So, as one of the guests of honor of this year's CONvergence, I'll be holding several panels including "The Language of Dystopia," "Giant Lizard Theater: 10 Years Later," "Laopocalypse Now," "Legends of Laos" and "Nagas and Nightmares: Southeast Asia in Role-playing Games".
I'm super-excited! You can register for the convention at: http://www.convergence-con.org but in the meantime, here's a more detailed breakdown of some of the fun panels I'll definitely be on.
In "The Language of Dystopia": Writers have assumed that when dystopia arrives, it will come with a new coded language, such as Newspeak of 1984 or Blade Runner's Cityspeak. What's the attraction to making this a part of dystopia world-building? Where might it go in the future? Panelists: Bryan Thao Worra, Gabriela Santiago, and Mitchell Faas.
In "Giant Lizard Theater: 10 Years Later,": 10 years ago, MN writers held a poetry reading at CONvergence inspired by myths, legends, and SFF involving dragons, dinosaurs, and kaiju. I and other poets will perform, and you’re invited to perform, too!
In "Laopocalypse Now,": While East Asia has regularly figured in doomsday scenarios, Southeast Asian perspectives have rarely been shown. When they have, it's often been from a subordinate perspective. But what are some approaches to consider? And what should we avoid? Panelists: Bryan Thao Worra and Bob Alberti.
In "Legends of Laos,": With over 160 different cultures in Laos, there are many different beliefs that can be difficult to untangle. We'll look at many entities from traditional mythology, including giant carnivorous warrior-sorceresses and lusty super-simian bio-weapons. Panelists: Bryan Thao Worra and Roy C. Booth.
In Nagas and Nightmares: Southeast Asia in Role-playing Games,": Southeast Asia has a rich, vibrant range of myths and legends that are well-suited for role-playing games, but few have gotten it right. Looking at previous efforts, we'll discuss what game designers should consider as they develop adventures set there. Panelists: Bryan Thao Worra, Roy C. Booth, and Bob Alberti