Wrun with Writers, Voltron, and Me

MONETARY UPDATE: We’re up to $265! Come on folks, let’s get me into clothing that won’t make me overheat and die!

Update 8-16-16: We didn’t get the attention I’d hoped for, so I just bought myself a Power Rangers dress to run in anyway. We did raise $265 for Worldbuilders, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Hope to see people at the Wrun with Writers event on Friday!

The whole thing with Voltron started with me commenting on Twitter regarding NC politics, cheering on our Attorney General Roy Cooper. So I posted this on Twitter.

Then, author Adam Rakunas posted this:

Wrun with Writers is our twist at Stroll with the Stars, which is a common SF convention event where people can go walking with guests from the con. Last year Adam and I were talking about our love of running, and we said we would run together, and then suggested making it an event. Thus Wrun with Writers was born.

It’s not a race; it’s just a 5K (3.1 miles, or one standard Pokemon egg) trek, as fast or slow as you like, around Kansas City. Then breakfast. Cause you will deserve a breakfast.

The first one happened at Spokane WorldCon, which was on fire. We had four people, including we two organizers. It wasn’t very smoky, but ash was falling from the sky. It was quite apocalyptic and thrilling, actually. I’m looking for pictures on Twitter but it’s hard to search a year back. Trust me. It was epic.

So this year we’re doing it again, and hoping for more than four people. And apparently now I’m doing it in a Voltron costume. Only, I want some incentive, and Adam’s offer gave me an idea.

I will only run in a ridiculous outfit if people give to charity. Adam’s pledged $100 and by gum I’m holding him to that, so I guess we’re already at Voltron. But let’s up the stakes.

$100Voltron Costume (for men, apparently)
$200Disguise Women’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sassy Raphael Halloween Costume
$300Disguise Women’s Deluxe Power Ranger Costume I will also add $100* and Adam will wear a costume. He hasn’t agreed to this yet. But I don’t care.
$400Power Rangers Blue Ranger Skater Dress
$500Disguise Women’s Sassy Deluxe Power Ranger Costume

More than $500??? I will take suggestions, with the caveat that I will not wear something that will cause health problems (I’m running, after all) or cause me to hate the world, ie sexy Ghostbuster. I will not do Sexy Ghostbuster. I will do legit Ghostbuster. Let’s call that:

$600- Legit Ghostbuster  (hell, I might just get this cause it’s awesome) and I’ll find a proton pack. Or proton pistols Holtzmann style.

Movie-Ghostbusters-2016-2

* My $100 will not count toward the grand total.

Note- I leave for WorldCon next week, and I will have to order the costume, so this has to be a quick fund drive. I’m posting it Monday night, but will be promoting it Tuesday all day.

The charity: Worldbuilders! Worldbuilders is a charity founded by author Pat Rothfuss in order to use the collective power of readers, fellow authors and book lovers to make the world a better place. Money earned goes toward Heifer International, one of my favorite charities.

So how do you do this? Let’s cut out the middle Mur and encourage you to donate directly to Worldbuilders, and then mail your receipt to mightymur@gmail DOT COM and I’ll add it to the total. And we’ll see how crazy this gets.

WorldCon Schedule

UPDATED to include the reading and literary beer.

I’ll be attending MidAmericon II August 18-21, and here’s my schedule:

Reading: Mur Lafferty
Wednesday 4:00pm-4:30pm, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center) Am I slightly worried about having a reading at 4pm on Wednesday? Yes. Yes I am.
Mur Lafferty

Literary Beer : Mur Lafferty, Helen Pennington
Wednesday 7:00pm, Literary Beer Space (Kansas City Convention Center)
Mur Lafferty, Dr Helen Pennington

The Care and Feeding of Minions
Thursday 2:00pm 2503B (Kansas City Convention Center)
A panel of aspiring Evil Overlords need Minions to carry out their evil biddings.  But now that minions have heard of collective bargaining and have seen what non evil overlords offer their workers, it isn’t as easy as it once was.
Ms. Lynn Gold, Mur Lafferty, David D. Levine, Julia Mandala

Ditch Diggers Podcast LIVE
Thursday 7:00pm
(Not sure what the program will say about it, or where it is yet, but dang, y’all, another DD live. I can’t wait.)
Mur Lafferty, Matt Wallace

