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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Arisia programming! 
23rd-Sep-2013 11:35 am
Brain worms
Once again, there's almost nothing remotely usable in the Arisia brainstorming forums, and thus I must once again pull an entire track of literature programming out of my ass. This week.


So once again I call upon you! What literature panels would you like to see at Arisia? What are your thoughts on genre work and authors? Please comment here or e-mail me with titles and panel descriptions (I get a maximum of 500 characters for description, FYI). Any help would be good - as you know, I've kinda had a lot going on the past few months, and I'm not as in the loop with, well, anything as I want to be.
23rd-Sep-2013 03:50 pm (UTC) - If you're feeling brave
I'd love to see someone seriously take on the overlap of games and literature. Hopefully with something more sophisticated than the Yes/No of whether or not games are literature, and rather asking questions like "What kinds of stories are told well in games? What do we make of so-called 'literate' games? What do we make of emergent-story games (of which I can think of only two right now, Google's Ingress and Eve Online)?

I realize I'm saying "games" and meaning "computer games" but that's because I don't know anything about the tabletop genre of storytelling/literary games.
23rd-Sep-2013 04:16 pm (UTC) - Re: If you're feeling brave
That would be an excellent fit for the Gaming Track; send it to Andy! :)
23rd-Sep-2013 03:54 pm (UTC) - here are some ideas I submitted for WisCon
"Found Families in Speculative Fiction"
A lot of fans find a home/family in fandom. Found families are also a common theme in specfic, both written and in tv shows such as Farscape and Star Trek. What narrative and thematic purposes can found families serve? How does this trope resonate with other themes present in speculative fiction?

"Bring on the MPREG"
Male pregnancy is a common theme in fanfiction, and a great deal of it (perhaps most of it) is written by women. How is pregnancy and its outcome portrayed for men, through a female lens? How does this sub-genre comment on gender relations and reproductive issues within our society? Are issues raised that would not be discussed in relation to female pregnancy? Is some of the genre simply inspired by a wish to see a man suffering through morning sickness and labor? Aside from the tv version of "Alien Nation," are there examples of MPREG in mainstream speculative fiction?

"Omegaverse Slash Fanfiction and Feminism"
An entire sub-genre of fanfiction involves a world in which reproductive behavior is biologically directed and very hierarchical. How might this type of fiction be related to current debates about feminism and reproductive rights in the United States? Or is it just a kink that some people enjoy reading about? There is some omegaverse femslash - how does it differ (or not) from male/male omegaverse slash? http://fanlore.org/wiki/Alpha/Beta/Omega

"I Want My Animal Companion - Or Do I?"
Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, etc. - soul-bonding to an animal companion can be a powerful element in speculative fiction. How can this type of animal companion be compared and contrasted thematically with human-linked animals in Philip Pullman's THE GOLDEN COMPASS and Lauren Beukes' ZOO CITY?
23rd-Sep-2013 04:02 pm (UTC) - more thoughts
--Female authors, male point-of-view characters

--Media tie-in novels: literary challenges of writing them, how they fit into the history of the specfic genre

--Babies in fantasy: children don't usually turn up on epic quests unless the book is aimed at children. Is this because of practical concerns? Why is the dwarf never pregnant?

--Futuristic foods - the so-so, the bad, and the really yummy

--How Telepathic Union is and is not like sex

--The Outcasts Take Over as a plot for fantasy novels

--Galaxy-spanning empires: what would they need to really be viable? Could they operate without instantaneous communications?

--Models for Space Empires: Roman empire, European colonialists, American corporations

--Generation ships! What issues can be explored in these microcosmic societies?

24th-Sep-2013 11:54 am (UTC) - Re: more thoughts
Descriptions, please!
(Deleted comment)
24th-Sep-2013 11:54 am (UTC)
Can you write me up a thing on the space opera idea?

JJ peeing is more MediaTrack - will direct Adam here. He could do a good panel on adaptations...
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Sep-2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
That was actually the first panel I put in, way back in the dawn of Arisia '14 planning. :) Timing is noted!
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24th-Sep-2013 02:14 am (UTC)
There was an author who had awesome ideas about immigration and writing and I think it was submutted things for Wiscon but I'll have to look it up later. I'd like to see those or ones like them please?
24th-Sep-2013 11:53 am (UTC)
...I would have no way of knowing who this person is, and I have no access to Wiscon's suggestions e-mail account...
24th-Sep-2013 04:42 am (UTC)

  • Anything about genre boundaries.

  • SFF as an ongoing conversation.

  • SFF as commentary on other SFF.

  • Any panel on Le Guin, for any reason.

  • Time travel and the quest for redemption.

  • We have met the alien, and he is us.

  • There's the here-and-now, and then there's everything else: mainstream literature as a subset of SFF.

  • Cat's Cradle at fifty.

  • The witch is really a mathematician: Glory Road at fifty.

  • "Kirinyaga" at twenty-five.

  • What remains unsaid: literary allusion in SFF.

  • The legacy of Astounding/Analog (marking the 75th anniversary of the start of Campbell's tenure as editor

  • No longer a place to hide? SFF takes its place in the mainstream.

These are all the ones I could think of off the top of my head. I can't remember: is "literature" separate from "craft of writing"? Because I could rattle off a dozen of those easily.
24th-Sep-2013 11:52 am (UTC)
Write up descriptions! :)
24th-Sep-2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
With the grain of salt that I haven't yet been to Arisia...

- Worlds with unexceptional queerness--some speculative fiction represents queer people/relationships as just a part of life. Are these more common in some subgenres than others? What helps this seem believable, and not just "we all woke up and nobody was homophobic"? Discuss variations in method, talk up your favorites, and daydream where you'd love to see more of this. (Could also include poly relationships?)

- Resources for international speculative fiction--Many people want to read more speculative fiction that isn't from the USA, but it can be hard to know where to start looking. Come share your favorite authors, lists, websites, etc., or just show up and take copious notes.

- Current trends in non-dystopian YA SF--The Summer Prince, Across the Universe, and Starglass are just a few of the recent YA SF publications that are substantially non-dystopian. Who's reading them? What do they have in common with--or how are they different from--the SF in similar settings written for adults? (Space opera, near future...) For that matter, what do they borrow from YA dystopia? And what are some upcoming books in this area that we're anticipating?

- Speculative historical documents, historical documents as SF/F--Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. A Natural History of Dragons. The Blazing World. Novum Organum. Are the recent crop of speculative "historical documents" convincing as history? As speculative fiction? How about the fact that plenty of historical documents, especially about natural philosophy, read as "speculative" to modern Western eyes? Can we read these two genres across one another, and what happens if we do?
(nb: that Long Hidden anthology's release date? Would be interesting to include in the conversation.)

That's all I have for now, I think.
24th-Sep-2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
(Ha! I wasn't paying attention to the character count and was sure I'd gone over on some of them, but apparently I didn't. Go me.)
25th-Sep-2013 02:27 am (UTC)
Whither the Midlist Author?

In previous decades, there were plenty of science fiction and fantasy authors who were fun to read, wrote regularly enough, but were not anywhere near to New York Times best-sellers. Has the midlist disappeared, or are there some authors near and dear who make a decent living but still fly under the radar despite the quality of their writing?

Reading--With Soundtracks

Have you ever read a short story or a poem and thought, "You know, there are some songs that would be awesome background music for this!" Listen to our readers while the music plays!
(This should be for short stories or sets of poems only)

Love Love Evolution!

Historical love stories are mostly set around the plot of Boy Meets Girl, usually with the Boy impressing or saving the Girl to win her. There are many more variations than this in SFF. We'll go over various versions that work, a few that don't, and where to find them.

(This is all I can do on serious sleep dep. I hope at least one of them is usable)
26th-Sep-2013 04:43 pm (UTC) - one more
"100 Years of Mordor" 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One. This panel looks at the war's speculative fiction legacy, for exmaple, Tolkien's fantasy version of No Man's Land in Mordor, and the theme of lost innocence.
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