Storming The Castle

Friday6:00 PMDearborn The Future of Masculinity Masculinity and “manliness” are social constructs, and like all social constructs, they evolve and change over time. How will our definitions of masculinity evolve over time? How can we portray positive visions of masculinity in speculative fiction? Jason Sanford (M), Pablo Defendini, Michael R. Underwood, John Chu, David Anthony Durham
Saturday10:00 AMDearborn Beyond the Boilerplate So the cast of your comic strip has finally done it all. Met, got married, had kids, sent the kids to college, moved them out of the basement, and now return to the empty nest... So what next? What do you do when your virtual people have told their stories? The creators of three long-running comics â€" two of which have run for thirty or more years â€" will discuss the problem and the solutions they found. Discussion will follow. Sean Martin (M), BluRaven C. Houvener, Kurt Erichsen
Saturday11:00 AMDearborn The Craft of Episodic Storytelling From comics to serialized novels, episodic fiction has a long history in genre. Thanks to the convenience of the internet, it's experienced a resurgence, with episodic short fiction, web series, and episodic video games. What impact does serialization have on how writers approach plot, pacing, exposition, and characterization? What qualities make a story a good fit for serialization? What can you do in a serialized story more easily than in a non-serialized one? What becomes harder when serialization is in the mix? Jackie Morgan (M), Mur Lafferty, Jennifer Mace, Christian Klaver, Nathan Rockwood
Saturday12:00 PMDearborn How To Storm A Castle: Pre-Industrial Defenses Around The World How, precisely, do you storm a castle? Join our panel to discuss pre-industrial building defenses, their strengths and vulnerabilities, and how to get past them if you need to defeat the evil prince within. Chris Bell (M), Josef Matulich, Scott H. Andrews, Ada Palmer
Saturday1:00 PMDearborn Hospitality, Sanctuary, and Refuge in Secondary Worlds Real-world cultures have wide-ranging rules and customs around how much hospitality we owe to strangers. What are our favorite examples of hospitality customs in science fiction and fantasy? How can we build realistic hospitality customs for secondary world cultures, and how can we use hospitality customs to add depth to our world-building or create challenges for our characters? Sarah E. Gibbons (M), Eric Anderson, Scott H. Andrews, E.D.E. Bell (Emily)
Saturday2:00 PMDearborn The Stories We Pass Down The central conceit of The Princess Bride was that Goldman wanted to share S. Morgenstern's classic--his childhood favorite--with his own kid. This is a relatable experience for many readers. But many of us find ourselves in Goldman's shoes: trying to manage our disappointment that our kid could barely choke down the first chapter of our childhood favorite. How do we decide whether a book we loved as a kid is a good fit for our own kids, and when they're old enough to appreciate it? How can we share our favorites with our kids in a way that respects their individual taste? Anthony W. Eichenlaub (M), Stacey Filak, Michael Cieslak, Ken Schrader, David Anthony Durham
Saturday3:00 PMDearborn Reading: John Scalzi  John Scalzi
Saturday5:00 PMDearborn New Trends in Post-Collapse Fiction The prospect of a world where the march of social and technological progress has drastically reversed course seems a lot closer than it used to be. What has changed in the way we imagine post-collapse futures? How do post-collapse futures of the past and present exist in conversation with the social and political worlds in which they were written? Marissa Lingen (M), Andrea Johnson, Michael J. DeLuca, Petra Kuppers, Anaea Lay
Saturday6:00 PMDearborn If you liked that, try this! Our well-read panel will give you personalized book recommendations based on things you've read and loved. Merrie Haskell (M), John Winkelman, Andrea Johnson, Karen Osborne, Sarah Hans
Saturday8:00 PMDearborn Let's Talk Season 2: Biology! A lighthearted talk on a hard science topics with smart and funny people. Let's Talk: Biology is about eating bugs vs eating people, how overblown CRISPR is, how soon can you pet a Triceratops, and what superbug is next on the horizon and how we will beat it. Daniel Dugan (M), Sandee Rodriguez, Derek Kunsken, Dr. Julie Lesnik
Sunday11:00 AMDearborn Superhero Fiction As A Case Study In Balancing Grit and Hope Since the eighties, we've seen a trend towards using more violence and darker storylines to attract a more mature audience to comics. But we're also seeing a growing fatigue for these dark visions of heroism, with more hopeful heroes hitting the scene and parodies such as Deadpool turning brooding and bleeding into a punchline. What lessons can we take from comics in how to strike the right tonal balance in our work? Who's using grit well? Who are our favorite hopeful heroes, and how do their creators deliver optimism without cheese? David Anthony Durham (M), Eric Anderson, Sandee Rodriguez, A. Merc Rustad, BluRaven C. Houvener
Sunday2:00 PMDearborn Women Over Fifty as Leaders, Mentors, and Heroes in SFF Robin Wright's transition from The Princess Bride's Buttercup to Wonder Woman's Antiope is emblematic of a larger trend in science fiction and fantasy: our princesses are becoming generals. Star Wars's General Organa, The Expanse's Chrisjen Avasarala, Legend of Korra's Lin Beifong, and The Broken Earth Trilogy's Essun--women's roles in genre fiction are expanding, and women whose comings of age are far behind them are refusing to be crowded off of the trails they blazed. Who are our favorite women over fifty in genre fiction? What roles would we like to see older women occupying more in our stories? Diana Rowland (M), Suzanne Church, Jeannie Szarama, Sarah E. Gibbons, Teresa Nielsen Hayden