Wrun With Writers
Friday 09:00 Marriott Lobby (Kansas City Marriott Downtown)
Strolling with the Stars has been a Worldcon fixture, but what about those who want something a little more pulse-pounding? Something a little more sweaty? Something that will help shake off those morning doldrums and jump-start the day with a three-mile run? Mur Lafferty and Adam Rakunas would like you to bring your running shoes on Friday morning at 9am for a casual, no-drop fun run around the area. All participants get bragging rights and exclusive ribbons!
Adam Rakunas, Mur Lafferty

The Fine Art of Satire
Friday 1:00pm 2502A (Kansas City Convention Center)
How do you avoid stepping over the line into farce or polemics?
Eileen Gunn, John Kessel, Mur Lafferty, Milt Stevens, Esther Friesner (M)

Social Media, or, Why I Haven’t Finished My Novel
Saturday 1:00pm 2502B – A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)
Social media is addictive. So much so it can impact upon the work of authors. Our panelists discuss the importance of limiting themselves, differentiating between Social Media interactions for personal and professional reasons, and maybe even inspiration gleaned from Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat and the myriad sites available.
Melissa F. Olson (M), Jack Campbell Jr., J.R. Johansson, John Scalzi, Mur Lafferty

Literary Agents: Friend to Authors
Saturday 4:00pm  3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)
Literary agents do a lot more than “simply” negotiate deals for authors.  They can act as mediators, guide careers, and offer support when it is most needed.  Agents explain what they do and how they add value to a writer’s career.
Joshua Bilmes (M), Mur Lafferty, Eleanor Wood, Lauren Roy, Stephen Saffel

GenCon Schedule

This year (tomorrow!) I’m going to GenCon for the first time! I’ve always wanted to go as a gamer, and suddenly I’m going as a writing pro as part of the Writer’s Symposium. The world is weird.

Thursday
10:00 AM Business of Writing: Self Publishing 101 — Cabinet Room
4:00 PM Short Fiction: Beating the Slush Pile — Chamber Room
6:00 STORIUM LIVE! — (Actually I’m not sure where this one is. Check your program)

Friday
12:00 PM Writer’s Craft: Making Old Ideas Awesome — Chamber Room
1:00 PM Crowdfunding: Running the Campaign — Congress Room
3:00 PM Special Event: The Once and Future Podcast LIVE Mega-Cast!– Chamber Room
6:25 PM Writing Excuses — Cabinet Room

Saturday
11:00 AM Signing — Exhibit Hall

ConFusion Schedule

I will be attending ConFusion in Novi, Michigan next weekend! I’m really looking forward to it, and have some great panels scheduled. (Schedule may change, but only to add stuff, not subtract)

Friday 7:00:00 PM Pitch Me Your Elevator
The panel, using their wit and guile, will craft elevator pitches on the spot for classic novels and films. Bonus points will be awarded for style points. Who will take home the title of Elevator Pitch Champion?
Laura Resnick, Mari Brighe, Robert Jackson Bennett (M), Mur Lafferty, Pablo Vazquez

Saturday 9:00:00 AM Author RPG: Planet Mercenary!
Authors from across the genre spectrum come together to put Howard Tayler’s new game, Planet Mercenary, to the test. Come watch these exceptional creatives put on a show and enjoy some laughs. Please remember to give the players their space.
Howard Tayler (M), Brian McClellan (M), Delilah S. Dawson, Cherie Priest, Mur Lafferty, Robert Jackson Bennett, Saladin Ahmed, Brent Weeks

Saturday 3:00:00 PM Fangirls Over 30
While no one seems to be surprised when men are still playing video games and reading comics into their 30’s, in some circles women face more pressure to give up their fannish passions now that they’re “grown up.” Our panelists discuss this phenomenon and how to fight it.
Sal Palland, Angie Rush, Jessica Zerwas, Suzanna Grossman, Mur Lafferty

Saturday 4:00:00 PM Autograph Session 1

Sunday 11:00:00 AM Formative Fiction: The Books That Hooked You
Every one remembers the book that turned them into a reader for life. The panel will discuss the books that were formative in their reading lives. What makes a piece of fiction formative?  How does formative fiction evolve with time? Is this work different for today’s new readers than it was for the previous generation or, even, the one before that?
Mary Lynne Gibbs, Ferrett Steinmetz, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Mur Lafferty, Sarah Gibbons

