Thursday, August 18, 2011

ArmadilloCon 2011 panels I want to see

Here are the panels I want to see at this year's ArmadilloCon (August 26-28). In square brackets are my comments on why I'm interested in that particular panel. The ones in bold are must-see for me. Well... as must-see as can be after going for a decade to a convention where pretty much all the same people are on panels year after year, and you more or less know what they are going to say. Fortunately, guests of honor can liven things up.


Fr1600SB Welcome to ArmadilloCon
Fri 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Sabine
S. Bobo, B. Denton*, J. Juday, K. Meschke, W. Spencer
Our panelists will talk about the essential elements of sf cons in general and ArmadilloCon in particular. Learn about all the can't-miss events you should attend to get the most out of our con.

[ Brad Denton usually brings barbecue, and Scott Bobo brings martinis, right? ]


Fr1700SB Introduction to SF/F Fandom
Fri 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Sabine
B. Crider, F. Duarte*, A. Jackson, M. Walsh, P. Wells
Learn about all the aspects of organized science fiction fandom. By the end you'll be able to use fannish jargon like filk, BNF, BEM, and more!

[ I have been in science fiction fandom for many years, but haven't participated in an organized way, my on-and-off FACT membership notwithstanding. Maybe I should hear about the wonders of organized fandom.]

Fr1900T Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Trinity
L. Anders, P. Bacigalupi, E. Bull, F. Duarte, Ma. Finn*, J. Juday, W. Shetterly, C. Siros, V. Villafranca
This formally kicks off the con. Get introduced to the con's major guests. Afterward attend the Meet the Pros party.

Fr1930A Meet the Pros Party
Fri 7:30 PM-9:30 PM Plaza Area
Here's an opportunity to meet your favorite author or artist.

Fr2000T Building a Fictional Society from the Ground Up
Fri 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Trinity
P. Bacigalupi, E. Bear*, A. Latner, A. Marmell, J. Reisman, M. Wells
A discussion of worldbuilding in sf/f.

[ Must attend it because Paolo Bacigalupi, the writer Guest of Honor, is in it. But I've seen so many worldbuilding panels, they occupy a sizeable section of my blog, and they all blur together ].


Fr2000SM How Would an Alien Presence on Earth Affect Our Society?
Fri 8:00 PM-9:00 PM San Marcos
A. Jackson, K. Kimbriel, A. Martinez*, P. Jones, B. Mahoney, B. Yansky
A classic "what if" scenario discussed by a panel of writers and scientists.

[ If only Paolo Bacigalupi was in this one! But at every con there are at least two panels I want to see at the same time. This year, it's "Building a Fictional Society" and this one. ]


Sa1000SA Stump the Panel: Make Up an SF/F Use for an Everyday Object
Sat 10:00 AM-11:00 AM San Antonio
B. Foster, M. Muenzler, J. Nevins*, J. Reisman, F. Summers
The audience supplies the items, and the panel provides the imagination.

[ Maybe? Stump the Panel has been getting less and less funny over the years, and completely fizzled out last year. ]

Sa1100SA Imagining a World without Fossil Fuels
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon San Antonio
P. Bacigalupi, M. Bey, J. Blaschke*, M. Cardin, D. Chang, K. Stauber
Discussing the implications of this all-too-plausible scenario.

[ Well, Paolo Bacigalupi will be in this one, and he has created quite an interesting post fossil-fuel world in "The Windup Girl", so it's worth seeing just for that. ]

Sa1400SA Writing a Strong Female Protagonist
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM San Antonio
A. Allston, E. Bull, A. Downum, J. Kenner*, T. Mallory, M. Wells
The challenges of writing a tough-yet-relatable heroine.

[ Maybe? Very little writing advice seems new to me anymore. But having heard it all doesn't mean I know how to apply it -- that only comes with practice. So perhaps there isn't much point in going to such panels. ]

Sa1600SA What You Should Have Read in 2010-2011
Sat 4:00 PM-5:00 PM San Antonio
E. Bear, M. Muenzler, J. Nevins*, W. Siros, T. Wagner
Our annual rundown of the year's best.

