Sleep-less in Sea-Tac

So next week I’ll be at Norwescon 33, which takes place in Sea-Tac. I’m embarrassed to tell you that I didn’t know Sea-Tac was its own town. I thought it was just the name of the airport. My apologies, Sea-Tackians. Sea-Tackites. Hyphenates.

Whatever the people there call themselves, they live amazingly close to Seattle, one of my favorite cities, and home to Cap’n Jack Skillingstead (see my review of his review a few posts ago), who will be my host. The Devil’s Alphabet is up for a Philip K Dick Award (the award that when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away), but I’ll also be appearing on a bunch of panels, a lot of them with Jack. If you’re in the area (like, say, waiting to change planes) stop on by and we’ll try to put on a good show.

The schedule:

Thursday, 9:00 p.m., Cascade 8
The Living Dead

Forty years after George Romero gave us Night of the Living Dead, his zombies still walk among us in remakes, new films from Romero himself, andastonishing recent movies ranging from Shaun of the Dead to 28 Weeks Later. Zombies are cropping up in popular literature as well. Why is this SF/horror subgenre so enduring? What are its classic books and films and which are merely the walking dead?
Mark Henry (M), Daryl Gregory, Randy Henderson, Jack Skillingstead, Anthony van Winkle

Friday, 11:00 a.m., Evergreen 2
What is Consciousness?

How does the brain, with its diversely distributed functions, come to arriveat a unified sense of identity? As neuroscientists marvel at the patternscascading from their high-resolution brain scanners, they are nagged by amischievous question: who’s running the show? Can we speak of a person’s brain without, ultimately, speaking of the person? What is human consciousness? If the Singularity does happen, what will machine consciousness look like?
Janet Freeman (M), Daryl Gregory, Jason Henninger, Christian t. L. Mecham, Jack Skillingstead

Friday, 1:00 p.m., Cascade 5
Working On Your Craft: Writing as an Evolving Process

As with any other art, writing requires practice; and a writer’s skill can improve over time. Writers discuss techniques they have learned as they have evolved and ways in which they gained new levels of expertise. How can you tell when you’re improving? How can you judge your own progress as a writer?
Cat Rambo (M), Daryl Gregory, Eileen Gunn, Randy Henderson, Jack Skillingstead

Friday, 2:30 – 3:00 p.m., Cascade 3
Reading: Daryl Gregory “Becoming Digital,” Author’s note: the title doesn’t mean what you think it means., Rated: PG Daryl Gregory

Friday, 4:00 p.m., Cascade 4
Writing: The Long and the Short of It

Why are some people good at writing novels but not short stories or vice versa? What does it take for an idea to be `novel length?’ Are short stories just like novels only you finish sooner? Mary Rosenblum (M), Daryl Gregory, Eileen Gunn, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jack Skillingstead

Friday, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Grand 2
PK Dick Awards
William Sadorus (M), Carlos Cortes, Dr. John G. Cramer, Cory Doctorow, Daryl Gregory, David Hartwell, Ian McDonald, John Jude Palencar, Vernor Vinge

Saturday, 5:00 p.m., Cascade 8
Narrative Structure

Most readers read for story; but a story has to hang from a structure, and if the structure fails the story will collapse. The story’s structure dictates where the story starts, where it ends, where each of the plot elements fits, and charts the space in which your characters’ change and developments take place. Structure more than anything else will keep the reader’s eyes glued to the page to find out what happens next. Writers share how they approach narrative structure and plot.
Leslie Howle (M), Daryl Gregory, Ian McDonald, Cat Rambo, G.Robin Smith

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