As always, I'm on the road again. This time I'm off to Boskone for a weekend of intellectual adventure. Checking the weather report, however, I discover that we probably won't have the traditional winter blizzard to contend with.
I dunno. It just won't feel the same without being able to sit in the lobby bar, Martini in hand, watching the slow come in and obliterate the city.
Still, one stand up to adversity. Or the lack of it. In any case, here's my schedule:
Understanding the Future Through Hard Science Fiction
Friday 18:00 - 18:50, Marina 1 (Westin)
The driving force in hard science fiction is science that is not just possible, but highly probable at some point in a likely future. What actual predictive value can hard SF claim? What does it tell us about our near- and far-term futures, technologically speaking? Is it safe to assume that if we can dream it, future scientists can build it? And even if they can: should they? Finally, what line should be drawn between science and fiction, if any?
Vincent Docherty (M) Frank Wu, Dr. Martin Elvis (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), Jon Singer, Michael Swanwick
Great Novels That Don't Work
Saturday 10:00 - 10:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Which marvelous masterpieces of science fiction, fantasy, or horror don’t really measure up? Why? Do they feature faults that genre fans forgive more readily than regular readers? Did these stories get sprinkled with plot hole dust by the That Don't Work Fairy? Are they still great, in spite of not working? Or even—as in the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, where flaws perfect the whole—because they don’t work?
Grady Hendrix (M),Allen M. Steele, Bracken MacLeod, Michael Swanwick, Brianna Wu
Developing Future Histories
Saturday 13:00 - 13:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Is it still possible to write a future history? Is it still worthwhile? How do you build a future history, anyway? How about alternate futures based on alternate pasts? Let's dive into the great what-ifs and maybes of tomorrow!
Mark Olson (M), Dr Jonathan McDowell (Center for Astrophysics, Harvard and Smithsonian), David B. Coe/ D.B. Jackson, Sharon Lee (Liaden Universe), Michael Swanwick
Slightly Subversive Fantasy
Saturday 16:00 - 16:50, Harbor I (Westin)
In the words of Ursula Le Guin, "Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art — the art of words." Arguably, science fiction and fantasy are at their very hearts genres of subversion, challenging the status quo. Let's talk about the art of subversion, and how we as artists and readers support and promote social change through the creation of ideas and the power of imagination.
Paul Di Filippo (M), Walter Jon Williams (Word Domination, Ltd.), Jeffrey Ford, Michael Swanwick, Suzanne Palmer
From Book to the Silver Screen
Sunday 11:00 - 11:50, Harbor I (Westin)
What actually happens when a novel is picked up and made into a film? It doesn't always turn out the way readers, viewers, or the original writer imagines. From characters to plot changes, the act of adaptation has the potential to transform key elements of the story. So how can authors stay involved in the process, when should they step away, and what should fans expect?
Holly Black, Charlaine Harris, , Michael Swanwick, Rajnar Vajra (M)