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My Boskone Schedule

February 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I'm returning to Boskone this year, because it rocks and I'll get to see a lot of really cool people while I'm there.  I've posted my schedule, along with the program descriptions, below the cut.

Also, as a reminder, I've posted a long list of retailers where you can pre-order Bitter Seeds.

Friday, February 12

7 PM FTL: Types and Tradeoffs

Charles Gannon (M), Jordin T. Kare, Geoffrey A. Landis, Ian Tregillis

Faster-Than-Light travel may (or may not) be impossible-- certainly simply accelerating faster and faster and eventually exceeding lightspeed is.  But is that the only way to get to Alpha Centauri in less than four years?  What are the possible varieties of FTL travel?  What is the scientific reality behind hyperspace, wormhole travel, teleportation, warp drives, and the like?  What are the advantages/disadvantages of each type of drive?  Is FTL travel doomed to be the SF equivalent of the Seven League Boots of medieval fairy tales?

9 PM More on the Business of Writing

S. C. Butler (M), Elaine Isaak, Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Tregillis

Last year we did this program item, and people enjoyed it so much that we're doing it again!  Find out what the writer needs to know and do to become (financially) successful (or, at least responsible).  It's not all creativity or perspiration, no matter what you've heard before!

Saturday, February 13

10:30 AM  Reading

Come listen to me read from Bitter Seeds for the final time before the book is published!  This may be your last chance to get exclusive platinum-club behind-the-scenes previews.  I'll be reading pieces of the book that have never before been read aloud in public-- anywhere!  Mostly because I'm sick to death of my usual reading selection. 

3 PM The Fermi Failure

Charles Gannon, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mark L. Olson (M), Ian Tregillis

The great physicist Enrico Fermi asked, "Where are the aliens?  Why didn't they get here long ago?"  This is a huge puzzle since the universe is so old that it is difficult to understand why they have not already visited Earth or at least made their presence known out in space.  This is the Fermi Paradox.  Have we made any progress untangling it?

(I suggested this program item to the concom, based on a panel I was on at Worldcon last August.  It was a very popular panel, standing room only.  But that had more to do with Peter Watts than with me.)

Sunday, February 14

1 PM  Time Travel in Science and Science Fiction

Andrew Zimmerman Jones, Chad Orzel (M), Ken Schneyer, Ian Tregillis, Vernor Vinge

It's over a centure since H. G. Wells write The Time Machine and the concept of time travel is today widespread in SF, the popular culture, and even has a degree of scientific respectability.  What does physics know about time travel?  What does SF write about?  Some SF treats the past and the future both as fixed and time travelers as spectators who cannot change what is, while other SF imagines a mutable past where the actions of travelers to the past can change the very future they came from.  What can we say about the real world?  Does what we know about the physics of time permit good stories to be written?

After that, I'm off to New York with the one and only S. C. Butler to visit with Mr. Butler, Ms. Jett, and my super-fantastic agent.


TEngland February 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm
The way I heard it, Fermi was sitting at a table in Fuller Lodge when he said that. Or at least one of the times he said it. It was during WWII, the Manhattan Project and all. I cannot vouch for the veracity of that story, but I thought at the time the source was good. Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I heard it.
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