Mike Hodel's Hour 25

Previous Shows
August 2003

Hour 25 Home Page
This Week's Show   Upcoming Shows   Audio Index
Current Calendar   Last Month's Calendar   On-Going Events   Authors on Tour  
Literacy Education   Hour 25 Background   Links  


Index to our previous shows

  • August 17, 2003 - Ursula K. Leguin
  • Shows from July, 2003
  • Shows from June, 2003
  • Shows from May, 2003
  • Shows from February, 2003
  • Shows from January, 2003
  • Shows from December, 2002
  • Shows from November, 2002
  • Shows from October, 2002
  • Shows from September, 2002
  • Shows from August, 2002
  • Shows from July, 2002
  • Shows from June, 2002
  • Shows from May, 2002
  • Shows from April, 2002
  • Shows from March, 2002
  • Shows from February, 2002
  • Shows from January, 2002
  • Shows from December 2001
  • Shows from November, 2001
  • Shows from October, 2001
  • Shows from September, 2001
  • Shows from August, 2001
  • Shows from July, 2001
  • Shows from June, 2001
  • Shows from May, 2001
  • Shows from April, 2001
  • Shows from March, 2001
  • Shows from February, 2001
  • Shows from January, 2001
  • Shows from November - December, 2000
  • Shows from September - October, 2000
  • Shows from July - August, 2000

  • Ursula K. Le Guin    -    Listen to this show

    On Sunday - August 17th, 2003 - our guest on Hour 25 was author Ursula K. Le Guin.

    Ursula K. Le Guin during her Hour 25 interview.  Picture Copyright © 2003 by Warren W. James.  All Rights Reserved.     Tonight's interview with Ursula K. Le Guin marks her third appearance on the on-line edition of Hour 25. Every year or so she passes through LA on a tour for one of her new books. And I look forward to those times when I'll have a chance to sit down and chat with one of the pre-eminent authors of my favorite literary genre. {Also of my genera, but that deals with biology, not writing.}

    There can be no question about the importance of Ursula K. Le Guin to the field of science fiction. Her writing was a strong influence in changing how people viewed gender roles in science fiction, as well as how they viewed those roles in the larger context of the "real world". Her writing has always set the highest standards for literary quality and imagination. And she is always willing to share what she has learned about writing with new authors who are struggling to find their own unique voices.

    But, be that as it may. I look forward to my opportunities to sit and chat with her because she is an interesting and wonderfully warm human being.

    And if there was any question about her importance to the field of science fiction, then that question was laid to rest earlier this year when the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers of America elevated her to the rank of Grand Master. This is the highest honor that a science fiction writer can get and is an accolade based upon an author's life-long body of work. Ursula is only the twentieth writer to have received this award. To this I can only add, "Way to go, Ursula! Congratulations. You really deserve it."

    Interior illustration from Changing Planes from the story Feeling at Home with the Hennebet.  Illustration Copyright © 2003 by Eric Beddows.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with kind permission.     Changing Planes,  Copyright © 2003 by Ursula K. Le Guin,  All Rights Reserved.  Published by Harcourt Books.

    Ursula's newest book, Changing Planes continues her tradition of writing thought provoking stories that challenge you to think about how people, no matter what they look like or what species they might happen to be, live their lives.

    The short stories that make up this book all revolve around a protagonist who has found a way of traveling to other planes of existence, but she can only do so while sitting in an airport waiting for a plane. Some of the planes visited are shockingly like ours, others are wonderfully different. But all give us a funhouse mirror that one way or the other sheds new light on the human condition. Although these stories have a lighter - or more satirical - bent than many of Ursula's other stories, they are unmistakenly her's and offer full measure of what you expect to find when you read a Le Guin book.

    I could say more about this book, but I won't. Instead you should just pick up a copy and dive into it and let the book speak for itself. Changing Planes is most highly recommended.

