Nick Mamatas (nihilistic_kid) wrote,
Nick Mamatas

Worldcon scheduling

The Worldcon panel program and event schedule is out! My Japanese colleagues have several interesting panels, which I'd recommend members attend:

The Cthulhu Internationale
Friday 14:00 – 15:00

H. P. Lovecraft’s influence on horror and science fiction is not only immense, it is international. Come hear from Lovecraftians from the Americas, Europe, and Asia talk about Lovecraft’s work inspired them, and how their own work has adapted Lovecraftian themes for their particular national audiences.
Toh EnJoe (M), David Nickle, Seia Tanabe, Masao Higashi, Cathy Clamp

Beyond Godzilla vs. King Kong: Monsters of Japan and the Americas
Saturday 18:00 – 19:00

Both East and West love monsters. The ghostly Japanese creatures known as yokai are many and varied, and have a broad Western analogue in cryptids such as the sasquatch and chupacabra. The giant city-smashing kaiju, well the West has a few of those as well. But what are the differences, and what are the similarities, between these monsters? Why do adults still love monsters, and what do monsters mean when they appear in fiction, film, or folklore? Come and find out!
Seia Tanabe (M), Masao Higashi, Toh EnJoe

Disaster and the Literature of the Supernatural
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00

The inexpressible damage done to Japan by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami of 2011 is but the latest in a long line of disasters.The relationship between natural calamities and literature of the supernatural has never been so profound…We will use both visuals and commentary to describe the current state of the damage done by disasters, and will explore the relationships between disasters, traditional ghost stories and the literature of fantasy, as well as Japan’s unique folk cultural traditions. We will present graphic images of unusual Japanese spirits, demons, and monsters.
Masao Higashi (M), Toh EnJoe, Seia Tanabe

No panels for me, though. My name was on these panels—as I know these folks and the topics, the panels would go more smoothly with me and my native English language skills moderating—but they were only accepted after my name was removed. Apparently, some folks high up in SMOFdom objected to my retirement FAQ:

The Readercon sexual harassment debacle was one, as was overhearing disgusting pig commentary about the event at Worldcon later that same year. Naturally, last week's SFWA sexism controversy is proof to me that I should just stay away. In addition to sexist culture and patriarchy and all the politicized rhetoric used to explain such phenomena, it all rather hints to me that SF is basically full of people in a state of emotional arrest. You know, social simpletons. I don't want to write for these people.

(Way to prove me wrong!)

Of course, though I don't write SF anymore, I am still a full-time editor, a two-time Hugo nominee, the editor of a current Hugo nominee, and one of only two people to collaborate with Worldcon's guest of honor on an anthology (which itself was nominated for the World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Awards, and which won the Bram Stoker award), but, you know...I just took too hard a line against copping feels at con parties. And I called some people social simpletons! An unprecedented insult!

There is plenty of good programming at the con though...and there still seems to be time for changes. For example, according to the pocket program, there was to be a screening of Song of the South:

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 8.38.28 AM
The awkward text seems to come right from Wikipedia as well.

Though looking at the searchable online program, the screening does not appear. I know people had sent in complaints last night, so I hope and would be pleased if that particular program item were scratched. Not being sarcastic—it's a good thing to make changes like that. Now we know that Song of the South is just as bad!

ETA: I should never use a web browser before breakfast. The film is still listed. I hope it is removed, or changed to give the screening more context.

ETA 2: Also worth noting: the film was shown at Reno's Worldcon a couple of years ago and the world didn't end or anything. The movie there was introduced by a collector, so perhaps there was some interesting context. It was also shown at 10am, and who the hell is up at 10am!

ETA 3:, over at Making Light the following is being reported:

Just F y'all's I, the LSC3 concomm has, as of a few hours ago, noticed and (mostly) been horrified. Programming clarified (on the staff list) that this is scheduled to be accompanied by a historical-context discussion, and the folks whose problem this is (chairs and programming) are considering whether to pull it entirely, clarify the listing on the website, increase the surrounding commentary, etc.

Personally, with some interesting commentary, I'd be fine with the screening.

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