Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Readercon programming

I'll be attending Readercon 20, July 9-12, 2009, near Boston. Here's the programming I'll be on:

Friday 11:00 AM, Vineyard: Reading (60 min.) from his recently published novel WWW: Wake.

Friday 5:00 PM, Room 458: Kaffeeklatsch.

Saturday 10:00 AM, Salon F: Autographing.

Saturday 12:00 Noon, VT: Federations Group Reading (60 min.) John Joseph Adams (host) with K. Tempest Bradford, Robert J. Sawyer, Allen Steele, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine: Readings from the original and reprint anthology (cover blurb: "Vast. Epic. Interstellar.") edited by Adams and published by Prime Books in January.

Saturday 1:00 PM, Salon E: Panel: Novels of Advocacy vs. Novels of Recognition. Paolo Bacigalupi, John Clute, Ken Houghton, Barry N. Malzberg, Robert J. Sawyer (Leader), Graham Sleight: At the keynote Thursday night panel at Readercon 18, our panelists stumbled upon a useful taxonomic distinction: novels that advocate for a particular future (a la Heinlein) versus novels that merely attempt to recognize and describe a possible one (a la Gibson). There was some debate as to just how strongly the field was moving from the former to the latter, and if there was such a trend, its relationship to others (optimism vs. pessimism, far futures vs. near futures, etc.) One of the panelists, Graham Sleight, has recently renewed the discussion online. We'll explore the numerous possible directions raised by Sleight and others.

Saturday 3:00 PM, Salon E: Panel: Is Darwinism Too Good For SF? Jeff Hecht (Leader), Caitlin R. Kiernan, Anil Menon, James Morrow, Steven Popkes, Robert J. Sawyer: This year marks the sesquicentennial of the publication of The Origin of Species and the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth. Considering the importance of the scientific idea, there has been surprisingly little great sf inspired by it. We wonder whether, in fact, if the theory has been too good, too unassailable and too full of explanatory power, to leave the wiggle room where speculative minds can play in. After all, physics not only has FTL and time travel, but mechanisms like wormholes that might conceivably make them possible. What are their equivalents in evolutionary theory, if any?
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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At July 05, 2009 9:39 PM , Blogger -Tim said...

Darwinism too unassailable?


I wish I were able to attend that discussion! I hope someone points out the straining credulity of the hardline evolutionists. Although technically, those ideas are not the same as strict Darwinism. Still, the general public rarely makes that distinction.

Good luck with that one, Rob! And have fun at the con, sounds like a great time. Lots of great stuff this year.

At July 05, 2009 9:45 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Just to be clear, the "we" in the program-item descriptions doesn't refer to the members of the panels, it refers to the members of Readercon's programming committee. :) People often sign up for panels to disagree with the premise that's been put forth. ;)


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