Friday, October 02, 2015

Con-Volution this weekend!

This weekend I'm presenting in the Bay Area during Con-Volution!

The convention has many wonderful guests of honor including Steamfunk artist Balogun Ojetade and we'll be connecting with Jaymee Goh, one of the co-editors of "The SEA is Ours," the anthology of Southeast Asian steampunk, which is also currently having its fundraiser.

I'll hopefully be discussing this and hopefully show many of you some excerpts from the Laomagination project, particularly the Laopocalypse. I'll be appearing with award-winning writer/author Nor Sanavongsay. My schedule so far looks like:

Southeast Asian SFF
Saturday 10:00 - 11:15, Harbor B (Hyatt Regency SFO)
Jaymee Goh, ZM Quynh, Bryan Thao Worra, Emily Jiang
For my part, I plan to approach this from a Lao angle, drawing on many of the lessons and challenges we face in the Laomagination movement during the course of our antebellum reconstruction. Southeast Asian SFF to me is particularly distinct in its priorities and shared frame of reference compared to South Asian and East Asian science fiction and fantasy. I'll most likely hold off on discussing where it all fits into the Silk-punk concept others have been discussing lately, other than to say that I think if one's going to write about things from a "punk" perspective, it should actually incorporate and embody genuine punk aesthetics, or the socio-political equivalent pertinent to the time in question.

Non-European Steampunk
Saturday 11:30 - 12:45, Sumac (Hyatt Regency SFO)
Jaymee Goh, Bryan Thao Worra, Pat MacEwen
Steampunk is often considered a genre of science fiction addressing "the future that never was," inspired by the themes of figures such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and the Victorian era. There's an extensive movement in post-colonial communities with our own perspective on what that retro-future might have been like, and often Europe and America isn't at the center of that conversation. Jaymee Goh will be taking the distinctive lead on this one as she discusses the journey of The SEA is Ours from Rosarium Publishing, the first anthology of Southeast Asian steampunk.

Modern Boogeymen
Saturday 13:00 - 14:15, Evergreen (Hyatt Regency SFO)
Matt Marovich (M), Tyler Hayes, Kendra Pecan, Bryan Thao Worra, Lori Titus.
There are many directions this panel can go. My personal angle will approach it from a Southeast Asian perspective. For cultures who've been through a war as horrific as the Southeast Asian conflicts, what's truly terrifying and shocking today? Do we frighten our youth with the Slender Man, or the classic entities such as the Phi Kongkoi?

Magic - Diverse Views
Sunday 10:00 - 11:15, SandPebble B (Hyatt Regency SFO)
Marie Brennan, Glenn Glazer, Pat MacEwen, Steven Savage, Bryan Thao Worra.
In the moden American tradition, speculative literature has largely gone in the direction of  Arthur C. Clarke's aphorism that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," treating the use of magic as something with consistently predicatble results. The Lao view of magic is considerably more complicated, especially in a culture with over 160 ethnic groups and traditions.

Writing for and with minority groups in mind
Sunday 11:30 - 12:45, SandPebble B (Hyatt Regency SFO)
Marisa Garcia, Thaddeus Howze, Kyle Aisteach, Balogun Ojetade, Bryan Thao Worra
This is one where I take some particularly controversial positions, bearing in mind that in the larger world, many of those we consider minorities aren't, in fact, minorities at all.  At the same time, for Lao writers we have many issues to contend with in science fiction and fantasy, such as how we present minorities in our culture respectfully without our narratives becoming mired in sociological and anthropological theory.

It will be held at the Hyatt Regency SFO on October 2-4th! The Hyatt Regency SFO is located at: 1333 Old Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA.

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