Panel DayPanel TimePanelRoomPanel DescriptionPanelist
 5:00 PMThe Gals Are Back in TownManitouThe heroine is almost the default in modern Young Adult, which when looking at the context of adult genre fiction is quite revolutionary. Why does this preponderance exist? Are we seeing a similar inversion of roles for boy characters as a result? From this observation, what can we infer about the state of science fiction and fantasy at large?Alaya Dawn Johnson, Aimee Carter, Cherie Priest, Kelley Armstrong, Courtney Allison Moulton
 5:00 PM“How Many Genders?” LeelanauWhat 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
 8:00 PMA Song of Ice and InspireInterlochenThere's no question that A Song of Ice and Fire and its television adaptation Games of Thrones have had a huge impact on the fantasy genre. Discuss these impacts and the degree to which they will resonate into the future, or not.Bradley P. Beaulieu, Aimee Carter, Scott H. Andrews (M), Steve Drew, Jeannie Szarama
 8:00 PMJustice for Ancillary PerspectivesSaugatuckAnn Leckie's now-complete trilogy of the Radch Empire has been critically and commercially praised for its exceptional blend of high concept space adventure and quiet contemplative look at identity and cultural constructs. Why has Leckie's work succeeded Annalee Flower Horne (M), Jason Sanford, DongWon Song, Jenny Thurman, Natalie Luhrs
 9:00 PMWho Threw Away My Monster Compendium?KeweenawWhen was the last time a zeitgeist novel had a bugbear or a cockatrice? How long is it since someone fought a giant, flesh-eating beast instead of pikeman? Where did all the monsters go? With quest plots out of fashion, deus ex machina ditched, treasure-hunting too economically dull, and stories about ethics, is the monster still relevant in today's fiction?Douglas Hulick, Devi Pillai, Sam Sykes (M), Ken Schrader, Megan E. O'Keefe
 9:00 PMSexually Oriented Literature: Censorship and Self-CensorshipSaugatuckHow does a working artist or writer deal with sex? A practical artist knows the limits of a market before starting to work. To what extent does censorship and self censorship inhibit creativity? Is it the same for queer and straight artists?Bill Messner-Loebs, Kurt Erichsen (M), Mark Oshiro, Michael K. Elliott, Miriam Weinberg
 10:00 AMScience Fiction vs. Fantasy: Who Prospers?KeweenawTed Chiang once postulated that the difference between science fiction and fantasy is who has access to the impossibility. Does a knowable universe whose laws anyone can learn, and everyone has to work within, offer a more egalitarian vision than a world of destiny and fate? Or is it difficult to imagine even a science fictional world in which the future is evenly distributed?Douglas Hulick, Bradley P. Beaulieu (M), Andrew Zimmerman, Ann Leckie, Kentaro Toyama
 10:00 AMWhose Subgenre Is It, Anyway?Ballroom A&BOne hat is filled with titles of well known novels. The other hat is filled SFF's favorite sub-genres. Panelists draw from the hats and reconcile their selections. How would you defend _Little Women_ as a grimdark tale?Tom Doyle, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Dave Robison (M), Ken Schrader, Sal Palland
 10:00 AMKaffeeklatsch with Alaya Dawn JohnsonClub LoungeJoin our Guest of Honor for coffee, tea, and conversation. Limited to 10 participants. Sign up at OPS.Alaya Dawn Johnson
 10:00 AMAnthologies as AdvocacyIsle RoyaleAll fiction is in some way political and science fiction and fantasy have a healthy tradition of anthologies that seek to open up space for new voices and new conversations. To what extent do an anthology's political goals interact with other editorial considerations? And how are such books received and reviewed by the field -- both politically, and aesthetically?Michael J. DeLuca, Yanni Kuznia, Mari Brighe, Kelley Armstrong (M), Michael Damian Thomas
 10:00 AMRelating to Young AdultCharlevoixA lot of time is spent discussing how Young Adult and Adult interface, losing sight, perhaps, of the more important link between Middle Grade and Young Adult. What expectations are Middle Grade readers bringing into Young Adult? How do those expectations reflect the fiction they find as they move up a reading level? Can Middle Grade explain the glut of dystopias in Young Adult?Jenny Thurman, Courtney Allison Moulton, Merrie Haskell (M), Susan Dennard, Gwenda Bond
