I’ll be at Chicon 8, the 80th World Science Fiction Convention, held September 1 to 5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. Almost 5,000 people are expected to attend in person with 1,500 attending virtually. Hundreds of activities are planned. It will be a five-day party, and you can still sign up and come.
Here’s what I’m scheduled to do, eight panels and a table talk (locations subject to change):
The Future of Science Fiction Is International – Crystal Ballroom C – Thursday, September 1, 11:30 a.m. CDT
International SFF is flourishing, with new and classic non-English works being translated in unprecedented numbers, and writers and readers from diverse cultural backgrounds interacting in real time. Why is a more global approach to SFF important to the future of the genre as a whole? Who are the authors, translators, and venues to watch, and what are some of the most fascinating trends and works right now? Andy Dudak, moderator; Hildur Knútsdóttir, Leslie, Sue Burke.
Terraforming and Alien Life – Regency Ballroom D – Thursday, September 1, 4:00 p.m. CDT
If we terraform a planet, what happens to the living things that evolved there? Would an “Earth-like” planet have living things we could live alongside? How might Earth life integrate into an alien ecology? This panel will contemplate the ecological impacts of making another planet more Earth-like. Colin Alexander, moderator; Eva L. Elasigue, Kevin Wabaunsee, Sue Burke.
What Books Get Translated? – Michigan 1 – Thursday, September 1, 7:00 p.m. CDT
The world is filled with amazing SFF that isn’t written in English and never gets an English translation. There’s also a lot of English SFF that never gets translated into other languages. Why do some works get translations, while others don’t? Sue Burke, moderator; Andy Dudak, Hildur Knútsdóttir, Yasser Bahjatt.
Table Talk with Sue Burke – Crystal Foyer – Friday, September 2, 1:00 p.m. CDT
Table Talks are informal hour-long discussions with a “host” and up to seven people — similar to the Kaffeeklatsches and Literary Beers hosted by previous Worldcons. As part of Chicon 8’s commitment to its covid-19 policy, there will be no beverages this time, just talk. Come and find out if your houseplants want to kill you.
1940: The First Chicon – Randolph 1 – Friday, September 2, 7:00 p.m. CDT
The second-ever Worldcon — the 1940 convention in Chicago — established traditions that have echoed through many events that havefollowed: the masquerade, the con suite, filking… Explore the full history of this seminal event, including the backstories of its organization and the historical context that informed it. We will also include a recreation of E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Guest of Honor speech. Alex Mui, moderator; David Ritter, John Hertz, Sue Burke.
Readings from Ludlow Charlington’s Doghouse – Roosevelt 1 – Saturday, September 3, 11:30 a.m. CDT
Fetch these delightful doggie stories from Ludlow Charlington’s Doghouse, a fantasy anthology benefiting Friends of Chicago Animal Care & Control. 19 authors, 34 drabbles, stories, poems, plays, and songs. Even a music video! Full of good bois and grrrrrls. Potential readers include Tina Jens, Steven H Silver, Sue Burke, K. M. Herkes, Joe Janes, and Lauren Masterson.
Translation Is Creative Writing – Grand Hall K – Saturday, September 3, 7:00 p.m. CDT
The job of a translator is not merely to pick the matching words in the second language. Done well, translation conveys the tone and flavor of the original text. A character with an ascerbic wit in Chinese should be just as funny in English, for example. Lyrical descriptions of landscapes should be equally poetic. What makes a translation work, and who does it well? Jean Bürlesk, moderator; Andy Dudak, Sue Burke, Su J Sokol, Yasser Bahjatt.
The State of the Translation Market – Randolph 3 – Sunday, September 4, 4:00 p.m. CDT
Translation rights sound both appealing and intimidating to those becoming authors or publishers. How does the process work in 2022? Are there trends in format, genre, or subject matter to imitate or avoid? What markets or languages are underserved and present great artistic and business opportunities? Translators and those with work in translation simplify the subject for those interested in bringing their work to global audiences. Joshua Bilmes, moderator; Hildur Knútsdóttir, Neil Clarke, Sue Burke.
Science: The Core of Science Fiction’s Sense of Wonder – Airmeet 1 (virtual programming) – Monday, September 5, 2022, 11:30 a.m. CDT
SF shows its audience amazing things, but what distinguishes SF stories from other fantastic tales is the assumption that all this might be true, somewhere or someday. That’s one of SF’s key strengths, but it’s one that often gets overlooked. What are some great examples of fiction that uses scientific reality to convey a sense of awe and wonder? Mary Robinette Kowal, moderator; Miguel O. Mitchell, M V Melcer (Mel), Sue Burke.