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?

64 Comments on “My 2008 ConFusion Schedule”

  1. If it were a few thousand miles closer to me, I’d totally be there. Totally. Even though I’m an accountant and it’s year-end.

  2. I uhh… just found a cat in my garage, and umm.. need to stay home untill it’s de-wormed and eunoched.

    Or something less pathetically plagerized.

  3. First I was thinking: ‘It’s only a ten hour drive from Connecticut and I can sleep in mah car!’

    Then I was like, ‘It’s Detroit. They steal cars in Detroit regardless of people sleeping in them!’

    Unless I miraculously win the lottery or money just happens to fall from the sky, I can’t go.

    *shuffles her feet and gets sad*

    Have fun regardless and woot to Krissy for being on a panel!

  4. Also, Miss Baker, I resent that comment. We’ve got a fairly high crime rate, but, one, the Con’s in Troy. It’s a suburb. You’d be fine. Two, Detroit has a much worse rap than we deserve. I always feel safer in Detroit than I felt during those three weeks I spent in New Haven.

  5. I would love to go, since I live practically next door to the hotel where it’s taking place. Only my excuse is that I’m working (damn libraries being open on Saturdays) and I can’t actually afford to go (hence the working).

  6. I’d really love to be there, but I can’t cover hotel/travel expenses on my own and all my friends are “too busy.” They’ve got comprehensive exams that weekend, which is a lousy excuse if ever I heard one.

    I mean, meeting graduation requirements? Who does that? If they’d picked cool majors, like mine, they’d just have to do a thesis and a major research project instead of a lame test on every book they’ve ever read for class. And they’d get to go to an awesome convention.

    So yes, my lousy excuse is that my friends are majoring in lameness and gas prices are too high. But I’ll be there in spirit.

  7. We’ll be there! Even though we have to come from North Carolina.

    (Remember us? We stalked you to a book signing in Ohio once. On our way to Michigan. Which totally reminds me, I need to pack the copy of OMW that the cat chewed, for the signing.)

  8. I will be there with… fishnets on!

    I will be the pirate *not* in an amazing (but expensive) costume, and therefore wearing fishnet stockings in a vain attempt to distract from the fact that, yes, anyone at the con could have thrown my costume together from their closet.

    It’s going to be fun. Can’t wait. Have to figure out logistics to get my kid up there for the mass signing on Sat – she loves Justine’s stuff, and has since Friday read 2.5 of Scott’s Uglies books! I will be killed if she doesn’t get to meet them.

  9. Siller J: Yah. New Haven is quite scary. I wouldn’t sleep in my car there either!

    I was being half facetious though. Although I’ve never been to Troy, we did have an office there and I heard nothing but good things about it. :)

  10. Damn, wish I could go. I’m stuck heading for New Jersey this weekend.

    The next con for me is Capricon in the Chicago area (when you coming out here again? Last time, it was just for us booksellers), which tends to be on the extremely lame end of the scale for panels and author invitations in general. Well, they do have Janny Wurts, and Mike Resnick is GOH, but hey, he’s at Chicago area cons all the time, often serves as toastmaster.

  11. Siller J:

    I strongly suspect Kate was making a joke.

    Also, except for the coffee (or other small-group gatherings), you don’t need to sign up for anything beyond general registration.

  12. Kate: Nah, it’s north of Detroit. In a swank hotel.

    John: I’ll be there. I’m local, and I even took a half day off in order to not MISS A MOMENT.

    (Last year I had a very unfortunate Friday night math class that made me miss all of the first-evening fun, not getting there til 11ish.)

    I am very excited!

  13. I won’t be able to attend, so I’ll have to wait to compliment Krissy on being the subject of such a gorgeous photo when/if you guys come to the Denvention.

  14. Athena’s ConFusion Schedule

    Friday: Be nine. Get annoyed by dad.

    Saturday: Be nine. Get annoyed by dad.

    Sunday: Be nine. Get annoyed by dad.

    (As you can see, it will be a fairly typical three days for the girl. :) )

  15. Hm … my schedule also has you on talking about evolution as a writer at noon on Sunday. Or are you skipping out early to avoid having to be on a panel with me? ;-)

  16. Jim C. Hines:

    I didn’t evolve as a writer! I was intelligently designed!

    I’ll check my schedule again, and update if I missed this panel (which I don’t doubt I did).

  17. If you’re still sweaty, John, then you should be skipping that coffee klatch and head over to Krissy’s panel.

  18. Oh, and I’m not going to be there because…


    Because I have to go to a monastery this weekend.

  19. I plan to be at the con, weather allowing. (Driving north in January always strikes me as unwise.) I may have home-made bacon with me. (Always bring writer bait to a con.)

  20. I would have been there, but they decided to hold it the same weekend as Arisia. (Both conventions, of course, claim they’re on their usual weekends.)

  21. You know if you tell the programming dept. you have an issue with your schedule, they *might* be convinced to, you know… change it.

    Your coffee-with could shift to … (fuck, there’s a reason it was then, this shit is complicated…) 1 pm Sunday (you don’t really need a mid-day lunch, do you? –and I’m assuming you don’t want it at 10 AM Sunday but let me know if I’m wrong).

    So, tell us what you want, and mysterious powers will consider making the switch.

