Alex and I were panelists at Eeriecon two weeks ago (27-29 April 2012). I should have written a post earlier, but life and work got in the way. Yet, Eeriecon is our favorite science fiction and fantasy convention, so it would get a post even if it took me a year to write it.
Eeriecon was as friendly, inspirational, and fun as ever. Alex and I arrived on Friday and had a nice evening conversation with organizer Joe Fillinger, old friend Herb Kauderer, Dr. Carl Frederick (check out his science fiction novels), Shannon Kauderer, and other interesting people. Almost everyone was years older than us (some being many years older), and they had interesting points of view on life. I’d love to post some of the life jokes Joe made, but I don’t think he would want me to.
On Saturday, we spent most of the day being on panels and talking to other worthy people. We were pleasantly surprised that our convention pals Bev and James Bambury, Jen Sears, and Dave Lamb, who mostly go to Canadian conventions, had come to our side of the border. We had dinner with them and then spent a pleasant evening talking with them and other nice folks in Eericon’s con suite. Then, on Sunday, there were more panels.
Here are the Saturday and Sunday panels we went to, together with the official panel descriptions. We were panelists on most. As usual, many interesting questions were asked by both panelists and non-panelists, and answers were at least attempted, often with lively (and sometimes a bit too lively, but it’s all a part of the fun) discussion.
CYBORG OR ROBOT? with Alex Pantaleev, James Alan Gardner, Arie Bodek, David Stephenson
You decide; where are the lines drawn between cyborg, robot, or android? Does a human brain in a machine make it human? How about a human body animated by a computer brain? SF is littered with machines acting human and humans part machine. Which is which? What is a man? What defines us? Is it mind, body, both? How much can you change a thing and still say it is what it started out as?
THE VILLAIN — FEMALE VIEW with Lynna Merrill, Catherine Asaro, Jennifer Crow, Sephera Giron, Lois Gresh
What makes a good villain? Did you create any you thought readers would love or hate, but was met with indifference?
DO SCIENTISTS CARE ABOUT THE COMMON MAN? with Derwin Mak, Arie Bodek, David Stephenson, Alex Pantaleev, David DeGraff, Carl Frederick, John Allen Price
Paul Ehrlich recently said the ideal western mother must be a sterilized woman caring for adopted 3rd world children. Dr. David Suzuki and other environmentalists would make utilities unaffordable to the low income public. Do these people have any understanding about people not having their level of income or just live in their ivory towers?
E-SELF PUBLISHING with David Sakmyster, Lois Gresh, Mark Leslie, Lynna Merrill, Sephera Giron
How will it change writing? Will authors need to have a following before the big publishers pick them up? Will known writers dump the big publishers to better control their content and earnings?
WHAT LINE IS MINE with Carolyn Clink, Stephen Pearl, Lois Gresh, John Allen Price, Catherine Asaro, Sephera Giron, Darrell Schweitzer, Mark Leslie, Anne Bishop, James Alan Gardner.
Eeriecon’s most popular panel; hosted by Amy Kauderer and crew. Can guests recognize their own writings?
SF AND FANTASY ARE SO DIFFERENT with Alex Pantaleev, Lynna Merrill, Stephen Pearl
“I cast the circle, Milord, but it won’t hold for long! I’ve fixed the shields Captain, but they won’t hold for long.” Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic. How have authors played with this?
WOMAN SF WRITERS with Catherine Asaro, Lynna Merrill, Lois Gresh, Jennifer Crow
Are they still referred to as “female” authors as opposed to “authors”? If so, what will it take for the “female” to be dropped? The explanation seems awkward, but I hope you get the idea and can clean it up.
MY GOD, THEY ARE SLAMMING YOU AGAIN with Lynna Merrill, Stephen Pearl, James Alan Gardner, John Allen Price
Minority religions worship many gods that most consider myths. How much sensitivity is appropriate to show in using these figures in fiction? Are the gods of another fair game for slander? Is it fair to portray them as myths or better to avoid them entirely?