[ I always go to this one, and repost the list on my blog -- in fact, this is one of the very few events when people *ask* for the URL of my blog. ]

Sa1700T Fannish Feud
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Trinity
L. Anders, P. Bacigalupi, S. Bobo, E. Bull, S. Cupp, F. Duarte, Ma. Finn*, W. Shetterly, V. Villafranca, M. Walsh, P. Wells
Come see our Fans vs. Pros game show event.

[ I have never seen a Fannish Feud -- let's make this a year when I'll finally see one. ]

Sa1900T What is the Next Big Literary Movement in Texas SF/F?
Sat 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Trinity
L. Antonelli, J. Blaschke, R. Eudaly, K. Stauber, D. Webb*, L. Thomas
In the 80s and 90s, Texas writers were intimately involved with the cyberpunk movement. Is there a current movement that's about to sweep up the new crop of Lone Star authors?

[ Maybe? I heard of most Texas SF/F authors, and have checked out the ones that sounded interesting, but perhaps I'll find a new reason to check out some of the rest?

Sa2000T Wiscon and Elizabeth Moon: What Happened and What Can We Learn from It?
Sat 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Trinity
E. Bull*, S. Leicht, S. Lynch, L. Person, C. Rambo, L. Thomas
Elizabeth Moon was invited and announced as Guest of Honor for the 2011 Wiscon, but the invitation was withdrawn following a noteworthy blog post she wrote. What were the issues, and was the situation handled appropriately? How do we avoid similar situations?

[ I didn't find Elizabeth Moon's notorious rant offensive, even though I, as an immigrant, should have been among those who were offended by it. Parts of it, though, rubbed me the wrong way. Honestly, I have long forgotten about it, but mmm... fandom drama! Must hear the juicy details! ]

Sa2200SA Is the Singularity Possible?
Sat 10:00 PM-11:00 PM San Antonio
J. Gibbons*, A. Latner, M. Maresca, A. Simmons, K. Stauber
Hard sf writers such as Vernor Vinge have long speculated that someday machine intelligence will outpace that of humans. Recently some writers including Charles Stross have suggested that this is impossible. Our panelists discuss.

[ While I doubt the panelists will cover ground that wasn't already covered by Vernor Vinge in this ArmadilloCon 2003 panel, or by an AI researcher and a president of the Singularity Institute in this SXSW 2011 panel, still... I simply can't resist anything with S-word in it! ]

Sa2300T Ghost Stories
Sat 11:00 PM-Midnight Trinity
S. Allen, S. Johnson, J. McDermott, N. Southard*, W. Spencer, D. Webb
Want to hear something really scary? Our panelists tell their favorite ghost stories.

[ This should be plain fun. ]


Nothing really must-see until 1 p.m., and then only a couple of panels of mild-to-moderate interest to me.

Su1300SB Harry Potter Movies: A Look Back
Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Sabine
R. Clement-Moore, F. Duarte*, Ma. Finn, J. Kenner
Now that the movies are over, let's discuss the series for a final time and see how it measured up to the books.

[I'm fond of Harry Potter books and movies, so why not?]


Su1300SM Finding Your Voice as a Storyteller
Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM San Marcos
N. Barrett, J. Blaschke*, S. Brust, A. Downum, W. Spencer, S. White
The most fun writers to read are those with distinctive narrative voices. How does a writer develop one?

[ Again, I've heard most writing advice, so I'm not sure it's worth it. ]

Su1400SA Writing from a Viewpoint Other than Your Own
Sun 2:00 PM-3:00 PM San Antonio
A. Allston, J. Lansdale, S. Leicht, A. Martinez*, W. Shetterly
How does a writer approach a viewpoint character of a different gender, religion, ethnicity, age, or moral code?

[ This could be very interesting if it goes beyond the obvious and the platitudes. It's just that panels about difficult things (and I think writing a viewpoint character of a different background is very difficult) often doesn't go beyond stating that it's hard and you just have to figure it out yourself. :-) ]

No comments: