WorldCon2004 Sunday Panels I Won't See by Rick Kleffel

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 Were I At WorldCon: Part 3

09-05-04: Panels for Sunday;

Why Schedule the same subject at the same time? Official Schedule Here. 

09-05-04: Panels for Sunday, written of on Saturday....

Sunday 10:00 a H305:

Archaeology of the Present

When the dig it all up in the future, what will future generations believe about us based on our tools and possessions?

Susan Born, Victoria McManus, Karl Schroeder (m), S. M. Stirling

[Comment: Always a fun topic and a sterling panel to hear discuss it.]

Sunday 10:00 a H310:

Too Many Ideas?

How much stuff can you stuff in one book? Can there be too many goshwowwhatakeenthing ideas, under any circumstances? How can the trade-offs between difficult material and transparency be balanced? Can readers be given more than they can handle? How can the reluctant reader be coaxed along?

James Cambias (m), Carl Frederick, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Sean McMullen

[Comment: It would be intriguing hearing Grimwood discuss this, since his books are so packed that they're practically -- though very pleasantly -- incomprehensible.]

Sunday 10:00 a H312:

The Best Books of 2004 (so far)

You know those hateful people who somehow keep up with their reading? They're all on this panel. They'll share which current works of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream it's a shame you're missing.

Charles N. Brown, John Clute, Jonathan Strahan (m)

[Comment: Three superstars suggest more reading. Well, I'd be interested to hear what they had to say.]

Sunday 11:00 a H306:

DOA: Books that Died Despite Everything

Well-known author, well-developed plot, thorough marketing plan, yet the book fails to thrive. Why? Did it show too much ambition or too little? Was it old-fashioned, or ahead of its time? Were the stars wrong, or the season, or were we simply coming down with the flu? Let us count all the sad ways good books go bad…Our panel will discuss the phenomenon from multiple viewpoints.

John Jarrold, Jane Jewell (m), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Janna Silverstein, Jonathan Strahan, Jacob Weisman

[Comment: A fascinating topic of vital interest to readers. Great panel. Bring your own favorite failure!]

Sunday 12:00 n H206:

Psychiatric Disorders of the Future

Psychologists seem to be inventing new disorders all the time to justify behavior considered in some way "aberrant" —and defense lawyers hasten to jump on the bandwagon to get their clients off the hook. (Remember the "Twinkie Defense" in which a client was supposedly incapable of rational action after devouring too much junk food?) On the flip side, some old conditions (e.g., homosexuality) are no longer considered psychiatric disorders. Are psychologists gaining better insights into the human psyche, or just getting better insight into the potential market for their services? What has SF contributed to psychological insight? What sort of disorders will be discovered or emerge over the next 50 years?

Michael Rennie, Uncle River, Isaac Szpindel (m), Shane Tourtellotte, Trish Wilson

[Comment: Don't know any of the panelists, but this is a great subject; and mayhaps the panelists might be revealed to be writers of great interest.]

Sunday 12:00 n H302:

The New Weird: What, Who, and Why?

Now that SF has become more mainstream, what has become the new fringe? Who defines what is "weird," and who and what have been declared "weird,"—and why?

Paul DiFilippo, Beth Meacham, Delia Sherman, Graham Sleight (m), Jonathan Strahan, Jeff VanderMeer

[Comment: I thought the new weird was already dead, but, aside from that, a bunch of great writers talk about their writing. Fun!]

Sunday 1:00 p H302:

Stories I'm Too Scared to Write

What makes some topics too frightening to write about? Is one person's bane another's delight?

Ginjer Buchanan (m), Joe Haldeman, Louise Marley, Robert Charles Wilson

[Comment: A fascinating topic for readers and writers.]

Sunday 2:00 p H304:

The Tropes of H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft pioneered a number of now-common themes and settings for horror. Elder gods; mad old magic books; decayed house, towns, cities, civilizations, or characters; and of course slimy, shadowed, unspeakably betentacled forms of an eldritch horror beyond the most lurid imaginings of man…What other concepts just scream Lovecraft, and why are they all such fun? How has Lovecraft continued to influence the genre?

Christopher Cevasco, Jack L. Chalker, Terence Chua, Darrell Schweitzer (m), Jim Young

[Comment: Never too much Lovecraft at a convention. And Terrence is a friend from the Fortean list....]