    Costume College - 2003

    Suzanne at Costume College 2003.  Picture Copyright © 2003 by Paul Gilbert. All rights reserved.      If you are interested any aspect of costuming, from fantasy and science fiction to historical reenactment, then Costume College is the place to go.

    As well as having a science fiction costume and vintage clothing exhibit, Costume College offers many unique events. The Saturday night Gala dinner and dance and Sunday tea are great fun, and the tours offered to various Hollywood studio costume departments and film industry rental houses offer access to many places the public never sees. Of course, there's a Marketplace where you can buy everything from corset busks to vintage buttons and lace.

    But Costume College really excels in their workshops and classes, where you can actually make your own Victorian or Georgian corset or learn to fit and sew fantasy and period garments of many styles. Classes in hand sewing and embroidery techniques and overviews of many historic time periods are offered as well.

    In tonight's show Suzanne gives you a review of this year's event, and highlights some of the great reference sources that she found there. These are books that many costumers won't want to do without. (And in the links below we tell you where you can get them even if you can't make it to Costume College!)

    Cover for Textiles for Early Victorian Clothing 1850-1880. Copyright © 2002, Q Graphics Production Company, All Rights Reserved.
    Sally Queen Associates Web Site
         Cover for Textiles for Regency Clothing 1800-1850. Copyright © 2001, Q Graphics Production Company, All Rights Reserved.
    Sally Queen Associates Web Site
         Cover for the the 2003 edition of the Vintage Pattern Lending Library catalog.
    Vintage Pattern Lending Library Web Site

    Listen to this show

    • Click here to listen to the entire show. {1:43:54}
    • Click here for the show's intro music.{0:41}
    • Click here for the show's opening. {37:14}
    • Click here for our interview with Ursula K. Le Guin. {1:03:59}
    • Click here for the show's closing.{2:00}

    • Click here for our September 2000 interview with Ursula in which we talked about her book The Telling.
    • Click here for our interview with Ursula from October 2001 where we discuss her New Earthsea novel, The Other Wind.
    • Click here for an index of all Shows on our site.
    Click here if you have a problem hearing the show and you're using Internet Explorer.

    If you enjoyed this show and would like to know when other interviews are uploaded to the Hour 25 web site, then send an email to me at wwjames@earthlink.net and I will add your name to the free Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list. That way you'll get a brief notice in your email every time a new show gets uploaded to the web.

    The Great Hour 25 Disk Crash of 2002 - On-Going News

    As a result of our recent hard disk crash the Hour 25 newsletter mailing list has vanished into the digital darkness. It would be very helpful if subscribers to the Hour 25 Newsletter would resend their email addresses to me {wwjames@earthlink.net} so I can reconstitute the Newsletter mailing list. {If you have done this "post-crash" then I have your email address and you don't need to do anything.} New editions of the newsletter will start coming out "real soon now".

    In the same vein, if you previously sent in an entry for the Karen Willson Five Word Challenge, now would be a good time for you to fish around in your "sent mail" folder and resend your entry. Or come up with a new one and send it in. {And please put "Five Word Challenge" or some approximation thereof in the subject line of your email to make it easy for me to keep track of your entry.}

    Links for more information relating to this week's show

    Ursula K. Le Guin
  • You can find out more about Ursula K. Le Guin and her books at her official Web Site.
  • An excerpt from Changing Planes is available on-line at this Web Page put up by Harcourt Books. {Information about other books published by Harcourt, Inc can be found at their Web Site.}
  • Everyone has to deal with rejection in their life, but authors have more chances for this than most people. Just about every author has gotten their share of rejection letters and Ursula is no exception. She has even included one on her web site. Anyone who wants to be a writer should read it and reflect on the fact that sometimes the people who decide whether or not to buy your book don't really know what they're talking about. As she says, "hang in there".
  • For an interesting discussion of the role of men and women in society, along with the meaning of success and failure and the source of our hopes, be sure to read this commencement address that Ursula gave at Mills College in 1983 or this commencement address that she gave at Bryn Mawr in 1986.
  • Ursula was recently acknowledged as a Grand Master by SFWA. This link will take you to a Web Page with more information about that award and an appreciation of her work by Vonda N. McIntyre.
  • Additional information about Ursula can be found at this fan operated web site, this site, this site or this site.
  • You can read another interview with Ursula at this Web Page at the SF site or this interview at SciFi.com.
  • A great place to go to when looking for more information about Ursula is the Ursula K. Le Guin Resources on the WWW Web Page.
  • And if you enjoyed this interview with Ursula K Le Guin and would like to know when other interviews are uploaded to the Hour 25 web site, then send an email to me at wwjames@earthlink.net and I will add your name to the free Hour 25 Newsletter mailing list. That way you'll get a brief notice in your email every time a new show gets uploaded to the web.

