My (Current) Renovation/Worldcon Schedule

For those of you hoping to meet me/stalk me/gaze adoringly into my eyes whilst you savor my every word at Renovation, this year’s Worldcon, here is my current schedule. Note please that it includes one item which will be on the published schedule that I will not be at, and one item that is not on the published schedule that I will be at.


Wed 13:00 – 14:00, A Trip to the Creation Museum, A02 (RSCC)
John Scalzi shares photos and stories from his visit to “the very best monument to an enormous load of horseshit that you could possibly ever hope to see.” Hilarity ensues.
Notes: This program item was sort of sprung on me, but what the hell. I’ve already warned  the convention that they better have someone on hand to help me with the projector, because I know nothing about how to operate one.

Wed 17:00 – 18:00, The Online Community: Fans Love to Hate It A16 (RSCC)
It’s a fan place now; the online community can be considered a fannish subject, but why are people still beating it up, when it complements so much of what we do as fans?
Panelists: Chris Garcia, Claire Brialey, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, John Scalzi
Notes: People are still beating up the online world? That’s adorable.


Thu 10:00 – 11:00, KaffeeKlatsch, KK1 (RSCC)
A conversation with me on whatever folks want to talk about, around a coffee table.
Notes: KaffeeKlatsches require one to sign up and the sign ups are first come, first served, so if you want to do this, it’s best if you find the sign up sheet early.

Thu 13:00 – 14:00, Autographing, Hall 2
Autographers: M. J. Locke, Steven Gould, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mary A. Turzillo, Adam-Troy Castro, Walter Jon Williams, John Scalzi, Steve Jackson
Notes: Bring books and other objects you wish to have signed. They will be signed! It’s that simple.

Thu 21:00 – 22:00, Pictures or It Didn’t Happen: Photography and Other Fan Art as Arbiters of Shared Experience, A01+6 (RSCC)
If a man tapes bacon to his cat and no one can see it, does anyone care? If a fan is drawn in a bikini and the picture is printed, is the speculative experience more real? How photos and illos affect how we share and form our concept of the fannish community, and how that is changing in the digital era.
Panelists: Maurine “Mo” Starkey, Ctein, Claire Brialey, John Scalzi
Notes: More proof I will be forever defined by Bacon Cat.


Fri 14:00 – 15:00, The Role of the Science Advisor (Dialog), A05 (RSCC)
Some SF TV shows and movies have science advisors. What do science advisors do?  How much say do they have?  Can they prevent mistakes or are they generally ignored?  Science advisors tell all (or at least some…)  John Scalzi, science advisor for Stargate: Universe and Kevin Grazier, science advisor for Battlestar Galactica and Eureka, discuss.
Panelists: Kevin R. Grazier, John Scalzi
Notes: I’ve done this panel with Kevin before, and it was fun then; I expect it will be fun now.

Fri 17:00 – 18:00, Seiun Awards:  An Introduction to Japanese Science Fiction, A04 (RSCC)
Panelists: Takayuki Tatsumi, Hirohide Hirai, Mari Kotani, John Scalzi, Michael F. Flynn
Notes: I suspect I am on this panel because I have won a Seiun Award, for my novel The Last Colony. Beyond that fact, I intend to be quiet and let people who actually know something about the subject speak to it. Occasionally I will nod, sagely.


Sat 11:00 – 11:30, Reading: John Scalzi (Reading), A15 (RSCC)
Notes: I suspect I will read something new and never before heard by anyone. So, you know, be there.

Sat 13:00 – 15:00, SFWA Meeting, A02  (RSCC)
Panelists: Kate Baker (SFWA Office Manager), Bud Sparhawk, Mary Robinette Kowal, Lee Martindale, John Scalzi, Jim Fiscus (SFWA Board Members)
Notes: If you are a SFWA member, please plan to attend. We need 30 active or lifetime SFWA members for a quorum. We have the room for two hours but the last two business meetings took an hour, so we’re pretty good at getting you up to speed and taking member questions and comments in an efficient fashion. We’ve got lots to cover so I hope you can make it.


Sun 11:00 – 12:00, Nooks and Crannies of the Business of Writing, A17 (RSCC)
Writers and business professionals discuss some of the odd nooks and crannies of the writing biz, including intellectual property, translation and taxation issues.
Panelists: Liz Gorinsky, Liz Zitzow, John Scalzi, Gay Haldeman, Howard M. Rosenblatt
Notes: Oh, boy! I get to wear my cranky business dude hat!

Sun 13:00 – 14:00, Chicon 7 – the Next Worldcon, A09 (RSCC)
Enjoying this year’s Worldcon? Learn all about next year’s Worldcon, which will be in Chicago, from Dave McCarty, the chair.
Panelists: Dave McCarty, Helen Montgomery, Peggy Rae Sapienza, Jane Frank, John Scalzi, Steven H Silver
Notes: YOU WILL BE IN CHICAGO IN 2012. At which I am Toastmaster. And which will be awesome. That is all.

