World Science Fiction Convention

This week I’ll be in Reno for my first-ever World Science Fiction Convention! I’ll be in the dealer room with my Machine of Death co-editor Matthew Bennardo, but I’ll also be on the following panels:

Thu 16:00 – 17:00, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Canon within Comics
What are the essential science fiction and fantasy comics?
Tom Galloway (M), David Malki, Andrew Wheeler, Scott Edelman

(I will say right now that my answer to that question is “Um…aren’t 90% of mainstream comics considered science fiction?” And then I will make jokes to mask my nervousness. If you have suggestions for BRILLIANT ANSWERS I can whip out to seem learned on this panel, please leave a comment on this post.)

Thu 18:00 – 19:00, Making Wondermark: Victorian-Style Collage with a Humorous Bent
To make the celebrated comic strip “Wondermark”, David Malki repurposes illustrations and engravings from 19th-Century books into sarcastic, silly, and surreal collage-style comic strips. Come watch how it’s done and find out if he’s as funny in person as he is in comics!

(I’m somewhat more comfortable with the subject matter of this one.)

Fri 11:00 – 12:00, Ultimate Steampunk – Could the Victorians Have Built a Flying Carriage
While the Victorians built guns, trains and submarines, they never quite got off the ground. But, what if they had built a flying carriage, a spacesuit or a non-loom computer?
David Malki (M), G. David Nordley, Allison Lonsdale, Harry Turtledove, Lawrence Person

(My role as moderator of this panel will chiefly be to say, “Have you guys seen Master of the World with Vincent Price and Charles Bronson? It would’ve been like that, right? Right?”)

Fri 14:00 – 15:00, Book Design and Layout
A review of the process and challenges involved in designing and producing a book once the written word is in hand.
Tara O’Shea (M), David Malki, Sandra Tayler

Sat 15:00 – 16:00, Editing Anthologies
How do editors approach anthologies? Do they just call their friends, or do they (or their assistants) plow through slushpiles? Do the “Best ofs” present special issues?
David Malki (M), Jennifer Brozek, John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow

Sun 12:00 – 13:00, Humor in SF and Fantasy
Groucho Marx said that comedy is harder than drama. What are the challenges of writing humor? Who are influences — inside the field and out?
Peter J. Heck (M), David Malki, John DeChancie, Dr. Demento

I’ve also been playing with a new toy — an Eye-Fi camera card that will allow me to take pictures with a nice (non-mobile-device) camera and shoot them straight to my iPad for uploading to the Web. I’m going to try to make a habit of sharing pics all week long on my Twitter, so keep an eye out for those! Are you curious what the inside of the Reno State Convention Center looks like? No? Well, you’ll soon find out.


^ 10 Comments...

  1. Franko

    i won’t be able to make it to the Con (i’m not a member, and $70 per day to get in is too much for me right now)…. but welcome to reno! i hope it’s a great week for you. it looks like it’s going to be a great convention — so many interesting topics, speakers, and authors. i’m hoping for video later. : \

  2. Craig L

    I have been in awe of you for some time but sharing a panel with Dr. Demento? Wow. Several other names on the panels with you I recognize, all of them cool people, but Dr. Demento… just wow.

    And while you’re in Reno, I wonder if you could find the answer to a legal jurisdiction question that has been bothering me for years. Why would Johnny Cash be in Folsom Prison in CALIFRONIA if he shot a man in Reno, NEVADA?

  3. JaniceG

    Regarding the panel you have to moderate, after you register for the con, you’ll be picking up a packet at the Program Participant Check-in desk nearby that has some tips for moderating that we hope you’ll find useful. Looking forward to meeting you! Please stop by my Program Ops cave to say hi :->

  4. David Malki !

    Don’t worry, Janice! I am well-known for my probing and insightful questions. They call me “the Edward R. Murrow of comics”. Or is that “the Edward G. Robinson of comics”? Either way, I’m sure it’ll be one for the ages!

  5. Ed Smallwood

    Gerald Nordley’s cool. You’ll like him. Tell him Ed Smallwood says “Hi!” Oh, btw, our group always found that Science Fiction happened best when lubricated with chocolate (don’t remember if he was there that day though…)

  6. Joseph

    semi-BRILLIANT ANSWERS: if posed with this question, i would argue that the true nature of a sci-fi or fantasy story isn’t in the set pieces, but in the central theme. for example, Batman uses a plethora of technological gadgets that are impossible in the world we inhabit, but usually don’t exist in the story for any reason other than to give him new ways to be badass; the overall focus of Batman comics is, well, Batman. in contrast, the X-men comics explore the effect of genetic evolution on human society in addition to creating all kinds of ways for their superheroes to be badass.

    likewise, fantasy isn’t just defined by “Magic” or “Unicorns” (often Unicorns, but not always). but while sci-fi reexamines our world through the lens of new discoveries, fantasy looks at the world through the lens of the unknown; the Force, ghosts, pagan gods, etc. (which might explain why people got so upset at the mitochloridan explanation killing some of that mystery). the line between sci-fi and fantasy then isn’t based on futuristic vs. medieval setting so much as to whether the fictional universe runs on consistent, physical laws or supernatural forces. which of course gives you the opportunity to then recklessly mash these up, such as in the Marvel universe.

  7. Alex

    You could say that Schlock Mercenary is among the essential sci-fi comics. Maybe it’ll earn you points with Sandra Tayler, who’s on the book design panel with you on Friday, since her husband makes that comic. I’m not really sure what these points are for or what you would do with them, but I guess you’re in a position to get them?

  8. Elaine

    I was thrilled to see your name in the program yesterday! Can’t wait to see the Wondermark demonstration. I’m really very, very excited. No pressure.

  9. av

    “help me” he says, and then, “yay!” he says …

  10. Beth

    Watching you create a comic was one of the coolest things I saw at WorldCon!