Friday 8:00 PM. Discussion (60 min.)
Hal's Worlds, The Memorial Anthology.
Shane Tourtellotte with Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey A. Carver, Thomas A. Easton, Walter H. Hunt, Paul Levinson, Darrell Schweitzer, Allen Steele
Saturday 10:00 AM. Reading (30 min.)
Michael A. Burstein reads from his novel-in-progress.
Saturday 10:30 AM. Talk (30 min.)
Do Quit Your Day Job: Taking a Year Off to Write a Novel.
In summer 2004, Burstein left his teaching job to concentrate on writing a novel. By summer 2005, the first draft is finished and being revised. When can one ignore the advice not to quit your day job to write a novel? Why might quitting your job actually be the best thing for you in the long run? And how can one structure a life as a full-time writer?
Saturday 11:00 AM. Panel
Michael A. Burstein, John Clute, Debra Doyle, David G. Hartwell (+M), Robert J. Sawyer
Sf has not one but two time-honored traditions of expanding the novella into the full-length novel. You can tell the same story at different lengths (_The Hemingway Hoax_, _Flowers for Algernon_, _Enders's Game_, "A Galaxy Called Rome" / _Galaxies_)--or you can write two more novellas (_Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang_, _More Than Human_, _The Fifth Head of Cerberus_). To what extent does the story itself dictate the best approach? What does the added material tend to be like? In the case of the simple expansion, is one version inevitably superior (fulfilling the dictum that every story has its optimum length), or can they have separate but equal virtues?
Saturday 2:00 PM. Kaffeeklatsch
Sunday 2:00 PM. Panel
Best-Guess Science, Hand-Waving Science.
Judith Berman, Michael Blumlein, Michael A. Burstein (+M), Samuel R. Delany, Joe Haldeman, Ian Randal Strock
There are two fundamentally different approaches a writer can take when dealing with highly speculative science which is important as a jumping-off point but otherwise not central to the story. Obviously, the writer can do extensive homework and make their best effort at getting the science right. However, there is also a longstanding tradition in sf of merely inventing some plausible-sounding explanation together with a little jargon and then getting on with what the story is really about. Both approaches have their advantages and their potential problems. How much does the specific story dictate the best approach, as opposed to the writer's temperament?