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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My 2014 Pi-Con Panel Schedule

Without further ado...


How to be a Good Panelist  Agawam 6pm Susan Hanniford Crowley, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Morven Westfield (M), Michelle Wexelblat
 We’ve all been to panels where things got wildly off-topic or where a panelist or audience member hogged the panel. Sometimes it’s been a lot of fun or extremely interesting. Other times, it’s been aggravating. In this panel, experienced panelists talk about preparing for a panel, participating on a panel, being a good moderator, handling someone who’s obviously aggravating, and how different cons have different styles.
The Same Old Story — Somers 8pm Lisa Evans, Kate Kaynak (M), Misty Pendragon, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
ROUNDTABLE: Vampire teenage romance, fairy tales in modern settings, Star Trek programs that mimic police procedurals and medical response programs (actually being discussed right now) and, coming up, TWO shows (at least) set in OZ. With all of the stories there are in the world and all of history to draw on why do storytellers (and TV producers) keep telling the same stories over and over again? With all of the rehashing of the Civil War we have never had a series about espionage in that period. Given all of the westerns there have been, we have never seen the story of Bass Reeves (a real U.S. Marshal) who captured 30,000 criminals in his lifetime. Given people’s love of pirates, why have we not seen the story of the various pirate queens? Come and discuss what stories need to be told, and maybe find a few that you want to tell yourself.
Feminism: What’s It All About  10am — Agawam Eric, Lisa Evans, Jennifer Pelland, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert (M)
The term “Feminism” has suffered a great deal of abuse. What does it mean and why is it still relevant, and how do we deal with the dissing?
How Do We Make Cons Safe for Everyone?  12pm — Agawam  Lisa Evans, Justine Graykin, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Michelle Wexelblat (M)
Harassment and safety at conventions is not a new topic, but it has been very much in the spotlight for the past couple of years. Many conventions are taking steps to prioritize safety. What are the best ways to make convention attendees safer? Should we be looking at convention polices and enforcement, reporting procedures, or social change on what fans tolerate as acceptable behavior? How do our current strategies work, how could they work better, and who is doing it well?
The Undead and The People Who Love Them  1pm — Suffield  Susan Hanniford Crowley (M), Ken Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Jennifer Pelland, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
ROUNDTABLE: Let’s get down to it and talk about Vampire, Ghouls, Zombies, Ghosts and assorted undead that we love and why do they have such a grip on our hearts. Audience participation is encouraged!
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading — Suffield 7pm Terri Bruce, Ellen Larson, Jennifer Pelland, Jennifer Allis Provost, Roberta Rogow, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Morven Westfield, Trisha Wooldridge, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
These talented writers have six minutes each to blow you away! Broad Universe is an international organization supporting women authors of SF, fantasy and horror. Visit them on Dealer’s Row!
Fiction has no Place in Our Curriculum — Somers 12pm Justine Graykin, Ken Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Kristi Petersen Schoonover (M)
The new educational Common Core standards marginalize fiction in favor of non-fiction. What effect is that going to have on the imagination and inspiration of students? Hasn’t SF been traditionally marginalized? Now all of fiction is getting pushed aside.
The Last Two Years in SF/Fantasy Movies — Somers 1pm Lisa Evans, Misty Pendragon (M), Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
Since 7Pi-Con in 2012, we’ve had Gravity, The Hobbit (parts 1 and 2),Ender’s Game, Her, I, Frankenstein, Vampire Academy, Byzantium, RoboCop, Winter’s Tale, Divergent, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor:The Dark World, Transcendence, Amazing Spider Man (1 and 2),Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, and Oz The Great and Powerful—just for a representative sampling. What do these films say about our current tastes in SF/F, and where are we going from here?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some of my Work Has Been Translated and Published in Poland!

Hi All,

Just a quick note that you haven't heard from my blog much because the winter here in New England was awful... and I was sick for most of the winter and into Spring. It has a huge, awful impact on my energy levels and ability to get anything done effectively. But things are looking up, fingers crossed!

On to the good news! Many months ago I was contacted by a representative from the Polish science fiction/fantasy magazine Creatio Fantastica (CF). They'd found my poem The Lies Parents Tell and wanted to know if they could translate it and publish it in their magazine. After some questions to them and research on my part, I said yes!

They translated both The Lies Parents Tell and Interview with the Faerie (Part One.) They also interviewed me about my writing, being a working/writing Mom, and themes in my work--as well as that ubiquitous "voice in my head!" This interview is also featured in the current issue. (I'll post the original English version soon!)

A bit about CF... it currently operates under the auspices of the Laboratory of Literature and Popular Culture and New Media at the Department of Modern Languages, University of Wroclaw, Poland. And the editor and translator I worked with, Margaret Mika, was fabulous! Super professional.

