me at Arisia next weekend

I’ll be a guest at the science fiction convention Arisia in Boston next weekend, Friday, January 18, through Monday, January 21. I’ll be talking about movies and TV and being a geek (a full schedule of my panels follows after the jump), and I’ll be hosting a room party on Saturday night: expect genteel refreshments; a chance to buy a copy of my book, The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and get it signed by me in person; and other general merriment.

I’ll be around the con the whole weekend: if you can’t find me, check the bar.
My panel schedule follows. They’re keeping me busy, which is just as I like it. I’ll have copies of my book for sale at each panel, too.

Fannish Lifestyle When Did Society Get So Awesome?
Fri 8PM
Terry Franklin, Sarah Smith, Stephanie Clarkson, MaryAnn Johanson [I’ll moderate this panel]

Zombie shuffles in the streets. Talk Like a Pirate Day. Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day. 5000 person Zombie vs Human games on college campuses. We have heard about the great stuff that used to happen at places like MIT and CalTech in the old days, but much of that had died down. Now, thanks to the Internet and some enterprisingly awesome people, these hacks are going world-wide. Are we entering a brave new world of awesome? Or is it just a passing fad?

Literature F=Fandom, P=Politics, V=Vendetta
Fri 9PM
Laura Anne Gilman, Terry Franklin, Ken Gale, James B VanBokkelen, MaryAnn Johanson

Does “V for Vendetta” strike a chord with us as the US Government appears to coming dangerously close to turning into a totalitarian theocracy? What about “Judge Dredd,” “Logan’s Run,” or “Aeon Flux”? What happens when self-righteous fanatics have the big guns and the legitimate power? Do we cower under the authoritarian rule for “our own good,” or do we stand tall and say “no more?”

Literature Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books
Sat 10AM (I cannot vouch for my coherence at this hour)
Susan Hanniford Crowley, jan howard finder, Resa Nelson, Michael Sharrow, MaryAnn Johanson

Does knowing how the book series ends change our anticipation for the last two films? Are there actually fans of the movie series who haven’t read the books? (No spoilers from book six or seven permitted at this panel. Go to the “Deathly Hallows” panel to talk about the end of the book series.)

Media The Movie Year in Review
Sat 3PM
Michael A Ventrella, Daniel M Kimmel, Garen Daly, John Bowker, MaryAnn Johanson

Our annual look back at the year in SF, horror, and fantasy film. Our panel of experts will cover every theatrical release of 2007. Find out which ones are worth catching up on. Note: time for audience participation is reserved for the end of our panel’s high speed review.

Media There’s No Star Trek! And No Buffy!
Sat 4PM
Misty Pendragon, Cynthia A Shettle, Nomi S. Burstein, Eric M Van, MaryAnn Johanson

What should fans be watching on TV these days? Battlestar Galactica? Heroes? Jericho? The 4400? What are the hot shows and how can you catch up if you haven’t been watching? Will any of these shows have the impact on fandom of Trek, Babylon 5, X Files, Firefly or Buffy?

Media 10 Years of StarGate
Sun 10AM (I cannot vouch for my coherence at this hour)
James T Henderson Jr, Terri Osborne, MaryAnn Johanson [I’ll moderate this panel]

A discussion and farewell to StarGate SG1. How did it affect SF television? Will Stargate: Atlantis have similar long legs? What of other SciFi series like Eureka, Flash Gordon, Painkiller Jane, etc.?

Media Debate: Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Looking Deeper
Sun 1PM
James Zavaglia, Ian Randal Strock, MaryAnn Johanson, JeffWarner, Hugh Casey

This panel is one of the new debate panels at Arisia. It is built around the question of which series had a more profound impact on society at large and fannish society in particular. As with all such debates, the question is unanswerable, but it gives us a wonderful way to deeply explore a very interesting question.

Pirates The Dread Pirate Roberts
Sun 2PM
Mary Catelli, Aline Boucher Kaplan, Sarah Smith, MaryAnn Johanson [I’ll moderate this panel]

From The Princess Bride to Rugrats, and even Pirates of the Caribbean someone, somewhere brings up “The Dread Pirate Roberts”. What made him so special, so dreadful? Who was he, and why is he such a popular touchstone for writers?

Fannish Lifestyle What am I? A Fan? A Geek? A Nerd?
Sun 7PM
Solomon Davidoff, Eugene Heller, Vanessa Layne, Jennifer Williams, MaryAnn Johanson

What is a geek? A nerd? A fan? A hardcore fan? Which one are you? What does it mean, and should you even care? Discuss how labels affect fandom and what can be done to benefit from or break down the structures that distinguish us.

Media Firefly: The Series that Got Away
Mon 11AM
Misty Pendragon, Cynthia A Shettle, Melissa Honig, MaryAnn Johanson

What made “Firefly” work? Why do we love it and why didn’t the suits get it? What now? Should new episodes go direct-to-DVD? How does “Serenity” fit? Is Joss Whedon too good for network TV or has he let past success carry him away?

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Thu, Jan 24, 2008 5:39pm

Do you know about Wiscon?

It’s a feminist, literary science fiction convention, and the quality of the discussions there are amazing. You’d love it.

Fri, Jan 25, 2008 12:29am

Sounds great. Flying to a convention is lot more expensive than driving to one, though.

Fri, Feb 01, 2008 10:14pm

Gosh darn, it blows that I missed this.

You have our email addresses — I think you and I even live in the same city — can you send out alerts the next time?

You know the world needs more Lerts.