My Arisia schedule  

[It just occurred to me that I’m probably supposed to write a “what writing things happened in 2015” post. The short answer is that my bibliography is up-to-date.]

My schedule at Arisia:

7:00pm Friday in Faneuil

Genre Fiction in Translation

Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, translated by Ken Liu, won the Hugo for Best Novel. Clarkesworld’s recent foray into translating Chinese SF has brought some well deserved attention to the vibrant body of stories in that country. Haikasoru has made a name for itself translating works from Japanese, and has recently published SF stories translated from Spanish. What possibilities do we see in translation of other cultures’ SF? How might this change the landscape of the genre?

Crystal Huff (m), John Chu, Morgan Crooks, Ken Liu, Sarah Weintraub

10:00am Saturday in Bullfinch

Constructing Languages

Many SF/F worlds have their own languages, Elvish and Klingon being two of the best known. How do you create languages that make sense? From etymology to grammar to culture, there are many aspects to consider. How does a language reflect the identities of its speakers? How do we make our languages and vocabularies believable?

Lawrence M. Schoen (m), John Chu, Anne Nydam, Cecilia Tan

[I’m the only non-linguist on the panel. Wish me luck!]

1:00pm Saturday in Marina 2

Shifting the Language of SF

Very few SF authors of the many who set stories in the far future ever speculate what language may sound like in following centuries and distant stars. Some formative works, like Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and Orwell’s 1984 include this as a theme. Who else? What are the dangers of speculating vernacular? How might the language our descendants speak differ from ours? What works in SF imagine how the kids talk in the far future?

John Chu (m), Heather Albano, Debra Doyle, Greer Gilman, Lawrence M. Schoen

[Come hear me try not to rant about what Firefly gets wrong!]

5:30pm Saturday in Burroughs

Cultural Assumptions in SF/F

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?

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

[Erm, come hear me try not to rant about what Firefly gets wrong! This time, though, it’s even referenced in the panel description.]

7:00pm Saturday in Marina 2

The Impossible Girl: Clara’s Run as Companion

Jenna Coleman has now left Doctor Who. In her short time, she’s been the Doctor’s “Impossible Girl,” been a part of the 50th Anniversary Special with its Tennant/Smith crossover, and been the first Companion in seven years to witness a regeneration. How has her run worked overall, and what would we like to see done differently with the next Companion?

Gordon Linzner (m), John Chu, Forest Handford, Victoria Queeno, Isabel Schechter

[I’ve never done four panels in one day before. I may have done four panels over an entire con once? Come see what state I’ll be in! Actually, I’ll probably be hungry.]

11:30am Sunday in Marina 4

Complexities of Voice

How do we choose the voices we write with, and how do those choices influence plot, theme, flow?

Trisha Wooldridge (m), Constance Burris, John Chu, Ctein, Greer Gilman

[I got on this panel by writing about the Chinese translation of “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” in the questionnaire. The translation is more formal (as is most Chinese fiction) and what that does to the story will blow your mind! Seriously, it changes how you perceive the main character and his boyfriend in interesting ways.]

5:30pm Sunday in Hale

Worldbuilding with the Soft Sciences

Let’s skip past geology and cosmology and go straight to the sciences that study culture: linguistics, psychology, cultural anthropology, and the like. How does knowledge in these areas inform (or laughably fail to inform) speculative fiction’s world building? How can we use insights from these disciplines to build worlds with a realistic diversity in their cultures?

James Meickle (m), John Chu, Alexander Feinman, Felicitas Ivey, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert

And, finally (yes, finally!)

10:00am Monday in Hale

Science Fiction Reading

Come listen to our panelists read a selection from their original science fiction works.

John Chu, Nalin Ratnayake, Ken Schneyer, Lawrence M. Schoen

[This will be a very expansive definition of Science Fiction since, like most of my work, what I’ll be reading doesn’t really involve science as we know it. Also, in this case, it eventually becomes obvious that it’s metafiction.]


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