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Readercon Schedule

For those who wish to find me at Readercon 17 this weekend, here is my schedule. I plan to be at "Meet the Prose" as well, and I welcome any and all to my Kaffeklastch Sunday at 12. List first, and then more details behind the cut.

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Saturday 11:00 AM. The Beginnings of Stories and the Endings They Promise.
Michael A. Burstein (M), John Clute, Debra Doyle, Geary Gravel, China Mieville, Delia Sherman

Saturday 2:00 PM. _Battlestar Galactica_: This Year's Exception.
Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey A. Carver, Craig Shaw Gardner, Jennifer Pelland, Allen Steele (+M), Peter Watts

Sunday 12:00 Noon. Kaffeeklatsch

Sunday 2:00 PM. My Secret (or Not-So-Secret) Story Structure.
Michael A. Burstein (M), John Crowley, Thomas M. Disch, Greer Gilman, Pamela Zoline
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Saturday 11:00 AM. Panel
The Beginnings of Stories and the Endings They Promise.
Michael A. Burstein (M), John Clute, Debra Doyle, Geary Gravel, China Mieville, Delia Sherman

There are, perhaps, three kinds of beginnings to stories: those that promise no ending, those that promise an ending which is later delivered, and those that promise a different ending than the one provided. Are these, in fact, three fundamentally different types of stories? What are the different types of promises a beginning can make? The first line of _Pride and Prejudice_ ("It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife") or the last line of the first chapter of _The Book of the New Sun_ ("It was in this fashion that I began the long journey by which I have backed into the throne") make promises about the content of the ending, but many beginnings merely promise the form of the ending ("there will be a twist of some sort").

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Saturday 2:00 PM. Panel
_Battlestar Galactica_: This Year's Exception.
Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey A. Carver, Craig Shaw Gardner, Jennifer Pelland, Allen Steele (+M), Peter Watts

Our bi-annual media panel focuses on the most critically acclaimed sf television series in years. What makes the new _Battlestar Galactica_ great TV? The show avoids most of the tropes of TV sf-no sliding doors, no planets with pointedly odd societies, no latex-makeup aliens, no time travel, no personable ship's computers. Instead, show-runner Ronald D. Moore keeps a tight focus on the human-Cylon conflict, and their occasional alliances, echoed by numerous other dualities. Is this the key? Does the frequent appearance of thinly veiled, contemporary, Earthly issues add or detract? Can the high level of tension be believably maintained (and can we stand it)? What does _BG_ tell us about sf on TV which might apply to other shows? _Note: spoilers abound for all shows available on DVD; after that, an effort will be made, but no guarantees._

***

Sunday 12:00 Noon. Kaffeeklatsch

***

Sunday 2:00 PM. Panel
My Secret (or Not-So-Secret) Story Structure.
Michael A. Burstein (M), John Crowley, Thomas M. Disch, Greer Gilman, Pamela Zoline

There's a small group of novels with overt organizing structures, like Thomas M. Disch's _334_, John Brunner's _The Squares of the City_, John Crowley's _AEgypt_, and (most famously outside the genre) _Ulysses_. We suspect that this is the tip of the iceberg and that authors routinely invent covert structures as a natural part of the creative process. (Of course, one reader's covert structure is another's overt, and vice versa, so that all such structures are worth talking about together.) It's time to 'fess up and trade notes.

Comments

I'm so sorry I will be missing this. It's just impossible for me to break away right now.
This sounds amazing -- the topics sound really interesting and thoughtful . . . and several of my very favorite writers (Crowley and Mieville) on your panels. Alas, with a two-week trip to England to see the in-laws and a few weddings this year, the travel budget doesn't stretch to cons. :-(
See if you can find time_shark (Mike Allen) and lesser_celery (John Benson) while you're there. Very cool people. :)

I'm sad that I won't be able to make it up there, but on the other hand, not going is buying me a trip to Peoria at the end of this month for the first "Farmercon", so I can't be too awfully sad.
We had met time_shark at Ravencon, and we got to have a nice chat with him this past weekend as well.
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