It’s a Monday: Post-Illogicon and David Bowie Thoughts

Illogicon
We had a local con this past weekend, and I was Guest of Honor. It was the third time I had done the GoH thing, and it was by far the best. One previous time was nice, but I didn’t know a lot of people at the con so I felt strangely out of place, and another previous time should not be talked about in public. *

I also didn’t know HOW to be a GoH. No one tells you that. Well, no one except Mary Robinette Kowal, who included a GoH guide in her series of blog posts for debut authors.

But I kind of know what I’m doing now (in no small part thanks to MRK), what I need from the con, and how to get it. And this con had a lot of friends and colleagues and, bonus, my family were able to drop by.

I had an hour-long reading. I’ve not had very good readings at recent cons, again, not going to go into the details why, but my confidence has been shaken. So I read from a work my agent is shopping around and then just talked to people.

Then something amusing happened. To set the stage: In season 4 of Arrested Development**, George Michael Bluth is in college and, through misunderstandings and trying to impress a woman, suddenly finds that an app he and a friend are writing is blowing up to rival Facebook, VC angels are lining up to help fund, and Anonymous is targeting him. It’s one huge misunderstanding but he’s so taken in by the attention that he goes along with it. When you find out what the app really is, it’s a hysterical reveal.

To bring us back to Illogicon, with time still left in the reading, I started talking about various things I am working on. Because Ursula was my media escort (THANK you, Ursula. Kids, if you’re ever GoH, always get an escort. Even if you’re not going to be mobbed like GRRM or Gaiman, it’s still vital.) she was there with me, and we started talking about a very weird idea we have had together, one that our friends and family and agents think we’re crazy for coming up with. Contrarily, we’re even more driven to create this. I threw out the idea that we should, instead of making it a story, to make it a text based online story app (like the Choice Of Games) and said it could be similar to Hatoful Boyfriend. (Something I’ll write about later.) We laughed about it, and then the hour with Mur was over, and I went on to the next thing.

That night I read a blog post from someone who was there, and he mentioned “the video game Mur and Ursula are working on.” O_O

Then the VCs started calling. Then Sony. Then those TVs at gas pumps started talking about the mysterious game writing geniuses…

OK, maybe not. Ursula said if Sony called then we will do all that we can to make this damn thing a video game. But… Sony’s not calling yet. And we have nothing close to a story, much less a video game. But it was nice to have someone excited about it, at last.

Other highlights of the weekend: my kiddo did a hand-sewn costume of Frisk from Undertale which won her Best Youth entry in the costume contest! Did I get a picture? Sigh…

I did a Live Podcast panel where I brought Ursula to the stage to run through Publishing D&D, like Matt and I did at WorldCon for Ditch Diggers. It was a lot of fun (and I was more prepared). In response to a encounter with a little gelatinous cube that sat in the front row, regurgitated an arm to wave at her and offer “not a question, more of a comment”, Ursula drew this after the panel:

“Not a question, more of a comment.” Ursula Vernon

All in all, Illogicon was awesome! Thanks to the great volunteers for their hard work in making me feel welcome, and I can’t wait till next year because it will have Daniel José Older as GoH.

*Ask me at a con. After you buy me a drink.
** I’m so conflicted about season four of Arrested Development. It had a lot of problems, like uncomfortable problems. On the storytelling craft and episode editing, it was brilliant. On the actual story, showing how the characters had evolved, it was terrible. I can go on about that in another post, because it fascinates me and bugs the shit out of me at the same time.

#

Bowie
A lot of times when celebrities die, the Internet goes into loud, collective mourning on social media, and I don’t join in. Sometimes I don’t feel my “me too, sad” addition will contribute, sometimes I feel more comfortable with my own thoughts. Sometimes I feel separated from reality, like I don’t understand how we can attack someone one day and then deify them once they’re dead. (eg: Michael Jackson.)

Or sometimes, as in the case of David Bowie, I don’t feel as if I had enough ownership of the man to mourn without feeling like a pretender.

