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This coming weekend is the Arisia science fiction convention in Boston.  Arisia is one of the two big winter conventions we attend, the other being Boskone.  Arisia is large and lively and skews more toward non-print sf/fantasy than does Boskone, which is smaller and more book-oriented (though it was quite the lively con itself, in its younger days); we enjoy both of them for different reasons, not entirely having to do with the chance to get out of town for a few days in cabin fever season.

(When I start humming Stan Rogers’s Canol Road – probably the ultimate cabin fever song – under my breath, I know that the walls are starting to close in.)

Anyhow, my schedule this year:

Military SF: When Diplomacy Fails     Faneuil   Fri 10:00 PM     Duration: 01:15
      Military SF has been around quite a while, starting with the works of authors such as Piper and Heinlein and continuing to this day with works by authors like Weber, Drake, and Ringo. What is the current state of military SF? How is it defined these days? What about anti-war stories that use the trappings of military SF like Haldeman’s The Forever War? Is there a unifying political viewpoint among the different authors?

Autograph – Doyle, Hunt, & Kelner     Galleria – Autograph Space Sat 10:00 AM     Duration: 01:15
      Autograph session with Debra Doyle, Walter Hunt, and Toni L.P. Kelner.

In Search of Conflict     Bullfinch  Sat 11:30 AM     Duration: 01:15
      As writers, how do you create conflict? Not just between a protagonist and antagonist but between friends, family, nations, and even within the main character themselves? Is overt conflict, such as a physical confrontation or threat, better than an internal character struggle for some stories? There are myriad ways of showing conflict other than someone throwing a punch, what are they?

Reading: Doyle, Macdonald, and Nelson     Hale     Writing           Sun 10:00 AM     Duration: 01:15
      Authors Debra Doyle, James Macdonald, and Resa Nelson read selections from their works.

And once again, Jim Macdonald and I have the 10AM Sunday reading slot.  If you’re at Arisia and awake at that hour, do consider stopping by.  We’re going to be reading a new short story from the adventures of Peter Crossman, hard-boiled Knight Templar.