Skip to main content

Arisia Wrap-Report

My first thought, heading into Arisia, was to do a little daily report on what I was up to, panels I'd attended/participated in, that kind of thing. But I personally find it hard to sit down and write when there's a glut of things to see and do.

So instead, recorded for posterity, are my observation from three and a half days of convention:

Friday: mostly hung out with friend +Alex LaHurreau, visited a number of panels, including Science in Politics and World-Building through Soft Sciences. I appreciate a certain type of con panel: knowledgeable people discussing familiar topics in weird ways. I'd say that both of these panels were fine, they talked about the sorts of things I would imagine talking about myself if I was on the panel, but there wasn't much new. I enjoyed Alex's pick of "When Comic Creators Go Off the Deep End," but in retrospect they should have broadened the topic to include other mediums. It turns out there are plenty of crazy comic book artists (go figure) but the conversation never reached ignition point.

Saturday is the day most folks come to Arisia, I caught up with a number of friends in the panels before the Belly Dancing show, and then felt very proud watching my wife do her number to the song "Allure," by Beats Antique. In addition to performing it, she choreographed it and did the costume design for herself and her dance partner Baseema. Great job!

Beyond that, the panel I most remember was the "Cyborgs, Identity, and Ghost in the Shell," which was that happy mix of a great creative work (movies, television series, and manga) and a panel willing to explore the weird consequences of the technology the series portrays. What happens when a downloaded consciousness lacks a subconsciousness, when there is no 'deeper self.' Could a Stand-Alone Complex actually exist? Has it already happened? Anyway, the mark of a great panel isn't always the answers offered, but the questions inspired.

In general that's why I go to Arisia, to find new things to check out or explore. I was part of two panels on Sunday and both filled me with ideas to try in my own campaigns. I wrote preview postings on both earlier this week, but both panels were a surprise. Both were well-attended for one thing, but people genuinely interested in the topics, which is greatly encouraging. On the basis of this experience, I will absolutely try to join a few more panels next year. I wrapped up that day with a reoccurring panel on DARPA's 100 year starship project, which was kind of a mess but a really informative one. The sentiment I most appreciated hearing was a (paraphrased) quote from Buzz Aldrin: At the core of the risk-free society is a ... failure of nerve." Who knows if this species will ever leave this solar system, let alone colonize the Moon and Mars, but I honestly sense the pendulum has begun to swing back. Human beings need something to drive towards in order to progress, why not space?

Today I watched a bunch of movie trailers. The "How Do We Pay for the Future" panel was also pretty good, but my energy was beginning to flag by that point. Anyway, Arisia is something I look forward to each year, and 2013 was no disappointment.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review of I Wish I Was Like You by S.P. Miskowski

Even 23 years later, I remember 1994 and Kurt Cobain's death. I experienced that moment as a kind of inside out personal crisis. I felt ashamed by his death. As though his exit in someway indicted my own teenage miseries. "I wish I was like you," goes the verse in 'All Apologies,' "Easily amused." I felt as though a check I hadn't remembered writing had just been cashed. 


SP Miskowski's book, named after the first half of that line, is in the words of another reviewer, a novel that shouldn't work. The narrator is unlikeable, unreliable, and dead. The plot is almost entirely told as a flashback and long sections of the novel concern the inner processes of the writer. The daily grind to summon up enough self-esteem to carry a sentence to its logical conclusion is a real struggle, people, but it ain't exactly riveting.

But the thing is, this novel works. It is one of the best things I've read all year and a real achievement in weird ficti…

"A Breath from the Sky" Story Announcement!

I am thrilled to share the news my story, "Promontory," will appear in an upcoming anthology of unusual possession stories published by the incredible Martian Migraine Press. The anthology, "A Breath from the Sky,"puts together a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and twenty other atypical stories of possession. Judging from the cover and the list of impressive authors, I'm anticipating pure awesomeness. "Promontory" is a possession story and one of my more overtly horror tales, so I'm overjoyed that it found a host, er, home here. I am sharing the Table of Contents below, as well as a link to the announcement on the Martian Migraine website to provide a sense of what this collection will be about. The cover is amazing, the other authors selected for the collection are amazing, and I have to say, having a story appear alongside a classic tale like HP's "Colour Out of Space," feels pretty darn amazing. I hope to provide more information abou…

In Defense of Brevity

As a writer of short speculative fiction, I am also a reader. I was a reader first and my love of the genre leads me to want to write short fiction. I think one of the most important things a writer can do is read contemporary's work. If nothing else, you're likely to be entertained - there's a great amount of stupendous short fiction available out there for exactly nothing. But it also tends to helps to develop craft. 
Long-time readers of this blog know I write up recommendations of a few short stories each month I really enjoyed. "Sic Semper, Sic Semper, Sic Semper by Carl Wiens" was my favorite story of the year. The first line of this story pretty much sums it up: "The time traveler set up a studio apartment in Abraham Lincoln’s skull in the frozen moment before Booth’s bullet burst through and rewired history," but I also enjoyed "The Girl Who Escaped from Hell" By Rahul Kanakia and "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies," by Brooke Bol…