I’m going to Capricon this weekend, February 14 to 16, a science fiction convention held annually in the Chicagoland area since 1981. We’ll be at the Westin Chicago North Shore, discussing and debating topics about books, movies, television, anime, space exploration, and science, with special tracks for children and teens. This year’s theme is the Tropics of Capricon. Specifically, as the con describes it:
The tropics is a band around the globe from 23 degrees north to 23 degrees south. This region includes 40% of the world’s population and is underrepresented in science fiction and fantasy. These areas will also be disproportionately affected by global warming. For example, entire island nations like the Maldives and Tuvalu are in danger of being wiped out by rising sea levels.
The word tropics evokes sun-drenched beaches, bustling marketplaces, and lush rain forests. The tropics can be a setting for escape and exploration, or for colonialism and dystopia. Will the future of the region be filled with glittering cities, or a wasteland ravaged by climate change? What does it mean for a science fiction and fantasy setting to be tropical? Come with us as we explore the nexus between geography and culture for science fiction and fantasy settings.
I’ll participate in two panels:
Real Tropical Killers, Friday, 2:30 p.m.
A jungle is a war zone. Jaguars and snakes and other animals will try to kill you, but there’s so much more danger. Many plants will also try to kill you or each other, animals hunt each other, disease lurks, and the climate might get you, too. In our fiction, we can invent all kinds of perils, or we can just incorporate all the threats that menace us in real life. Panelists: Jonathan Brazee, Patricia Sayre McCoy, Shelly Loke, Sue Burke, and Mari Brighe.
Lessons I Learned as a First-Time Novelist, Friday, 8:30 p.m.
From finding a publisher, working with an editor, to marketing your book and everything in-between, our panelists discuss what it’s like to publish your first novel. Panelists: Mark Huston, Sue Burke, John O’Neill, Clifford Johns, Tracy Townsend, and Jon R. Osborne.
I’ll also be autographing at the Autograph Table on Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Come by and say hi! You don’t have to bring something to sign, and there probably won’t be a line.