My Worldcon program

The preliminary program for Worldcon 2017 is here! I’ll have a talk about exoplanets, five panels and a signing – not speaking of the myriad program items I want to attend as an audience member. This is where you’ll be able to meet me:

Thursday (Aug 10)

Signing (11:00-12:00, signing area)

What can you bring to get signed? You can get a copy of some of the anthologies where my fiction has appeared (Alien Artifacts, Futuristica Vol. II, The Mammoth Book of The Adventures of Moriarty, TFF-X: Ten Years of the Future Fire, Penny Dread Tales Volume 3: In Darkness Clockwork Shine), or issues of Asimov’s, Analog and Clarkesworld with my stories or nonfiction articles. Or, if you like to collect international SFF, you can of course bring some of the seven novels and many short stories I’ve published in Czech.

Friday (Aug 11)

Single fandom – two languages (11:00 – 12:00, room 205)

Some countries – Finland included – have more than one national language and naturally fandom also contains people with a different native language. Is this a problem or does it enrich fandom? – Ben Roimola (M), Frank Roger, Julie Novakova

Making a Better Human (13:00 – 14:00, room 101d)

Homo sapiens evolved to be well suited to small groups on the plains of Africa, not to be living in cities in a technological society. This can cause problems. What changes would you make to have humanity better suited to its current environment? How would you achieve this? And what unintended consequences might there be? – Shariann Lewitt, Sam Scheiner, Julie Novakova (M), Keffy R.M Kehrli

Proxima Centauri b (18:00 – 19:00, room 205)

Our new and closest extrasolar planetary neighbor is a mixture of paradigms old and new. It appears to be a “meridianal world” like Ellison et al.’s “Medea,” with a narrow habitable strip, but new atmospheric modeling has produced a much more complex picture. What is that? How big is Proxima b and what else is in the Proxima system? How soon will we find out more? What about getting there? – Michael Reid, G. David Nordley, Julie Novakova (M)

Saturday (Aug 12)

Beyond the Goldilocks Zone (10:00 – 11:00, room 103)

Astronomers are on the lookout for planets in the Goldilocks zone because they are supposed to contain just the right conditions for liquid water on the surface of the planet. But why stop there? Why not look for planets that are superior to Earth? Astronomers, biologists and others will talk location, location, location to determine the best place to live for humans. – Olli Wilkman, Janet Catherine Johnston, Julie Novakova, Michael Reid (M)

Exoplanetary Zoo and The Search for Earth 2.0 (14:00 – 15:00, room 203a)

In the last quarter of a century, we have discovered several thousands planets around other suns and the number keeps growing rapidly. Some of the worlds were big surprises initially: planets circling dead stars, worlds almost grazing their suns or on orbits more fitting a comet than a planet. What can this vastly diverse exoplanetary zoo tell us about the universe, the place of our own solar system in it, and chances of finding a “second Earth”? – Julie Novakova

Genre Fiction in Translation (17:00 – 18:00, 203a (Messukeskus)

Translated fiction has been the “Cinderella” of the Anglophone speculative fiction market for quite some time, but lately has been gaining more attention and support, winning major awards and kickstarting new venues. What are the perks of translating genre fiction and publishing translations? Can the authors themselves facilitate it? How can we make it easier for translations to be published? – Julie Novakova (M), Ann Vandermeer, Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, Jan Vaněk jr.


In addition, you’ll probably find me at some of these items I’d like to see (sometimes even five at the same time…):

Wednesday (Aug 9): Live Tea and Jeopardy/Fashion in SF/Beyond The Big Bang (16:00-17:00), Economics in World Building (17:00-18:00), Creating Effective Dialogue/Hypnotism: Separating Fact from Fiction (18:00-19:00), Psychology, Personality and Politics: Where Are We Heading (19:00-20:30), Red Mars/Green Mars (21:00-22:00)

Thursday (Aug 10): In Defense of The Unlikeable Heroine (10:00-11:00), my signing (11:00-12:00), Editor’s Dream/Superintelligence/Literary Agents and Where to Find Them/Art Workshop: Sketching (12:00-13:00, resp. 14:00 for the workshop), Coode Street Live (13:00-14:00), Logic of Empire/Human reproduction in SF/Remember Who is Boss/Has “Hard SF” changed as a genre? (14:00-15:00), The Long Term Future of The Universe and How to Avoid It (15:00-16:00), Turning Up The Heat on Cli-Fi/Translations into English (16:00-17:00), Publishing Translation/Archeoastronomical View of the World/Tech Questions You Can’t Ask (17:00-18:00), European SFF (18:00-19:00), What Science Can Tell Us About Alien Minds (19:00-20:00), How To Write What You Don’t Know (19:30-21:00)

Friday (Aug 11): The Times That Shaped The Science (10:00-11:00), Single Fandom – Two Languages (11:00-12:00; but if I weren’t there, I’d really like to see Contemporary Chinese SF and Where to Find Them), Aim For The Stars/Under Pressure: Exploring Oceans Beyond Earth/Can Writers of SF Predict the Future/Are Utopias Worse than Dystopias?/Cyberpunk and Computing Advances in SF (12:00-13:00), Making a Better Human (13:00-14:00), Space Medicine (14:00-15:00), Fantastical Travel Guide/The War on Science (15:00-16:00), Proxima Centauri b (18:00-19:00), Hugo Awards Ceremonies (19:30-22:30)

Saturday (Aug 12): Beyond The Goldilocks Zone (10:00-11:00; if I weren’t there, I’d also like to see Mars Colonies/Loses Something in the Translation), Beyond The Dystopia/Gender and “Realistic History”/Up Shields! Dealing with Space Radiation (11:00-12:00), Making Life Interplanetary/Betrayal With Integrity: Conformance and Estrangement in Translating Chinese SF (12:00-13:00), Clouds on The Horizon/Colonialism and The Space Opera/Science Fiction Gone Wrong (13:00-14:00), Exoplanetary Zoo and The Search for Earth 2.0 (14:00-15:00; too bad my talk is against Live Short and Prosper: SF Writers in China, which I’d like to see), Portrayal of the Scientist and Science in SF/Getting Around Linguistic Problems in Translation/Future Shock, and Do YOU Suffer From It? (15:00-16:00), China & Italy: Far in the Past, Close in the Present (16:00-17:00), Genre Fiction in Translation (17:00-18:00), The Singularity (18:00-19:00), Tall Technical Tales (19:00-20:00)

Sunday (Aug 13): Moving Beyond Orientalism in SFF/Bullets in Space (11:00-12:00), The Right Stuff/Beyond Dependence: The Future Evolution of Space Settlements/Writing Fight Scenes That Work (12:00-13:00), Robot Morality/Designing Life/Strange Horizons+Samovar Tea Party (13:00-14:00), History as World-building (15:00-16:00), The Power of the Reviewer: Promoting and Hiding Diverse Voices (16:00-17:00), Closing Ceremony (17:00-18:00)

As you can see, there are some gaps (Friday 16:00-18:00; Saturday evening, unless I attend the Masquerade; Sunday morning, 14:00-15:00, evening), although it may be because I went through the program rather quickly and may have overlooked other interesting stuff. Judging by other conventions I’d attended, I’ll probably attend approximately half of the time outlined above, since I’ll want to meet people and talk. This time, unlike in London in 2014, I know plenty of other attendees – but I’ve never met most of them in person. Changing that will likely be a major part of the convention for me. I might also try the film festival. In summary, the program looks fantastic – can’t wait for the convention!

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