FogCon is coming up, and with it, me appearing on all the panels ever. Well, not quite all the panels, but near enough. Here’s my schedule.
Charismatic Criminals — Why We Love Them
Whether it’s Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat, Gibson’s Molly Millions, Bester’s Foyle, or Peter O’Donnel’s Modesty Blaise, some criminals are unquestionably charismatic. Who are the most charismatic criminal protagonists not enough people have read? What’s the magic that turns a selfish thug into a charismatic rebel? Are the rules for criminal heroes different for women or minorities? And were there any real-life Robin Hoods, or does that only ever happen in stories?
Fri, 8:00–9:15 pm
The Speculative Fiction Singularity
Once upon a time, one could walk into a group of fans and presume that many of them had read the same things — their Asimov, their Tolkien, their Heinlein. (Or at least so the myth of fandom tells.) Nowadays, there’s no guarantee that if you’ve read Bujold, you’ve read Banks, or that if you’ve read Banks you’ve read Butcher, and that’s without even mentioning Bester, Boucher, Ballard, or Brin — and that’s just one letter. The field has grown so big that it’s not possible to keep a handle on it all; we have hit a cultural equivalent of the Singularity. Are there any overarching authors, or has the so-called canon of speculative fiction fragmented beyond repair? (And if so, is this a bad thing at all?)
Sat, 10:30–11:45 am
(After an incident wherein I was somewhat, er, rude, to the audience last year I vowed no more morning panels ever again ever ever. Apparently that meant “Until they ask me nicely next year.” This could be exciting for all the wrong reasons)
Anarchists! Innnn! Spaaaaace!
Outside of the law can mean outside of the city. The classic justice systems offered exile as an avoidance of fatal sentencing, considering exile equally terminal. But what happens when all of Earth is girded with awareness and broadcasting, how far do you go to find exile? How do you opt out from the water you’re swimming in?
Sat, 1:30–2:45 pm
(Who wants to bet this turns into me ranting about the moral necessity of terraforming Mars?)
Where Do I Hold My Virtual Sit-In?
How does civil disobedience change in the future? Are denial-of-service attacks the new sit-ins, and what does “shaming” mean in a social media era? What new strategies are working now? What new tactics do we see in the future?
Sat, 3:00–4:15 pm
(Who wants to bet I’ll still be ranting about the moral necessity of terraforming Mars?)
Sun, 1:30–2:45 pm
(I will be bringing baked something something. That’s all the prep I plan to do)