My Almost Certain (and you won’t get another update) Immortal Confusion Schedule

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I’ll be heading to the airport on Friday morning before dawn (a fact which my wife, who will be driving me there, is less than pleased with). I’ll touch down in Atlanta a bit after 8:00 a.m., and then quickly back in the air to eventually land in Detroit just past 11:00 a.m. From there, I’m assured it’s just a quick hop, skip, and jump (or cab ride if the hotel doesn’t have a shuttle — note to self: check that out before Friday morning!) to find myself at the glory that will be Immortal Confusion.

To the best of my knowledge, here’s my “official” schedule:

Saturday, January 19th:
10:00 a.m. – The End
What makes a satisfying conclusion? Do we wrap up all loose ends, or leave some plot threads deliciously unexplored in the hopes of returning to them in future volumes? Does the desire for sequels sometimes rob us of a more permanent and concrete end to a story? This panel explores how hard it is to finally lean back and write “the end.”
Catherine Shaffer (M), Christian Klaver, Maria Dahvana Headley, Michael J. Sullivan

3:00 p.m. – Make Me Immortal
Why make a character immortal? Is this shorthand for power? Temptation? How does the addition of an unending life span change a character’s perspective – or that character’s function in a story? Can the addition of immortality rob a story of its immediacy and consequence, and how can that be avoided?
Catherine Shaffer (M), Diana Rowland, Laurie Gailunas, Steven Harper Piziks

4:00 p.m. – Reading
I’ve been assigned this session along with Peter Orullian. Perhaps we’ll take turns reading. Perhaps we’ll each read the other’s work. Perhaps we will strip down to our unmentionables and wrassle (not to be confused with “wrestle”) to see who gets to use the entire time period for his reading.
Peter Orullian

5:00 PM – Mass Autograph Session
You bring the books, we’ll bring the pens, and then we rush at one another from opposite sides of the room and collide in a frenzy of signings! Or… maybe they’ll give the authors tables to sit at. Yeah, that could work too.

7:00 p.m. – Please Do The Research
Fantasy and Science Fiction both seem very easy to fake. After all, anything is possible, right. When spaceships warp across the galaxy at physics-defying speeds, or wizards transform glib warriors into puggles with the wave of a wand, little things like food, word origins, or animal husbandry can seem a little nit-picky. However, readers may not have transmogrified a foe into a dog, but a lot of people have ridden a horse. Taking the time to learn all there is to know about the realities of fantasy or science fiction often strengthens a story. It will also help avoid common problems that our panelists will discuss, with helpful examples.
Amity Thompson, Howard Andrew Jones (M), Maria Dahvana Headley, Ron Collins

8:00 p.m. – Pop Culture In SF/F
Fantasy has its urchins, sci-fi the dilettantes…but what about everyone else? When crafting a world either fantastic or futuristic, what do we imagine that the common folk would do for fun? What news or events would they discuss? Would they know what village produced the most heroes, or debate the thrust/weight ratio of government warships? Would there be a general popular culture in an imagined past? Could we avoid one in an imagined future? Does the addition of these elements do more than aid verisimilitude?
Brian McClellan, Dr. Phil Kaldon (M), Holly McDowell, Sam Sykes

Which means I’ve got both Friday and Sunday free to hang out with people in the bar, grab a bite here and there, schmooze, and shill for award nominations. Also, these would be ideal times for you to come up and get your photograph taken with Barry!

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