I’m pretty pleased with my Worldcon schedule this year. I’ll be busy!
Please note the reading on Saturday — I’ll read from The Diamond Deep, which will be launching a month after Worldcon, at Orycon 35!
Stroll with the Stars Friday
Friday 09:00 – 10:00
Conflicting Cultures When Preserving the Environment
Friday 12:00 – 13:00
Panel will identify first and third world perspectives related to environmental stewardship. Who has to pay, and what is the price?
Colossus, Skynet, or the Culture?
Friday 15:00 – 16:00
If and when our AI masters arrive, how will they come about? Will they spring spontaneously from the internet or be deliberately built by men? Our panelists discuss the possibility. Will they rule us, destroy us, or partner with us?
Europa – What’s Under the Ice? Moderator
Friday 18:00 – 19:00
New data shows a salinity and pH level compatible with anaerobic respiration, and the presence of Epsom salts on the surface says something organic may indeed be happening. What will we find if we do sink a probe through the crust? What kind of biochemistry would work in that setting? (Hint: think glass!) What about sensory systems?
Reading: Brenda Cooper
Saturday 14:00 – 14:30
Big Data. Check. Next Stop: Big Brother?
Sunday 10:00 – 11:00
Google+Facebook+Microsoft+Prism=NSA becoming big brother. Or does it?
The Rapture of the Geeks
Sunday 12:00 – 13:00
Technological convergence of uploading our consciousness into a machine to cheat death… The Science and science fiction of understanding what consciousness is – the mysterious thing that makes you – you. And how to upload it – after all the brain is nothing less than a very powerful and very odd computer – our wetware.
Have We Lost the Future?
Sunday 14:00 – 15:00
Where science fiction once looked to the future as the setting for speculation, nowadays the focus seems to be on alternate pasts, fantasy worlds, or consciously “retro” futures. We’re no longer showing the way to what things might be like. We discuss whether this is connected to the general fear of decline and decay in the English-language world — or has science fiction simply run out of ideas?
Care and Feeding of Your Aliens and Magical Beings (Moderator)
Sunday 15:00 – 16:00
With all of space, time, biology and imagination to work with, why is it so hard to create fictional aliens that aren’t just humans in rubber suits. Our panelists discuss some of the more successful aliens from fiction as well as what to consider when creating new ones.
Autographing: Brenda Cooper, Stephen Leigh, Connie Willis, Michael Underwood
Sunday 17:00 – 18:00