This weekend I’ll be at my home-town Speculative Fiction Conference, Continuum. I’ll be in the audience for a whole lot of really interesting panels (you can see the whole program here) and probably throwing out a whole lot of tweets using the official hashtag #Con14 (this being the 14th Continuum Conference).
I’ll also be on four panels, one each day:
Friday: Welcome! Everything is Fine
From 9:30pm Cecilia Quirk, Corey J. White, Natalie Haigh and I will be discussing The Good Place. We’ll explore comedy afterlives, ethics in popular fiction, moral philosophy and puns.
The good news here is that you can join in even if you’re not a member of the convention, as the Friday panels are open for people to come in and dip their toe in the water (for a small contribution. About $5 I think?)
Saturday: Speculative Ethics
From 3pm, Laura Wilkinson, Tania Walker, Sam Kiss and I will explore the connections between Spec Fic and questions of ethics and morality.
Whether this is the battle between good and evil on Pelennor Fields, the Prime Directive of the Federation, or T’Challa’s decision for the future of Wakanda, Fantasy and Science Fiction have often raised difficult questions about what it means to be good, the obligations we have to each other and the implications which arise from our moral beliefs. As readers and viewers, we make moral decisions about these stories: Who ought sit on the Iron Throne of Westeros? Should we be Team Cap or Team Iron Man? Can I justify post-apocalyptic murder?
Sunday: This Panel is its Own Grandfather
From 4pm, Corey J. White, Lexie (Darren), Marlee Jane Ward, Thalia Kalkipsakis and I will be talking about time travel: the good, the bad, the paradoxical. The works that exist, and the works that have not yet been released in this timestream.
Monday: Speculative Detectives
From 11am, I’ll be moderating the panel of Devin Jeyathurai, Kat CLay, Narrelle M. Harris, and Robert Hood
We’ll consider shows and books like the Expanse and Altered Carbon, where the cross-genre detective is making a comeback in a big way. Why is it so easy to mash-up the detective story with speculative fiction? And what makes a great genre-bending detective? These fans and authors discuss where these pulpy detectives come from, the best (and worst) stories and how to write one without falling into the trope traps of hardboiled PI meets femme fatale.
If you’re going to be at Continuum too I’d love to meet you. Come up and have a chat, especially if it’s your first Con. I’m always keen to meet people in the Speculative Fiction field and hopefully I can help people feel welcome and included in our shared interests.