Title: OMG, Did He Actually Say That?
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1)
Description: Tedd Roberts interviews author Michael Z. Williamson about writing, shooting, sharp pointy things, and more.

Title: The Cause of the Apocalypse
Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1)
Description: A discussion some of the different ways a mad scientist or disgruntled grad student (or medic) could bring about TEOTWAWKI.
(Tentative Panelists: Michael Z. Williamson, Cathe Smith, Philip Wohlrab, Tedd Roberts)

Title:  Autograph session
Time: Sat 12:00 noon Location: The Missing Volume, Exhibit Hall booths 328-330, America's Mart (Length: 1)

Title: Politics in Sci-fi
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Regency V - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: How politics of today inform the writers of science fiction.(Tentative Panelists: Michael Z. Williamson, Lee Martindale, S. M. Stirling, John D. Ringo, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Elizabeth Moon)

Title: Trigger Warning
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Embassy A-B - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: Recent events have made some subjects taboo. This panel is not afraid to tackle those subjects.
Panelists: Tedd Roberts and Michael Z. Williamson

Title: The Real History of Science Fiction: Aliens
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Embassy A-B - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: The history of sci-fi includes robots, spaceships, and aliens. This discussion looks at aliens from a literary standpoint.
(Tentative Panelists: Michael Z. Williamson, Jaym Gates, Diane Hughes)

Title: Apocalyptic Fun: Inventive & Messy Ways of Killing
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1)
Description: Explore the silly side of bringing about the Apocalypse and killing the undead.
(Tentative Panelists: Tedd Roberts, Michael Z. Williamson, David Harmer)

This doesn't include private events I'll be hosting or attending.  I'll have lots of cards with me with my contact info and booth location (45G is the revised and correct one).  Email or Twitter will be the best way to reach me--monitored by my senior assistant.  If it's time sensitive and I don't respond, ping me again.

Okay, I have to respond to this horseshit:


"To get your friends into SF, show them a whole bunch of shit that no one gives a crap about, along with a few classics that aren't really good for neophytes, and some hysteria-inducing leftism. And if that doesn't work, go with a 2nd previous generation's failed attempt at literary greatness."

I'd like to destroy the prejudicial notion that the entire future is leftist, and that this is normal, desirable and believable.

Near as I can tell, not a single "expert" they asked is within a standard deviation of center, and they're all on the left.  The only one with reasonably good recommendations was John Scalzi.  When he's your moderate, you may have a bit of a bias.

Heinlein's YA? Neal Stephenson? Lois Bujold? Larry Niven? Sci fi with, you know, actual science? Drake for any veterans.  Hell, Ben Bova has lots of very good near future SF.  Mercedes Lackey is both liberal (since that obviously matters to them) and a good writer, with some decent present-day urban fantasy.

I've read close to 10K SF books and written a few, and I've never even heard of most of those choices. That by itself proves nothing, except that they're not recommending anything anyone center, conservative or libertarian is going to be interested in, which is 75% of the population.

And I had to explain to some enlightened, outraged "liberal" in comments about Heinlein's _Friday_.  "It starts off with the character being gangraped and she shrugs it off like it's no big deal!  Disgusting!"

Why is it necessary for me to explain this to people?:

To Dayman: I'm amazed at how many SF readers don't get Friday.

Quite obviously, as is stressed throughout the book, the character does not think of herself as human. She's in a world where she is reminded every day that her status is beneath everyone else, she can never be what they are, even though she IS fully human.

She has been taught to completely suppress everything about herself. Her very expensive membership in a line family that considers her only a source of money is more of the same. (And even her racial background is bothersome to them.)

The character spends a book learning HOW TO BE HUMAN and to love and be loved.

That so many readers don't get it is a tragedy.

And that so-many so-called "liberals" don't get it just exposes modern liberalism for the complete sham it is. They don't actually see prejudice or POV, they only see the color or group affiliation they've been taught to look down on as "oppressed."  They're clueless about the concept itself, however.

This is why literary SF will continue to grasp at relevance and market share.

There's one minority still not given proper respect in language: Left handers. The term "sinister" is still used as an epithet for evil, wrong, unpleasant. Likewise, "gauche" is a reference to rude behavior.  People are considered "dextrous" if they have good manual skills.

Why are the negative connotations expressed using references to left handedness, and positive connotations reserved for the right? 

Writers, especially in fantasy, usually right-handed, should stop using these prejudicial terms and find terms that are non-handed specific.

This is a worldwide issue.  Only about 15% of the population are left handed.  Most gadgets default or are exclusively right handed.  

Take scissors--sculpted grip scissors are unusable by a left-handed person.  Neutral grip are usable, but even so-called "left handed" scissors usually are just replacement handles on right handed blades, which cut with a bias that favors the right handed.  Hacksaws, metal shears, vernier calipers, can openers, are all right handed by default. Most modern locking pocket knives have a right-handed lock and pocket clip.  Historically, all swords with a swept hilt, shell guard or wire hilt are right handed and just don't work for someone using their left.  Most sheaths are right handed.  If you shoot rifle, forget shooting a bolt action--they're almost all right handed.  Anything left handed costs a premium, even in the modern day when it's easy to reverse the action of a digital milling machine.  Shooting jackets--right handed.  Telescopic and optical sight adjustments, as well as most adjustable iron sights--right handed.

Musical instruments--anything stringed is right handed, and to reconfigure the bridge as well as the strings, and perhaps even the pickups, not to mention any onboard controls, takes effort and money unless the company makes a left-handed variant (most classical instruments DO NOT).

Most computer mice are right handed--trackballs tend to be right handed only.  Until recently, even most jacks were configured to place the mouse on the right.  Putting it on the left took workarounds.  The numerical keypad is on the right.

 I'm sure most people have never thought of this.  They have right-handed privilege, in a world that caters to them.

I'm sure some will dismiss this as a non-issue.  I challenge them to go into a store and ask for every household good in a left-handed model.  If the store has any, they will have a token one or two of each, not the dozens or hundreds of right handed options.  Buy them.  Go home and use them in your right hand so you're using them backward. That's what it's like for left handed people every day of our lives.

Politically, I've seen conservatives refer to the political right being "correct" and the political left being "wrong."

Then crack open a book and find the bad guy is "sinister" and the clueless guy is "gauche."  Gee, thanks for that.

"Right" is an acknowledgment of correctness.  One gets "left behind."

I expect there are a number of fantasy writers who are major offenders on this.  But if they're taking steps with racially, culturally, gender and religiously sensitive terms, it would be fair to not use terms derogatory to the left handed minority as well.

I don't suffer as much as others--I'm largely ambidextrous.  But let's look at that word.  "Ambi" = "both."  "Dexter" = "Right."  The word defaults that someone with flexible manipulative skills is "both right," not "both left."  Since I DO have a slight favor to the left, I am correctly ambisinistrous.

It's not been long since it was a social crime to be left handed, with most cultures forcing right handedness on children.  We're past that in most of the world, but a number of cultures and subcultures do still enforce dexter dominance.

Let's start by not using "sinister" and "gauche" in our writing.  These words are archaic, insensitive and prejudicial.  If we can take this step, we can then work on neutralizing other orientation biased words.
ETA:  I'm informed gaming consoles are usually right handed, and keyboard game controls favor the right. And let's not forget that it's considered rude to shake hands with the left (the Boy Scouts have actually addressed this, with a left-handed handshake).

Look around, and you'll see the bias is everywhere.