May 16th, 2014


WisCon 38 Awaits Memorial Day Weekend

WisCon 38, May 23-26, 2014 / SFRA Conference, May 22-24, 2014.
Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison WI.
Memorial Day weekend.

I'll be attending my third WisCon this year, after a nine year absence. WisCon is the world's first feminist science fiction con and features panels and discussions you just don't always see.

I am on three panels and a reading:
Saturday 24 May 2014

4. The 1st 8 people on the list who are physically present at the WisCon (not the hotel's) registration desk (2nd floor of the Concourse Hotel) at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning (for example, #s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 12) will be the contestants.

5. Each contestant will get a USB flash drive which contains a single RTF (rich-text format) document. That document will contain a few lines of dialog. Your task is to load the document onto your computer, construct a story that incorporates the supplied dialog, save it back to the flash drive, also as an RTF document, and turn it in within 60 minutes. We'll take care of printing them out.

Food, Glorious Food
1:00-2:15 pm Caucus

Catherine Krahe(M), Matt Austern, Penny Hill, Philip Edward Kaldon, Rich McAllister
In our lived lives food of our cultural background, or our ancestors, plays a significant part of our sense of home and cultural identity. Who are the writers who integrate details of food with an eye toward cultural specificity and diversity in their speculative fiction? What is the significance of food in stories? What is its function? How does this inclusion affect the world/setting of the story?

Sunday 25 May 2014
The Corporation as Character in Science Fiction
8:30-9:45 am Senate A

Marguerite Reed (M), Alex Gurevich, Chip Hitchcock, Philip Edward Kaldon, Catherine Lundoff
Science fiction, particularly in films, is full of corporations with evil or morally ambiguous intent: Yoyodyne, Terrell Corp, Umbrella Corp, the list is nearly endless. They may be represented by a single villainous character or by numerous faceless functionaries, but what the viewer remembers / is presented with is the corporation itself as the villain. Is that enough to make the corporation an entity, a "person," in their own right? Are corporations inherently evil? Or simply amoral? How has the depiction of the corporation changed in SF? Is it different in anime or manga, comics, written SF vs media SF? Where do we see that image of the corporation going in the near future?

Fashions of the Future
2:30–3:45 pm Conference 5

Jenny Sessions (M), Lucy Adlington, Philip Edward Kaldon, Rebecca Maines, Heather McDougal
Would there be humans in space without zippers and Velcro? Captain Picard wore a spandex corset under his Enterprise uniform because Gene Roddenberry decreed there should be no unseemly bulges in space. How do sci-fi clothes reflect contemporary fashions and social prejudices? Shiny jumpsuits, micro-mini dresses, tribal robes and spacesuits… let's explore how gender/race/status/exoticism are shown through the clothes and uniforms of sci-fi past and present, from 19th century images of "deep-sea diver" spacewear to NASA-inspired outfits, plus more fantastical sci-fantasy creations. Are we seeing inventive or derivative clothes in sci-fi films/TV shows? Is there still a routine overt sexualisation of female spacewear? How might emerging textile technologies affect future human space travel and off-Earth colonisation?

Monday 26 May 2014
Twists and Turns (Readings)
10:00-11:15 am Conference 2

Carrie L. Ferguson, Philip Edward Kaldon, Lucas James Pralle, Zora M. Quynh
Four authors of diverse genres. Life, death, after death, multiverse, getting a date on a starship and the stories we tell children. The only common theme? Some of the stories have protagonists named Lily. Come for the melange, stay for the stories.
The full schedule is here.

Dr. Phil