Programme as of September 6th, 2018
Programming is done. The programme grid may be found here, and the panel descriptions are below.
Friday October 5th
A Good Read
Four people each choose a book, the other three read them, and then discuss them all.
Tracy Callison (M), Jeff Heard, Doug Palmer, Maya Chaabra
Return of the Robot
Robots have been with us for a long time, but this last year they've surged back into prominence after having been in a bit of an eclipse in recent years. With Sea of Rust and this year's Hugo nominated short fiction, it's clear they're back. Why? Why now? And why did they go away?
Caroline-Isabelle Caron (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Paul Weimar, Rich Horton
Time Travel and Teens
Why do these things go together so well?
Jo Walton (M), Kari Maaren, Marissa Lingen, Suzanna Hersey
Ask a Scientist!
This is your chance to ask anything you've always wanted to know.
Alison Sinclair (M), Diane Kelly, Michael Mellas, Avi Robinson-Moser, Cora Ames
Saturday, October 6th
Good and Evil
Ada Palmer has offered the thought experiment of a universe where the morally worst act ever was that somebody bought a flavour of ice cream they knew their friend didn't like. Conversely, the Vikings ask the theodicy question backwards: why is there good? Let's consider the space of good and evil and what interesting things we can do with them.
Yves Meynard (M), Ada Palmer, Maria Farrell, Jo Walton, Marissa Lingen
The Future of English
Teresa Nielsen Hayden has said that in the future everyone will think they're speaking English. How is English changing right now, and how is it likely to change in future under pressure of the internet and being everyone's second language?
Emmet O'Brien (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Gretchen McCulloch, Tamara Vardomskaya, Cenk Gökçe
The Scintillation Collection
Remember the collection of short stories we put together for the Kickstarter? We've all read it, let's talk about it!
Caroline-Isabelle Caron (M), Tom Womack, Jonathan Crowe, Gillian Speace
Why you should be reading John M. Ford
World Fantasy award winning author of The Dragon Waiting, Growing Up Weightless, and many other stories and poems and gaming material.
Marissa Lingen (M), Emmet O'Brien, Andrew Plotkin, Lila Garrott, Sarah Emrys
Being a Gatekeeper
Editors, reviewers, anthologists, librarians – how do people become gatekeepers? Do they really have the power we think they have? And how do they feel about their role?
Lila Garrott (M), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Rich Horton, Gillian Speace, Paul Weimar
You Write Funny
Everyone else's writing methods are bizarre: let's compare our own perfectly normal methods.
Jo Walton (M), Max Gladstone, Kari Maaren, Greer Gilman, Kate Heartfield
What Makes the Steerswoman so Great?
An in depth look at Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswoman novels.
Jo Walton (M) Liza Furr, Cenk Gokce, Alison Sinclair, Rosemary Kirstein
Writing a series
A series is as different from a single novel as a novel is from a short story. What are the advantages, disadvantages, pitfalls and triumphs of the series form?
Ruthanna Emrys (M), Rosemary Kirstein, Debra Doyle, Sherwood Smith, Fran Wilde
Where is this passion to remake Lovecraft's universe coming from?
Max Gladstone (M), Alter Reiss, Ruthanna Emrys, Premee Mohamed
So what's a short story anyway?
It's different from a novel, and not just because it's shorter.
Alter Reiss (M), Rich Horton, David Levine, Fran Wilde, Eugene Fischer
Special Saturday Evening Event
Sunday, October 7th
Names and Characters
Characters have to have names, and names are part of worldbuilding, and deeply imbedded in culture. How do we decide on names for our characters that work within our worlds and also for our readers in this world?
A.E. Prevost (M), Debra Doyle, Sherwood Smith, Kate Heartfield, Jim Cambias, David Levine
Our real influences and why we lie
People are always asking us what our influences are, and we all have answers. But it's a very difficult question to answer truthfully, from several different kinds of fear. Let's be honest here.
Jo Walton (M), Ada Palmer, Max Gladstone, Eugene Fischer, Sherwood Smith
What Kind of Art Are Games?
Their own kind. Games have things in common with many other kinds of art, while being their own thing. What makes them different and special, what kinds of things can they do that other arts can not, what do we want them to do, and how do we use them to do those things?
Max Gladstone (M), Jim Cambias, Kristen Hendricks, Andrew Plotkin, Diana Sherman
What Can We Learn From Shakespeare You know, technically.
Jo Walton (M), Ada Palmer, Greer Gilman, Lila Garrott, Patrick Nielsen Hayden
15:00 Linguistic Worldbuilding Language does a lot of the subtle work of worldbuilding in fantasy and science fiction, both repurposing ordinary words and making up words. These kinds of things can make worlds feel more lived in and more concrete. How do we do this, who's doing it well, and how can we do it better?
A.E. Prevost (M), Ada Palmer, Tamara Vardomskaya, Gretchen McCulloch, Greer Gilman
Where are the books like Pandemic?
Pandemic is a game where the players co-operate to cure diseases and save lives, it's often nail-bitingly tense and there are no villains. Are there books about people cooperating and succeeding against the odds?
Jo Walton (M), Rosemary Kirstein, Alison Sinclair, Eugene Fischer, Ruthanna Emrys
Imagining the Future
How can we write science fiction when it's so difficult to imagine the future?
Yves Meynard, Dennis Clark, Ada Palmer, Maria Farrell, Marissa Lingen (M), Jim Cambias