 10:00 AMThe Fiction of Political SFFLeelanauMost "political" science fiction doesn't really deal with politics, it deals with the setting out of ideologies. In other words, it tells stories that have little to do with running a government. The result is a debate of ideas where the political is described by greed and corruption, but never the merely bureaucratic. Why are these tropes recycled time and again? How can politics be approached in a more authentic way and remain interesting to readers?Kameron Hurley, Patrick Tomlinson, Justin Landon (M), Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
 11:00 AMBad Girls Just Want Good StoriesIsle RoyaleLet's talk about anti-heroines and the positives and negatives of the flawed female character archetype. Is the flawed female character becoming the new strong female character? Is this yet another one-note character type masquerading as diverse representations of women? What's the line between an anti-heroine and a villain?Merrie Haskell, Mari Brighe, Lynne M. Thomas, Navah Wolfe, Sarah Gibbons
 11:00 AMCrossing the StreamsBallroom A&BWhere are the lines in genre conventions and what happens when we cross them? What needs to happen to make something a crossover vs. a fusion? Do transmedia projects and genre fluidity benefit the genre? How does crossover in media experiences and production impact the kinds of stories we see on the screen?Doselle Young, Kristine Smith, Andrea Phillips, Gordon Smith, Christian Klaver
 11:00 AMWhy do I pay so much for eBooks?PetoskeyMany new releases debut with eBook prices not too dissimilar from the cost of a discounted hardcover. This had led to cognitive dissonance among readers and complaints that eBook prices are simply too high. Why do readers find these costs difficult to handle? What's the sweet spot for eBook pricing today and will it rise or decrease over time?Yanni Kuznia, Brigid Collins, Michael R. Underwood, Steve Buchheit (M), Sunil Patel
 11:00 AMA Mythological RealityKeweenawVampires, werewolves, and fairies, oh my! Why does so much urban fantasy constantly recycle western real world myths rather than dig deeper, or, gods forbid, invent its own?Laura Resnick, Jackie Morgan (M), Greg van Eekhout, Melissa F. Olson
 11:00 AMSo grim. Much serious. Wow.LeelanauHumor and light-hearted adventures have a storied history in science fiction and fantasy. Yet it seems modern work is focused on the darker elements of story telling. Is genre too po-faced outside the work of certain specifically 'comedy' writers? Why do so many writers steer clear of overt fun?Cameron McClure, Megan E. O'Keefe, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Jim C. Hines (M), Sam Sykes
 12:00 PMInterview: Alaya Dawn JohnsonBallroom A&BConFusion Guest of Honor, Alaya Dawn Johnson interviewed by author Jon Skovron.Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jon Skovron (M)
 12:00 PMLionizing the Status QuoPetoskeyGenre novels are often about restoring the status quo. Repel the aliens! Defeat the Dark One! Frodo just wants to go back to the Shire and get high. How have these kinds of narratives impacted the way we relate to the world? Should we be more concerned with narratives that do the opposite and seek to overturn the traditional order of the world?Elizabeth Shack, Douglas Hulick, Ferrett Steinmetz (M), Kameron Hurley, Brigid Collins
 12:00 PMNovel GazingInterlochenThe Male Gaze is often discussed in relation to how women are objectified in fiction. Less common is the Female Gaze, which is often confused as a direct opposite to its Male counterpart. What are the Male and Female Gaze? How are they different? And how is the Female Gaze changing fiction for the better?Diana Rowland, Doselle Young (M), Jim C. Hines, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Kimchi Zerbe
 12:00 PMMacArthur to MacGuffinCharlevoixFrom the King's Army on the march, to the trying to survive basic, to the epic clash of Helm's Deep, the genre reader can hardly escape military operations. Is the military an integral part of genre fiction or is merely an easy milieu to deploy? What about the military makes it such good fodder for genre stories?Tom Doyle, Stina Leicht, Brian McClellan, Steve Buchheit, Brent Weeks, Laura Resnick
