WorldCon/DisCon III

The 79th World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon, aka DisCon III, aka the Hugo Awards Weekend) is coming up next month. Programming will be both virtual and in-person, and barring any disaster I plan to be there in-person and participating in said programming. Here’s a schedule of where I’ll be throughout the weekend.

Author Reading – Thursday, December 16 at 1pm – Capitol Room

I will be reading along with Chris Panatier. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll be reading yet, but I do intend to come well-supplied with chocolate!

Autograph Session – Thursday, December 16 at 2pm – SFWA Table/Dealer’s Room

I’ll be hanging out at the SFWA Table in the Dealer’s Room immediately following my reading to sign stuff in case anyone has stuff they want signed! Brenda Clough will be signing at the same time – come say hi to us!

Reviewing: Widely or Deeply? – Thursday, December 16 at 4pm – Virtual

Arley Sorg; Karlo Yeager Rodriguez (M); Jake Casella Brookins; Gary K Wolfe; Penelope Flynn; A.C. Wise

Presented with all of SFF to review, how does a reviewer determine their beat? Should they read widely, and address work as a knowledgeable generalist, or read deeply within their specialty, and bring that specialty to bear? Reviewers will discuss their practices of how they choose what to review or not to review, their path to their current specialty, if any, and their intentions for future work.

Holding Superheroes Accountable – Friday, December 17 at 11:30am – Empire Ballroom

Brenda W. Clough; James Bacon; Jenn Lyons; A.C. Wise (M); Peter Adrian Behravesh; Hildy Silverman

For superheroes to feel heroic, we want them to fight evil while remaining above the moral fray. But in many comics and comic book films, superheroes cross moral lines. How do we ethically evaluate heroes who act immorally, like Batman torturing villains, Wanda holding an entire town hostage, or Wonder Woman sexually assaulting a mind-controlled bystander? How can we talk about these stories in a way that holds heroes accountable for their immoral actions?

Short Fiction, Expanded – Saturday, December 18 at 11:30am – Diplomat Ballroom

Dana L. Little; Jenny Rae Rappaport; Michael Swanwick; A.C. Wise (M); Sarah Pinsker

Sometimes an excellent short story or novella demands to be fleshed out and republished as a novel. How can you do this successfully, and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid? When is the expansion an enhancement, and when is it just a marketing necessity?

Worldbuilding in Speculative Horror – Saturday, December 18 at 1pm – Virtual

Erika T. Wurth; Nino Cipri; A.C. Wise (M); Usman T. Malik; L. Marie Wood; KD Edwards

A horror setting generally starts with a safe and familiar world, and then introduces strange and frightening elements. But what if you don’t want to use the real world as your setting? How do you construct a horror novel that takes place in an entirely speculative world? What techniques can make the unfamiliar a safe starting point on which to build your horror?

Why Won’t You Stay Dead?!? – Saturday, December 18 at 5:30pm – Forum Room

Carrie Vaughn; Jennifer R. Povey; Jenny Rae Rappaport; A.C. Wise (M); Mari Ness; AJ Odasso; Ada Palmer

Characters have come back from the dead so often in superhero comics that it’s become a running joke, sometimes cheapening the impact of the death in the story. Creators have come up with a wide variety of tricks to resurrect or otherwise return “dead” characters to life. Is it just lazy storytelling, editorial decisions driven by commercial reasons, or is it something inherent to the storytelling form and round-robin method of collaborative authorship of comics?

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