    Costume College - 2003
  • You can learn about Costume College, and make your plans for going next year, by visiting their Web Site. {Currently, the site shows the programming from the 2003 event, but they kindly ask your forbearance while they begin setting up for 2004.}
  • You can find lots of information about clothing from past times by going to the Vintage Pattern Lending Library Web Site.
  • You can find a couple of the books Suzanne mentioned, along with loads of other stuff, at the Sally Queen Associates web site.

    Space News - Various
  • Information about the work being done at Scaled Composites can be found at their Web Site. {Just follow the navigation links on their site and you'll be treated to a wealth of information about Burt Rutan's projects.}
  • If are interested in flight simulators, then you really should check out X-Plane. This Mac and Windows based flight sim features one of the most accurate physics-based flight models that you can find on any PC hosted simulator. It also ships with a modeling tool that lets you create your own aircraft and then go fly them in the simulator. This program is so accurate that the folks at Scaled Composites are using it as the flight simulator for training the pilots who will fly the White Knight and SpaceShipOne. This program is most highly recommended!
  • There are numerous free aircraft models available for use with X-Plane, including SpaceShipOne, White Knight, Cosmopolis XXI, the X-15, the X-20 Dynasoar and many more. {These aircraft models, and many more, can all be found at the X-Plane.Org Web Site.}
  • Additional X-Plane resources can be found at X-Plane.Info, X-Plane.Org and The X-Plane Freeware Project.
  • You can learn more about the Earth-based images of the asteroid Juno by reading this Press Release from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and you can view the pictures here.
  • More information about the SMART-1 Lunar Mission can be found at this Web Page created by the European Space Agency.
  • Information about the Phoenix Mission to Mars can be found at this Press Release from the University of Arizona. You can view a 3D picture of the Mars Phoenix spacecraft here.

    Space News - Mars - On-going
  • For more information about the Mars Exploration Rovers be sure to check out the MER Web Site at JPL or this Mars Rover site at Cornell University.
  • To learn more about the Mars Express mission you can go to this ESA Mars Express Web Site, this Mars Express Web Page from JPL, this NSSDC Mars Express Web Page, or this Web Page from Mars News.Com.
  • For more information about the Beagle 2 Mars Lander be sure to check out the Beagle 2 Official Web Site, the ESA Beagle 2 Web Page or this article about Beagle 2 from Astrobiology Magazine.
  • Images of the Beagle 2 landing site as seen from the Viking Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor can be viewed here {Part 1} and here {Part 2}.
  • For more information about the Exploration of Mars be sure to go to the JPL Mars Exploration Site, the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA Ames, or the Mars Missions Web Site at the Planetary Society.
  • Information about the data returned by previous Mars missions can be found at this Mars Web Page at the NSSDC.
  • For more Mars news be sure to check out the Mars News.Com Web Site.
  • Percival Lowell did much to shape our ideas about Mars in the early years of the 20th Century. You can learn more about his work by reading this on-line copy of his 1895 book Mars.

