2017-01-11

sovay: (Rotwang)
Starting on Friday, I'll be at Arisia. Usually I try to post my schedule earlier, but this year is what it is.

The Alien in the Alien
Friday 7:00 PM
Steve E. Popkes (m), Dennis McCunney, Sonya Taaffe, Morgan Crooks, Corbin Covault

Many recent sci-fi books have included very alien aliens: creatures whose bodies and thought processes differ dramatically from those of humans—for instance, the Trisolarans in Liu Cixin's Three-Body trilogy and the Presger in Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy. How do authors convey this feeling of difference? What is gained and lost in the story by having aliens that are so far away from humanity?

Reading: Janssen, Silverman, Taaffe
Saturday 11:30 AM
Victoria Janssen, Hildy Silverman, Sonya Taaffe

Reading: Victoria Janssen, Hildy Silverman, and Sonya Taaffe.

In Praise of Unlikeable Characters
Saturday 1:00 PM
Gillian Daniels (m), Lorrie Kim, Maya Garcia, Sonya Taaffe, Ken Schneyer

Bring us your curmudgeons, your cantankerous jerks, your deliberately unlikeable characters of all genders without which the plot might not move so smoothly. Someone's got to do the dirty work, after all. Let's talk about our favorite unlikeable characters in genre fiction, and the purposes they serve.

Traditional Ballad Bingo
Saturday 5:30 PM
Angela Kessler (m), Zoe Madonna, Greer Gilman, Jeremy Kessler, Lynn Noel, Sonya Taaffe

A themed sing wherein attendees take turns performing traditional ballads for the assemblage. Listen carefully to mark your Ballad Bingo cards when you detect such classic tropes as drowning, pregnancy out of wedlock, or murder of a loved one. Cards will be provided. Compete for "valuable" prizes!

Songs of Rudyard Kipling
Saturday 8:30 PM
Lynn Noel (m), Benjamin Newman, Sonya Taaffe, April Grant

Do you enjoy Kipling? Rudyard Kipling wrote a wealth of poems that make excellent songs, as demonstrated by the likes of Peter Bellamy and (especially in filk and SCA circles) Leslie Fish. We'll indulge in a number of them and maybe a few parodies. If you can, bring some to share!

The 100 Year Old Barbed Wire: The Great War & SF
Sunday 1:00 PM
Sioban Krzywicki (m), Greer Gilman, Debra Doyle, Alexander Jablokov, Sonya Taaffe

We are in the midst of the centenary of World War I. The US was not hit badly by it compared to Europe, and in 2017 the centenary of US involvement (6 April 1917) is coming up. How did the war and its aftermath change society and our idea of the future. Could Brave New World or Things to Come or other early classics of speculative fiction been written without the war's impact? Why do so many alternate histories use earlier or later events as a changing point rather than this one?

Speculative Poetry Slam
Sunday 2:30 PM
A.J. Odasso (m), Konner Jebb, Merav Hoffman, Peter Maranci, Sonya Taaffe, Trisha Wooldridge, Julia Rios, MJ Cunniff

Come ready to read your Speculative Poetry and listen to the work of Spec poets from all over the genre.

Grounding Your Audience in a Sensory World
Sunday 7:00 PM
Ken Schneyer (m), Keffy R.M. Kehrli, Ruthanna Emrys, Greer Gilman, Sonya Taaffe

The five senses are appallingly underrepresented in modern fiction. Without sensory information, it's difficult to grab your audience and drag them into your protagonist's body. How do you portray senses other than sight? Can you use it to portray emotion? Where can you scrounge up alternatives for the words see, hear, feel, taste and smell, or "sixth sense" (psychic intuition)? Come learn how to describe your world in all of its glorious, sensory detail.

Another World, Another Time: Untapped Fantasy
Monday 11:30 AM
Cate Hirschbiel (m), James Hailer, Greer Gilman, Leigh Perry, Sonya Taaffe

We love our Medieval, Victorian, and Weird West fantasy, but there are a lot more times and places for magic and other worlds. Our panelists will talk about their favorite authors who went someplace different and what settings require more stories. How can we explore new settings and times while maintaining respect for the people and the cultures that reside there?

Telepathic Comfort Horses and Stranger Things
Monday 1:00 PM
Gordon Linzner (m), Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer, A.J. Odasso, Sonya Taaffe

Stranger Things made a lot of headway on nostalgia, going beyond simple reference and into the filmic and thematic styles of the 80s. Is there room for that in literary SF? Is there a place for the romantic fantasy of the late 80s, the psychedelia or the Mil SF of the 70s? Pulp and Lovecraftery get their love, certainly, but what genre styles do you miss? Who, if anyone, works with these? What can we learn or gain by revisiting the styles of yesteryear?

This schedule is huge and I feel in no way ready for a major convention in three days. Oh, well. Who else will I see there?
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
My poem "The Process" is now online at Mithila Review. I would love to say that it was inspired by the current political climate, but it was written the week before the election and I knew next to nothing about Franz Kafka biographically except for the famous points—Jewish, Prague, TB—and Dora Diamant. I have since read Nicholas Murray's Kafka: A Biography (2004) and Klaus Wagenbach's Kafka's Prague: A Travel Reader (trans. Shaun Whiteside, 1996) and so I know now that he hated the telephone and had nothing against typewriters, but that is not the point of this poem.

The market is a new one for me and I am delighted to have my work in the company of Cixin Liu, Martin Šust, Carlos Hernandez, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Gwendolyn Kiste, Mari Ness, Priya Sharma, and many others. The cover art by Archan Nair is also pretty great.

First published poem of 2017, no complaints.
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