My Arisia Schedule

My first science fiction convention of the year is this weekend: Arisia, at which I am the author Guest of Honor. Wheee! Here are the panels I’ll be on and the events I’ll be doing.


8:30pm: The Future of Mars – Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Faneuil (3W)

We grew up reading about Barsoom and the Mars of Wells and Bradbury. Today, we’re finally exploring the reality of the red planet. Where does our fictional treatment of Mars go from here? Do we concentrate on the real possibilities opening up? Or are there exciting and odd treatments we can imagine?

Panelists: Ken Schneyer (m), Morgan Crooks, Jeff Hecht, Nalin Ratnayake, John Scalzi



1:00pm: Cinematic Writing and SF/F – Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Burroughs (3E)

SF/F literature gets a lot of its fans from other media, especially visual media like TV and film. How has it affected the writing of spec fic? Can writing be truly cinematic? What does cinematic literature look like? What techniques in SF/F point back toward more visual techniques in other media?

Panelists: James Macdonald (m), Marlin May, John Scalzi, Sarah Smith, Ian Randal Strock

4:00pm: John Scalzi Reading – GOH, Reading – 1hr 15min – Grand CD (1W)

Our Author Guest of Honor reads from one of his selected works and may take questions from the audience.

Panelist: John Scalzi

5:30pm: Cultural Assumptions in SF/F – Literature, Panel – 1hr 15min – Burroughs (3E)

Recent novels such as The Three Body Problem, The Grace of Kings, and Throne of the Crescent Moon join other works that challenge the cultural assumptions behind mainstream (American and English) science fiction and fantasy. How are these genres being reimagined beyond just making the space cowboys swear in Mandarin?

Panelists: John Chu (m), Max Gladstone, Crystal Huff, Kiini Ibura Salaam, John Scalzi



1:00pm: Addressing Sexual Harassment in Our Communities – Communities, Panel – 1hr 15min – Marina 1 (2E)

Harassment and safety at conventions is not a new topic, but it has been very much in the spotlight for the past couple of years. Many conventions, including Arisia, are taking steps to prioritize safety. What are the best ways to make convention attendees safer? Should we be looking at convention polices and enforcement, reporting procedures, or social change on what fans tolerate as acceptable behavior? How do our current strategies work, how could they work better, and who is doing it well?

Panelists: Kris “Nchanter” Snyder (m), Inanna Arthen, Jet Levy, John Scalzi, Isabel Schechter, Hannah Simpson

4:00pm: John Scalzi Book Signing – GOH, Signing – 1hr 15min – Grand Prefunction (1W)

Come get your book or other (reasonable) John Scalzi related paraphernalia signed by our Author Guest of Honor!

Panelist: John Scalzi



11:30am: Humor in Writing – Writing, Panel – 1hr 15min – Burroughs (3E)

As the saying goes, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Why is writing humor so difficult? How much is too much or too little? How are different styles of humor conveyed through the writing?

Panelists: Daniel M Kimmel (m), Diane Kenealy, John Scalzi


The complete schedule of events (everyone’s, not just mine) is here.

So that’s my official schedule. I’ll also be popping into various other things while at the convention, and of course just hanging about chatting with people. Do come by and say hello if you see me. And also, of course, if you’re in or near the Boston area and have nothing planned for your weekend, well, here’s something you can do.

See you there!

24 Comments on “My Arisia Schedule”

  1. Please let us know if any video recordings will be made available. That first panel on Mars sounds most intriguing. . .

  2. I want to attend all of those! I shall investigate teleportation forthwith. Also advanced clone technology, so that no one suspects I’ve left my desk…

  3. Please consider coming to our genderswapped Star Trek live radio production of the TOS ep Journey to Babel on Saturday night! This is our third year running (previous years were Tribbles and Space Seed) and we’re really proud of the project!

  4. Hi! I rarely comment but read your blog regularly; I’ll be at Arisia! I’m on staff, so I’ll be somewhat busy, but I look forward to most of those.

    Mindy — that sounds awesome. I’ll try to make that too — what time will it be at?

  5. Arisia’s my home convention, but I don’t think I’ll be making it down this year, due to family commitments. Sorry I’ll miss you! :-/

  6. I’ll be there, lighting the main stages. I think I’ll be in the audience for the reading, which will be fun because, well, this Scalzi guy is entertaining in person. [Believe it or not, some writers can be fascinating in print and dull in person. Go figure.]

    There will be official video of some of the Arisia events, but not, to the best of my understanding, of the Guest of Honor.

  7. Looking forward to seeing you at Arisia. I’ll be splitting my time between the art show and the game room, but maybe I’ll get to some panels…

    Also. I don’t know if you’re bringing the family, but if you are, I can’t think of a better place to introduce a teenager to the joys of fandom.

  8. Dear John,

    Is it OK for others to post their program schedules here, or would you rather the comments not be cluttered up?

    See you in three days!

    pax / Ctein

  9. Dear John,

    Re: requesting not being on any all-male panels…

    Wow, that never occurred to me. Doh. I’m going to edit my participant’s profile for MidAmericon to include that information.

    (Note to readers– a concom is in no way obligated to honor that request, especially for ordinary program participants, but if numbers of us start requesting it, it cannot help but raise awareness.)

    Great idea.

    pax / Ctein

  10. Terrible disappointment for master_tonberry: the hotel car park is underground, and so not visible from the guest room windows. However, the adjoining convention center will be hosting a large automobile show.

    My own exciting views at this site tend to be of rooftop mechanical structures on lower-level roofs, and I apologize for failing to photographically share such fascination in the past.

    The Lawn on D ( is immediately adjacent to the main ballrooms used by Arisia, but this being January it is less photogenic than in other seasons. The fresh coat of snow received in the last few hours will have reduced the color palette to, um, white.

    Be well.
    Lowell Gilbert

  11. Thank you for your kind consideration Mr Gilbert.

    While I will be somewhat dissapointed by the lack of car parks (Mr. Scalzi has certainly spoiled us in the past!) rooftop mechanical strucures also sound rather exciting, my last stay in a hotel had a window showing me no less than four air conditioning units (oddly enough photos of my hotel room are all I have, and not a single one of the actual wedding I was there for. This part is not a joke, but instead a sad truth).

    Additionally snow sounds like a rather interesting novelty, as I haven’t seen any in quite a long time having lived in australia for the last 11 years.

    Best regards,

  12. Already missed one. I was on The Line From Hell until 9:00. I’ll do better tomorrow!