My 2008 ConFusion Schedule

Just one week to go until High-Voltage ConFusion, at which I am the Toastmaster, a task for which I have spent months assiduously mastering toast (it’s trickier than you think). To make stalking me easier, here is my schedule:


7 PM: Teh Awesome Duo – Revealed!
An interview with Guests of Honor Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld conducted by John Scalzi.
Notes: This should be a blast. I know all their dirty secrets. Alas, they also know most of mine, so there’s only so far I’m going to push it.

8PM: Opening Ceremonies
Opening Ceremonies and speeches by our Guests of Honor Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier (Author GoHs), Carl Lundgren (Art GoH), Kevin M. Dunn (Science GoH), Throwing Toasters (Music GoH), The Roaming Pirate Party (Fan GoHs), and John Scalzi (Toastmaster).
Notes: I’ll be the one in the purple spandex.

9PM: Dessert Reception with the Guests of Honor
This is a great place to walk right up to your particular favorite author or panelist for a quick chat or just to meet someone new. People and food and drink will be on hand.
Notes: Finally! I’ll get to cut in line at the dessert reception! I’m a GoH! Who’s gonna stop me!

10PM: Originality is Overrated
There’s this idea that writers work entirely alone and create their work out of whole cloth. That’s rubbish. If a work were wholly original no one would be able to read it. All writers are influenced by those who came before them. Most writers talk to other writers. Many are in writers’ groups and even those that aren’t frequently read and comment on each other’s work. Let’s talk about the influence and community that writers share. Even when they don’t know each other. Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld (M), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss and Doselle Young.
Notes: Oh, crap, Patrick’s going to be there! Note to self: Carry laptop at all times; always appear to be working on Zoe.

After this one, you’re likely to find me at the dance, and then, once I’m all moist and sweaty, at the hotel bar.


10AM: Board Room Coffee with Toastmaster John Scalzi
Space is limited; please sign up in Ops ASAP.
Notes: There’s a good chance I’ll still be sweaty from the night before. Just to warn you.

Also, for those of you who don’t sign up for this in time, you can still see a Scalzi, as Krissy –yes, in the flesh — is one of the panelists for “Giving Clear Signals,” whose write up is as such: “Fans are not always known for their social acumen. This panel is about how to give—and how to read—social signals that clearly indicate interest, disinterest, or even an unquestionable brush-off.” I’m really annoyed I’m scheduled opposite this, because Krissy is going to be f&*#in’ awesome at this.

12 NOON: Piracy of Fiction on the Internet
What is fair use versus exploitation without compensation? Patrick Nielsen Hayden, John Scalzi (M), Merry Haskell and Paul Melko
Notes: Oh noes! Teh Intarnets be steelin’ mah fikkshun! Between the four panelists here, this will not be an unopinionated panel.

2PM: The Short Sell
Where are the current markets for short sf? Are some better than others? What is the place for short fiction in the science fiction field today? John Scalzi (M), Mike Resnick, William Schafer
Notes: Holy crap, is this panel going to be entirely off the hook.

4PM: Science Fiction Gaming
Most young people play video games more than they read or watch television; how much has science fiction been a part of this new medium? Tobias Buckell (M), The Ferrett, Karl Schroeder, John Scalzi
Notes: Don’t tell ConFusion, but rather than having a panel, we’re all bringing our game rigs, lashing ’em together, and then you’re going to watch as I totally pwn these llamas at Unreal Tournament III.

5PM: Mass Autograph Session
Notes: Finally! Get an autograph and be absolved of your sins, all at the same time! No, really; I’m an ordained minister. I can totally get you out from under on the sin thing. More seriously, this likely to go for a half hour unless the lines are crazy, so come early.

After this I’ll be likely hanging about, going to the dance (again), and once again loitering in the bar afterward.


11AM: Gluten-Free Fantasy
Most medieval cultures didn’t have chainmail, swords, horses, or wheat. Yet the overwhelming majority of medieval cultures in fantasy do. What do we stand to gain by breaking the bonds of Europe on our collective imagination? And what’s so scary about bolas, sled-dogs, and rice? Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld, John Scalzi, Karl Schroeder, Jim Frenkel
Notes: My odds-on bet for the most entertaining panel of the convention.

12 NOON: The Art and Science of Evolving as a Writer
In order to improve as a writer you have to practice. What are some of the ways to do this? How can you tell if there is improvement? (John Scalzi, Steve Climer (M), Paul Melo, Sarah Zettel)
Notes: In the comments, Jim C. Hines says he’s also on this panel. And I, for one, believe him.

That’s it for me on Sunday.

And of course, feel free to say hi if you’re there and you happen to see me. If you don’t recognize me, I’m likely the short balding dude standing next to this person:

Hope that helps.

So: Who’s coming to ConFusion? And if you’re not, what’s your incredibly lousy excuse?

Sony BMG Picks Up a Clue

Will sell DRM-free MP3s on Amazon (and presumably other places as well) after all. Thanks to the several folks who have sent along the news. One suggested Sony BMG was reading the blog; I doubt it, but the ridicule was widespread enough that they needn’t have come here to get mocked.

Temp Cat™ Yearns for the Bennies

With the exception of the three or four hours he spent up a tree yesterday, chased there by Kodi after he foolishly ran away from her, thus triggering her hunting reflex, Temp Cat™ is doing fine, as you can see. We still need to canvass the neighborhood to see if anyone’s missing him, but I believe Krissy has already scheduled a vet trip for him for shots, deworming and possible detestefying. I say “possible” because Krissy seems to think he’s been previously snipped; I rather think it’s that he’s not yet hit cat puberty. Either way, we’ll find out. And naturally once we’ve paid for his emasculation, then we own him, because if you’re going to take someone’s balls from him, you pretty much owe him lifetime support.

And no, before someone asks, “Temp Cat™” is not his name, it’s his current condition. Should the owner location project fail, and post shots and snippery, he will be put on staff at the Scalzi Compound and given a name. Personally I think his name is Robert Paulson, but that’s probably too obscure to amuse anyone but me. Anyway, Krissy has declared she has naming rights this time, and when you consider the fact the other two cats are named Ghlaghghee and Lopsided Cat, this is probably for the best.

In any event, off to writing. If I don’t finish this chapter today, I will have to put my head in the garbage disposal. It’ll be a while before I’m back. Try to amuse yourself somehow.

Also, before anyone notes it: Yes, that’s a bacon wallet package in my “in” box. A gift from a friend. I’m waiting for just the right occasion to use it.