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LonCon 2014 Schedule! Storytelling! And representation!

LonCon 2014 Schedule! Storytelling! And representation!

Hurrah! The schedules for LonCon are finally out!

This is the first big, people-from-all-over SFF con that I’ll be attending and also the first con of the same kind in which I’ll be sitting on panels. With that in mind, I’m hoping that four panels isn’t more than I can chew… ¬†this is a reasonable schedule, is it not?

Here’s what I’ll be on. Mostly discussions of ways to tell stories, and matters of representation in media.

1) Recentering the World Storm: John Clute’s “Fantastika” and the World

Thursday 14th August 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 6 (ExCeL)

With Geoff Ryman, John Clute, Glenda Larke and Gili Bar-Hillel. Talking about John Clute’s definition of “fantastika” in the context of a world where non-Western, non-Anglophone storytelling traditions exist.

2) Content and Form: Writing SF/F in non-Western Modes

Friday 15th August 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)

With Amal El-Mohtar, Aliette de Bodard, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Nick Wood. Talking about non-Western forms of SFF storytelling.

3) Beyond Bechdel

Friday 15th August 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)

With Kate Heartfield, Kate Elliot, Jed Hartman, Julia Rios. Discussing other tests of diversity in film and media.

4) The Knowable Other?

Saturday 16th August 19:00 – 20:00, London Suite 2 (ExCeL)

With Viktoriya H, Michael Morelli, Ashley Pollard, Justina Robson. Discussing the trend in media where “Others” are increasingly taking on human form (Cylons in BSG, androids in Almost Human, etc) (I don’t think it’s a trend and I don’t think it’s that new)

As a softener, to warm me up to LonCon, I’ll also be attending NineWorlds from 8-10 August. I won’t be on any panels there, but I might be doing a reading–more on that later!

Really excited at the prospect of meeting folks I’ve gotten to know over the past year or so in person. NOT TO MENTION A NUMBER OF MY CLARION WEST CLASSMATES. IT’S NOT LIKE I’M EXCITED ABOUT THAT PROSPECT OR ANYTHING.

August is going to be fantastic. Hope to see y’all there!

When They Said “Assemble”, I Didn’t Think They Meant An Ikea Table, AKA Why I Disliked The Avengers Movie

When They Said “Assemble”, I Didn’t Think They Meant An Ikea Table, AKA Why I Disliked The Avengers Movie

A still from Marvel's The Avengers, produced by Walt Disney Co.

I am currently girding my loins because I am going to post an extremely unpopular opinion.

I did not like the Avengers movie.

First off, a disclaimer: I am not a comics fan. While I may dabble in the occasional graphic novel and hang around comics geeks more than half the time, I basically know nothing about the Marvel comicsverse, aside from what I read from Neil Gaiman’s 1602, and what I learned monitoring some of the comics communities on LJ and Dreamwidth while I was working in an ultimately-doomed local comics studio. (Storm Lion, you may have heard of them.)

But perhaps this puts me in good stead to review the film. I’m not emotionally invested enough in the source material to have it eclipse everything else, but I’m also not so detached from the comics fandom that I’ll start tearing apart things that are generally accepted as comic book tropes.

I really wanted to like this film. I don’t head out to the theatres much these days, owing mostly to time constraints, but this was one film I bookmarked as a must-see after the rave reviews given by almost everyone who had caught an advance screening. I sussed out the opening date and marked it out weeks in advance: Must go see this when it opens. Find someone who wants to watch it with you. Cannot miss it.

And maybe that was its problem: It didn’t live up to the hype. Cut for spoilers!

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