Loncon wheeee!

William Hogarth
William Hogarth

In August, I’ll be at the World Science Fiction Convention in London, UK, otherwise known as Loncon 3. I’m very excited.

The last (and so far only) WorldCon I attended was Montreal in 2009.

Here’s the draft schedule of the panels I’ll be on. It’s a draft, so it could change. I’m not posting the names of my co-panelists for the moment, as it’s quite possible they’re not confirmed yet, but let me just say: it’s going to be difficult for me to do anything but squee the whole time.

I will resist the squee, because I am moderating two of the panels (Beyond Bechdel and These are Not the Elves You’re Looking For.)

And I will say that my friend, editor and mentor Hayden Trenholm is moderating the Canadian SF/F panel. Any thoughts on what we should talk about?

Beyond Bechdel

Friday 20:00 – 21:00

The “Bechdel test” for female representation in films is now widely known. To pass it a film should contain two named female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. In recent years, similar tests have been proposed for other under-represented groups, including the Mako Mori test for characters of colour, and the Russo test for queer characters. What are the strengths and weaknesses of such tests? How do they affect our viewing choices? And what does the popularity of such tests say about how popular media are being received and discussed?

The World at Worldcon: Canadian SF/F

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00

From Peter Watts to Margaret Atwood, Robert Charles Wilson to Julie Czerneda: you know more Canadian SF/F writers than you think you do. But there’s always more to learn! Who’s pushing boundaries, and which boundaries are being pushed? Who are the hot new writers, and where are they being published? How widely distributed are books from a Canadian small press like ChiZine?

These Are Not the Elves You’re Looking For

Sunday 18:00 – 19:00

To what extent do modern fantasy novels play on readers’ familiarity – and fatigue – with genre tropes and conventions? For example, Andrzej Sapkowski, Justina Robson and Raymond E Feist have all created worlds in which the traditional Tolkienian model of benevolent, wiser-than-thou elves is challenged in various ways. Is deconstruction a new trend, or has genre fantasy been doing it for decades? How do recent debates about the cultural specificity of the English-language fantastic, and the lack of relevance of this aesthetic for audiences outside North America and the UK, affect our views of these issues?