Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Did a panel at HBU this weekend...

The topic of the panel was “Realism in Science Fiction” and I was supposed to keep us on topic talking about the research that we do to keep our sci-fi grounded. To my credit, I only got side-tracked by the subject of dystopia for like ten minutes, and that’s because D.L. Young was there and he’s specifically a dystopian writer, and the subject of author responsibility to society had already been broached (by me).

Which reminds me I should work on the dystopia blog series I was doing. But while I’m here, allow me to offer the following seemingly arbitrary observations from the panel:

  • All of the authors felt that researching science was extremely important, but that it’s possible to lose yourself in research and never proceed with the work. Two of the four of us shared anecdotes in which deferring to the expertise of a professional made our own attempts at research look kind of sad.
  • We did not feel like we had any responsibility to be 100% correct all the time, mostly because this is impossible. However, we do feel responsible to be as correct as we can, especially if the science is the crux of a story.
  • Social, political and economic sciences are science, too, and people should research and write stories about these things.
  • We all felt that science fiction should be educational and inspirational, but of the four of us, only E.L.Russell was able to say he’d written stories specifically for the purpose of raising awareness of the possibility of the science in his story. He felt strongly about this.
  • I was able to direct challenging questions toward D.L. Young and E.L. Russell, but C. Stuart Hardwick evaded me and I’ll try harder next time.
  • Apparently none of us like first names.
  • HBU runs an awesome event and I think they’re going to be putting video of this panel on Youtube at some point, so hopefully I’ll be able to share that some time.

My next appearance on any panel is going to be at Houston’s Comicpalooza, where I’ll be doing some panels directed at writers and some panels directed at readers. I’d encourage everyone to come and say hello, either at a panel or at one of the tables on the dealer floor (I’ll be bouncing between the SkipJack table and the Houston Writers Guild table).

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