To wit, the Arisia sf/fantasy convention in Boston, where it’s reliably at least ten degrees warmer than it is here, and where the hotel rooms have almost too much heat in them, and where the showers have good water pressure and plenty of hot water to pressure with.
(I’m trying not to look forward to all of this too much, so as not to give the Fates a chance to laugh at me.)
Anyhow – Madhouse Manor’s Arisia schedules for this year:
Dr. Doyle’s Arisia Sked
Religions, Holidays, and Rituals in Your Fiction
Sat 10:00 AM Hale
Our panelists discuss religions, holidays, and rituals across the genres (fantasy, horror, SF) and their creation. What are the differences in belief systems associated with traditional holidays of our world’s different cultures as compared to those in genre fiction?
Focus: From Solo Narrative to Sprawling Empire
Sat 8:30 PM Marina 2
Literature gives us great freedom to explore; one of the interesting choices available to writers is how to focus their narrative. Some writers give us massive epics with dozens of POV characters. Some give us two people in a locked room. Both, and everything in between, provide varied opportunities. We’ll talk about how some of our favorite writers have chosen to use broad or narrow focus to tell their stories, and how a change in focus changes the story completely.
The Many Paths to Perdition
Sun 10:00 AM Hale
How does a villain become a villain? Is it a single traumatic event? A lifetime of adversity and desperation? Often a villain doesn’t see themselves as a villain. Is this due to a differing point of view, delusion, or denial? Our panelists discuss the many roads to ruination a character can take.
Saving the World vs. Changing the World
Sun 4:00 PM Marina 2
We like vast scope and terrible conflict, where the world is in jeopardy. As the narratives roll, we’re bound to see aspects of the setting that probably need to be destroyed or, at least, to change. Sometimes, the world is changed by the end of the story (as in each book in the Inheritance Trilogy) and sometimes it is merely saved (as with the Harry Potter series). We’ll talk about stories that changed their settings forever and ones where the status quo is restored.
Jim Macdonald’s Arisia Sked:
Fairy Tales on Film and TV
Fri 10:00 PM Marina 1
Between *Once Upon a Time* and *Grimm* on television, and movies like *Maleficent* and *Frozen*, it’s a good time for fans of entertainment based on fairy tales. What makes these works so effective at translating these classics into other media? Why aren’t we seeing more works based on fairy tales and folklore from other cultures? What other works are coming up that deserve to be highlighted?
Taverns, Bars and Saloons
Sat 8:30 PM Alcott
Whether as the traditional location for assembling the party in RPGs, or as a venue for exposition and moving the plot along in too many SF/F novels and stories to name, taverns, pubs, and other like establishments are a fundamental aspect of literature in general and genre literature in particular. In what saloons and taverns would you most like to hang out after a long day at Arisia? What is it about pubs and bars that so links them to the conventions of SF literature?
Se7en and the Ragged Thriller
Sat 10:00 PM Marina 1
David Fincher’s Seven, launched 20 years ago, wasn’t the first thriller to shift from glorified police procedurals and cheap erotic suspense, but it took the dark, off-the-rails story to a more prominent level. Debuting just as the cast were hitting their popular and critical strides, it helped lay groundwork for films like Red Eye, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Fincher’s own Panic Room. We’ll discuss why Seven worked so well, its influence, and maybe even discuss the history of the thriller.
So You Think You Can Write a Fight?
Sun 10:00 AM Faneuil
Come find out how viable your fight scene really is. An experienced panel of talented authors, martial artists, and maybe one hapless would-be victim will take your quick fight scene and act it out while our esteemed panelists help you work out the physical and literary kinks. Please no epic wave battles.
Disaster Preparedness for Fans
Sun 1:00 PM Marina 1
In this Arisia favorite, we’ll discuss ways to protect what’s important to you from random acts of disaster, including yourself. How do I protect my books from flooding? What should I put in a disaster kit? Is renters insurance worth buying? Come learn how to prepare yourself for when the alien cyborg zombies invade!
Sun 2:30 PM Griffin
Songs of sailing in all forms, with an emphasis on work songs from the age of sail. Open sing. Fun for all!