Wiscon 38 Panel Brainstorming Post

Wiscon 38 Panel Brainstorming Post

NOTE: If you’re coming for the first time, here are the panels that still need work:

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Panel submissions for WisCon 38 close soon, and I have many ideas! I know many of my friends have ideas too, but might need some help brainstorming or fleshing them out. Thus, I have created this post.

Anyone who has an idea can put it in the comments, not just me! Let us know what you need, such as: making a kernel of an idea into a full-fleshed panel, help crafting an effective description, coming up with a punchy title, or finding fellow panelists so you can submit a pre-populated idea.

It will make discussions easier if you put one panel idea per comment (make as many as you want) and then folks can reply below each in the thread.

That’s it, let’s have fun!

 

Comments

  1. says

    Need help with then description on this one:

    Lyric and Literature: When Authors and Musicians Collaborate

    Soundtrack albums are necessary adjuncts for movies and more recently TV series, but aren’t de rigueur for novels or book series. When they do spring into existence, it’s often due to a close collaboration or artistic synergy between the author and the musician (if they don’t happen to be the same person). How do these partnerships come about? And how much does each artist influence and inspire the other? If you’re a writer, musician, or other kind of artist, how do you begin to find this kind of synergistic partnership for yourself?

    Panelists: Catherynne M Valente, S. J. Tucker, Andrea Hairston, Pan Morrigan, K. Tempest Bradford (m)

  2. says

    This description needs to be better:

    The Next 50 Years: Where Doctor Who Should Go Next

    This year marks the beginning of the next half century of Doctor Who. After 12(ish) Doctors, dozens of companions, and a universe full of aliens, what do we hope for in the future? Will we finally get a female Doctor? Or one who isn’t White? What kinds of places and times should the Doctor travel to? What kinds of companions do we need more of (or less of)?

  3. says

    I want to submit this panel with specific panelists to make sure we have a balance. Anyone interested? Also, the description could use some massaging.

    The Case Against Steven Moffat

    The Showrunner and/or Creator of Sherlock, Doctor Who, Jekyll, and Coupling is undoubtedly a talented writer with a long list of hit shows under his belt. His body of work is not without major problems, particularly when it comes to female characters, though ethnic minorities and the QUILTBAG community also have their bones to pick. He’s conveniently blamable for the problems of the current Doctor Who run and all of Sherlock, but is he truly the ogre fandom has made him out to be? In this mock trial the panelists will either take the side of the plaintiff or the defense, and at the end the audience will deliver the jury verdict.

  4. says

    Description help, please!

    Sherlock vs Elementary

    These modern Sherlock Holmes adaptations are just the latest in a long line of the same. Yet for some reason there’s a particular divide in the fandom over these two shows. Plenty of people like both. And then there are people who love one and absolutely hate the other. Let’s talk about the different ways each show approaches the characters in the Holmes universe, what one might do better than the other, and ponder whether they can both exist harmoniously or if one will have to eventually eat the other’s heart.

  5. says

    Short Story Panel

    This one is nebulous right now and could use focus. Which of the ideas do you think are better?

    A panel on the best markets to find short fiction written by a diverse pool of authors with characters, settings, and cultures beyond the “mainstream” in genre. Also stories less likely to offend, trigger, or are just plain bad.

    Or

    A panel on the best short fiction the panelists have read so far this year that covers magazines and anthologies, also touching on likely places to find good stuff.

  6. says

    Description help!

    A Sociologist, a Linguist, and an Archaeologist Walk Into A Bar…

    Fantasy and Science Fiction writers who want to create credible invented cultures and languages don’t always have the knowledge or tools to do so. The first answer anyone gives is: research, research, research. Not everyone has good research skills, and sometimes before a writer can begin to research they really need to pick a physical brain. How do you find and cultivate relationships with experts willing to have a conversation (or ten) and point you in the right direction?

  7. says

    HELP ME TEMPEST, YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE.

    So I’ve been reading Karen Miller’s Godspeaker trilogy, and it’s brought up a lot of shit for me, particularly a desire to have conversations about two things. One below, the other in the next comment.

    Femmes in F/SF. As in a discussion not only of the devaluing of traditionally feminine pursuits, but of presenting as femme, for characters of any gender.

  8. says

    Orientalism in F/SF. Or, more generally, the thing where authors will use stereotyping dog whistles to imply things about a character based on real-world racial stereotypes, despite that they are writing about characters In Space, or in a fantasy, non-Earth setting. Idk if this is actually a useful topic of discussion, or just an urge I have to scream for a really long time.

  9. says

    I want to do a panel about Jem & the Holograms. Something that touches on the fact that the show was science fiction with a dash of fantasy mixed in. Also about how Jem is in a poly triad where she’s two of the people. Also, something Isabel said about why does Jerrica need a secret identity in order to have a fulfilling life? And does that translate to expectations of women in the real world? All sketchy! Help.

