May convention, take 2! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend StokerCon because the spouse brought COVID home from work. But I’m all better, tested negative, and ready to go! Balticon is my “home convention” so it has a permanent spot on my annual schedule. My weekend is packed with events, both live and virtual, so plenty of opportunities exist for you to see me!
As always, you’re welcome to contact me anytime via social media to arrange a meetup for a meal, drink, or just a chat!
May 27-30, 2022
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
4 PM: Rating Books in the Algorithm Age (virtual panel)
- Do numeric rating systems such as “X out of 10” lead to a loss of nuance? Can the ubiquitous five-star rating system (as used by Amazon and Goodreads) lead to grade inflation? Is a well-written entertaining work deserving of top ratings, or does it also need to be groundbreaking? When a rating is going to be amalgamated without context, what are a reviewer’s ethical responsibilities?
- With Eric Hardenbrook, Mary Soon Lee, and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (I’m moderating)
7 PM: Author Reading (live)
- With Mary Turzillo
8:30 PM: Alternate History–Just Add Magic! (live panel)
- Starting with a well known period of history and throwing in magical elements into the mix is a popular approach to developing a basic concept for a story. Examples of this include Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the Enchanted Chocolate Pot, and the recent Dead Djinn Universe. We will talk about the benefits and pitfalls of this approach, how much rigor to put into the magical system, how much history you need to learn, and how to decide where to get started.
- With Jean Marie Ward (moderator), Tom Doyle, Phenderson Djeli Clark, and Michelle D. Sonnier
4 PM: Adding Love Stories to Genre Fiction (live panel)
- Romances in genre fiction often get a bad rap for feeling forced and causing the story to come to a screeching halt. How can a creator balance the developing relationship with the overarching story? Which authors have shown a knack for weaving in romances and can be looked to for writing inspiration?
- With T.C. Weber, L. Marie Wood, and Margaret Riley (I’m moderating)
10 AM: How Online Fan Communities Have Evolved (virtual panel)
- Science fiction and fantasy fans are often early adaptors of new communications technology, and each evolutionary leap has helped fans find each other. How have the distinct features (and limitations) of different platforms shaped the communities that used them and how do we think they will change in the near and distant future?
- With Gail Z. Martin (moderator), Christine Sandquist, and Leonardo Espinoza Benavides
5:30 PM: Author Autograph Session (live)
- With Jennifer Povey
10 AM: Genre as “Literature” (virtual panel)
- Is genre just set dressing, and if so, is “literature” a genre? Plenty of well-regarded literary works have genre elements, but is The Satanic Verses fantasy? Is The Yiddish Policeman’s Union science fiction? Can we draw the line between genre and non-genre, and do we need to?
- With Vivian Shaw and Tobi Ogundiran (I’m moderating)
11:30 AM: Trauma in the Marvel TV Universe (virtual panel)
- WandaVision, The Falcon and Winter Soldier, Cloak and Dagger, and Hawkeye address loss, grief, trauma, and the extended effects these have on people. Many of these themes resonate with people’s experiences of recent world events. How successful are these shows in presenting these narratives?
- With Mari Ness, Somto Ihezue, and Ryan O’Nan (I’m moderating)