January 28th, 2021

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How to find me at Capricon 41 in February

Capricon is a four-day science fiction convention held annually in the Chicagoland area since 1981. This year, its 41st iteration, will be held virtually with the theme “Creating the Future We Want.”

You can attend! Sign up and learn more here. Organizers ask you to pay at least $10 for the weekend, but if life hasn’t gone well lately, you can attend for free. I signed up for the premium level to help out, so be my guest.

Expect music, a dance, a cooking workshop, a game or two, an open mic, and parties, in addition to panels on all sorts of topics from silly to serious. Since the pandemic hit and life has moved online, science fiction conventions have steadily learned to use technology to create events that aren’t quite like being there in person but still might be the social highlight of your month.

I’m scheduled for four events:

Thursday, February 4, 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., reading. Science Fiction vs. Literary Fiction: Who’s in Control? I’ll read an essay that explores how and why the stories of science fiction tell an uncomfortable truth about what really matters.

Saturday, February 6, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., panel. Information Please! Based on the 1930s radio quiz show, Information Please tries to stump a panel of experts with a wide variety of questions about science fiction and fantasy where the fun is listening to their discussions as much as seeing if you can figure out the answer first. Steven H Silver is moderating, and other panelists are Barbara Barnett, David Hirsch, and Gary K Wolfe.

Saturday, February 6, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., panel. The Power of the Short Story. What makes the short story such a potent form? I will moderate. Panelists are Rowan Fixemer, Michael Haynes, Donna J.W. Munro, and Lucy A. Snyder.

Sunday, February 7, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., panel. The Sapir Wharf Hypothesis and Dystopian Fiction. The Sapir Wharf Hypothesis proposes that the structure of language determines a native speaker’s perception and categorization of experience. Our panelists discuss how dystopian fiction uses the curtailing of language to curtail thought. Moderator is Isabel Schechter, and panelists are Geoff Strayer, Beverly Friend, and myself.

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My next novel, Immunity Index, goes on sale May 4.