This is ridiculous on several levels. As someone with perhaps… .000001% of Bowie’s fame, I still resent the idea that fans can claim an ownership of me and my work. But it’s what happens, right or wrong. When you’re a fan, the art speaks to you, it becomes part of you. You feel ownership. This is why people come to blows over insults against a piece of art. You insult this thing I love, you insult ME. But I never owned Bowie.

Aside: I like that. “Wasn’t a fan” implies I have active negative feelings instead of neutrality. “Didn’t own” can mean closer to the concept of accepting their talent but saying their work was never a big part of my life.

To tell you about my music and musical movie upbringing, or lack thereof, the first time I’d heard of David Bowie or Bing Crosby was when they did a duet of “The Little Drummer Boy.” I saw it on MTV as a teen and, since I didn’t know the old crooner or the wild young rock star, I didn’t realize the irony of that pairing for the song. I just thought it was a pretty song by two men.

Later in life when I saw the world outside the wee little mountain town I great up in, I always liked what I heard from Bowie. In particular, I loved Labyrinth. Loved how he snapped at Terry Gross about how Ziggy Stardust was a tiny bit of his huge career, but people love focusing on that part. And “Space Oddity” was the one song of his that simply ripped my heart out.

But still, I don’t own any albums, can’t tell you how his career moved through the decades. The world is mourning and I feel distracted and odd, sad but not sure I have the right to feel sad, and then I’m annoyed because dammit, I deserve to feel however I feel.

I can tell you this much, he was a genius, prolific, always evolving, and I’m very sorry he’s gone.

January Conventions! First, Illogicon!

scienceFictionI’ll be Guest of Honor at Illogicon this weekend in Raleigh/Durham! My schedule is as follows:

FRIDAY
4-5pm: Podcasting with Mur Lafferty (this is essentially the GoH interview)
6-7pm: Writing women in SF&F

SATURDAY
10-11am: Developing a Podcast
1-2pm: Everyone Says: Bad Writing Advice
3-4pm: Live Podcast with Mur Lafferty
5-6pm: Beyond Strong: Writing female characters
6-7pm: Reading
8-9pm: Gender in SF&F

SUNDAY
11-12pm: Hybrid careers
1-2pm: Podcast production

Hope to see people there!

My next con will be ConFusion in Novi, Michigan in 2 weeks, more about that later!

WorldCon Schedule

I fell down the stairs this morning. I’m fine, but I’m shaken up. So no writing this morning while I get myself back together. (Then, I realized this afternoon, I forgot to post it.)

Today’s Music: Unsupervised, I Hit My Head, Mono Puff

But hey! I can blog about WorldCon. I hope some folks are getting there early, because according to Mur, THURSDAY IS THE HAPPNIN’ DAY AT SASQUAN, BABY.

Thursday
Autographing
10:00 – 10:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)
Mur Lafferty, Elizabeth Leggett

Autographing, Thursday morning? OK… I’m going to have to give out prizes to anyone who manages to make that one. I hear there’s a cupcake bakery nearby.

Ditch Diggers Podcast Recording
12:00 – 12:45, Conference Theater 110 (CC)
Mur Lafferty, Matt Wallace

HELL YEAH. Although…. noon? I guess I can bring a flask. And we don’t have a panel description, which could hurt us.

Space Casey (2007) – PG-13
17:55 – 20:50, 203 (CC)
Casey just wants to con her way out of a backwater port, but finds herself in more trouble than she could ever have imagined when she learns just whose spaceship she’s stolen. Luckily, a con artist might be exactly what the galaxy needs! The only work ever to win both the Parsec and Gold Mark Time Awards.
Mur Lafferty will be introducing this audio presentation.

I LOVE SPACE CASEY. Christiana Ellis deserves a great deal more attention for this work. It’s so fun. And apparently we’re starting at 5:55pm. Be there on time.

Match Game
20:00 – 22:00, 300B (CC)
Get ready to match the fannish stars! In this SF/F-themed game show based on the popular 1970s game show, audience members will be randomly selected as contestants to match wits with our panel. The object of the game is to guess how the panel answers fill-in-the-blank questions like “Captain Kirk has the biggest ___ in Starfleet.” Winners receive prizes such as gift certificates from Worldcon dealers, book packages, or convention memberships. All contestants receive Lovely Parting Gifts™.
Kevin Standlee (M), Scott Edelman, Tom Galloway, Leigh Ann Hildebrand, Mur Lafferty, Kevin Roche, Amy Thomson, Mary Crowell

I am sad Paul Cornell isn’t involved with this. I guess I associate him with WorldCon game shows. But this should be fun.

