Hi Ho, It’s Off to Worldcon I Go

Renovation is a few hours away and I’m ready with my markup of the pocket program.

PANELS I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE

Wednesday 5:00pm 1hr C04
Dr. Demento Special Guest Item
Dr. Demento’s Greatest Hits, including Dare to Stupid, Fish Heads, Dead Puppies Aren’t Much Fun, and Shaving Cream. An audio and visual spectacular.

There will be several programs devoted to Doctor D, this is just the first. Although the good Doctor came to a Loscon years ago he was only there to sign, so I’ve never seen him take the stage before.

Thursday 2:00pm 1hr D05
Short but Containing the World: A Look at Novellas
Novellas (often called simply short novels outside the genre) have been described as long enough to contain the world but short enough to be read in an afternoon. Some of the great works of fiction both in SF and elsewhere are in this form. What makes novellas such a good form and what are some of the best examples.
Gardner Dozois (m), Richard A. Lovett, Robert Reed, Robert Silverberg, Jonathan Strahan

Once again, a generic topic is made compelling by the right mix of panelists

Thursday 4:00pm 1hr A01+6
My Trip to Mars
David D. Levine was part of a group who lived in a simulated Martian environment. Sponsored by the Mars Society, the Mars Desert Research Station gives researchers of all kinds the opportunity to see what exploring Mars could be like.

Having followed the story when he did this, I’ll be interested to hear David speak about it in person.

Friday 1:00pm 1hr A04
Selecting the Best Short Fiction of the Year
The editors discuss how they put together their best of the year anthologies. They look at their philosophies, the results, and the importance of such anthologies. Great Best of the Year series of past years may be used as examples.
Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois, David G. Hartwell (m),Jonathan Strahan

I love power panels that assemble the giants of science fiction, these being some of our most renowned annual anthologists.

Friday 1:00pm 1hr A05
Who is this Robert E. Lee person? How Much Background Information is Really Needed in Historical Fiction
Writers of SF and mysteries based set in historical periods or of alternate histories have to maintain a fine line between supplying enough information that the reader understands the situation but not so much as to insult most of the readers. Does a writer need to explain what Gettysburg was? How about the Little Round Top? How about who Robert E. Lee was?
Walter H. Hunt, Caroline Mullan, John Maddox Roberts, Harry Turtledove (m), Connie Willis

These leading practitioners of alternate history are likely to dispose of the faux question and move onto an alternate topic – isn’t that exactly what we want them to do?

Friday 3:00pm 1hr 30min A01+6
Three Interviews about Charles N. Brown
Charles N. Brown passed away in 2009 just a month before he was announced as a Guest of Honor at Renovation. Charles was recognized for his many contributions to science fiction and fandom, from before the early days of Locus through the present day. Gary K. Wolfe interviews three of Charles’s friends and colleagues from his long life in fandom.
Robert Silverberg, Jonathan Strahan, Connie Willis, Gary K. Wolfe

Some of the Worldcon’s liveliest raconteurs are on this one.

Friday 5:00pm 1hr D03
Post-Modern Fantasy, Epic and Otherwise
There’s been considerable discussion of Fantasy, Fantastika, and Post-Modernism. What is this about, and why is it interesting for those who read, review, or critique present day fantasy?
N. K. Jemisin, William Lexner, Nick Mamatas, Peadar Ó Guilín (m), Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks

I haven’t seen Jemisin on a panel before and after reading her Hugo-nominated novel I’m curious about what she will say.

Saturday 10:00am 1hr A03
SF Physics Myths
The panel looks at scientific misconceptions that authors have inadvertently promoted to the extent that they have become “common knowledge”.
Gregory Benford (m), Michael F. Flynn, Joe Haldeman, Corry L. Lee, Alastair Reynolds

They’ve got me hooked with the premise.

Lastly, I took note of this curiosity —

Saturday 8:00pm 1hr 25min Roma 1
Soul Eater (TV-14)
Three teams, each with a human weapon, must collect the souls of ninety-nine evil humans and one witch to make their human weapon unstoppable.

I’m pretty sure it’s no coincidence that this is scheduled in the same time slot as the Hugo Ceremony.


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3 thoughts on “Hi Ho, It’s Off to Worldcon I Go

  1. I’d love to see the panel on SF Physics Myths — I hope Larry Niven attends, he could re-tell the story of the MIT students at Boskone chanting “The Ringworld is unstable! The Ringworld is unstable!”

    But I’d just like to see what I thought I knew which was right and what I thought I knew which was wrong. That’s part of why my kids and I watch Mythbusters. Did anybody send invitations to attend to anybody from that show, I wonder? Grant Imahara was an R2-D2 operator for Lucasfilm, has posted pictures of himself wearing a Colonial Fleet uniform from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica as a hall costume at a convention, and is now building a TARDIS.

  2. Well, by all accounts Soul Eater is a pretty good show but, well, Anime generally gets short shrift at Worldcon and Sci-Fi conventions in general (there’s a reason why there are dedicated Anime cons). I haven’t watched it myself for reasons which I can describe like this: Watch the music video for The Darkness’ song “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, up until the giant wall of amps appears. Now, imagine the wall of amps being a gigantic set of bookshelves instead. Now, imagine those shelves full of anime DVDs, volumes of manga, and Science Fiction and fantasy novels.

    That would be my backlog.

  3. Were you there, Mike? ‘Twas so crowded I couldn’t be sure.

    Was much fun, I thought–followed by the Killer Bs. Whoosh! The banter tempts one to humor instead of insight…

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