  10. says

    Title and description help, please! (Suggested by Isabel)

    How to Integrate Kids Into Your Fandom Life Without Cramping Your Style

    This panel is not necessarily just for parents, but for anyone with a kid in their life. Nieces, nephews, cousins, children of friends. The kids you’re close to and want to encourage in the ways of geekiness by bringing them to cons or into your online communities, or to local fandom activities and hangouts. Then again, you are an adult and have adult geeky things to do. What’s the best way to encourage and include without giving up all your adult space and time with friends?

  11. says

    This needs a lot of fleshing out, but: I would love a panel on the increasing number of people making the jump from writing fan fiction to writing pro fiction. And/or just doing both. Is there a secret world of people who went the other way– started as pro writers, and in their free time write fanfic under an untraceable AO3 name?

    Basically I want a panel where everyone in the room outs themselves as an internet weirdo who is still also a functional professional and then we all hug and kudos each others’ fic.

  12. says

    Ooo! This is sort of similar to something we were just talking about at Arisia. Specifically Susan from the Narnia books and how she was so devalued for becoming too girly and thus didn’t deserve to be in heaven. It’s not okay to be girly, but women characters still have to be feminine. It’s a ridiculous tightrope act.

    Any other books/characters anyone can think of that serve as examples of this?

  13. says

    Diano Pho might be a good person to bring in on this since I believe she’s written about this topic for Steampunk, at least, and can maybe help us craft a description. Because yes, this!

  14. says

    Need a good title for this and help with the description.

    Wearable Tech

    One of fastest growing trends in gadgetry is wearable tech. It doesn’t only encompass incredibly expensive products like Google Glass but all the different devices designed to be strapped on a wrist, clipped on clothing, perched on our head, or even worn on our feet. These gadgets are getting smaller, less noticeable, and literally woven into the fabric of our lives. In this panel we’ll explore the implications wearables have on health, personal interaction, privacy, and social issues through the lens of science fiction literature that addresses these themes and our real world experiences.

  15. says

    Yes! Precisely. Sansa Stark is a good example, getting shit from both the text and fandom.

    It’s a tough one, because I think femmes are conspicuous mainly by their absence in F/SF, at least as heroic characters. You instead get a lot of the women who “isn’t like those other girls”. And I can think of maybe one femme guy: the tv presenter from The Fifth Element. Wow, there’s gotta be more…?

  16. says

    Where Are The Good Reviews?

    Reviews of books on Amazon and other bookseller sites or Goodreads and other reader communities should theoretically be great places to find out if a book will be a good fit for you. The reality is that fake reviews abound on online bookstores and reader communities usually get attention when drama breaks out into the rest of the Internet, leaving no good impression. Where can one go to find more useful reviews than astroturf and people more interested in a good read than a good fight?

  17. says

    Description help needed!

    Philanthropy In Fandom

    Fandom is full of generous people, as evidenced by recent high-profile spontaneous fundraising efforts. [name 3 here] The problem is that these efforts are usually spontaneous and often involve the participation of a handful of high-profile individuals. How can we get more organized and harness the power of a generous and caring fandom to spread the love (and the money) around to all the organizations and people who need it?

  18. says

    God, I want to be at this panel already. Maybe some pithy pull quote from Iron Man: Extremis, or Limit of Vision, or Transmetropolitan for a title?

  19. says

    Title and description help needed.

    Worldbuilding [Masters] < -- need a new word here

    With some writers worldbuilding seems effortless because it is so rich and engaging that the reader wants to crawl into the book and live there. The world of the One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy, [2 more examples]. What can we learn about how to build worlds of our own from these and other examples?

  20. says

    We should also generate some panel ideas specifically about the guests of honor. I want to do something on religion and the portrayal of gods in N. K. Jemisin’s work. But I’m blanking on how to write that up. Other thoughts?

  21. says

    I’d be behind this! Are you talking specifically about creating SFF cultures without restoring to using racial/cultural analogues? And connected to that questions is how to create SFF cultures where you want to use cultural analogues without appropriation/stereotyping? Because both issues are different sides of the same coin, imho.

  22. says

    I am suddenly even more interested in this panel. BTW, do you know if anyone working with the Organization for Transformative Works would be attending WisCon then?

  23. says

    Oh, thank God for you. It sounds like it could even be a three-part progression: 1) wow, using racial stereotyping analogues is very prevalent and awful 2) here are examples of not doing that 3) here are ways to use analogues without stereotyping and/or being appropriative.

  24. says

    Heck, yes. Especially as I’m very much a comics person myself, and the shared universe sandbox thing is a long-standing tradition.

  25. Alyc says

    I don’t know if anyone else would be interested in something like this…

    Six Adventurers Walk into a Bar: Creating Stories out of Gaming Experiences

    Speculative fiction has a long tradition of novels and series springing from table-top games: Weis and Hickman’s Dragonlance novels, Stephen Brust’s Taltos/Adrilankha books (list more major ones here). More recent works like Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court series or (something else here) show that these kinds of stories can break away from the old tropes that make editors cringe and add “Write-ups of your table-top game’ to their list of do-nots. How can a writer take a game experience and turn it into a story or novel while avoiding the six-adventurers-on-the-road chestnut? What sorts of rights issues do they need to be worried about, from filing the serial numbers off a well-known system to respecting the creative contributions of other players? How can the more collaborative, non-D&D style games offer an opportunity to write specfic that isn’t based around a single hero’s quest narrative? And how can these sorts of works chip away at the stereotype that gaming is an activity only enjoyed by white males?

