The 21st-Century Scop banner

scop (noun): Old English – bard, minstrel, storyteller

This Weekend:
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Rock-n-Roll!

I’ve been spending the week behind the keyboard, working on some new projects that I hope to be blogging about in the days ahead. But this weekend, I get to leave the realm of fiction and once again mix it up with the real world — starting with some panels and readings at Confluence (the Pittsburgh area’s long-running science-fiction convention) and concluding with a festival performance in Harmony, Pennsylvania.

Confluence will be held at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport, where my involvement just happens to begin with a panel discussion on rock-n-roll and science fiction. Coincidence? You decide.

Here’s an overview of what I’ll be up to:

Fri 6:00 PM – It’s a Monster Mash: Rock’n’Roll & SF. How has rock influenced SF? Has SF influenced rock (beyond some very science fictional album covers back in the vinyl days)? What about the influence of music within fandom on fiction and conventions? On this panel, I’ll be joining Marilyn Mattie Brahen, Larry Ivkovich, and Catherynne M. Valente.  S. J. Sooj Tucker will serve as moderator.

Sat 10:30 AM – Fiction Reading/Performance: If you missed my gig at New York’s KGB in June, you’ll be able to catch the same presentation here. As always, in the manner befitting a 21st-century scop, I’ll be reading from memory.

Sat 12:00 PM – Pittsburgh as Setting: Books like Tomorrow and Tomorrow make great use of Pittsburgh as a location. What makes Pittsburgh useful as a setting? Different? What could a “future Pittsburgh” look like? Panelists will include Barbara Doran, Barton Paul Levenson, and Tom Sweterlitsch. I will be serving as moderator.

Sat 2:00 PM – Private Enterprise in Space: Robert Heinlein’s “The Man Who Sold the Moon” speculated about business in space generations ago. Elon Musk is trying to make it happen now. Should we expect Starbucks on Mars? On this panel, I’ll be joining  Kenneth B. Chiacchia, Herb Kauderer, and Mark Painter. Ian Randal Strock will moderate.

It should be a fun time, and although Confluence is famous for its Saturday evening programming, I will be cutting out early to head north to Harmony, PA, where I’ll be joining brother John Connolly and my long-time band mate Duane Davis (both pictured at left) for a show celebrating the eight-year anniversary of Burgh-er’s Brewing. Also performing will be The Harmony Drifters, The 20 Somethings, Alexa and Elijah Davis (formerly of the Pop Rocks, one of my favorite kid bands), and some surprises. Like last week’s big show at Riley’s in Carnegie, this one looks to be another spectacular night of music under the stars.

Hope to see you there … or at Confluence … or both.

Until then, rock on!


  • Rock On! Prime Book. Cover art by Scott Grimando.
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
  • Duane Davis and John Connolly rocking at Riley’s Pavilion. Photo by Robert Connolly.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Comments: