Worldcon aka Loncon 3 is, terrifyingly, in two weeks time. Obviously, I’m completely organised and totally calm about that. Yes. Good. And I have a schedule! Of stuff! It’s really awesome. Here it is:
The Girls Who Waited
Friday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 11 (ExCeL)
Last year, in an essay for The Guardian, Anna Smith highlighted the lack of on-screen time-travel stories with female protagonists. In works as varied as Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, The Time-Traveller’s Wife, About Time, The Terminator, and Back to the Future, women are either companions or observers. Is this simply a question of men being given an agency denied to women, or is there something more complex going on? What stories is time travel being used to tell? Which films and TV shows do feature time travelling women? Which women are allowed to travel, and what do their stories have in common?
Russell Blackford (M), L. M. Myles, Sarah Ash, MaryAnn Johanson, Andy Duncan
The Daughters of Buffy
Saturday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL)
At the end of last year, to mark ten years since the broadcast of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the BBC, Naomi Alderman made a special edition of the Radio 4 programme Front Row, featuring interviews with cast, creator, and critics. Among other things, she asked what the show’s legacy had been, and whether the right lessons — female characters written as well as men, given as much narrative importance as men, and surrounded by other women — had been learned. We’ll listen to her programme, and then the panel will discuss: who are Buffy’s heirs?
Foz Meadows (M), L. M. Myles, Dr. Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sarah Shemilt, Emma England
Into Every Generation A Captain Kirk is Born?
Saturday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 3 (ExCeL)
The twenty-first century is the time of the reboot. From Star Trek to Doctor Who, Man of Steel to The Mandarin, iconic SF and fantasy franchises and characters are being reinvented — often by those who grew up as fans (most often, men who grew up as fans), but with a mass audience in mind. How do viewers and creators navigate (or fail to navigate) the power differentials that result? What different approaches do such works of “professional fanfiction” take to revising their source material, and how do they affect viewers’ and fans’ engagement?
Nicolle Lamerichs (M), Lise Andreasen , Mélanie Bourdaa, L. M. Myles, C. Robert Cargill
Lizard Wizards in Space! Bethesda vs Bioware
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 1 (ExCeL)
Panel examining the impact of Bioware and Bethesda videogames on recent gaming experiences. Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Skyrim have all advanced player experiences in games, providing us with rich worlds, exciting possibilties and diverse characters to play. Both companies pride themselves on allowing the player to choose their own pathway through the game, and to experience each world on their own terms. This panel investigates the strengths and weakness of these games, and looks at the ways they are influencing play.
Jenni Hill (M), Sylvia Wrigley, L. M. Myles, J.W. Alden , Ashley M.L. Brown PhD
A Rubber Chicken on a Pulley – Celebrating Text and Point and Click Adventures
Sunday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 15 (ExCeL)
We are still playing point and click adventures – on our phones, on Steam and online; and the legacy of games like Monkey Island, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Broken Sword are still resonating in gaming culture, with newbies Double Fine and Telltale Games making fantastic new offerings in the tradition of the old. What can point and click and text adventures bring to contemporary gaming, and why are they still so important to us?
L. M. Myles (M), Helena Nash, Frances Foster, David Dingwall, Ed Fortune
I Am The Law
Monday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 6 (ExCeL)
Law is a neglected aspect of genre worldbuilding; whether Our Heroes are enforcing it or finding themselves on the wrong side of it, the workings and rationale of the system tend to be largely opaque. Our legal team is asked: If you were designing a legal system from the invented ground up, what would you put in it? How might the demands of different fantastical worlds and their citizens vary — from Moon colonies and AIs to Imperial Courts and dragons? And what legal realities have you encountered that are far too strange even for fiction?
Simon Bradshaw (M), Francis Davey, L. M. Myles, Melinda Snodgrass , Liz Zitzow
I’ll also be at the Hugos, being all cool and dignified, I’m sure, and helping out at the Welcome Party on Friday (2100 – 2300) where, if you’re new to conventions or feeling a bit socially arg, you can come along and meet lovely people and find some with shared interests and make the whole thing a little less arg.
So, yes, lots of stuff…should probably figure out how I’m getting to London and book some tickets or something.
Oh, and before all that, Nine Worlds! Which shall have its own lovely post. Just as exciting, but terrifying for Whole Other Reasons, hurrah!
Farewell, delicious readers!