    Space News - The Columbia Accident - On-going

         The Smoking Gun
  • Ongoing testing by NASA seems to have found the "smoking gun" in the Columbia accident. {At least as far as the technical problems go. For information about NASA's management problems, see the news item below.} Tests found that a foam impact on the leading edge of the Shuttle's wing would blow a 16 inch hole in that structure as well as cracking and damaging other parts of the Shuttle's wing. For more information check out these stories from the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today, Reuters, Spaceflight Now and The Houston Chronicle.

         The Management Problem
  • Be sure to read this story from the Orlando Sentinel which discusses previous Shuttle missions where foam from the ET damaged the Shuttle's TPS and NASA's approach to dealing with this problem in the future.
  • During the Apollo 13 accident the words of Flight Director Gene Krantz, "Failure is not an option", set the tone for what NASA would do and went a long way toward getting the crew safely back to Earth. But during the flight of the Columbia things were quite different. Linda Ham, the head of the Mission Management Team, was not interested in getting better data about the result of the foam impact or coming up with a crash program to rescue the Columbia astronauts because, as she said, "I don't think there is much we can do". Read more about this shocking revelation at this report from the Washington Post and at this story from the Florida Today Web Site .
  • Be sure to check out this story from the Florida Today Web Site which details a long history of unresolved safety issues affecting the Shuttle.

         Concerning Future Developments
  • For an interesting assessment of the Orbital Space Plane project, be sure to read this report by Jeffrey F. Bell. You might or might not agree with him, but his calculations certainly give you something to think about.
  • More information about the Orbital Space Plane (OSP) can be found here, another view about the OSP can be found here and another opinion about this project can be found here.

         On-going Coverage and Reference Sources
  • The Columbia Accident Investigation Board Web Site is a good source for information about the results of the on-going investigation into the loss of the Columbia.
  • NASA has a web site with information about the loss of the Columbia, the on-going investigation into this accident, the crew and other related subjects.
  • Florida Today has a Web Site with updated coverage of the loss of the Columbia.
  • This NASA web page contains pictures of the crew of the Columbia along with other pictures from their mission. {Audio files from STS-107 can be found here and video files can be found here.}
  • You can find the Press Kit from the STS-107 mission here.

    For On-Going Updates on Space News
  • The Reusable Launch & Space Vehicle News web site web page that is part of the Hobby Space web site is a really good place to watch for news about, well... Reusable Launch Vehicles and related subjects. I check it out just about every day and often find news there that doesn't show up anywhere else. Give it a look. {And while you're there be sure to check out some of the site's other pages. Wow! Is there a lot of information there.}
  • The Space Today web site is a great place to find space news from all over the 'net.
  • The Spaceflight Now web site carries real time information about current space missions and presents a lot of space and astronomy news. This is the place I go to when I want up to the minute information about current space missions. Do I need to say more?
  • The NASA Watch web site is another great place for getting information about current space missions. Check there also for news about other 'goings on' within NASA. Highly recommended.

    ISS News
  • The Florida Today web site has a very interesting report about the causes of the ISS budget problems and their impact on the space program. It makes very interesting reading.
  • Click here to view the press kits for various ISS missions.
  • Check out the NASA International Space Station web page or the Boeing web page to learn more about this project.
  • A great source of news about Russian space activities, including their work on the ISS, can be found at the Russian Space Web.
  • Do you wonder where the Space Station is right now? You can use your browser to view real time maps showing the location of the ISS by going to this link at the NASA Space Link web site or here at the Johnson Spacecraft Center. Please note that your browser must support Java to make use of this satellite tracking software.
  • You can find out when the ISS - or many other spacecraft - can be seen from your location by going to this NASA web page. Please note; your browser must support Java for this application to work.

  • Click here for information about the audio files used for Hour 25 and for information about configuring your browser and downloading audio players.

    Please note web pages from external sites will open in a separate browser window and that Hour 25 Productions are not responsible for the content of any external Web Sites.

  • Return to the Index for this month's shows

    Back to Hour 25 Home Page

    Unless otherwise noted the entire content of this web site is
    Copyright © Warren W. James, 2000-2003. All rights reserved.