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Boskone 57

Later this month, I’ll be at Boskone! It’s New England’s longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention and always a delight. For more info, visit The Boskone BlogTwitter, and Facebook, and if you want to join me, register here!

Saturday, 15 Feb

12 pm — 100 Years From Now…

The world as we know it has changed dramatically in the last 100 years. How about the next 100? What might everyday life be like a century from now? What technological marvels will the near future bring? What social changes will take place? How about natural and human-made disasters? Overall — where will we be, and how will we get there? Is the Singularity coming? “Day Million”? Or will our grandchildren herd sheep and shiver in the dark?

Allen M. Steele (M), Cadwell Turnbull, Jeffrey A. Carver, Karl Schroeder, Andrea Martinez Corbin

Sunday, 16 Feb

11 am — Adventures in Eco-Fiction

Since the ancient tales of Great Floods, storytellers (like our panelists, for instance) have set their adventurers moving through half-drowned cities, poisoned hills, deserts that eat men, and worlds overgrown by plants. When does a story’s ecology stop being a setting and become a character? How much real science should be behind a good eco-adventure? Can a story be eco-centric without being eco-catastrophic?

Steven Popkes (M), Isadora Deese, Robert V.S. Redick, Kim Stanley Robinson, Andrea Martinez Corbin

12:30 pm — Reading

I will read something to whoever shows up. I may bring treats. I may turn it into a Socratic method examination of what a story is and can be. It’s the last day of con! Anything goes!

Arisia 2020

Once again, I’m going to be at Arisia in Boston, January 17–20! Here’s where you can find me, in addition to extending the WicDiv panel to any time anyone asks me about my feelings:

Saturday, January 18

7 pm — Praise the Dead: The End of WicDiv
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s hit series The Wicked + The Divine took readers into a world where gods were pop stars and pop stars were gods and examined the connections between fandom and hero worship. It was decadent, complicated, hated, loved and now it is over. Did Gillen and McKelvie accomplish what they set out to do? Our panelists are here to praise and bury the book, the characters and maybe even give a shout out to Cam from The Letters Page.
Donna Martinez (m), Beth Barnett, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Tori Queeno, Mark “Justin” Waks

Sunday, January 19

1 pm — Welcome to The Good Place! Everything Is Fine.
For four years, The Good Place has challenged us with its combination of sitcom humor and moral philosophy as it presents a fantastical vision of the afterlife. What does this show do so well to attract so many different types of viewers? What lessons can we learn from it about living our own lives ethically? Or is it all just a big joke?
Andy Hicks (m), Arthur Chu, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Ilene Tatroe, Cadwell Turnbull

Monday, January 20

1 pm — Ray Bradbury at 100: From Green Town to Mars
Ray Douglas Bradbury, who passed away in 2012, would have turned 100 this year. From his first published SFF work at the age of 18, Bradbury was beloved worldwide as the author of The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes, and is perhaps most famous for his masterwork, Fahrenheit 451. He remains one of the most influential figures in American and international genre fiction. We’ll look at his life and legacy.
James Hailer (m), E. C. Ambrose, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Timothy Luz, Sonya Taaffe

Readercon 30

Readercon is one month away!

Readercon is July 11-14 in Quincy, MA, and programming on Thursday night is free. If you want to join me, here’s my schedule!

Friday

11:30 AM – Reading: Andrea Martinez Corbin

Saturday

9:00 PM – Food at the Corner of Fiction and Community
Andrea Martinez Corbin (mod), N.S. Dolkart, Greer Gilman, Michael Swanwick, Sabrina Vourvoulias
Food plays a central role in many cultures and accordingly takes center stage in the work of many speculative fiction writers. How does cuisine help define, or build, a community? How can food be used to communicate important information about a people to the reader? What are some particularly noteworthy examples of the way food can be used to set, or subvert, expectations?

