Heading to FogCon tomorrow. Quick recap of my schedule:

Fri, 4:30 – 5:45: Short Stories that Stand Out from the Slush Pile: What makes a short story stand out? What gives a story that special push to get it out of the slush pile and onto an editor’s desk, and maybe even to publication? Editors often say that many stories they see in their slush piles are competent, but not amazing. Why do they end up selecting what they do? Is it a compelling plot, emotional resonance, distinct characters, or some combination of elements? What is the death knell for a stories chances? In this panel, authors and editors will discuss what elements make a story truly sparkle.

Fri 7:30 – With Jed and Kathleen, teach “Creation of Ea” at Opening Ceremonies.

Fri, 9:30 – 10:45 p.m.: Writing Sexual Assault: Over the last year, sexual assault victims have been more forthcoming about their stories than perhaps ever before. Are these stories reflected in fiction? Has fiction made it less taboo to speak against it and about it? Ada Palmer’s novel Too Like the Lightning opens with a trigger warning, delivered by a possibly unreliable narrator. Andrea Hairston’s novel Redwood & Wildfire deals extensively with the narrative of a rape and its aftermath. Most of Lilith Saintcrow’s protagonists are rape survivors. Nalo Hopkinson’s novel Midnight Robber has a protagonist who becomes pregnant by her rapist. Even tough-as-nails Stark, the protagonist of Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series, has been, in recent books, seeking help to deal with the rapes he endured. What was done well in these stories, and others? What wasn’t? What do survivors think of them?

Sat, 1:30 – 2:45: The New Gender Frontier: Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series is extremely progressive about gender… or, is it? The novel jumps back and forth from gender freedom to gender oppression in an ongoing explicit commentary on its characters’ gender(s). Was it a successful gambit, and how do we define success (or failure) in this regard? How does it compare to other recent pronoun and gender experimentation in genre fiction? How much does this accurately reflect our lives and identities today? Did we learn something from the challenges explicitly presented to our concepts of gender?

Sat 9:30: group erotica reading

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