Here's my schedule of the smart things I'm going to talk about, along with my reading.
If you're at the con Thursday night, there's actually not much going on, so please come see me read! I need two people in the audience, and one of those people could be you! I will most likely read Touch of Tides, hard science fiction about a woman who uses her synesthesia to make an exciting discovery about life under the ice on Europa. This story is particularly themed towards many of the panels I'll be speaking on. It's a good example of alien communication, women in SF, expanding the sciences in SF, writing about lifeforms outside of our experience, and even, yes, even invisible disabilities to some extent.
Official schedule, April 2-5, 2015:
Writing the Other
Getting into the heart and head of someone or something you’re not, and how to do so with authority.
Thu 4:00pm-5:00pm - Cascade 10
Reading: Luna Lindsey
Probably: Touch of Tides
Thu 9:30pm-10:00pm - Cascade 1
Not every disability is apparent at a glance, nor is anyone’s personal health anyone else’s business. From mental illness to chronic disease to a variety of syndromes and impairments too lengthy to list, we’ll discuss the difficulties of living with chronic health conditions, the stigmas associated, what progress has (or hasn’t) been made in reforming public perception, and strategies on getting other people to mind their own blasted business.
Fri 11:00am-12:00pm - Cascade 10
Giving Good Alien
It’s pretty darn hard to write about a life form completely outside of our experience. No matter how good an SF story is, if you come across an alien that’s either “just a guy in a suit” or too far from out current understanding of physics, it can throw you out of the story. So what does it take to create a believable alien?
Fri 1:00pm-2:00pm - Evergreen 1&2
Diversity in Spec Fic Publishing
Whitewashed covers, hyper-sexualized female characters, and the all-straight-cis-white-able-bodied cast… how can we make our genre genuinely inclusive, both as members of â€œotherizedâ€ groups or as allies?
Fri 2:00pm-3:00pm - Cascade 3&4
Women In Science Fiction
It’s 2015 and most films (and many books) still fail the Bechdel test. Are there any good female role models in science fiction? Or are they still relegated to being damsels in distress? A discussion of both weak and strong female science fiction characters in modern SF and how authors can (and do) give them life and agency of their own.
Fri 7:00pm-8:00pm - Cascade 7&8
Level Up Your Indie Skillset
How can you tell if your cover design’s a winner? What’s your pricing strategy? Do you format, or pay a service? Self-publishing requires that you pick up secondary skills beyond writing books and Tweeting — we’ll tell you how.
Sat 6:00pm-7:00pm - Cascade 9
Expanding the Sciences in Hard SF
What scientific fields deserve more attention in fiction besides quantum mechanics, biology, genetic engineering? Kim Stanley Robinson has done a wonderful job using geology and climatology, for example. We’ll discuss the best exceptions to the rule, and talk about cutting edge science that has yet to be explored in fiction.
Sat 7:00pm-8:00pm - Cascade 5
Geek Policing: Don't Do It
Geek Policing happens when someone evinces interest in something of the nerdy persuasion, and someone else starts quizzing them on it like nerddom is the Ivy League. It’s not okay. And we, all of us, nerds of all genders, need to stop it. Period.
Sun 12:00pm-1:00pm - Cascade 6
Humans cannot engage in meaningful conversation with other Earth life, despite centuries of trying. What makes us think that communicating with aliens will be so easy?
Sun 3:00pm-4:00pm - Cascade 3&4
The full Norwescon schedule can be found here: http://www.norwescon.org/con/schedule-of-events/