My name is on the cover. Really!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Presidential Statement Regarding the SFWA Bulletin

So, if you're a member of the scifi community/a fan, there's been a kerfluffle about the official bulletin of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). It roughly started here (with the cover and some content within this issue.) Then, two Bulletin columnists defended the cover and added fuel to the fire by making statements such as:

The reason for Barbie’s unbelievable staying power, when every contemporary and wanna-be has fallen by the way-side is, she’s a nice girl. Let the Bratz girls dress like tramps and whores. Barbie never had any of that. Sure, there was a quick buck to be made going that route but it wasn’t for her. Barbie got her college degree, but she never acted as if it was something owed to her, or that Ken ever tried to deny her.

She has always been a role model for young girls, and has remained popular with millions of them throughout their entire lives, because she maintained her quiet dignity the way a woman should.

I am sorry to say that this and other offensive, sexist, outdated remarks were made in context of how women can be successful writers.

I know. I'll give you a moment for your head to explode.

The continuing brouha has devolved into this. This "petition" has no merit. It invokes the First Amendment, which doesn't even apply in this case. It is so clearly an attempt to capture and freeze the "golden days" of scifi--when the genre was white-male dominant, and women "knew their place." When writers of color and those who wrote non-hetero-normal themes were simply curiosities.

And here is the very restrained, classy response to this non-petition petition by the current SFWA President:

Over the past few days, there has been much public discussion about a non-member’s petition to SFWA regarding oversight of our member publication, the Bulletin.
While this petition has not been formally presented to SFWA, I have seen versions and they express concerns for something that does not and will not exist:
Specifically, the editor of the Bulletin will not have to go to any selection or editorial review board to approve material.
In compliance with the by-laws and the will of our members, there will be regular oversight of the Bulletin to ensure that it is inclusive of and reflects the diversity of all our members, and that it continues to address the changing needs of professional writers.
With all of our publications, SFWA will continue to stand strong for the rights of writers. This includes opposition to censorship.
Finally, I want to thank the Bulletin Task Force for all their hard work on updating the magazine and to all the members of SFWA for their patience while we make the changes that many of you have asked for. I think you’re going to be proud of what we’ve done.
In a perfect world, this would be end the matter. But it won't. Because some people just have to push forth their bullshit. Some people have to apparently take an oppositional position to everything they see.
And some of the authors who have signed their support of this petition are off my reading list.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Some of the Report-Out/Suggestions from My Arisia Panels

If you took my card at Arisia so that you could get the notes and/or book and movie suggestions from my panels, you may have already seen my post that I lost all of my notes due to technical/user error. (Never again will I take notes on my Google Nexus tablet--it's all paper and pen from here on.) 

With the help of some fellow panelists and audience members--and my memory--I'm able to provide SOME of the information I had collected. See below, by panel topic. I'm including panelist names, as they may have information on their blogs that you can refer to.

Read All the Things!
Panelists: Randee Dawn, Greer Gilman, Adam Lipkin (m), Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, JoSelle Vanderhooft
The authors that were championed were: Jonathan Carroll, Angela Carter, Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, and Roger Zelazny. I championed Octavia Butler. The first works I read of hers were Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. I'd recommend starting there. If you have any questions about other works by Butler, feel free to contact me.

Zombies, More Zombies, and Even More Zombies
Panelists: Gayle BlakeJeanne Cavelos, Gail Z Martin, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert (m), Barbara A Woodward
We talked about:
• The appeal of zombies-- the themes they tend to convey, and how those things connect to our modern world.
• What do zombies represent today?
• Zombie evolution--Shambling vs. sentient; personality or not (i.e. the movie Warm Bodies)
• Variations on the zombie theme (i.e. the Borg)
• Lesser-known zombie works.There were many great suggestions for zombie works, which I've lost. Some are: Dan Shamble PI, Dead Set, Spoiler

Spirituality in Fantasy and Science Fiction
Panelists: Erik Amundsen (m), Max Gladstone, Kate Kaynak, Daniel Jose Older, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
A lot of content came out of this panel. One of the books mentioned was A Canticle for LeibowitzChronicles of Narniaalso the Hyperion series. From my neo-Pagan perspective, I mentioned The Mists of Avalon and The Fifth Sacred Thing as works having influenced my spirituality. An audience member mentioned Dies the Fire.

I wish I could provide more... if any audience members or fellow panelists want to add more in the comments below, please do so!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Update on Report-Out from Arisia Panels...

So, I just posted the below to the Arisia Facebook group...

"Apparently, I saved ALL the notes from my panels incorrectly on my Google Nexus tablet. So, I have NO NOTES to share. I was purposefully taking notes/book-movie suggestions, etc. so that I could share them on my blog.

The panels I was part of were:
* Read All the Things
* Zombies, More Zombies & Even More Zombies
* Spirituality in F/SF
* Fear of Science--On the Rise?
* Get Off My Lawn: Backlash Against Progress in SF

If any of my fellow panelists or audience members have some notes to share, I'd appreciate it!

I'm SO GOING BACK to pen and paper. :-( "

I do have a few notes/things I remember, and I will post those. But I'm hoping to get some more info. from others. UGH! Sorry, and I'm SO mad at myself...