Then, BARCON, baby. That’s a full fucking day.

Friday
Certainly Not For the Money: Why We Write Short Fiction
11:00 – 11:45, Bays 111C (CC)
Why do we put ourselves through the angst of writing short fiction? It certainly isn’t the money. Why else would we do it?Mur Lafferty, Sarah Pinsker, Stefan Rudnicki, Rick Wilber, Mark J. Ferrari

Hm. No one is listed as moderator. I’m first, and it’s not alphabetical. I better prepare just in case.

Writing For Video Games
15:00 – 15:45, Bays 111C (CC)
How does experience in writing SF novels translate to writing scripts and backstory for video games? What are the new skills that authors hoping to work on video game stories need to learn?
William Dietz (M), Brian Campbell, Jason Hough, Mur Lafferty, John Scalzi

This will be an interesting panel.

Saturday
Podcasts for Young Adults
10:00 – 10:45, 303A (CC)
Adults love podcasts and podcasting, but what about teens? Is there a market for YA podcasts and where can kids find cool new content? What topics, guests and issues should podcasts for younger listeners address? What about kids who want to create their own podcasts? Your in luck! Our panelists will also share tips for teens who want to create their own podcasts.
Mur Lafferty (M), John Joseph Adams, Kate Baker, Jason Snell, Dan Wells

Hell yeah. I’m all over this one.

Kaffee Klatche – Mur Lafferty
13:00 – 13:45, 202A-KK2 (CC)
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor.

I know that, unlike February in Boston, most of the people won’t be driven home by a blizzard, but I have flashbacks to my completely empty kaffeklatch at Boskone. I’ll be prepared. Might bring giveaways to this one, too.

Sunday
Reading – Mur Lafferty
12:00 – 12:30, 303B (CC)

I’ll probably be reading from Six Wakes, since that’s the book I just sold, and stuff. Or I’ll read from a SEEKRIT project. Or maybe both…

Hope to see you there!

Phoenix Comicon, status of me and podcastland

I’m heading to Phoenix Comicon tomorrow (would be there today but I have a family obligation here at home) and will be on panels tomorrow and Saturday. Here’s my schedule!

I’ve been depressed lately, and it’s been the evil stealth depression that I couldn’t see until I started to come out with it. Needless to say, my creative output, both writing and podcasting, has been low. I’ve hit my Bookburners deadlines but not much else. I’m doing much better and will be recording a lot today.

There will be things to announce in the coming days. Watch this space.

Upcoming Events: Boskone! Wake County Library!

This coming weekend I will be at Boskone, doing a TON of interviews for ISBW and some panels*. I’m really looking forward to it, and hoping not to be snowed in forever.

Boskone Schedule:
Angels, Demons, and Saints
Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Religion has always played a strong role in fantasy, and we’ve seen an influx of fiction that specifically features characters that have been touched by higher powers — especially in today’s urban fantasy. What role do these characters play within the story? How do we see these roles changing or morphing into something new? Why do we keep coming back to these types of characters? And what are some examples of stories that use these characters especially well?

25 More Years of Good Omens*
Saturday 14:00 – 14:50, Harbor I (Westin)
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel Good Omens has had 25 years of success. Now there is talk again that a six-part TV series is in development. What will it take to bring the book to the small screen? Are we missing out on a big-screen experience? And how did the BBC do with the recent radio play? How might the adaptation of the novel deviate, or what areas might it more fully develop? Are there good omens for this project happening in other media?

Authorship, RPGs, and the Legacy of D&D
Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Dungeons & Dragons, the first commercially available role-playing game, was published 40 years ago. D&D ushered in a new era of cooperative storytelling that has inspired Game Masters, players, and authors to dream big and create their own fictional universes. Panelists explore the many facets of RPGs — from developing challenging and believable frameworks for cooperative story construction to taking the story beyond the game.