Sun 14:00 – 15:00, What Happened to Stargate Universe?, A03 (RSCC)
Stargate Universe distanced itself in many ways from previous versions of the franchise.  Why?  Was this influenced by its creators’ exposure to SF and SF fandom, and the resulting desire to do something more meaningful? Was it that it was the first post-Battlestar Galactica Stargate series, and that shows tone impacted SGU? Did this contribute to its cancellation?
Panelists: John Scalzi, J. Steven York, John Coxon, Inge Heyer
Notes: I will not be on this panel, not because I have any objections to the subject of the panel but because there are a number of things about the subject I’m not at liberty to discuss because of contractual issues, etc. So a) I’ll be dead weight on the panel; b) I’ll frustrate people who come to the panel hoping I’ll be able to offer insider knowledge that I will not be able to. I’ve pinged the programming people to let them know; I probably should have done it earlier but lost track of this due to a writing deadline. Anyway, my fault. Sorry, folks.

Sun 15:00, Closing Ceremonies, RSCC C4
Notes: I was asked by Chicon7 head Dave McCarty to be part of the handing-over ceremony, so, hey, I’ll be here to say goodbye to Reno and hello to Chicago!

Where I will be when not at programming: Well, I’ll be at the Hugos, of course, and I imagine I will also spend a fair amount of time in the SFWA suite, hanging out with SFWA members there. There will also be a SFWA table in the dealers area which I will also very likely be spending some time at. And otherwise, you know, I’ll be around, hanging out at parties and visiting the bar and whatnot. I will not be difficult to locate, basically.

See you there!

25 Comments on “My (Current) Renovation/Worldcon Schedule”

  1. I wish I could go to a Worldcon some day. They seem to happen just as the school year is starting, and it is not very classy for a teacher to be absent during the first weeks of school. Maybe when I retire, I can attend. In the meantime… I had a simply fabulous time at my first Readercon this year.

  2. What have we come to today when “science advisers” are people who have no background in science like John?

    And no, Jjohn, writing a book that amounts to Cliff Notes for space doesn’t qualify you as having a “Background” in science; just as writing a bunch of history books on warfare doesn’t give an author a “background” in the military or war if he’s never been to a hot battle site.

    You get a “background” when you’ve used the scientific method to do research to discover new facts, ideas, or inventions; even if that research is done in your garage and you have nothing more than a grade school education.

    You don’t get a “backgound” when you read a bunch of other people’s work and learn and memorize a bunch of facts.

    I blame the piss-poor way science is taught to non-science students in our Universities for your mistaken belief that you have some sort of “background” in science. Non-science majors ae regularly introduced to science (and math) that is just fact memorizig and equation using and leaves out the philosophy, critical thinking, and creativity that real science depends on.

  3. IMHO, an advisor should be up-to-date on current science, understand the subject (be it cosmology, nanotech, genetic engineering, or whatever), and most importantly be able to explain the history and concepts of that particular branch of science in such a way that non-scientists grasp them. The other big thing advisors do, again in my humble opinion, is minimize the errors that inevitably creep into stories and scripts. I don’t think an advisor need be a scientist any more than a science teacher needs to be one, as long as they both know the subject and can communicate it effectively. That said, it is the job of story-tellers and script writers to entertain, not educate. If a story requires something a bit outside currently accepted scientific knowledge, it shouldn’t be prohibited. Imagine Star Trek without transporters or Starship Troopers without behemoth bugs (oversized bugs being exo-skeletal will of course, collapse in the gravities portrayed both in RAH’s book and the less-than-brilliant movie).

  4. I’m driving up from Vegas Wednesday, a long haul but worth it. Satellite radio makes everything OK in a car on the high desert.
    And Scorpius, tell us what you really think. Don’t hold back…

  5. Scorpius, your appalling ignorance of the job, its requirements and my competence for the role is matched only by your tiresome polemics and attempts to assert your right to define what the qualifications for the role are. Be assured that I’m giving your ignorant, tiresome opinion on this subject exactly the consideration it deserves.

  6. John: Wow, your reading comprehension is really up there!

    I wasn’t talking about the qualifications for “the job” but to the assertion you’ve made in the past on your “background” in science. I understand that the producers and writers probably don’t want a hard-science or hard-math guy/girl as an adviser as they’d be difficult to work and communicate with and prefer someone with passing knowledge of the subject who is in the entertainment biz.

    My annoyance stems when I watch shows like, say, “Warehouse 13” and I see horrid and warped presentations of science. For example, on that show they mentioned Rosalind Franklin, a Woman Scientist I know well since I studied both genetics and X-ray Crystallography. Their presentation of her method? She had a magical projector that when a “sample” was introduced projected A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s on the wall. Apparently this is the extent that either science “advisers” can understand or they think we as a Science Fiction audience can..

