PiCon is August 20-22 in Enfield, CT.
6:00pm: The Alien Mind. How do you construct a character or culture that thinks in a fundamentally different way from you? What are some examples of truly convincing aliens? Can a reader be truly sympathetic to a character with a fundamentally different way of seeing the world? Robert Sawyer, George Claxton, Shira Lipkin.
7:00pm: Myths, Legends, and Folklore. What common threads in folklore and fairy tales do we enjoy seeing over and over, and how do we change them to fit our current society? Many themes from the old tales do not still apply, so which ones do, and how do we change the ones that don't? KT Pinto, Shira Lipkin, Vikki Rose.
10:00pm: Beyond Physics: The Many Science of Science Fiction. While a lot of speculative fiction is still very focused on physics, speculation can come from any field of study, including anthropology, computer science, psychology, and history. A discussion of some of the more unusual ways that science fiction has chosen to examine the human condition. Robert Sawyer, Justine Graykin, Shira Lipkin, Vikki Rose.
11:00am: Identity Politics and Fandom. There has been an increasing discussion of how we as sci-fi fans deal with members of identity groups, such as women or people of color. How does this discussion affect diversity at conventions? David Sklar, George Claxton, Shira Lipkin, Kate Farb-Johnson.
12:00pm: Poly Families. Let's get past flirting with each other for a few minutes and talk about the long-term ramifications of being poly: namely, building family, blending households, and raising kids. Jen Melchert, Elayna Jade, Shira Lipkin, Michael Whitehouse.
8:00pm: Fandom Mediation Sessions. This is a template for a series of panels. Essentially, the idea is to ask some panelists to take a side and debate the relative merits of their side and/or discuss whether we can all just get along. Ideas for specific panels: Ninjas v. Pirates, Cyberpunk v. Steampunk, Vampires v. Werewolves, Elves v. Dwarves. Elayna Jade, Genevieve Eldredge, George Claxton, Julia Burton.
11:00am: Reading. A full hour split between me and Elayna as we see fit.
12:00pm: Young Adult Fiction. What makes a work of fiction more or less appealing to young adults than the rest of us? How does the publishing process differ for YA fiction? What YA books do you recommend for young folks and for older folks? Elayna Jade, Julia Burton, Vikki Rose, Shira Lipkin.