Fun with Silly Poses
Saturday 21:30 – 22:00, Harbor II+III (Westin)
Expect to emit great giggles at our group reenactments of scenes from SF/fantasy/horror cover art. Warning: high probability of awkward audience participation and pretty pathetic props.

Reading: Mur Lafferty
Sunday 10:30 – 10:55, Independence (Westin)

Kaffeeklatsch: Mur Lafferty
Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

Autographing: Mur Lafferty, Kenneth Schneyer, Alison Sinclair, Charles Stross
Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)


And next month I’ll be part of the Wake County Library “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series.

Science Fiction & Fantasy authors discuss classic, iconic authors of the genres, including their body of work and influence. Take part in the discussion, share your thoughts and ask questions of the authors. Registration requested.

Ariel Djanikian and Mur Lafferty discuss Anne McCaffrey
West Regional Library
919-463-8500
Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

John Kessel and Mur Lafferty discuss Ursula K. Le Guin **
Southeast Regional Library
919-662-2250
Saturday, March 28, at 2 p.m.


* Dear 17 year old Mur: You just read this very cool book called Good Omens. It was so amazing you need to read it again. Now sit down; your career will go in a direction where, in 24 years, you will be asked to speak at a science fiction convention about this book you just read, a book that will be incredibly influential to you. DO NOT FREAK.

** Dear 17 year old Mur: Remember what I said about Good Omens? Same thing about Lathe of Heaven. JUST CHILL. And talking about Ursula K. Le Guin with John Kessel? Not intimidating at all.

My LonCon Schedule

(You may note the regretable absence of a live reading- I had one, but it was scheduled for Monday, and we’re leaving on Monday, so I had to turn that one down and it was too late to get a new slot. Sad face.)

THURSDAY
Literary Beer
15:00 – 16:00, The Bar (ExCeL)

[Comments- My first literary beer! I’m so excited!]

FRIDAY
Autographing 3 – Mur Lafferty
16:30 – 18:00, Autographing Space (ExCeL)

Escape Pod podcast recording
19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)
Mur Lafferty (M), Alasdair Stuart (M)

[Comments- They wanted a live Escape Pod, so Al Stuart is going to perform the intro and outtro, and I’ll be narrating a story.]

SATURDAY
Setting Up Your Comic Book Press: New and Old Models Examined
15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

A discussion on how setting up a comic book press, or web comic, has never been easier – except for all drawbacks. An examination of the various ways to fund, create, and distribute comics books in the 21st century: including Patreon, Kickstarter, ComiXology, web comics, and good old-fashioned print comics.

Kaja Foglio (M), Mur Lafferty, CE Murphy, Debbie Lynn Smith, Ian Sharman

So You Want To Be a Podcaster
16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 8+11 (ExCeL)

Everything you need to know about podcasting in one panel! What sort of microphone do you need? Which editing software is best? How should you plan and structure your show? How do you develop an audience? What are the differences between reading and podcasting fiction and non-fiction? Come, listen, learn — and then create.

Alasdair Stuart (M), Gabrielle de Cuir, Mur Lafferty, Emma Newman, Miquel Codony Bodas

[Comments- Now I have “Do You Want to Build A Snowman” going through my head.]

SUNDAY
Making Old Tropes New: Vampires
11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)

The vampire has been defined and redefined a thousand times over the centuries. Today’s vampires range from the sexy and sparkling to the dessicated and gothic. Does the evolution of the vampire speak to its enduring attraction? Why is it a continually recycled myth? How have you used the vampire in a new and interesting way, and why did you make that choice?

Alys Sterling (M), Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Mur Lafferty, Marianna Leikomaa, Kim Newman

So grim. Much serious. Wow.
15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)

Science fiction and fantasy have a long history of both comic writing and essentially light-hearted adventures. However, more and more it seems authors want to take themselves seriously, focusing more on the darker elements of story telling. Is genre too po-faced outside the work of certain specifically ‘comedy’ writers? Why do so many writers steer clear of trying to be funny?

Ellen Klages (M), Tanya Huff, Mur Lafferty, Darren Nash, Connie Willis, Simon R Green

[Comments- Dear 30-year-old Mur: whatever it is, don’t worry. You’ll be on a humor panel with Connie Willis someday. O_O]