    More discussion questions and refining of the description would be welcome!

  26. Cislyn says

    I think a panel focusing on the concept of immortality in N.K. Jemisin’s work would nicely cover a LOT of themes in both the Inheritance trilogy and the Dreamblood books, and would tie into religion without being directly about religion. Though maybe that’s a completely separate panel idea?

  27. says

    I like what you have but I am not up on my game-inspired series! I asked Shanna Germain to come over and give some input as she might know. Other than those holes I think the description works.

  28. Cislyn says

    I think a fun thing to look at in N.K. Jemisin’s works are the gods, for sure – in the Dreamblood books, though religion is a HUGE thing, there’s no direct evidence that The Goddess is a “real” physical being, or actually responsible for the magic or religion at all. Compare and contrast that to the Inheritance Trilogy, where the gods are Right There and in your face and undeniable from any perspective.

    There was a panel last year about religion and worldbuilding which got kind of caught on the word “real” – someone asked “ok, so are we going to have Real Gods walking around and doing stuff in the world, and if so how does it impact things?” and there were objections to the idea that the gods we have here aren’t “real” – I think N.K. Jemisin’s works deal gracefully and wonderfully with both “real” and more nebulous gods, and if we can work that idea into a panel discussing the religions in her works, that would be awesome.

    Also, I suck at writing descriptions, but am great at rambling thinky thoughts. Heh.

  29. Cislyn says

    Does “Worldbuilding Wonders” work for you? I’m a fan of alliteration.

    Some other world builders that have enchanted me: Catherynne Valente, Garth Nix, Saladin Ahmed. I’m sure I’ll be able to think of more, but that’s what’s visible in my room right now, and so what’s at the top of my mind.

  30. says

    Maybe something like:

    Where Are The Femmes In SF?

    Femmes are conspicuously absent in F/SF as heroic characters. There are plenty of women who aren’t “like those other girls” or who fit the Kick-Ass Woman stereotype, but characters of any gender deemed too girly or who follow/fall into traditionally feminine pursuits are usually devalued. [insert some examples like the TV guy from 5th element and Susan] [then something about finding femmes in media and what to do to encourage more?]

  31. says

    Another take on the fanfic panel:

    Calling a Spade a Spade: When Pro Writers Write FanFic (Even If They Won’t Admit It)

    Writers often love playing around in the fictional worlds created by others. When the world is copyrighted and the author isn’t paid, we call it fanfic. But how about when the original works are in the public domain and the author does get paid? Stories and novels in Lovecraft’s mythos, all the Jane Austen “pastiche” on store shelves, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and its ilk. These should also count as fanfiction, but the authors who write them (and the stores that sell them) may deny this is so. Is denying the label inherantly disparaging to fanfiction and should we let them get away with that?

  32. says

    Title and descrip polishing help, pls:

    secret fanfiction writer identities are like ani, watson. everyone has one

    You may not know it, but some of your favorite pro writers may have secretly or not-so-secretly written fanfiction before they got their first publishing deal and may have even continued writing it even after. The list includes such luminaries as Naomi Novik, Lois McMaster Bujold, Seanan McGuire, Martha Wells, Sarah Rees Brennan, Una McCormack, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and one of this year’s GoHs N. K. Jemisin. SHOCKING. On this panel authors who write in both worlds will talk about how fanfiction influenced and continues to influence their author brains and how they approach the writing process.

    Does that approach what you were looking for, Gabby?

  33. says

    Here’s my edit of the description:

    Speculative fiction has a long tradition of novels and series springing from table-top games: Weis and Hickman’s Dragonlance novels, Stephen Brust’s Taltos/Adrilankha books, and Raymond E. Feist’s world of Midkemia. More recent works like Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court series or the Kingkiller Chroniclers by Patrick Rothfuss show that these kinds of stories can break away from the old tropes that make editors cringe and add “Write-ups of your table-top game’ to their list of do-nots. How can a writer take a game experience and turn it into a story or novel while avoiding the six-adventurers-on-the-road chestnut? What sorts of rights issues do they need to be worried about, from filing the serial numbers off a well-known system to respecting the creative contributions of other players? How can the more collaborative, non-D&D style games offer an opportunity to write specfic that isn’t based around a single hero’s quest narrative? And how can these sorts of works chip away at the stereotype that gaming is an activity only enjoyed by white males?

    —–

    As I said, I think the rest of the description is solid. Anyone else think we’re in need of more discussion questions?

  34. Alyc says

    Good additions, thank you!

    I was thinking this might be an interesting additional question between the contributions of other players and the more collaborative quesitons:

    How can thinking of our stories through a gaming lens help with issues like plotting, pacing, and reader (player) engagement?

    But I wonder if that might be loading too much into one panel, and/or diverging too far afield.