Wiscon 42 Bound!

Now that my kids are officially out of diapers and sincerely easier to manage, I can finally start attending more than local conventions. One of the first ones on my list was Wiscon, not just because of its stellar reputation but also because it’s a feminist science fiction and fantasy convention. When I got a look at the programming I was in a very happy place. After panel after panel after panel in the last eight years or so, I’ve come to expect certain themes. It’s so refreshing to see panels of a different sort! I’m also thrilled to hear the guests of honor, Saladin Ahmed, and Tananarive Due.

I’m on five panels and they all look yummy! I can’t wait to meet folks and catch up with those I’ve missed in the space between (especially my OA folks).

I’ll also be attending World Fantasy later this year.


As Schedule Location
So, Your Character’s A God… participant Fri 1:00 – 2:15PM Conference 4
Moderator: Alex Gurevich. Email Alex Gurevich, Natania Barron, Anaea Lay, Gabiann Marin about this item.
Sometimes characters have strong beliefs in gods, and sometimes characters ARE gods. These can be anyone from omnipotent gods distanced from the people to gods casted out of their lands and forced to live as wretched beings. Sometimes there are whole pantheons of gods, and sometimes there’s just the one. What does it mean to have a god as a character? What are the potential pitfalls in using a real life religion as your fictional playground?
2018 Scifi Anniversaries participant Fri 9:00 – 10:15PM Assembly
Moderator: Christopher Davis. Email Christopher Davis, Natania Barron, Jennifer Marie Brissett, Sandra J. Lindow about this item. S
It’s 200 years since Frankenstein was published; 50 since 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep were created; 40 years since Battlestar Galactica hit tv screens; 35 since the initial Star Wars trilogy concluded with Return of the Jedi; 25 since Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 made their debuts. How has the world and scifi changed in the interim? How have the ways we relate to these stories shifted, and why are they still important to us? Will we keep rebooting, resuscitating, and franchising our nostalgia for these stories? 200, 50, 40, 35, 25 years from now, what are we likely to be canonizing, and will those creations deserve the treatment?
Arab American Fantasy participant Sat 2:30 – 3:45PM Capitol A
Moderator: Suzanne Walker. Email Suzanne Walker, Saladin Ahmed, Natania Barron about this item. Simple linkfor Firefox/gmail users.
How does telling stories help us explore our own identities and points of cultural connection? This panel explores the role of Arab American fantasy in providing a personal lens for determining Arab American identity.
Weird West participant Sun 8:30 – 9:45AM University B
Moderator: S. Qiouyi Lu. Email S. Qiouyi Lu, Natania Barron, Eric M. Heideman, Gayathri Kamath about this item.
Westworld and Wynonna Earp are mining the American West for both science fiction and supernatural horror in what are essentially closed societies. What makes the West so suitable for being Weird? What does the setting contribute to these shows in particular? And how are these shows commenting on the outside world?
Disability And Ability participant Sun 10:00 – 11:15AM Conference 2
Moderator: Kari Dru. Email Kari Dru, Natania Barron, Lauren Jankowski, Petra Kuppers about this item.
This panel will explore depictions of differently abled people in writing and other media. What assumptions ground the portrayals in ways that are frustratingly limiting or open up new images of people with different challenges and abilities?

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