Please note that all program items are subject to last minute changes due to factors beyond our (and the participants’) control. We will endeavor to keep these pages updated, and will post any changes to the main blog.
10:00 AM Crystal Room Why Steampunk Now?
Steampunk is not only hugely popular right now but it is also a bit of an oddity in that it is simultaneously a literary sub-genre, a style of fashion, and a social movement. What interests and cultural concerns is Steampunk addressing and why has it become popular so many years after its original invention?
Deborah Biancotti (moderator), Liz Gorinsky, Michael Swanwick, Ann VanderMeer, Nisi Shawl
10:00 AM Gold Room The Academic Treatment of Fantasy and Horror
How has it changed things in the past ten years? Has the effect been positive for readers? What about writers? And what have been the reasons for the change?
Chett Breed (moderator), David Bratman, Catherine Schaff-Stump, Darrell Schweitzer, Jacob Weisman
10:00 AM Garden Room Reading: Philippa Jane Ballantine
10:30 AM Garden Room Reading: Kij Johnson
11:00 AM Crystal Room Know the Soup You’re In
Our artist Guest of Honor will present a general lecture and slide show on the creative process for artists and writers.
11:00 AM Gold Room The Role of Religion in Contemporary Fantasy
Religion has two roles in fiction. First, there is the place that religion holds in the context of the story and second, there is the way the readers perception of the work is effected by religion, both their own and that of their society. What works make noteworthy use of the first role and how was that shaped by the second role?
Jay C. Hartlove (moderator), Julie C Andrijeski, Robert Silverberg, Randy Smith, Zoran Živković
11:00 AM Garden Room Reading: Jeffrey Ford
11:30 AM Garden Room Reading: Greg van Eekhout
12:00 PM Crystal Room When People Confuse the Author with Their Work
“Every book has a writer … You know that someone is telling you this story. And you think you know a little bit about this person. Very often the person who’s writing that book is not the author.” — John Crowley, in interview.
Even in a third-person narrative, it can be a mistake to think that the sense of the narrator we feel as readers is an actual reflection of the authors as they see themselves. What’s this like for the author, to adopt a persona (directly or indirectly) they feel is foreign to their own? Great sport, or a little scary? Do such masques actually reflect something deeper that isn’t foreign at all? What happens when the adopted voice has distasteful elements?
Mark Joseph Ferrari (moderator), Scott Edelman, Ellen Kushner, Garth Nix, Tim Powers
12:00 PM Gold Room Improv Story Telling
Toastmaster Jay Lake and friends are going to tell you as story, round-robin style. And none of them know how it’s going to end but they promise you’re going to laugh.
Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, David D. Levine
12:00 PM Garden Room Reading: Patricia McKillip
12:30 PM Garden Room Reading: Saladin Ahmed
1:00 PM Crystal Room Urban Fantasy as Alternate History
If vampires, ghosts or werewolves have always existed or if magic works, then the effect on history could be extensive. And yet, much Urban Fantasy ignores these possible effects. A discussion of how things would be different if things were . . . different.
L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (moderator), Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Paul Park, Michael Swanwick, Bill Willingham
1:00 PM Gold Room Are Homosexual Characters Past Notice?
It’s been observed that a group has become truly accepted in society when society no longer notices them as a group per se. Has the portrayal of homosexuality in fantasy reached that point in the eyes of the current readership or is it still something worthy of comment in it’s own right?
Nancy Jane Moore (moderator), Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Grá Linnaea, Malinda Lo, Doselle Young
1:00 PM Garden Room Reading: Peter Straub
1:30 PM Garden Room Reading: Ellen Klages
2:00 PM Crystal Room What We Read Just for Fun
Our panel of guests will talk about the books that they read just for fun. The books and authors that they might not want to admit to and yet still might want to recommend.
Jeff VanderMeer (moderator), Richard Lupoff, Garth Nix, Michael Swanwick, Zoran Živković
2:00 PM Gold Room Coarse Dialog and Graceful Description – The Balancing Act
How does the writer balance dialog that is matched to their characters with evocative and literary narration? Or should one try to do so at all? Should characters use a modern vocabulary and sentence structure or does this impede the suspension of disbelief and reduce the sense of wonder? Obviously there are no hard and fast “correct” answers but what are some of the factors that an author considers relative to these questions?
