Category Archives: Oswego News

SUNY Oswego prof combines loves of philosophy and science fiction in new book

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

The lines between two of SUNY Oswego faculty member Craig DeLancey’s great passions — philosophy and science fiction — intertwine subtly but surely in his first traditionally published novel, “Gods of Earth.”

New from 47North, an Amazon-owned publisher based in Seattle, DeLancey’s novel follows Chance Kyrien, a 17-year-old orphan who longs for nothing more than a farm, a wedding and a religious life, but who is swept up in the aftermath of a cataclysmic war in a far-future, technologically out-of-control Earth. A dark, brooding god awakens and seeks him out, launching Chance on a quest to save himself, his family and his way of life.

“It’s a novel that reflects on, ‘What are the ultimate ends of technology?’” DeLancey said. “If we are free, how do we decide how to live? If we are radically free, and if technology continues to progress, then technology is going to make us more and more powerful. (Chance) is confronting the possibility of technologies that allow you to be whatever you want to be.”

A faculty member in SUNY Oswego’s philosophy department since 2002, DeLancey teaches logic and existentialism, among other courses. He also has a scholarly book published by Oxford University Press, more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles in such journals as Philosophical Studies, Metaphysica, and Ethics and the Environment, and numerous presentations on subjects from emotion and the function of consciousness to the concept of wilderness.

 Why science fiction?

“I can’t ever remember not being interested in science fiction,” DeLancey said. “At a very young age, I declared — I think I was 6 — that I was going be an astronaut. … My stepfather bought me a boxed set of (Robert) Heinlein’s juvenile novels when I was 13 or 14. That was the end of all resistance for me. I’ve probably been continually writing and reading sci-fi since that time.”

 Sci-fi as literature

Science fiction, he said, is the literature of ideas. It’s inevitable that when his love of philosophy and his love of science fiction meet, one informs the other, DeLancey said.

“There is a character in the novel that is an artificial intelligence, not an uncommon presence in sci-fi these days,” he said. “That’s one of my areas of research — the philosophy of artificial intelligence; the philosophy of mind is my primary area of research. How that (an AI character) would work — and the challenges and difficulties for the kinds of things that computation can do and moreover the kinds of things it can’t do — really informed the book.”

Smiling, he added, “I know I just scared away a thousand readers. You can read it as a kind of tale. You don’t need a degree in philosophy to read this book.”

The 503-page “Gods of Earth” had what DeLancey called “a very curious genesis.” About 10 years ago, an artist friend of his wanted to collaborate on a project, and sent DeLancey some artwork.

“One of them was a figure that was strange and interesting — it was just meant to be a lamp, I think — but to me it looked like some kind of strange container, and that’s what spurred me to do a story for this,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that the philosophical questions drive many of the themes of the fiction, and that I think is true of all the things I’ve written,” DeLancey said. “I try not to indulge in theory ever in my fiction — to keep those worlds separate — because I think fiction is about portraying the complexities of life that have difficulty being squeezed into theory. Fiction is about things that are messy and seem to us at first patternless — the accidents of a person’s life and what they do to make meaning of that.”

A month since publication, “Gods of Earth” has sold primarily as an e-book, though it’s also available as a paperback. DeLancey said an audio book read by Nick Podehl, whose credits include Nora Roberts’ “Black Hills,” is due out soon.

DeLancey has published dozens of short stories in science-fiction magazines such as Analog, Cosmos and Shimmer, and won a Cosmos Top 12 Science Fiction Short Stories Award of 2012 for “The Man Who Betrayed Turing.” He also writes plays, many of which have received staged readings and performances in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Melbourne, among other places.

Global Awareness Conference Nov. 8, 9

SUNY Oswego’s annual Hart Global Awareness Conference on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9, will feature two keynote speakers, one each night.

At 7 p.m. Nov. 8 in Room 132 of the Campus Center, conference attendees will hear an update from Gabriel Bol Deng, a “lost boy of Sudan” who was keynote speaker in 2010, his education- and health-opportunities work in the new African nation of South Sudan.

The second keynote, at 7 p.m. Saturday in Room 101 of Lanigan Hall, will feature

Jessica Minhas, an expert on human trafficking as well as an entrepreneur, TV host and producer specializing in cultural and media impact on women.

Both talks are free and open to the public. Parking for those without a campus-parking sticker is $1. For more information, visit www.oswego.edu/administration/parking.

In 2007, 20 years after his harrowing escape from Sudanese militants, Bol Deng returned to his homeland, a journey documented in the upcoming film “Rebuilding Hope.” He founded Helping Offer Primary Education (HOPE) for Sudan with a mission to provide educational opportunities and health services to South Sudanese people adversely affected by political turmoil.

Minhas, who has worked in advocacy and on behalf of sex-trafficking survivors as well as numerous humanitarian organizations, has become an expert analyst on child labor and exploitation, youth advocacy and overcoming abuse.

She is developing an open-media platform called “I’ll Go First” that invites individuals to tell their own stories of survivorship without revictimizing them. Her talk is titled “Finding Your Purpose and Your Voice.”

For more information on the Hart Global Awareness Conference, visit www.oswego.edu/academics/global_conference.

Learn about youth services at Oswego County Youth Program Forum

Representatives from a number of Oswego County’s human services agencies will host an Oswego County Youth Program Forum Friday, Nov. 15 at the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Extension Site.

Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program starting promptly at 9:00 a.m.

The program is open to anyone interested in learning about the many services and programs that are available to youth in Oswego County.

The forum will provide youth service providers with an opportunity to share information on their programs while learning about other youth programs that exist in Oswego County.

“The Youth Forum is an excellent example of our human services agencies working together to help achieve a common good … helping our youth and their families.

“This kind of collaboration truly demonstrates the Live United concept that we are all connected,” said Melanie Trezler, executive director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

Interim Director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Brian Chetney, co-chairperson of the event’s planning committee, said the format of the forum would allow for participants to select from a series of workshops where agency representatives will present a synopsis of their program.

The different workshops will touch on a number of the youth services that are available. Additionally, there will be an information area where attendees may learn more about many of the other youth services offered in Oswego County.

“The Oswego County Youth Program Forum is an excellent opportunity for youth agencies to come together and discuss the different services they offer to youth and families in Oswego County. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to network and ask questions,” added Chetney.

For more information on the Oswego County Youth Program Forum, call Melanie Trexler at the United Way of Greater Oswego County 593-1900 ext.201 or at melanieunitedway@windstream.net.

UPK Family Literacy Night held Oct. 24

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Families flocked to the Fulton Education Center gymnasium the night of Oct. 24 to see Mother Goose and participate in a variety of learning activities during UPK Family Literacy Night.

Carri Waloven, the district’s director of UPK and literacy, said the event is an opportunity to bring families together in a fun learning environment.

The event is held three times throughout the school year, and Thursday’s marked the first one of 2013-14.

Waloven said the event, which incorporates math, reading and kinesthetic activities, is just another resource the district offers its 156 UPK students.

Students read with Mother Goose, made horns after reading “Little Boy Blue,” stacked blocks, colored, did crafts and worked on their counting and math skills during the hour-long literacy night. To cap off the evening, students picked out a book to bring home and read.

Leighton students receive ice cream for learning to mix colors

Submitted by Oswego schools

Frederick Leighton Elementary School kindergarten students were rewarded with Friendly’s ice cream for their recent classroom work.

Art teacher Michele Gorham assisted the kindergarteners in a special project.

She noted, “They are learning how to make their own colors. They are mixing two primary colors together to make a new color. We have been mixing and making our own oranges, greens and purples. They then used these colors to make a landscape or pumpkin. They practices their painting, drawing, cutting and gluing skills”.

The student in Mary Lisk’s class brought their pumpkin creations to Friendly’s on West Bridge Street and they were put on display through Halloween.

The youngsters work  was in conjunction with the Oswego City School District Art Standards which encourages students to create art work in a variety of media. The  New York State Art Standards require  students to know and use art materials and resources as well as to create, perform and participate in the arts.

 

Area restaurants help Oswego County Hospice

In recognition of National Hospice Month in November, four Oswego County restaurants are joining with the Friends of Oswego County Hospice to support the Hospice Program in Oswego County.

Canale’s, The Blue Moon Grill, Arena’s Eis House, and Ruby Tuesday in Oswego will all be donating a portion of one day’s sale to the Friends of  Oswego County Hospice.

“We are grateful to all of these restaurants for supporting Hospice again this year,” said Debbie Bishop, executive director of the Friends of Hospice.

Blue Moon will kick off these “Hospice-tality Days” on Monday, Nov. 4 during lunch and dinner. Canale’s is the host for lunch and dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Ruby Tuesday will host lunch and dinner Thursday, Nov. 14. Arena’s Eis House is hosting on Nov. 19 during dinner. All of the events are dine in or take out.

Canale’s and Ruby Tuesday require a coupon be presented at their events. Call the Friends of Hospice office at 343-5223 or email oswegohospice@verizon.net to get your coupon.

Money raised through the “Hospice-tality Day” events support Oswego County Hospice patients and their families.

Salvation Army Kettle Drive kicks off Nov. 15

The Oswego County Salvation Army will be kicking off its Red Kettle fundraising campaign Friday, Nov. 15.

The bells will be ringing Monday through Saturday until Dec. 24. The goal this year is $110,000.

There is an ever increasing need in our county for the services provided by the Salvation Army. The success of the campaign depends upon you.

Volunteers are needed to ring the bell.  Groups, organizations and individual volunteers can call 207-3367 or email oswegocountysalarmy@ gmail.com to get scheduled at one of the many locations throughout the county.

Oswego Health to X-ray Halloween candy

Area ghosts, goblins and action figures can have their candy x-rayed on Halloween night by Oswego Health medical imaging personnel.

Three Oswego Health locations will be x-raying candy this year. Parents can bring their children to Oswego Hospital’s imaging department from 6 to 9 p.m. Please enter the main hospital doors off South Sixth Street and proceed to the medical imaging department, which is located just off the lobby.

Candy can also be x-rayed at both the Central Square and Fulton Medical Centers from 5 to 8 p.m. Parents using one of these facilities should enter the department through the urgent care center. The Central Square site is located at 3045 East Avenue in the village and the Fulton location is at 510 S. First St. in Fulton.