Friday 4:30 PM, VT: Reading (30 min.)
Victoria Janssen reads from her forthcoming novel The Duchess, Her Maid, the Groom and Their Lover (December 2008)--getting there in time for this will be tricky.
Friday 7:00 PM, RI: Discussion (60 min.)
Bookaholics Anonymous Annual Meeting. Diane Weinstein (L) with Richard Chwedyk, Andy Duncan, Victoria Janssen, et al.
The most controversial of all 12-step groups. Despite the appearance of self-approbation, despite the formal public proclamations by members that they find their behavior humiliating and intend to change it, this group, in fact, is alleged to secretly encourage its members to succumb to their addictions. The shame, in other words, is a sham. Within the subtext of the members' pathetic testimony, it is claimed, all the worst vices are covertly endorsed: book-buying, book-hoarding, book-stacking, book-sniffing, even book-reading. Could this be true? Come testify yourself!
Friday 8:00 PM, Salon G: Panel
Under the Rainbow: Multiculturalism in Young Adult Fiction. Victoria Janssen (L), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Anil Menon, Vandana Singh, Jean-Louis Trudel
"I'm old enough to still be excited by the 'newness' of multicultural art, but I know my students have grown up thinking of monoculturalism as the exception rather than the rule."--Kris McDermott on the Interstitial Arts message board. How aware are YA authors of their readers' expectations for multiculturalism? How do you meet this expectation if your own background is less than worldly? How do you create a reasonably and realistically multicultural set of characters without resorting to tokenism? How do multicultural tales differ depending on whether the multiculturalism is incidental or integral to the plot, and what does each kind of story tell its readers about the nature of culture?
Saturday 12:00 Noon, ME/ CT: Panel
Beyond the Slipstream Canon. Ron Drummond, Gregory Frost (L), Victoria Janssen, Caitlin R. Kiernan
Last year at Readercon an intrepid group of panelists compiled a first draft of a "slipstream canon," comprising 112 mostly well-known novels, collections of short fiction, and anthologies. The list was complemented by over 150 rather more obscure works the group also considered but could not achieve consensus on. Which books from this supplementary list are neglected masterworks, capable of holding their own with the books in the proposed canon? And what works did our panelists, for one reason or another, miss completely?
Sunday 11:00 AM, Salon F: Panel
Trolls Got Rhythm!? Andrea Hairston, Elaine Isaak (L), Victoria Janssen, Kay Kenyon, Michael Swanwick
One way to address issues of race, ethnicity, and culture in speculative fiction is to map them metaphorically onto the variety of races and cultures that populate the fantastic secondary world or the imagined planet or galactic region. This mapping may be simple and overt, but it is more likely to be complex, allusional--and perhaps not entirely intended. Is it possible to create a believably diverse imagined world without suggesting specific connections to the diversity of our own? How does an author make sure that the allusions (whether planned or not) are salutary?
Sunday 12:00 Noon, RI: Discussion (60 min.)
You Got Spec Fic in My Romance! (And Vice Versa!) Victoria Janssen (L) with Nina Harper, Mary Kay Kare, Terry McGarry, Gayle Surrette, Nancy Werlin, et al.
One of the hottest romance sub-genres at the moment is paranormal, which encompasses everything from vampires to valkyries, werewolves to gargoyles, men who are cursed and women who carry demons on their skin. Many of the more recent paranormals, such as those by Patricia Briggs and Eileen Wilks, arguably have more fantasy than romance. Is paranormal "true" speculative fiction? How often do readers cross genres? Are paranormal romances and speculative fiction showing cross-genre pollination in their content?