Deanna Hoak (moderator), James Frenkel, Guy Gavriel Kay, Ellen Kushner, Patricia McKillip
2:00 PM Garden Room Reading: Michael Allen Shea
2:30 PM Garden Room Reading: Brendan Connell
3:00 PM Crystal Room F&SF Turns Sixty
This month marks the sixtieth anniversary of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. How did this magazine come to occupy a niche in our field and why has it endured? What has it meant to the development of the F/SF genres and how has it been significant to our field? Where are the bodies buried? Hear our panelists discuss the magazine’s history and consider what lies ahead for it.
Gordon Van Gelder (moderator), Grania Davis, Nancy Etchemendy, Richard Lupoff, Pat Murphy
3:00 PM Gold Room Notable Books of the Year
What were the outstanding works of 2009 and 2008?
Annalee Newitz (moderator), Justin Ackroyd, Jo Fletcher, Liza Groen Trombi, Tom Whitmore
3:00 PM Garden Room Reading: N. K. (Nora) Jemisin
3:30 PM Garden Room Reading: Jay Lake
4:00 PM Crystal Room The End of the World
Horror exists on two scales — the small, personal fear of the ghost story or the monster under the bed (as exemplified by writers like Poe, MR James and Ramsey Campbell) and the grand scale of truly cosmic horror and the end of the world as we know it (as practiced by Lovecraft, James Herbert, and at times Stephen King and Graham Masterton). What are the separate attractions of each sort and why does the popularity of each seem to move in opposition to the other?
Lisa Mannetti (moderator), Loren Rhoads, John Shirley, Mark Teppo, F. Paul Wilson
4:00 PM Gold Room What Makes a Good Monster
From Dracula through Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths to Pennywise the Clown, the monsters of horror and fantasy are often the most iconic element of a story. What makes for a monster that will resonate with the reader and what makes them memorable?
Dan Wells (moderator), Chaz Brenchley, Simon Clark, Sarah Jane Pinborough
4:00 PM Garden Room Reading: Jeff VanderMeer
4:30 PM Garden Room Reading: Meg Turville-Heitz
5:00 PM Crystal Room Multi-Author Reading of The Raven
Four authors will read Poe’s famous poem, each in their own style and idiom.
Leanna Renee Hieber, Garth Nix, Michael Swanwick, Donald Sidney-Fryer
5:00 PM Gold Room The Sorcerer in Fantasy
An examination of the “sorcerer” character in fantasy literature; classic archetypes/models; how the concept has evolved over the years; how writers put together these characters and avoid repetition.
John R. Fultz (moderator), Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Goldstein, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire
5:00 PM Garden Room Reading: Will Ludwigsen
5:30 PM Garden Room Reading: Terry Bisson
7:00 PM Imperial Ballroom Art Show Reception
Meet our exhibiting artists and tour the art show. Refreshments will be provided. It will be followed by the art show auction at 9 PM.
8:00 PM Club Regent Publishing and Bookselling in 10 years
There are a number of changes building in the bookselling and publishing fields ranging from ebooks to Borders’ financial troubles to the Google Books Settlement. Hear several noted specialty booksellers talk about what they see happening in the next ten years. Alan Beatts, Greg Ketter
8:00 PM Market St. Foyer Reading: Robert Jackson Bennett
8:30 PM Market St. Foyer Reading: Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
9:00 PM Club Regent The Living Dead Walk . . . and Walk . . . and Walk
The popularity of zombie fiction continues to grow and has reached into mainstream fiction. Why the sudden popularity and what does that say, if anything, about the current concerns of pop culture?
John Skipp (moderator), John Joseph Adams, Steven R. Boyett, Scott G. Browne, Cody Winchester Goodfellow
9:00 PM Market St. Foyer Reading: Heidi Lampietti
9:30 PM Market St. Foyer Reading: Katie Sparrow
10:00 PM Crystal Room Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Broad Universe is an international organization with the primary goal of promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror written by women. The Rapid Fire Reading is a chance to hear several of BU’s authors present selections from their recent and upcoming works.
10:00 PM Club Regent Lies and the Lying Liars Who Write Them
We all know that writers lie for a living, but here’s your chance to see some of them do it for charity. Our panelists will each answer a series of questions. Most of the questions will be outrageous and most of the answers will be true. But some of them will be lies. After each answer, audience members can put their money where their mouths are, pay a buck, and call the panelist a liar. Each panelist caught in a lie has to cough up $10. All the proceeds will go to benefit the Variety Children’s Charity.
Mark L. Van Name (moderator), Ellen Klages, Sharyn November
10:00 PM Market St. Foyer Reading: Eileen Bell
10:30 PM Market St. Foyer Reading: Kevin Andrew Murphy