 1:00 PMWomen Made of ChromeSaugatuckWomen older than thirty and short of being a grandmother, are rarely seen in gene fiction. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but these types of characters often fade into the background scenery, and very few are protagonists. Why is this? What has been lost as a result? What books have handled vigorous, gray haired, women well?Kristine Smith, Catherine Shaffer (M), Cherie Priest, Jen Talley, Robert Jackson Bennett
 1:00 PMThe Golden Age is TarnishedPetoskeyThe science fiction and fantasy readership is increasingly diverse, with fewer readers who have come to the field via the "classics", and many who find little value in them anyway. Is the canon no longer tenable? How can we understand the field's past? Should we be working to expand the canon, or to describe multiple overlapping histories -- or something else?Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Brigid Collins (M), Saladin Ahmed, Tobias S. Buckell, Yanni Kuznia
 2:00 PMThe Art of the ReviewSaugatuckWhat makes the difference between a workmanlike review that tells us what we need to know, and a review which becomes a text worth studying in its own right? Under what circumstances does a review transcend its immediate subject, and become part of the wider conversation about genre? Who are reviews for: readers, authors, industry, other reviewers? How do authors go about getting more of them?Andrea Johnson, Justin Landon (M), Amal El-Mohtar, Jenny Thurman, Sarah Gibbons
 2:00 PMSeeing the World Through Different EyesKeweenawFiction 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, Jim C. Hines, Lawrence Schoen, Mari Brighe (M), Stina Leicht
 2:00 PMAny Similarity to Real People is Completely CoincidentalIsle RoyaleIt's easy to pretend that made up worlds shrug off the bias and stereotypes of our reality. Orcs and Elves, Drow and Ogres, and dozens of other constructs grounded in bigoted world views say different. What can we learn from these mistakes? How do we keep these stereotypes from bleeding through into our made up worlds?Steve Buchheit, Andrea Phillips, Mark Oshiro (M), Natalie Luhrs, Anna Carey
 2:00 PMBeyond The Hero’s JourneyCharlevoixJoseph Campbell wrote about the hero's journey in 1949 and it has become the default character arc of western writers for the past sixty years. But, there are many human experiences beyond heroism as narrowly defined by Campbell. What narrative types exist beyond the Hero's Journey? And why aren't they more widely used?Cameron McClure, Brian McClellan, Max Gladstone, Miriam Weinberg (M), Paul Kemner
 3:00 PMThe Rise of the NovellaLeelanauThe last few years have seen a resurgence of shorter forms of fiction. Novelettes, novellas, and even short novels are doing better than they have in years, through self publishing and traditional publishers like Harper Impulse, Publishing, and Subterranean Press. Is this resurgence a result of a digital evolution or declining attention spans? What does the future hold for fiction under 50,000 words.Melissa F. Olson, Brian McClellan, Jason Sanford (M), Yanni Kuznia, Carl Engle-Laird
 3:00 PMGettin' Punny With ItKeweenawPiers Anthony and Adam Roberts can't help themselves. And neither can these panelists. Come watch these punsters compete against one another for the title of ConFusion Punmaster, while discussing whether or not the pun can be used without irony.Patrick Tomlinson (M), Cherie Priest, Delilah S. Dawson, Dave Robison, Sunil Patel
 3:00 PMInterview: Ann LeckieBallroom A&BAnn Leckie, Subterranean Special Guest and recent New York Times bestseller, interviewed by her first editor--John ScalziJohn Scalzi (M), Ann Leckie
 4:00 PMInterview: Cameron McClureBallroom A&BAgent extraordinaire and Subterranean Special Guest, Cameron McClure is interviewed by science fiction author, Wesley Chu.Wesley Chu (M), Cameron McClure
 4:00 PMAutograph Session 1St. Clair Kelley Armstrong, Ann Leckie, Scott H. Andrews, Robert Jackson Bennett, Aimee Carter, Brigid Collins, Delilah S. Dawson, Susan Dennard, Max Gladstone, Jim C. Hines, Kameron Hurley, Marko Kloos, Stina Leicht, Megan E. O'Keefe, Melissa F. Olson, Diana Rowland, Sunil, Kentaro Toyama
 5:00 PMVigilante Justice in Urban FantasyManitouThe Urban Fantasy genre is built, in many ways, around glorifying extra-judicial violence. In this way, they might have more in common with the Western than the modern crime novel. Given the huge challenges in the United States with gun violence and criminal justice, should we be more concerned about the narrative shape of these novels?Diana Rowland, Michael R. Underwood (M), Delilah S. Dawson, Jeannie Szarama, Melissa F. Olson
 5:00 PMGenerations of GenreIsle RoyaleFor one reader, "traditional fantasy" is pre-Tolkienian, pre-genre, sui-generis works; for another, it's Forgotten Realms and David Eddings. Equally, for one reader The Hunger Games is a young adult dystopia, while for another it's science fiction. Can the evolution of such terms be mapped onto changing demographics -- is there such a thing as GenX fantasy, or Baby Boomer science fiction? And do any terms retain their currency, and describe common ground across generations?Laura Resnick, Steve Buchheit, Lynne M. Thomas, Max Gladstone (M), Stina Leicht
 5:00 PMStandards of Beauty in Made-up WorldsInterlochenWestern concepts of attractiveness do not reflect the gamut of human experience, both in history and today. And yet, the vast majority of genre fiction only imagines worlds with one, very Western, notion of beauty. Why is this? Can we think of examples where the opposite is true? And how can we all do better in the future?Doselle Young, Annalee Flower Horne (M), Elizabeth Shack, Kimchi Zerbe, Alaya Dawn Johnson
 5:00 PMAutograph Session 2St. Clair Saladin Ahmed, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Tobias S. Buckell, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Tom Doyle, Michael K. Elliott, Amal El-Mohtar, Jen Haeger, Merrie Haskell, Douglas Hulick, Andrew Zimmerman, Brian McClellan, Courtney Allison Moulton, Mark Osh
 6:00 PMThe Fallacy of Commercial FictionInterlochenLiterary culture often derides the idea of commercial work, suggesting that marketability signals a lack of refinement. What exactly is commercial fiction and why is it snubbed? Furthermore, are science fiction, fantasy, and horror equally burdened by this dichotomy?Devi Pillai, Laura Resnick, DongWon Song, Michael R. Underwood, Marko Kloos
 6:00 PMHell Hath No Fury: Ways To Motivate, Impede, and Change Female Characters CharlevoixWomen in fiction are often defined by their relation to the men around them. Robbing women of their own agency has led to a dearth of women in the forefront of the genres most beloved stories. How has this pattern impacted readers? How do we change it?Catherine Shaffer, Jen Haeger, Melissa F. Olson (M), Sunil Patel, Ferrett Steinmetz
 6:00 PMIt's the Economy StupidLeelanauNational economies are complicated. Far more complicated than Dark Lords and Evil Queens. Nevertheless, books like James SA Corey's The Expanse series and Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor manage to use economic pressures to create compelling motivations and narrative tension. What are the essential parts for a story built around economics? What's appealing about these kinds of stories and do the resonate more today than they did a decade ago?Carl Engle-Laird, Max Gladstone, Kameron Hurley, Ann Leckie, Brent Weeks
 7:00 PMColonialism and Post-ColonialismKeweenawNovels of invasion and colonization often end with the glorious liberation. But what happens next? How deep does the impact of colonization go--culturally, politically, economically, socially--and how long does it really take to recover from its consequences? In what ways is the colonizer, too, changed by the experience? In a larger sense, are science fiction and fantasy beginning to repudiate colonialist narratives?Stina Leicht, Kameron Hurley, Tobias S. Buckell (M), DongWon Song, Matt Pearson
 7:00 PMEmotive and Ebullient: The Young Adult NarratorManitouHuge films like Hunger Games and Divergent have created renewed interest in beloved Young Adult fiction. However, the intense emotive first person narratives driving many Young Adult novels don't shine through on the big screen. What is lost in translation and how might this impact readers coming into Young Adult for the first time?Kelley Armstrong, Courtney Allison Moulton, Amy Sundberg (M), V.E. Schwab, Jon Skovron
 7:00 PMThe Aftermath of CanonInterlochenStar Wars recently relegated all of its Expanded Universe fiction to non-canon, which was tantamount to betrayal for many fans. Aftermath, a novel in the new canon, was met with many reviews that could not come to grips with a Star Wars that included gay characters. How well did Disney handle their canon situation? And is there a place for fiction that services its readers' bias?Delilah S. Dawson, Andrea Phillips, Eric Distad, Jeannie Szarama, Michael Lee
 8:00 PMProfessional Wrestling as Genre FictionSaugatuckFrom the force choke to the choke slam, from power armor to power bomb, the story telling within professional wrestling is not dissimilar from the hyperbolic nature of science fiction and fantasy. What can professional wrestling teach us about writing and committing to a story?Carl Engle-Laird, Merrie Haskell, Dave Hogg, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas (M)
 10:00 AMNever Forget: Characters Who Live ForeverCharlevoixRaistlin Majere. Katniss Everdeen. Hermione Granger. Tywin Lannister. Boba Fett. Memorable characters run the gamut, from protagonist to insignificant. The panel will offer up some of their own personal favorite characters from fiction and discuss what makes them unforgettable.Michael Marcus, Ken Schrader, Paul Kemner (M), Sal Palland
 11:00 AMThe Vocabulary of CriticismIsle RoyaleProse Style, Voice, and Narrative Structure: does anyone care? These terms are often thrown around, but what do they really mean? And more importantly how should a reader translate them in to something useful for evaluating what they read?Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Scott H. Andrews, Amal El-Mohtar, Carl Engle-Laird (M), Lynne M. Thomas
 11:00 AMWriting About ScienceSaugatuckExamples and rationale of writing including and excluding science in your writing.Catherine Shaffer, Julie Lesnik, Jen Haeger
 11:00 AMFormative Fiction: The Books That Hooked YouInterlochenEvery one remembers the book that turned them into a reader for life. The panel will discuss the books that were formative in their reading lives. What makes a piece of fiction formative?  How does formative fiction evolve with time? Is this work different for today's new readers than it was for the previous generation or, even, the one before that?Ferrett Steinmetz, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Mur Lafferty, Sarah Gibbons
 11:00 AMEditorially SpeakingCharlevoixCome hear from working editors in the science fiction and fantasy field about what the role an editor plays in bringing a manuscript from submission to publication. What trends are editors seeing in the field and what do they want to see in the coming years?Yanni Kuznia, DongWon Song (M), Michael Damian Thomas, Navah Wolfe, Miriam Weinberg
 11:00 AMThe Youthful Form: What Is Young Adult?PetoskeyFrom the epic fantasy farmboy to the urban fantasy snarky detective, tropes are everywhere. As a result, they can, and often are, used to criticize a work. What are the common tropes in Young Adult fiction? Are they required for the form? If not, how do we work against these tropes and reinvent them?Aimee Carter, Susan Dennard, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jon Skovron, Sunil Patel (M)
 12:00 PMThe Business of RejectionInterlochenWriting is a business built around rejection. Almost every writer in the industry has experienced it at some point, and many experience it constantly. Come learn how working writers deal with rejection, move past it, and embrace it for what it is.Amy Sundberg, Kameron Hurley, Greg van Eekhout, Gwenda Bond, Dave Robison (M)
 12:00 PMWhat Comes After Grimdark?SaugatuckIn 2015 many novels were released to great critical acclaim that seemed to eschew the bleaker tones of modern genre fiction. Noami Novik's UPROOTED and Becky Chambers A LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET are two examples. What might be motivating a shift away from grim tales and will the trend continue?Delilah S. Dawson, Sam Sykes, Scott H. Andrews (M), Aimee Carter, Saladin Ahmed
 12:00 PMRepudiating the ReplicatorIsle RoyaleDriven, 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
 1:00 PMDressing Your Fictional WorldInterlochenThey say ‘clothes make the man,’ but they also make his physical and social world. Help our panel of writers and costumers build and dress a fictional world, and learn how you can use costume details to enhance the depth and verisimilitude of your work.Annalee Flower Horne