I'll be attending and participating in this year's World Science Fiction Convention, also known as MidAmeriCon II and WorldCon, held in Kansas City, Missouri. I've been attending WorldCon since 2011, but this is the first year I am participating on panels.
Having moved around the country quite a bit starting in 1993 (the U.S. Navy, a couple of other jobs, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation contributed to this somewhat nomadic lifestyle), my friends are typically not residing where I currently live, so I enjoy traveling to these conventions to hang out with my friends for a few days. Despite WorldCon being a fan-based convention rather than professional convention, plenty of business is conducted at restaurants and whichever bar happens to be the designated hangout bar--this is also known as "bar con." Writers, editors, and agents all tend to congregate at this location and I have to admit, most of my networking has occurred at the bar. I know this paints the people involved in the publishing industry as a bunch of drunks and is one of the great cliche's when it comes to writers, but we like to have a good time and let loose, what can I say?
The staff in charge of programming has kindly arranged for me to participate on 5 panels!
Futuristic Crime Investigations
Wednesday 15:00 - 16:00, 2204 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Whether it is the shiny and clinical crime investigation of Minority Report (short story, film and TV), or the rough and dirty type in Leviathan Wakes (novel, and now the TV show The Expanse), crime investigations are as much a part of futuristic SF as spaceships and aliens. Do these investigations function in any way that is based in reality? How do they reflect our opinions on crime and those who investigate crime today?
The Future of Forensics
Thursday 12:00 - 13:00, 2209 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Forensic scientists analyze scientific evidence in criminal investigations and, as with all science , the methods available grow and change and improve on a regular basis. This panel of experts discuss what is current and lead to where it might go next.
Creating the 1632 Universe
Thursday 17:00 - 18:00, 3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)
A look at how Eric Flint created the 1632 universe, how other authors have contributed, and how a fandom has grown up around it complete with its own conventions and publishing house.
Bogus Science in TV Shows
Saturday 12:00 - 13:00, 2502A (Kansas City Convention Center)
Television procedurals like Numbers, CSI, and Scorpion purport to use science to solve their cases of the week, but in actuality, their science is as fake as anything in The Expanse or Fringe. Could these shows succeed using real science? How does their depiction of science impact people's perceptions of science in the real world? CSI makes forensics look case solving and utterly dependable, but that’s not how it works in the real world.
Programming for Mature Fans at SF Conventions
Saturday 13:00 - 14:00, 2204 (Kansas City Convention Center)
It is important to create programming for audiences in all walks of life, interests, and needs. We have programming that is diverse in content as well as programming on race, gender, politics, and more. Among all of this, what kind of programming should we have for older fans? Are conventions still relevant to people in their 70s, 80s and 90s . If not, what kind of programming should be available and what can we do to help encourage them to stay in the fold?