And off to Boskone next! Revisions are done, and with any luck by the end of Boskone I’ll have an idea whether it’s a book or a bunch of stuff strung together. (At this stage, the distinction is eluding me.)
Here’s what I’ll be doing at Boskone:
Friday, 8pm: Mythology in Science Fiction
Julia Rios (M), Debra Doyle, Greer Gilman, Margaret Ronald
How have myths and fables from our past affected SF writers’ development of fictitious off-world or future-world mythology? Are most of their myth systems just the old stuff dressed up with different names, or is anybody coming up with anything truly new? Does a mere hint of myth make an SF story a fantasy?
(Oh, I have thoughts on this. So many thoughts. Some of my favorite SF stories draw on myth as part of the underpinnings, and I’m a sucker for well-mixed fantastic and science-fictional elements. Yep, I’m getting my fantasy cooties all over your SF!)
Saturday, 1:30pm: Reading
(I think I’ll read something relatively light about dead bodies and mad science. What? Why are you looking at me like that?)
Saturday, 3pm: Magic on the Street: The Detective in Urban Fantasy
Margaret Ronald (M), Bob Kuhn, Ellen Asher, Dana Cameron, Toni L. P. Kelner
We’ve discussed cross-genre and mystery/fantasy. Now let’s turn the microscope on the sleuth in urban fantasy. Probably no Miss Marples here, but hard-boiled detectives, and certainly the half-dead and half-sidhe. Plus many of these dicks are dames. How else do these eldritch investigators compare to more mundane gumshoes, and to each other? And does magic spoil a reader’s chance of solving the mystery fair and square?
(I’m moderating this one, and in the grand tradition of moderators everywhere, I’m getting sidetracked by part of the panel description. Why aren’t there more Miss Marples in urban fantasy? Where’s my Hercule Poirot among the eldritch horrors? Don’t worry, I promise to talk about more than just this. It’s just bugging me right now.)
Sunday, 10am: SIAWOL: Steampunk Is A Way Of Life
Jim Frenkel (M), James Cambias, Margaret Ronald, Julia Rios
Steampunk fans don’t just read the stuff. We also rock the goggles — and the cosplay cons, and the Victoriana motifs for everything from our tablets to our tattoos. Does the lifestyle circle back to influence the writing? What’s changed since the start? What’s the current state of the field, and what further enthralling developments are even now in gear?
(I really don’t know too much about what’s out there beyond the literary side of steampunk. Advice, gentle readers?)
Sunday, 11am: The Spirit of the Place (B48)
Margaret Ronald (M), Sharon Lee, Steven Popkes, Darlene Marshall
In certain tales of the fantastic, scenery is so much a part of the fabric of the fiction that it practically becomes a character itself. Let’s talk about stories set in these unique locales. Don’t they contradict the modern fashion that says character and dialog are all, and scenery is at best a light decoration and at worst a distraction? In the best work, how is this effect justified — and accomplished?
(Is there really that “modern fashion” out there? I mean, I can think of a few SF and fantasy novels where the setting is not necessarily a focus, but there are many more where it’s absolutely integral to the plot. Have I missed a trend somewhere?)
After the con, I’ll probably be headed out shortly for some downtime; I took Arisia in very small doses, and I suspect I’ll need to curtail some of my Boskone time as well. And after that…more revisions, most likely.