Immortal ConFusion

On the 18th, 19th, and 20th of January I will be at the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn, MI to participate in Immortal ConFusion. ConFusion is a science fiction and fantasy convention that takes place around the same weekend every January and is quickly becoming known for being the smallest convention with the biggest names. I went last year and met a bundle of awesome authors, including Brent Weeks, Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss, and Peter V. Brett.

A full list of authors doing panels there this year can be found here.

I will be on the following panels:

 

Saturday, 18th at 1:00 PM

The New Evil

Why is there such a prejudice against the ancient? Malevolent forces seem to need to age like fine wine before they are ready for the attention of a protagonist. Is there a reason that we ignore a new evil, some cultural bias that says innovation cannot be That Which Will Not Be Named? Or is it simply that the ancient evil is a valued, if overused archetype?

 

Saturday, 18th at 7:00 PM

Religion in SF/F

Is there a place for religion in Fantasy and Science Fiction beyond a tool for the villainous? How do we produce fantastical faiths, or imagine a future society that does not lampoon people who believe? Aspects of religious demagoguery are often the go-to model in speculative fiction, for good reason, but what else should authors be looking for from theology?

 

Saturday, 18th at 8:00 PM

Changing Societies in Epic Fantasy

Why do elves never seem to progress with metallurgy? Why do the societies in a fantasy realm always seem to go back hundreds or thousands of years? What is it about magic that makes the common folk less likely to invent the cotton gin, hybrid crops, or the musket? The history of humanity is one of constant flux, of achievement and failure, but the worlds of our imagination are much more static. What is the appeal of this stasis? Why is this a common aspect of fantasy literature, and where did it get its start? Is this a good or a bad thing for fantasy? For writers of fantasy?

 

Sunday, 19th at 10:00 AM

Pop culture in SF/F

Fantasy has its urchins, sci-fi the dilettantes…but what about everyone else? When crafting a world either fantastic or futuristic, what do we imagine that the common folk would do for fun? What news or events would they discuss? Would they know what village produced the most heroes, or debate the thrust/weight ratio of government warships? Would there be a general popular culture in an imagined past? Could we avoid one in an imagined future? Does the addition of these elements do more than aid verisimilitude?