Conjecture Schedule – October 5-7, 2012

Nancy is at Conjecture this weekend. Check out her schedule, and stop by to say hello.

Conjecture/Conchord 24
October 5-7, 2012
Conjecture is an educational and literary-oriented SF/Fantasy convention and ConChord is a southern California filk music convention.

Town & Country Hotel
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108
Tel: 619-291-7131; 800-772-8527



6:00 PM: Believable Evil
What makes a good villain? How do you go about creating a believable evil character? Authors will discuss their favorite evil characters from their and other works and discuss what makes them work.
Participants: Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Lise Breakey, Robert Mitchell Evans, M Todd Gallowglas, Robert Pritchard, Nancy Holder(M).

8:00 PM: This is Horrible, Give Me More: The Appeal of Dystopias
Why do we devour so many books and films set in grim totalitarian states or post-apocalyptic wastelands? It’s especially popular in YA literature, where it may be an extension of one of the main themes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “high school is Hell”.
Participants: Nancy Holder, Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin, J.M. Perkins, Cynthia Ward, Zak Jarvis(M)


1:00 PM: Tell it in Letters (and Diaries): Epistolary Fantasy from Dracula to The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
The epistolary novel form has been with us since the 1600s in English (the 1400s in Spanish), and offers a way to show multiple viewpoints without requiring an omniscient narrator. What are its advantages and disadvantages within the fantasy genre? We’ve seen it deployed in The Moonstone, Dracula, The Screwtape Letters, and our GoH’s Kate and Cecelia series. (Also consider Emma Bull’s and Stephen Brust’s Freedom and Necessity, which was written in a series of letters exchanged between the authors. They never discussed the book till it was finished.)
Participants: Ellen Dawn Benefield, Samantha Henderson, Nancy Holder, Patricia C. Wrede(M)

2:00 PM: Fannish Tail, Mass Market Dog
Cult hits and specialized genres have a long history in the popular media. How is the relationship between fan appeal and popular success changing? Is fannish enthusiasm becoming more important as a path to success?
Participants: Belle, Jeff Berkwits, Ailene Marie BonneR, Jean Graham, Jason Lethert, Nancy Holder(M)

3:30 PM: Signing: Nancy Holder

4:00 PM: What’s Worth Watching?
For those interested in science fiction, what recent movies and current television shows are asking those important questions of “What If?” and which ones are simply using sci-fi tropes without provoking thought. Is Doctor Who really the only game in town these days? Does Syfy have any sci-fi? Is space no longer the final frontier on TV?
Participants: Nancy Holder, Ailene Marie Bonner(M)

5:00 PM: Reading: Nancy Holder

6:00 PM: Bring on the Weird
Davy Jones and his crew in Pirates of the Caribbean point the way to a new way of envisioning and creating truly bizarre beings on film. Will we see more of this, or will Hollywood remain constrained by what’s safe and accessible? Will there ever be hope for a China Mieville movie?
Participants: Ailene Marie Bonner, Patrick Connors, Nancy Holder, Jefferson P. Swycaffer, and Zak Jarvis(M)


12:00 Noon: It’s Not Magic if Everyone Can Do It — Acceptance or Genocide?
Today’s science would seem like magic to our ancestors — but this “magic” is repeatable, and usable by anyone with the tools/training. What if certain people had exclusive, inborn abilities that only appeared in their bloodline? Would that be magic? Could those without such powers duplicate them with technology, or give them to their children via genetic engineering? Does it only qualify as “magic” if someone is able to change the rules by which the universe operates? Would such people be worshipped, tolerated, or exterminated? Didn’t Dr. Who destroy his home planet over similar concerns? Consider King Uther Pendragon’s genocide against magic users in the world of the BBC’s Merlin — and the fear and hatred of mutants in X-Men. If magic existed, could society tolerate it?
Participants: David Brin, James Floyd, Nancy Holder(M)

3:00 PM: Media Tie-Ins: Today’s Pulps?
Are the Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy, and videogame novels of today the equivalent of the pulp novels of the 40s and 50s?
Participants: Ellen Dawn Benefield, Jean Graham, Nancy Holder, J.M. Perkins, Gary Westfahl