I’ve spent the entire day so far in panels. I present to you my scattered impressions:
The Power of Myth
On it: Amber Benson, Esther Friesner, Thomas Greanias, me, Les Klinger, Seanan McGuire, Michael Scott, and Thomas Sniegoski
The take-away: Michael Scott, the Nicholas Flamel guy, knows a lot about myth. And has a dreamy Oirish accent. Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy, plus she wrote the Calliope Reaper-Jones Novels) is really smart, in addition to being kind to fawning fanboys (please don’t ask me how I know this). Actually this panel, despite its slightly vague title, was intensely wonderful. Mythology is really weird, and fantasy writers have interesting ideas about it — we revere it, but also we pillage it and steal from it and desecrate it.
(More on Techland: The Guy Who Hates Comic-Con, Part III: Stormtrooper House Party)
Sci-Fi That Will Change Your Life
On it: Annalee Newitz, Charlie Jane Anders, Lou Anders, Meredith Woerner, Cyriaque Lamar, Marc Bernardin, Bonnie Burton, Douglas Wolk
The take-away: Lots of good things came out last year! Including Dash Shaw’s Bodyworld, Warren Ellis’s Freakangels, and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. Also some people like Chuck.
(More on Techland: The Guy Who Hates Comic-Con, Part II: Hope Kills)
Once Upon a Time: Fantasy authors discuss whether Epic Fantasy requires bigger-than-life heroes and heroines.
On it: Lynn Flewelling, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Megan Whalen Turner and Brent Weeks
The take-away: Making your hero a Mary Sue is not necessarily a bad thing. Prophecies and Chosen Ones are fine as far as they go, but they raise serious plotting problems. It’s fine to make up a language, but unless you’re an actual philologist like Tolkien, be careful. Adds Paolini, “apostrophes are really fun!” I knew Rothfuss was hilarious, but I’d totally forgotten how funny Paolini is in person.
(More on Techland: The Guy Who Hates Comic-Con Goes to Comic-Con, Part I)
On it: J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon
The take-away: I’m sitting in this now, and it’s not over, but so far I’ve learned that when he was young Abrams repaired Steven Spielberg’s super-8 films for him. And Whedon is definitely directing The Avengers. Also, they’re both really funny. But that’s not news. Also, Whedon thinks the Avengers Annual where Adam Warlock dies is a neglected classic. And he’s having a huge squee about Abrams’ Star Trek.
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