Monday, May 25, 2015

CONvergence Panels: From Dystopias to Nagas and Lao Poetry

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: 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

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