast of other friends-of-Ravenpyre, including Mark Keppinger, the theremin man. I got a guided tour of Mark's latest theremin, and once more proved my profound ineptitude at all things musical by only making it bloop a couple of times.

There were seven dancers that night, all in varying degrees of costume. Maylori introduce Urbana, and after Urbana's set, she in turn introduced the other dancers. Each dancer came on, did a dance with the house band, then a dance to theremin music, then a third dance before exiting. They were, in order of appearance:

Medusa from planet Mercury
Alfina from planet Melmac
Garunda Garunda from planet Orthonomy
Saroon, Goddess of Love from planet Venus
Athenisia from Arrakis (who bucked the trend by casting out evil to her own music rather than doing the three-number set)
Sharita, described as a "planet unto herself"

It was a lot of fun. I saw some dance interpretations that were new to me, including what could best be described as Middle Eastern disco. After the dancing was over the house band broke into some live Arab pop, complete with a front man -- about half the restaurant got up for that one. I don't know what Ravenpyre cleared for their trip, but I hope it was successful for them. Next year, though, I want bellydancing Klingons, by gum. Maybe klingonguy could arrange something.

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