I am really jonesing to see Star Trek again. That’s why I posted this pic. Just because I want to see Kirk and Spock and everybody else again. 🙂
Okay, can you believe this upcoming weekend is Memorial Day weekend! Where did the time go? Seriously, where is it? I want it back. I need it back! I have two stories I want to get out June 1st. I’ve got stories with deadlines upcoming this summer that I need to get to work on. Time, time, time. Never enough.
And, to top it all off, I’m going to Wiscon this weekend. Haven’t heard of Wiscon? Well, it’s a feminist science fiction convention and it’s held in Madison, Wisconsin every Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been going since 1998. Some people have been going since it was first created back in 1976.
It’s runs from Friday until Monday. Just to give you an idea of what you can find at Wiscon, I’ll list some of the panels I plan to attend.
Warrior Women in Current Fiction—Do They Exist, Really? – The kickass heroine is everywhere, but how kickass is she really? Is she a true warrior woman like the original Valkyries, or has she, like them, been stripped of her power and relegated to “looking the part” while doing the modern–day equivalent of not dripping ale on the hero?
Where is the Goddess These Days? – Previous WisCons had many program items about Goddesses and Goddess spirituality. These have been rather lacking the last few years. Is the Goddess passé, or is She so accepted there is no reason to talk about her any more? Is there any new Goddess–oriented fantasy and science fiction we might be interested in discussing?
Reinventing the Adventure – The adventure story archetype lies at the heart of both science fiction and fantasy, and is the oldest and arguably most profound literary form in human history. How come contemporary society has ghettoized this art form? Even in science fiction, many authors have shied away from adventure in their desire to be taken seriously. How can we reverse this trend? What does it take to write fiction that’s fast, fun, shamelessly adventurous, and at least as challenging as what passes these days for mainstream lit?
Spaces of Narration in Steven Barnes’ Far Beyond the Stars / Manifest Destiny in the 21st and 26th Centuries – 1) Spaces of Narration in Steven Barnes’ Far Beyond the Stars Juxtaposing scenes from 1940, 1953, and the 24th century, Steven Barnes’ Far Beyond the Stars is an intricate narrative of the past and the future. The novel, set largely on the Earth of the past, consists of interlinked narrative spaces that intersect with African American history. The novel reflects a vision of the future that is grounded in the past and suggests alternatives to the dominant cultural ideology. This paper will analyze the intersecting narrative spaces in Far Beyond the Stars.
2) Manifest Destiny in the 21st and 26th Centuries In this essay I explore Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity within the current day sociopolitical climate and argue that these works are rife with social commentary and criticisms. Joss Whedon takes current day politics and places them in the future outerspace so that we, as viewers, may look closely at, and critique, the policies of our time and place. I compare the policies and actions of the “Alliance,” the fictional government of the Firefly/Serenity universe, to those of the United States and show the ways that both deligitimize and feminize those peoples constructed as backward through the deployment of ideologies that are but updated versions of Manifest Destiny.
Breaking Into the Young Adult Market – You’ve heard that young adult novels are hot. You want to break in. But how? Listen to a panel of authors talk about what it’s going to take. Bring your questions. Bring your enthusiasm!
Romancing the Beast – Paranormal romance almost always features the hero as a paranormal being and the heroine as an ordinary human. How does this resonate with gender relations and power relationships in our society? And is it emblematic of women seeing men as Other?
Keeping the S in SF – By many measures, the American public is increasingly ignorant of science, and by some accounts, increasingly afraid. At the same time, many fields of science are still dominated by men, with women consistently losing out in education and job markets. As science fiction writers, we are custodians of science’s popular appeal. How do we inject science into our writing in a way that inspires the young people we want to reach, and encourages our public to learn more?
Synopsis: a Necessary Evil? – Do we really need them? Why? Is there an easy or at least less painful way to write one? Get tips from people whose next sale may depend on how good their synopsis is.
The Care and Feeding of Your Vampire – How do our favorite undead heroes come to life? Vampire writers reveal their dark secrets and give a blood to fangs description of how they create unforgettable vampires.
Consistency vs. Variety – Many writers long to stretch their writing muscles, working in different universes and broadening their scope and depth. Publishers and some elements of the reading public seem to prefer consistency: they like a writer who turns out a series, sometimes effectively the same book over and over again. How does a writer balance their own creative need for variety with the consumers’ desire for consistency?
Dystopias Are Easy. Utopias Are Hard. – Have SF/F writers lived up to the challenge of imagining better societies and maybe even ways to create them? Do we have to alter the nature of human beings to achieve a more utopian world? Is there an unseen shadow world behind every utopia, the cost unreckoned? Is utopian fiction a bore? Panelists should bring together their favorite examples of feminist utopias, ecotopias, and golden ages of all kinds.
And, trust me, there are tons more to choose from. My choices are just a sampling of the panels offered. And all for the price of $45.00 for the entire four days.
Wiscon can be maddening, infuriating, crazy, engrossing, stimulating and rather fun. It’s a great way to get the old brain cells fired up and I’ve come away from past Wiscons with ideas for stories, a list of new books and authors to check out, and new perspectives on the genre and writing within the genre.
Now, I wouldn’t say Wiscon is for everyone–because it ain’t—but if you have an open mind and want to have your mind stretched even further Wiscon is the place to do it.
Now, I must get back to this maddening, infuriating, crazy, engrossing, stimulating and rather fun sex scene for my novella that I must return to my editor mañana.