  22. The con sounds like a lot of fun and I wouldn’t mind going but I won’t be able to go. However, John’s post does remind me I need to put together some flyers to mail off there for their freebie table. And Arisia as well….

  23. Notes: Finally! I’ll get to cut in line at the dessert reception! I’m a GoH! Who’s gonna stop me!

    Well, the other GoHs, for a start. And I’m willing to bet that with a GoH band and a FGoH Roaming Pirate Party you’d be stopped pretty damn quick.

    *ponders* I don’t suppose any of these Pirates would be the ones that a certain Jennie Breeden has been known refer to, would they?

    And if you’re not, what’s your incredibly lousy excuse?

    So sorry, but I’m just not fit enough to swim the entire Pacific (let’s not even mention crossing two continents, and sneaking past border control, shall we?) in only a week. =)

    *looks at the pic of Krissy*

    So, on top of being scary good at organising the Standard Author Chaos, Krissy is hot and geeky too? You are one lucky man, Scalzi.

    The panel she’s listed on sounds damn good, too. I’ll have to see if I can convince any socially skilled fans to run one of these at our local Con.

    *pokes Stephbg*

  24. And if you’re not, what’s your incredibly lousy excuse?

    Well… I am currently on assignment in another dimension, Virginia to be exact. That and my boss would look askance at my absence… wish I could be there.

    Bein a newbie here, may one inquire if there are any Cons of this type in or very near Richmond VA?

    I’ll be the one in the purple spandex.

    Hmmmmm… Its’ THE PURPLE TAUNTER! SO… cape on no cape?

    …once I’m all moist and sweaty, at the hotel bar.

    Moist and sweaty AND in spandex… Uh, John… I have a new justification for not being at the Con.

  25. As soon as the Honors Physics class ends at noon on Friday, I’m out on the road crossing the width of the state. One real advantage of ConFusion in Michigan: Sometimes you get a blizzard and have to stay an extra day. And there are no Monday classes at WMU for MLK Day.

    Dr. Phil

  26. bioshock should really be mentioned during the sf gaming panel, it’s steampunk so it’s sf

  27. Why I’m not going to ConFusion:

    1) If I’m heading south in January, I’m going somewhere warm.
    2) I’m saving up for WorldCon in Denver.

  28. Hey, if I didn’t go to the con right across the street from me, why do you think I would be arsed to haul myself to wherever-it-is? If you make a pilgrimage to my hermitage, I might dispense cryptic wisdom, though.

  29. This is the first con that ever asked me to attend, so I had to say yes. Looks like a lot of fun, and I get to return to the city of my youth.

  30. Yeah, it looks like a lot of people I really like will be there. So will I.

    And just like hugh57, I guess I’ll have to bring the camera for the spandex.

    And since there’s more Whateverites there this time, I won’t have to relate the Scalzi Skull licking episodes.

  31. J Ghoti : Sadly, we are not Jennie’s pirates, but we would *love* to hang with them!

    We’re assuming secret ninja’s *can* slip ahead of pirates in the dessert line, since they’re secret ninjas and all. We’ll be sadly disappointed if it’s otherwise.

  32. I’ll be there. And I’m really hoping that ninjas infiltrate the con and stage a massive battle with the pirates in the middle of the Fan GoH induction ceremony. A girl can dream, right?

  33. Programming at ConFusion is always very fluid due to the time of year it takes place, mostly due to weather but there may be some sort of transdimensonal effect..

    Also Paul Melo is actually Paul Melko.

  34. I’ll be there too! Maybe I’ll wear my jester’s cap the whole weekend. I hear people are planning on licking your head again, John. I think you should rub some habanero sauce on it. ;)

  35. “bioshock should really be mentioned during the sf gaming panel, it’s steampunk so it’s sf”

    Don’t worry about us, we’re all under deadlines, so that totally means we know the ins and outs of *all* the latest and greatest videogames… *looks around*

  36. UPDATE: I’d forgotten all about the tried-and-true method of “walking through the dorm, calling ‘hey, who wants to go to a science fiction convention in Detroit?'” Said method turned up two friends I’d forgotten to consult. Room reserved; looking forward to seeing you (you as in Scalzi-you, and also as in other whateverites-you) there :).

  37. …but that doesn’t mean we won’t try to spot secret ninjas trying to slip ahead of the line. (You’re a little out-numbered, after all, Scalzi.)

  38. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about science fiction conventions, it’s never get in the way of people rushing the dessert table. Never.

  39. I feel like all the Whateverites should agree on some kind of symbol or secret handshake or something by which we will know each other.

    Or we could just talk to a whole bunch of people for the sake of meeting them and bring the Whatever up in conversation, thus leaving a trail of pimpage in our wakes as we seek one another out. But secret handshakes are cool.

  40. Finally! I’ll get to cut in line at the dessert reception! I’m a GoH! Who’s gonna stop me!

    The committee will. You’re a GoH. You’ll start at the front of the line.

  41. Looking forward to it! We’d be there anyway, most likely, but extra bonus if I actually get to chat with you after having been at something like 6 conventions you have been at in the past year and a half and never having been able to speak to you, except to make one comment about the movie Starship Troopers at Penguicon before I had to run to do something else we just HAD to do.

    I kept thinking, “There will be time…. I’m sure we’ll run into him… does anyone even HAVE a schedule???” :) These weekends always go so fast.

%d bloggers like this: