Monday, June 16, 2014

WorldCon Schedule (Draft) - Loncon 3

Here's my draft schedule for the upcoming London WorldCon. I couldn't be happier with these assignments. Why, you ask?
  • First (and understanding this could change), awesome folks.
  • Second, I'm moderating two panels, and that's something I always enjoy.
  • Third, awesome folks. No, really.
  • Fourth, most of the panels are later in the day, which means free time for other panels/activities in the morning. 
  • Fifth, one panel per day, which is really nice pacing.
  • And sixth (these aren't in order of importance!), I like the panel themes and think they'll be fun.

Extrapolation on Screen
Thursday 18:00 - 19:00
SF on screen, even or perhaps especially at its most political, seems reluctant to extrapolate directly from our present time. Instead, politcal works such as The Hunger Games or Defiance are often set after a radical change; or avoid extrapolating at all by dealing in secrets and conspiracies, like Orphan Black and Person of Interest. Possible contemporary exceptions include Continuum and Almost Human, but why are they so uncommon? Are important questions being dodged, or can the absence of extrapolation be a strength (and if so, how)?
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (M), Charlie Jane Anders, Juliana Goulart, Adam Rakunas, Michael Morelli

A Reader's Life During Peak Short Fiction
Friday 12:00 - 13:30
There are now more speculative short stories published than any one person can hope to read -- or even find. So how do fans of the short-form navigate this landscape? With so much ground to cover, how does an individual reader find stories they like -- are we more author-driven in our reading habits? Conversely, how and why do particular stories "break out" and become more widely known? To what extent is the greater volume of material enabling -- and recognising -- a greater diversity of authors and topics? And what is the place of short fiction in today's field -- testing ground for ideas, the heart of the discussion, or something else?
Jetse de Vries (M), Abigail Nussbaum, Jonathan Strahan, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Elizabeth Bear

The Canon is Dead. What Now?
Saturday 19:00 - 20:00
On the one hand, initiatives like the SF Gateway are helping to ensure the SF backlist remains accessible to today's readers, and an increasing number of "classic" SF writers are receiving the establishment seal of approval in series like the Library of America (Philip K. Dick) and the Everyman Library (Isaac Asimov). On the other hand, the SF readership is increasingly diverse, with fewer readers who have come to the field via those "classics", and many who find little of value in them in any case. In other words the traditional SF canon is no longer tenable -- but the history is still out there. So what alternative models and narratives should we be using to understand the field's past? Should we be working to expand the canon, or to describe multiple overlapping histories -- or something else?
Kate Nepveu (M), Thea James, Connie Willis, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Chris Beckett

The Art of Reviewing
Sunday 18:00 - 19:00
John Clute is one of the people who lifted reviewing in the field to an art form. What makes the difference between a workmanlike review that tells us what we need to know, and a review which becomes a text worth studying in its own right? Under what circumstances does a review transcend its immediate subject, and become part of the wider conversation about genre? Who are reviews for: readers, authors, industry, other reviewers?
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (M), Paul Kincaid, Aidan Moher, Elizabeth Hand, Alisa Krasnostein 

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