I tried writing this post in the WordPress app, because Apps are the Wave of the Future of course, but when I clicked *publish*, the app said “a scheduling error has occurred” and promptly ate my entire post. On the one hand, rassum frassum. (Which I had to wrestle with Autocorrect to properly type, it seems to think I really want to say “reassume Crassus.” I’m not entirely certain what that means.) On the other hand, I’m realizing just how long it’s been since a device just up and ate my words like that. Time marches on, I suppose. The question is, in what direction?
Cutting to the point: I’ll be in Boston and Detroit in Official Public Person capacity in the next two weeks! Come see me and hang out and stuff!
Arisia! Boston, MA (Waterfront Westin), Jan 15-19
I’ll be at the con Saturday and Sunday at least, and helping out at the Choice of Games booth. Sah hello if you’re in the neighborhood!
Saturday, 5:30 pm
Cultural Assumptions in SF/F – Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Burroughs (3E)
Recent novels such as The Three Body Problem, The Grace of Kings, and Throne of the Crescent Moon join other works that challenge the cultural assumptions behind mainstream (American and English) science fiction and fantasy. How are these genres being reimagined beyond just making the space cowboys swear in Mandarin?
John Chu (m), Max Gladstone, Crystal Huff, Kiini Ibura Salaam, John Scalzi
Sunday, 11:30 am
Steven Universe: We’ll Always Find a Way – Media, Panel – 1hr 15min – Burroughs (3E)
Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe has been a breakout hit for Cartoon Network. The first series on the network created by a woman, it tells powerful, funny, and moving stories in tiny doses, and has dealt uncompromisingly with issues around gender, childhood, and family in ways both unexpected and delightful. It’s also telling a great long-form adventure story. We’ll talk about all elements of this show in a panel that, like the show itself, will appeal to fans of all ages.
Cassandra Lease (m), Gillian Daniels, Max Gladstone, Juliet Kahn, Cody Mattes
Sunday, 4:00 pm
Pratchett and His Death – Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Burroughs (3E)
Terry Pratchett, tragically lost to us this year, had a unique relationship with Death. Over the course of his Discworld novels, he created a Death who felt like a friend. Death winds through the books with a sense of comfort, showing us that we should not be afraid, we’re merely starting on a different journey. At this panel, we’ll discuss Death and the other great characters and works of Pratchett.
Christopher Davis (m), Vikki Ciaffone, Max Gladstone, Sharone Horowit-Hendler, A.J. Odasso, Sarah Smith
Sunday, 7:00 pm
Surviving Manliness: Detoxifying Masculinity – Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Marina 2 (2E)
Harry Dresden, James Bond and the Winchester brothers seem to suffer more from a kind of toxic masculinity than they do from their antagonists. Many characters who suffer from their manliness seem mired in the same mistakes over and over. This panel is about characters who find a healthier path. What stories and characters provide examples we can use to find a different path in a time of changing expectations on all people, regardless of gender expression?
Erik Amundsen (m), William Ian Blanton, Max Gladstone, Daniel José Older, Sarah Weintraub
Confusion, Novi MI, Jan 22-25
Friday, 7:00 pm
Mass Tor author signing and tomfoolery! A grand slate of Tor books authors will be signing at the Livonia Barnes & Noble at 111 Haggerty Road in Northville, MI—John Scalzi, VE Schwab, Greg Van Eekhout, Wes Chu, Susan Doyle, yours truly… You can come to this event even if you’re not a member of the convention, so drop on by! We’ll have a grand time.
Saturday, 10:00 am
The Fiction of Political SF – Leelanau
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 interesting to readers?
Kameron Hurley, Patrick Tomlinson, Justin Landon (m), Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
Saturday, 2:00 pm
Beyond the Hero’s Journey – Charlevoix
Joseph Campbell wrote about the hero’s journey in 1949 and it has become the default character arc of western writers for the past sixty years. But, there are many human experiences beyond heroism as narrowly defined by Campbell. What narrative types exist beyond the Hero’s Journey? And why aren’t they more widely used?
Cameron McClure, Brian McClellan, Max Gladstone, Miriam Weinberg (M), Paul Kemner
Saturday, 4:00 pm
Saturday, 5:00 pm
Generations of Genre – Isle Royale
For one reader, “traditional fantasy” is pre-Tolkienian, pre-genre, sui-generis works; for another, it’s Forgotten Realms and David Eddings. Equally, for one reader The Hunger Games is a young adult dystopia, while for another it’s science fiction. Can the evolution of such terms be mapped onto changing demographics — is there such a thing as GenX fantasy, or Baby Boomer science fiction? And do any terms retain their currency, and describe common ground across generations?
Laura Resnick, Steve Buchheit, Lynne M. Thomas, Max Gladstone (M), Stina Leicht
Saturday, 6:00 pm
It’s the Economy, Stupid! – Leelanau
National economies are complicated. Far more complicated than Dark Lords and Evil Queens. Nevertheless, books like James SA Corey’s The Expanse series and Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor manage to use economic pressures to create compelling motivations and narrative tension. What are the essential parts for a story built around economics? What’s appealing about these kinds of stories and do the resonate more today than they did a decade ago?
Carl Engle-Laird, Max Gladstone, Kameron Hurley, Ann Leckie, Brent Weeks
And that’s all, folks! I look forward to seeing some of you in the next few weeks.