    My final point: maybe you all should just leave the science out if your going to get it so horribly wrong and just use Star Trek Gobbly-gook tech speak.

  7. Heh, I was going to post a defense, and then remembered, “Hey! John’s a writer!”

    So, I just sat back with my popcorn.

    I won’t make it this year, but hopefully I’ll be in Chicago next year with my son. It will be the first con for both of us, so I rely on you to make it awesome, John. No pressure!

  8. I’m eager to enjoy my drive from Sacramento, over the Sierra Nevadas. Never done that drive before, and am looking forward to seeing Donner Pass. Hope the rental car doesn’t break down there ….

  9. Scorpius:
    What you’re objecting to, in your example about Rosalind Franklin, is what made it to the screen. Odds are the science advisor did, in fact, appropriately advise, and the powers that be decided that getting too specific would slow down the story. Powers that be get to do that. You can’t judge a science advisor’s input by what the powers that be choose to incorporate.

  10. Scorpius:

    “John: Wow, your reading comprehension is really up there!”

    My reading comprehension is fine. My tolerance for ranty blowhards trying to make a largely off-topic point by opining about a line of work they know next to nothing about, and in the process insulting me and my job competence, on the other hand, is pretty fucking low right about now.

    I don’t want to deal with you any more on this particular subject, Scorpius, because I’m not in the mood for your hobby-horsing today, so you’re off this particular thread. You can bat around in other threads if you like, but you’re done with this one. Off you go.

  11. In my humble opinion, in a lot of shows I think the writers don’t get the science “wrong” on purpose. When you have a time constraint of, say 45 mins for a one hour show (allowing for commercials), and American audiences aren’t generally fans of long, complicated story arcs which could take weeks if the science involved is to be addressed correctly (soap operas are a different critter entirely, I know some story arcs can last for years, or can wax and wane over a long period of time), many times the writers are forced to compress their ideas so that a particular (set of) concept(s) seems almost “magical” to the lay person. I went to a forensics lecture once where the scientist complained that she couldn’t bring herself to watch shows like CSI because they so frequently got things wrong. I prefer to look at shows like that as “fairy tales for grownups”–I know just enough about forensics to understand when they get the hard concept “wrong”, but I also understand that with time/budget constraints, most writers would rather “solve” the crime in 45 mins than allow the story to progress over multiple episodes–the TV series “Murder One” being a notable exception. I think science fiction writing is probably much the same way–the average lay person doesn’t/wouldn’t understand the more complex “hard science” concepts if said concepts were allowed the time they deserve, but if the SF writer takes a concept and “crunches” it into a 45 minute show, they’re pretty much forced to get it as “right” as possible in a very short span of time. Whether or not they get the concept totally “right” isn’t really the point–it is, after all, science *fiction*.

  12. Also, folks, the line of discussion Scorpius opened up is off topic (this is a thread about the schedule, not an in-depth discussion of panel topics), so let’s please wrap up that particular line of discussion.

  13. [Deleted because it addresses Scorpius, whom I’ve told not to respond further on the thread, and also because I asked to have this particular line of discussion brought to a close. Sorry, Craig — I assume you hadn’t read that far down the thread yet. But it’s time to move on. — JS]

  14. Aaargh… cross-posting! Delete if you wish, John, but please don’t stab me with the Stiletto of “Dude, did I effing stutter?” :)

  15. Sorry to say, Reno doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me this year. I’ll be there in Chicago next year, though — only a half-day’s drive away!

  16. Having seen the trip to the creation museum slideshow at Minicon this past April, I strongly recommend that anybody going to Reno mark that on their schedule. Definitely a must-see.

  17. You’re booked back to back quite a bit. I guess it’s the curse of being entertaining.

  18. John – looking forward to Reno as my first Worldcon… hoping the wife and I might make it in time for the Creation Museum piece (after reading the entry in Hatemail I’m really interested for some of the visuals). A side question: as a first time attendee, is there any kind of preferred dress code for the Hugo Ceremony so we can plan appropriately? Looking forward to it!

  19. [Deleted because Jon Bromfield is a troll who was banned years ago. Guess what, Bromfield? You’re still banned! Go do your troll dance elsewhere — JS]

  20. John, I noticed that in your short biography you title yourself a “Creative Consultant” to STARGATE UNIVERSE, but in your post on your doin’s at Renovation it’s “Science Adviser.” Why?

    I would think there is a difference. Is there?


  21. Going. Can hardly wait. Any advice for first timers? The schedule is intimidating. So much to do!! And it’s like, these are writers I’ve been reading for years and I get to meet them. Wow.
    BTW there is a In-N-Out just down the road from the RSCC.