Saturday, July 22, 2006

What's wrong with this web page?

Have a look at this web page, and ask yourself what's missing.

The answer? The words "science fiction." Robert A. Heinlein was never coy about what he wrote, but the web page for his centennial celebration makes no mention of the genre by name, instead calling him an "American author, futurist, philosopher and spaceflight advocate."

Leaving out the phrase "science fiction" means that if you Google "Heinlein science fiction" or "science fiction Kansas" (which is where the event is being held), this page doesn't turn up (although my own site does for the former search, as hit #6). (The word "Kansas" on the Heinlein Centennial website is in a graphic, not text, and isn't searched by Google.)

I mentioned this to the conference organizers two weeks ago when I was in Kansas, by the way ... Next year, the wonderful Campbell Conference will be held in conjunction with the Heinlein Centennial.


At July 23, 2006 8:40 PM , Anonymous ThisisJohn said...

I am assuming that the omission of science fiction is now rectified. Now there is a SF mention.

"July 7, 2007 will be the birth centennial of American author, futurist, philosopher and spaceflight advocate Robert A. Heinlein. Commemoration and celebrations will fill the science fiction Grandmaster's Centennial year, with the grandest event to be held on the weekend of July 6, 7 and 8 in his home town of Kansas City, Missouri."

Heinlein wrote some of the first SF books I read. 'Stranger in a Strange Land','Starship Troopers', and 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' are all great books. I read them at an age when books could shape how you think and who you are.

At July 23, 2006 8:44 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Yup! That's new -- and so is the text (as opposed to graphics) mention of Kansas.

Glad to know my advice is being taken. It looks like it'll be a fascinating conference!

At July 24, 2006 8:33 PM , Blogger Ken Breadner said...

I'm seriously thinking of making the trip down there. The person who introduced me to sf will be there in spirit, along with one of my favourite Canadian authors in Spider Robinson (and, I'm hoping, the other in Rob Sawyer?)

At July 24, 2006 11:26 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

I'm seriously considering going, but I haven't made up my mind. I'm trying to find out if Readercon is the same weekend (sent them an email a couple of days ago, but have received no response). But next summer is shaping up to be very hectic. I'd LIKE to do all of the following in July and August next year: go to Japan for the Worldcon, go to China for the big SF convention being held the week before, go to St. Louis for the NASFiC, teach for a week at the University of Toronto, go to Readercon, go to the Heinlein Centennial. But I also need to actually write! :) I'll start making decisions this fall about which of the above I'll actually do, and which will, with regret, fall by the wayside.

At July 27, 2006 1:08 PM , Blogger Jose said...

Google handles the tag "science fiction" rather oddly in my experience. My blog frequently shows up in the first page in a google blog search but in main google using the tag "science fiction blog" we're not even on the radar even though we dwarf the blogs that do appear links wise. And we get lots of hits from Google searches but only for all kinds of crazy keywords that seem to have anything to do with us (although we do get a number of people looking for Robert J Sawyer).

At September 04, 2006 11:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You *do* realize the Centennial being held in Missouri, not Kansas, right? The place where Heinlein lived? Across the river?

I have been to the Campbell Conference many times. the Science Fiction Research Association is also joining with the Centennial. Last time the Campbell Conference joined with the SFRA is was a fabulous conference. I have high hopes for this one.


At September 04, 2006 2:33 PM , Blogger barbara 'kitten' trumpinski-roberts said...

hi rob...

i really hope you can come to the heinlein fact, i hope EVERY heinlein fan comes. i am the programming director pro tem for the celebration reader con (which is just one part of the entire celebration.

here is the URL for readercon 18

it is the same weekend as the centennial celebration and it is in burlinton, mass. it could be great fun...i've never been to a reader con. however, the centennial celebration is a once in a lifetime opportunity.



At September 04, 2006 2:42 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Yeah, it's really unfortunate that Readercon and the Heinlein Centennial are the same weekend. Ah, well ... choices, choices ...


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