Day 3 of Worldcon was a very panel-heavy day for us.
We started with “Writing for the Non-Adult”, which had a nice mix of panelists that played off each other well, and talked about the difficulties of writing for children and young adults, both in terms of craft and the market. This included elements such as boys being unwilling to read books that look like they’re for girls, and the gap where many boys stop reading at all. Overall, it was a nice discussion.
From there, my girlfriend went to the “Archetypes Without Stereotypes” panel directly, while I ducked down to the signing area to get a book signed by Cory Doctorow. When I mentioned I had studied cryptography in grad school, he showed me his wedding ring—it was an Enigma cipher custom-designed by Bruce Schneier and made by Schneier’s daughter. Very cool. He had a fairly sizable line (though smaller than Robert Silverberg), so I didn’t get back to the panel till it was about half done. I view this as exceedingly unfortunate, as the part of it that I saw was brilliant.
The five panelists (Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Ben Jeapes, Nalo Hopkinson, and Doselle Young) worked together perfectly. They were cracking each other up, getting big laughs from the crowd, hitting all the big points, going back and forth with smooth banter, no one was stealing the limelight… they just worked with each other and the audience really well. I think this may have been the best panel I have ever seen, even though other panels have had subjects of more focussed interest to me. Kudos to the panelists.
From there, we moseyed over to “What Makes a Good Story?”, but since it was quite full, we tried “Abby Normal: Comedy and SF”, which was also full, but we didn’t want to run to yet another place that may or may not be quite full, so we stayed. It was a fun panel, talking about different kinds of humour, though it mostly focussed on film and TV rather than written SF. Halfway through, I ducked out for 10 minutes to get a book signed by James Alan Gardner, who is a very nice guy.
That took care of the morning. More to come later today.