Sunday

11:00 AM – Lloyd Alexander, Existentialist 
C.S.E. Cooney, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Chris Gerwel, Marissa Lingen (mod), Sonya Taaffe
Lloyd Alexander, translator of Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote an existentialist epic fantasy series. As Jesse Schotter writes on Full Stop, “The end of The High King, and Taran’s choice to remain in Prydain… salvage[s] the idea of free will within the deterministic framework of the genre.” How did existentialism influence Alexander’s other work (Time Cat, the Westmark trilogy)? What are other examples of existentialist speculative fiction epics? With the present deconstruction of prophecy-driven epics, how can writers learn from Alexander’s work?

(Please note that I appear to be the Existentialism Expert for this panel, considering I am reading Lloyd Alexander for the first time in preparation. Hooray!)

Boskone 2019

This weekend, I’ll be at Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. Boskone is Feb. 15-17. For more info, visit The Boskone BlogTwitter, and Facebook, and if you want to join me, register here!

Friday, 2/15

4 pm – The Life Cycle of a Book

Most of us just see the finished product on the shelf. However, there are lots of little (and big) steps associated with getting the book to the store. What’s the life cycle of a book, from submission to publication? It’s not as simple as “the author writes it, then the publisher prints it.” What are the direct, indirect, and associated steps involved in the production and publication process — from editing to marketing, selling, reviewing, reprinting, and more?


Saturday, 2/16

4 pm – Social Change and the Speculative World

Speculative fiction prides itself on thinking beyond the box in multiple ways — including socially. However, the real world can have a hard time keeping up. What genre works show how particular social issues can or should be handled? Have any SF/F stories or characters inspired you to take real action?

5 pm – Flash Fiction Slam

Boskone’s Flash Fiction Slam returns! Be one of eleven (11) writers to compete for the title of The Flash, reading your own original fiction — which must tell a complete tale within a 3-minute period. Our expert panel of judges will score your work, and you automatically lose 10 percent for going over your 3-minute time. You may only read your own work. The reader with the top score wins! Sign up before the con by sending an email to program@boskone.org for one of eight (8) reading slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Or sign up onsite at Program Ops in the Harbor Foyer for one of three (3) at-con openings. A waiting list will also be available there.


Sunday, 2/17

1 pm – Exploring Interactive Fiction 101

Twine. Choice of Games. Sub-Q Magazine. Interactive fiction (IF) has come a long way since the ’70s. Now, IF is having a renaissance, with new tools and platforms that make it more accessible to both writers and fans. But do today’s fans know what IF is? Let’s define it, and then discuss it. Where can you find it? How can a writer break into the field? Is it fair to say that traditionally told stories are for passive readers, but IF is for adventurers?


Readercon 29

It’s almost time for Readercon, my first and favorite con! I’m especially excited because this is my first year on programming.

Readercon is July 12-15 in Quincy, and programming on Thursday night is free. For more info, visit their websiteTwitter, and Facebook, and if you want to join me… here’s my little schedule! In between I will be wandering, socializing, and trying not to buy All The Books.

Friday

7:00 PM – From What Mad Universe to Radiance: The Livable Solar System
Andrea Corbin, Jeff Hecht, Kathy Kitts, Sioban Krzywicki, Catherynne M. Valente
The notion of the other planets in the solar system being habitable by humans and/or inhabited by aliens held appeal long after it was known that this wasn’t the case. How do we tell these stories and why? Is reimagining the physics and reality of our own solar system easier than FTL? Or is there a romance about it that is lost in the reality of our universe?

Saturday

8:00 PM – Come find me at the Speculative Boston party! There will be snacks.

Sunday

12:00 PM – It Takes a Village to Raise a Protagonist
Andrea Corbin, Scott Lynch, Nisi Shawl, Graham Sleight, John Wiswell
Conflicts in speculative fiction often tend toward hyperindividualist solutions, but there are other ways to build those stories. Gene Roddenberry and Ray Bradbury both often wrote stories of cooperation in which the community is the protagonist. In Cory Doctorow’s books, long sequences are devoted to the process of achieving consensus. What other stories center collaboration and cooperation, and what are some best practices for writers who want to explore these types of stories?