Saturday, July 24, 2010

The last ApolloCon 2010 roundup

"Sex, the Young Adult, and the YA novel". Unlike some other panels on sex in science fiction or fantasy that had been known to turn rowdy and funny, this was a rather tame, academic discussion of Young Adult fiction in general. Like 80% of panels, it either didn't have enough material to stay on topic, or the panelists lacked interest for the same. "Twilight" was only referred to as "the series that shall not be named".

Amy Sisson shared this: one of her students thought C. S. Lewis' Narnia books were written for entertainment only, but Harry Potter was written to teach lessons about the world.

Melanie Miller Fletcher, Lee Thomas, K. Hutson Price, Amy Sisson and Rosemary Clement-Moore

Melanie Miller Fletcher, Lee Thomas, K. Hutson Price, Amy Sisson and Rosemary Clement-Moore

"Marked for life: Body Mods in Spec Fic". Like so many other panels, it did not analyze speculative fiction so much as discuss low-hanging fruit such as tramp stamps. The only attempt to extrapolate into the future was a mention of LED tattoos. Also, somebody remembered reading that somebody is developing an ink in small microcapsules that is extremely sensitive to certain wavelengths of light, so those tattoos will be easy to remove. Gabrielle Faust said there's watch being developed that can be implanted in the wrist: the skin would scar around the wrist, and the digits would be visible under the skin. Personally, I would like to know, who are people that still wear wristwatches? With cellphones and all of our gadgets telling time, isn't wristwatch going the way of horse-drawn carriage?

A little more interesting was the idea that more and more people will proudly display their medical devices as body mods. One of the panelists' son has a shunt in his brain, directed into his leg, because his brain doesn't drain properly. The boy thinks it's cool, because it's a body mod.

Gabrielle Faust, Lawrence Person, Amy Sisson, and Cathey Osborne

Gabrielle Faust, Lawrence Person, Amy Sisson, and Cathey Osborne

"Science Fiction Civil Rights Scorecard". Unfortunately, nothing was said on this panel that I had not already heard. Most of the discussion time was spent on lamenting how "brown" characters become white on book covers, or in movie and TV show adaptations. Lee Thomas also pointed out that some writers are so uncomfortable writing about gay characters, that they make them indistinguishable from straight.

"Through a Lens Darkly: Why are so many current Spec Fic movies so darn dark and depressing?". Stina has said more on this panel in her blog (http://stinabat.livejournal.com/236628.html), but I'll add a couple more points that caught my attention.

Lou Antonelli says that the grim future, promised so many times, hasn't come true so far; for example, Japan, a country that was nuked twice in world War 2, came back stronger than ever, and enjoys a higher standard of living than the West. So Antonelli wonders if dystopia trend merely reflects Western concern about the decline of Western civilization. (Stina says "yes".)

David B. Carr thinks post-apocalyptic novels or movies appeal to people mainly because everybody secretly identifies with the survivors. In most of those scenarios only a few selected people survive, and fans of such movies may be unconsciously thinking that (a) that most of the humanity should die, and (b) they would be among the chosen few who would survive. That's not have a very generous opinion of the fans of this genre, but there may be a grain of truth in it.

Bennie Grezlik, David B. Carren, Lou Antonelli, Lawrence Person and Stina Leicht

Bennie Grezlik, David B. Carren, Lou Antonelli, Lawrence Person and Stina Leicht

Pictures from ApolloCon 2010 are in my photo gallery.

1 comment:

David A. Bedford said...

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