January has thus far been a sack of hammers to the face. I am behind on everything and can’t stop anything. So here, in lieu of anything thoughtful or reflecting, is the lengthy list of panels I’ll be on at ConFusion in Detroit this weekend.
In addition to what’s below, I am 1 million percent committed to the idea of some kind of HAMILTON sing-along / re-enactment. I’m not sure how to do this in a way that would be most fun for everyone interested in taking part; I know a lot of people would love to do this but are shy of singing in front of others. I’m open to suggestions! I personally enjoy performing a great deal, so my ideal would be performing a bunch of the songs with people who are comfortable doing so off-book, and anyone around could chime in or be chorus or read the lyrics, participate up to their own comfort level. Kind of hoping this could happen late on Friday night in an empty panel room or something.
Anyway here’s the actual schedule!
Friday 5:00:00 PM Reacting to Fiction in Public
Book discussion today, predominantly online, has created a new phenomenon of public reaction. Whether it’s love of a work or the opposite, this public reaction has become a performance all its own. Does this new paradigm create a culture where perspectives that deviate from those with the most social capital are no longer valid?
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Susan Dennard, Andrea Johnson (M), Amal El-Mohtar, Greg van Eekhout
Saturday 10:00:00 AM The Fiction of Political SFF
Most “political” science fiction doesn’t really deal with politics, it deals with the setting out of ideologies. In other words, it tells stories that have little to do with running a government. The result is a debate of ideas where the political is described by greed and corruption, but never the merely bureaucratic. Why are these tropes recycled time and again? How can politics be approached in a more authentic way and remain compelling?
Kameron Hurley, Patrick Tomlinson, Justin Landon (M), Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
Saturday 12:00:00 PM Awards: A Race to Excellence or the Bottom?
Science fiction and fantasy have more awards than Robert Heinlein had Hugo Nominations. How do these various awards fit into the narrative of the field? Do they represent what is best and brightest in the genres or are they merely a flawed snapshot of insular communities?
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Amal El-Mohtar (M), Annalee Flower Horne, Scott H. Andrews, Saladin Ahmed
Saturday 2:00:00 PM The Art of the Review
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? How do authors go about getting more of them?
Andrea Johnson, Justin Landon (M), Amal El-Mohtar, Jenny Thurman, Sarah Gibbons
Saturday 4:00:00 PM Nominating for the 2016 Hugo Awards
The Puppy Wars of 2015 got a lot more people interested in nominating and voting for the Hugo Awards. The 2016 Nominating season has begun, so come share your recommendations for works and people you’d like to see as finalists on the 2016 Hugo Ballot and the 1940 Retro Hugo Ballot.
Jeff Beeler, Amal El-Mohtar, Justin Landon, Mur Lafferty, Jim Mann (M)
Saturday 5:00:00 PM Autograph Session 2
Sunday 11:00:00 AM The Vocabulary of Criticism
Prose Style, Voice, and Narrative Structure: does anyone care? These terms are often thrown around, but what do they really mean? And more importantly how should a reader translate them in to something useful for evaluating what they read
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Scott H. Andrews, Amal El-Mohtar, Carl Engle-Laird (M), Lynne M. Thomas