Sunday 2:00 p H312:

Fantasy Noire

Fantasy doesn't have to be sweetness and light, it can be dark without turning into gore-ridden horror. Who is writing dark fantasy today? Are there several traditions, or does it all derive from Lovecraft? Are there motifs in dark fantasy as pervasive as the Quest is in high fantasy? Has dark fantasy gotten clichéd?

Jim Butcher, Glen Cook, Faye Ringel (m), Delia Sherman

[Comment: A genre of interest, and panelists with great work. Definitely worth your valuable time.]

Sunday 3:00 p H304:

The Catharsis of Myth, The Shock of Invention

(Readercon) In writing or reading fiction, we place a high value on the degree to which the plot unfolds in unexpected ways. But much of the power of myth and fairy tales derives from the way they fulfill our expectations. How do the best works of fantasy reconcile these seeming opposites?

Ellen Datlow, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Daniel Hatch, Elizabeth Anne Hull (m)

[Comment; What's this about "Readerdcon"? Here's a panel about the reading experience, and articulating one's own thoughts on this is certain to improve it -- it's reader-robics!]

Sunday 3:00 p H311:

My Favorite Novels

Panelists will supply a list of their favorite novels, and the audience will try to match the authors to their lists. Then, they'll discuss their choices.

Rosemary Kirstein, Paul Levinson (m), Robert Reed, Robert Charles Wilson

[Comment: What a great idea -- a panel where the audience is encouraged to participate and talk about reading experience. But why programmed at the same time as another reading experience panel? Is this -- panels on the same thing at the same time -- a theme or a series of unfortunate coincidences?]

Sunday 4:00 p H206:

Fandom Online

TMI!!! Personalzines were intimate forms of communications among a small group of acquaintances and friends. Compare and contrast to web pages on line, open to umpty-billion people. Is there too much information out there? Do we really need to know? Or are live journals the next best thing to being there? Noreascon has nearly 100 mailing lists all by itself. Are we drowning in data and lacking in knowledge? Or are we moving from 6 degrees of separation to 2? How do you cope with your electronic in-basket?

Elisabeth Carey (m), Anna Feruglio Dal Dan, Craig Engler, Sharon Sbarsky, James M. Turner

[Comment: Since I'm part of this, I'd like to know what others have to say about it.]

Sunday 5:00 p H304:

The Most Alien Alien?

What makes an alien particularly alien? How can writers evoke a genuine sense of "otherness" in their non-human creations?

Rosemary Kirstein, Steven Popkes, Wen Spencer, Karen Traviss (m), Walter Jon Williams

[Comment: More monsters!]

Sunday 5:00 p H305:

Tolkien vs. Peake

Is it only a twist of fate that Tolkien is popular and Peake is only beloved of a few? What would a fantasy genre based on Peake be like? Would a Peake clone be any less bad than a Tolkien clone? Why would they be in opposition? Would they be?

jan howard finder (m), Greer Gilman, Darrell Schweitzer

[Comment: In a sense there are a number of Peake clones -- well, you could call China one and he might be flattered. I'm a Peake fan myself, so hearing him get a little press in the friggin' "I love the Lord of the Rings more than you!" festival might be relieving.]

Sunday 5:30 p H203:

Teaching SF and Fantasy in the Public Schools

As we all know, genre literature is trivial, worthless, and depraved—and yet, for some reason, it isn't routinely taught in the secondary school English classroom. There are signs that this prejudice is eroding. Our two presenters will talk about a set of online Tolkien lesson plans they designed for Houghton Mifflin, and about the increasing legitimization of SF and fantasy in our public schools.

James Morrow, Kathy Morrow

[Comment: Here's a topic that you might be able to bring home and use. Also, James Morrow is just one hell of a writer.]

Sunday 5:30 p Dalton:

New Categories for the Hugos

Are there really elements of science fiction and/or fandom that are not being recognized by our awards system? Should there be new categories added to the already extensive list of awards that we, as a community, give? Are there existing categories that should be split/changed/removed?

Chris Barkley, Craig Miller, Kevin Standlee (m), Ben Yalow

[Comment: Yeah, well what about a website yes, a website that changes daily and isn’t just an "e-zine" award. They really are different birds, my friends. But how to "prize-ify" that?]