Odds & Ends

I didn’t take notes at some of the Astronomicon panels I attended because the material was pretty straightforward with nothing particularly earthshattering or, the opposite, I was too engrossed in the discussion and/or managed to take part! So, here are two of those, with more to come.

“Is It Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Something Else?”
with Josepha Sherman (moderator), with Sal Monaco, Daniel Rabuzzi, and Steve Carper

I remember it started off with an invitation to the audience to shout out the name of a series (lit, TV, whatever) and the panel would try to categorize it as best they could. The Twilight Zone came up and I remembered being a little disappointed with how easily the panel resolved their hemming and hawing and decided, “Sci-fi. Well, no fantasy… well, it had some fantasy elements, but mostly sci-fi.” I let it go, ‘cos I didn’t want to come off like Prometheus from on-high (read: The 2009 Rod Serling Conference), pontificating to the unwashed.

The most interesting part of the discussion happened when the subject of the hard-to-categorize came up. That’s when I got to show off a bit, rattling off all the various lit mag issues devoted to that recently, Tin House 33, Conjunctions 39 and 52, Interfictions–well, I didn’t bring up Interfictions. One of the panelists, Rabuzzi (a member of the Interstitial Arts Foundation) did!

“The Internet and Personal Privacy”
with Alan Katerinsky (moderator) with the hosts of the radio show Sound Bytes–Nick Francesco, David Enright, & Steve Rea

The tech specifics were over my head, but we’ve heard all the principles before. Put anything on the internet, you’re putting it in public, and it’ll always be there, period. Their examples were pretty graphic. Transcripts of VOIP conversations that one member managed to sniff. One panelist was at his laptop rattling off the names of every laptop in the room currently on the hotel’s WiFi–thank god mine was off! “If I can see it, I can probably get into it,” he said.

Next time: Sci-fi poetry!