So I'll be attending LACon IV this week, boarding my flight west in (yikes) just a few hours. Not 100% sure I should be flying on Doomsday, but hey, what are you going to do? While I highly doubt my flight will run into any trouble, I suppose anything's possible so don't let me leave without thanking you all for your friendship and/or patronage. Deeply appreciated. And thanks for all the comments and email wishing my mother well. Very nice of you, and I've passed those sentiments on to her.
Here's my schedule for the convention:
John Varley said "We all love after-the-bomb stories. If we didn't, why would there be so many of them?" Why do we all love them? During the Cold War, the threat of nuclear annihilation was very real; today, the world is a different place, but the threat of annihilation is once again very real. Has the sub-genre changed? How are 21st Century post-apocalyptic stories different from those written during the Cold War era?
Panel: Elizabeth Bear(M), Ed Green, Takayuki Tatsumi, John G. Hemry, Nick Sagan
IS ART THE INSPIRATION FOR MADNESS?
Writers are like gods. Whatever they want their characters to do, they do. If they want lightning to strike, the sky is shattered by electricity. Are they responsible for the themes, the ideas, and the actions in their works? Is there a responsibility not to show how to make a bomb? Should good always triumph over evil?
Panel: Lisanne Norman(M), Joe W. Haldeman, ElizaBeth Gilligan, Tim Powers, Nick Sagan
DESIGNING INTERACTIVE GAMES
What makes for an addictive computer game? What is there about Doom or Halo that made you waste countless hours playing? Game designers discuss what they do.
Panel: Mike Stemmle, Justin Lloyd, Scott Campbell, Nick Sagan
FRANKENFOOD TO FRANKENPEOPLE
Genetic modification from food to people; how far is too far?
Panel: Sam Scheiner, Nancy Kress, Cynthia Felice(M), Elisabeth Malartre, Nick Sagan
WHY IS EVERYTHING SO DARK?
Batman has become the "Dark Knight". The X-Files is filled with conspiracies and people wearing dark clothes walking around in dark rooms. Before that, the great New Wave of SF, which called itself literary, was deeply pessimistic. Is this mature, childish, or the swing of a pendulum?
Panel: Adam-Troy Castro(M), Robert Vogel, Alan Rodgers, Bradley H. Sinor, Nick Sagan
Should be fun.
My internet access might be a bit spotty on the trip, so there's a chance you won't hear much from me here for a few days. If so, I'll come back afterwards with a full report. Bye now!
Update: Doomsday didn't happen. I'm fine and well and blogging from the Hilton business center. Off to my first panel...