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Upcoming appearance: Readercon!

Join me at Readercon (August 13-15, 2021), gone virtual and running for the low weekend price of $25 this year. It’s a conference on imaginative literature that focuses almost exclusively on the written work, and I’ve loved it for years.

I’m also on a couple of panels this year, and moderating one of them, so you’ve got plenty of opportunities to either see me via Zoom or watch the panels after the fact. The topic I get to talk about are amazing, and I’m delighted by the panelists I get to spend time with.

My schedule is below:

Reading Fantasy Through a Motif Index Lens Format: Panel

14 Aug 2021, Saturday 11:00 AM EST – Main Track 1

Folklorists use motif indexes to catalog and analyze folk tales from around the world. The existence of TV Tropes suggests the need for new motif indexes that fit new forms of literature, but we can also apply folklore motif indexes to 21st-century fantastical fiction. Which motifs have had staying power for hundreds of years, and what other expected or unexpected patterns do we find? What does treating fiction as folklore bring to the reading experience?

Katherine Crighton, Stephanie Feldman (mod), Jeffrey Ford, Karen Heuler, L. Penelope

Content Tags: Implementation, Accommodation, and Ancillary Art Format: Panel

15 Aug 2021, Saturday 4:00 PM EST – Main Track 2

The increased prevalence of content tags has lead to growing questions around implementation. Useful for accommodation, content tags are also deployed on dynamic platforms such as AO3 to warn, advertise, and joke, becoming extra-diagetic material that is enjoyable on its own terms while providing meaningful context for the work. Still, there is a divide between those who want them and those who find them objectionable. How do content tags enhance and complicate reader experience, and what are emerging best practices that bookstores or publishers could adopt?

Katherine Crighton (mod), Gillian Daniels, Foz Meadows, AJ Odasso, Megan Whalen Turner

(Image credit: Image by Voldrag on Pixabay )

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Upcoming convention fun-times

Join me at Boskone (February 12-14, 2021), which’ll be online and running for the low weekend price of $25 this year. It’s the science fiction and fantasy convention I grew up at, with discussions of books, science, art, games, music, and more.

Better yet, I’m on panels this year, and moderating one, so you get that many more opportunities to see me in glorious Zoom-vision. I’m getting to be with some extremely cool people, too, so I’m super excited about this.

My schedule is below:

Writing Relatable Characters Format: Panel

12 Feb 2021, Friday 18:30 – 19:30, Carlton – (Mtg Room) (Virtual Westin)

No matter how realistic a character is, that doesn’t mean they will be relatable. So, what does it take to write a character who gels with the reader? How do you avoid friends of the protagonist being relegated to token sidekick status? What helps a reader understand and sympathize with protagonists who are far beyond their own lived experience? And how do you write them if they are beyond yours?

Christine Taylor-Butler (M), Paul Tremblay, Katherine Crighton, E. Lily Yu, Carlos Hernandez

The Shape of Robots to Come Format: Panel

13 Feb 2021, Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, Burroughs (Webinar) (Virtual Westin)

Robots in fiction are often androids — bipedal, two arms, head on neck — people-shaped. After all, the term “robot” goes back to 1920 when Karel Čapek introduced it in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). However, today’s robots have form following function e.g. robotic vacuum cleaners, pharmacy prescription-filling robots, and driverless automobiles. The panelists discuss how the image of the robot has changed and developed, both in fact and in fiction.

Suzanne Palmer, Katherine Crighton (M), S.B. Divya, Charles Stross

Cyborgs Are People Too Format: Panel

13 Feb 2021, Saturday 16:00 – 17:00, Carlton – (Mtg Room) (Virtual Westin)

Cyborgs, constructed of flesh, bone, steel, and advanced technologies, are full of potential and possibility. Let’s talk about meldings of man and machine in fact and in fiction. Portrayals often focus on cyborgs’ humanity, or on their lack of it. When is which appropriate? What distinguishes cyborgs from augmented humans?

S L Huang, Katherine Crighton, Stephen P. Kelner (M)

(Image credit: Image by Alexander Antropov from Pixabay)