I’ll be on Mars, well, in Mars, Pennsylvania, starting on Friday (25 July) through Sunday (27 July) for Confluence, at the Sheraton Starpoint.

Here’s my preliminary schedule (*updated to included panel descriptions and add 2 panels):

FRIDAY, 25 July
6pm – Marshall
Is SFWA Still Relevant?
[Panelists: Denise Verrico (m), Sarah Goslee, Elektra Hammond, Christie Meiers]
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America – SFWA is a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres. With a stated intent of supporting its members in a multitude of ways, does it manage to keep itself open to the needs of today’s writers, or has it become an exclusive club of snobs?

7pm – Pine
Why I’m a Fan
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond (m), Ken Chiacchia, Alan Katerinsky, Larry Ivkovitch]
We love the genres, whether it’s Science Fiction in all its electronic, beeping, gear-meshing wonder, Fantasy and each magical quest or Horror with every shadow lurking behind an innocent façade. How did we get here and what about it all keeps us?

8pm – Board Room
Reading
[Panelists: me!]
I’ll be reading from “In the Form of a Question,” in which Norse Gods play Jeopardy!. It appears in the parody anthology TV Gods–copies will be for sale in the Huckster’s Room from the Fortress Guys.

SATURDAY, 26 July
5pm – Marshall
Why did Steampunk?
[Panelists: Matt Betts (m), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Elektra Hammond, Jeff Young]
Lately, it is being recognized as a separate and distinct genre of fiction. Why did it happen, what about it captured the imaginations of so many, what about it continues to gather forward momentum (build up a head of steam?)?

8pm – Pine
SF Series – What’s worth it and what doesn’t make the grade
[Panelists: David Hartwell (m), Eric Leif Davin, Elektra Hammond, Charles Oberndorf]
Not specifically SF — all series are fair game here. Writers have done multiple visits to the same worlds/universes. From John Carter and Tarzan to Game of Thrones, which ones are worth the time and which are a questionable use of paper or digital memory?

9pm – Marshall
Movies as Series – good and bad
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond (m), Michael Arnzen, Ken Chiacchia, Jon Sprunk]
Just as there are novels that are series, there are movies that were series. A discussion of good series, bad series and OMG-I-can’t-believe-there-was-a follow-up-to-that-dog.

9pm – 525
There is a book launch (yes, I know it conflicts with my panel!) for Fortress Publishing’s latest endeavor TV Gods. I’ll be dashing there after the panel is over.

SUNDAY, 27 July
12 noon – Marshall
How do you find the Right books to read? (Needle in a haystack?)
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond (m), Tim Liebe, Jeff Young, Alan Katerinsky]
With all the choices available now, where can you find the right mix of Hard SF and character, how about suspense and break-neck plotting, whimsical fantasy and learning from mistakes? You can’t always trust the back blurbs and sometimes the covers have nothing to do with what’s on the inside. Is there a resource or group you can trust?

1pm – Crawford/Venango
Tom Smith Live!
If you’re looking for me–I’ll be here, listening to the World’s Fastest Filker.

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