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My Preliminary Arisia Schedule

My tentative schedule for Arisia 2013, January 18-21:

Friday, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. (Bullfinch 3W)
A Hero Like Me — Vikki Ciaffone (m), Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, Catt Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Ken Schneyer:
How much does a reader want to be able to identify with the protagonist of a story? Does having the hero have superhuman or near-superhuman attributes make him or her less sympathetic to the reader? Genre expectations affect this, and perhaps affect who’s attracted to what genre—superhero comic book protagonists have a different profile from the typical YA protagonist, usually an almost-ordinary kid. What other factors influence the reader’s sympathy? Are they stronger or weaker?

Saturday 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. (Burroughs 3E)
All About Kickstarter — Bob Kuhn (m), Bart Leib, Ken Schneyer, Susan Soares, James “Coder Brony” Turner:
Kickstarter and similar websites have proven successful to get certain artistic endeavors (i.e., films, web series, comics, etc.) funded. What works, what doesn’t, and what constitutes a major faux pas when using Kickstarter?

Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. (Alcott 3W)
Cambridge SF Workshop Flash Fiction Reading — Heather Albano, James L. Cambias, Elaine Isaak, Alexander Jablokov, Steve E. Popkes (m), Ken Schneyer, Sarah Smith:
New works from the oldest extant professional SF/F writers group in New England.

Saturday 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. (Otis (2))
Greatest History Never Altered — Mark L. Amidon, Christopher K. Davis (m), Lila Garrott, Dennis McCunney, Ken Schneyer:
Poul Anderson wrote a time travel story in which changing some of the finer details of the Punic Wars altered history beyond recognition, but most writers tend to stick to historical events more familiar to the readers. What other historical events would bring about interesting alternate histories? What does it take to change a more obscure historic event?

Sunday 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. (Bullfinch 3W)
Everything You Know is Wrong — Catt Kingsgrave-Ernstein, Gordon Linzner, Joy Marchand (m), Ken Schneyer:
There are several works of fiction, both genre and mainstream, that rely on the unreliable narrator. Used to good effect, this can create an artful twist ending or have the reader second-guessing throughout the whole story. However, how does one create such a narrator? Does the viewpoint have to be first person, or can third person suffice? How do you keep readers following the path you’ve laid out without guessing the real story? A discussion on the making and use of an unreliable narrator.

Sunday 8:30 – 9:45 p.m. (Bullfinch 3W)
Writing and the Law — Greg R. Fishbone, William Frank (m), Vylar Kaftan, Ken Schneyer, James A. Wolf:
What are you legal rights as an author? What are the “gotcha” items to watch out for in a publishing contract? What kind of rights to publish your story should you give the publisher? Are there significant legal differences between publishing via traditional methods versus publishing online?

Monday 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. (Adams 3W)
Short Fiction: Why Is It So Awesome? — Erik Amundsen, Julia Rios, Ken Schneyer, Hildy Silverman (m), JoSelle Vanderhooft:
Short fiction is thriving in the age of the internet, and for good reason. It often takes more risks than novels do, and is free to explore ideas that don’t need the length of a trilogy of novels. Come discuss your favorite short work and where to find it

Monday 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. (Otis (2))
How Do We Pay for the Future? — James L. Cambias (m), Alexander Jablokov, Dennis McCunney, Ken Schneyer, Ian Randal Strock:
Science fiction has posited a wide range of economic models, from total abundance to mean scarcity, and from plutocracy to collectivism. What happens when goods are freely available to all? What happens when long-lasting food rations are worth killing for? What emphasis does the writer need to place on the economy, technology, and society to tell an intriguing tale?

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