I can’t remember who told me about the Epic Confusion convention in Detroit, but I do remember that person and everyone else who said “Dude, you have to come!” or some variation of those words. And I’m talking about young, jaded pros, the kinds of people who see science fiction conventions as an obligation, not something to look at with enthusiasm. I was in.

And now I get to go and do what pros do, which is sit on panels with other pros and talk about stuff. And this stuff looks exciting! If you’re going to be in Detroit next weekend, look for me here or at the Angry Robot Books table.

Friday 5:00pm
How Many Genders?
What does “gender” mean in today’s LGBTQ community – politically, biologically, socially? Now stretch your imagination—ever since Amok Time” we’ve dreamed about the sex lives of SF characters. With alien biologies, what genders might we encounter among the stars?
Mari Brighe, Julie Lesnik, Sean Martin (M), Stina Leicht, Adam Rakunas

Saturday 2:00pm
Seeing the World Through Different Eyes
Fiction should imagine the entire breadth of human experience. Too often though, it only embraces neurotypical characters. Not every brain works the same. What is neurodiversity? How does it impact story? Who’s doing it well?
Megan E. O’Keefe, Adam Rakunas, Lawrence Schoen, Mari Brighe (M), Stina Leicht

Saturday 5:00pm
LOLCats, Wols, and Watch Me: Pop Culture in SFF?
Pop-culture is ever evolving and fiction often hides behind a desire to be “timeless”. However, pop-culture is an increasing influence on our lives, particularly among young people. How can these modern phenomena be used to make science fiction and fantasy more relevant to today’s readers? Why don’t we see more created popular culture within invented worlds?
Ferrett Steinmetz, Amy Sundberg, Michael Damian Thomas, Sunil Patel, Adam Rakunas

Sunday 12:00pm
Repudiating the Replicator
Driven, perhaps, by Star Trek’s replicator and the utilitarian mush of NASA space travel, food in a science fictional setting has been criminally overlooked and underdeveloped. Why has this become the dominant narrative? How should food be used to world build a science fiction story? What stories have used food effectively?
Lawrence Schoen, Elizabeth Shack (M), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ann Leckie, Adam Rakunas