My 2019 Capclave Schedule

small_dodo_transparentI’ll be a guest at the 2019 Capclave convention on the weekend of October 18th, and the Guest of Honor is one of my favorite authors Robert Sawyer! This convention is held in Rockville, Maryland. It has a dodo for a mascot and its slogan is “Where reading is not extinct.”

My schedule is below, and pictures from previous Capclaves are below that!

Friday 4:00 pm: SETI (Ends at: 4:55 pm)
Panelists: Carolyn Ives GilmanEdward M. Lerner (M), Michael A. Ventrella
Why have we not yet found any evidence of aliens? What could this mean? Are we looking in the wrong places? Or are we alone in the universe?
Friday 5:00 pm: Psychos (Ends at: 5:55 pm)
Panelists: Robert SawyerJ. L. GribbleLarry HodgesLawrence M. SchoenMichael A. Ventrella (M)
What is a psychopath and are they really running the world? Do psychopaths have an advantage when it comes to running countries and major corporations? What can we do about it? What if we developed an accurate test (as in Sawyer’s Quantum Night) to see who is a psychopath?
Friday 10:00 pm: Bad Fan, No Cookie (Ends at: 10:55 pm)
Panelists: Sunny MoraineSuzanne PalmerDon Sakers (M), Michael A. Ventrella
From angry puppies to attacks on SJW, from critics of The Last Jedi and Captain Marvel to attacks on Laurie Forest’s YA novel The Black Witch for racism to the cancelling of Amelie Zhao’s Blood Heir to Gamergate, why is there so much negativity in fandom recently? Is this inevitable as political tribalism steeps into everything or an outgrowth of fannish diversity? What can be done to counter this growing problem?
Saturday 2:00 pm: Imagine No Religion (Ends at: 2:55 pm)
Panelists: Marilyn “Mattie” BrahenGordon Linzner (M), James MorrowL. PenelopeMichael A. Ventrella
John Lennon sang “Imagine no religion.” Let’s do that. What would the world be like if religion never developed? What system of morality might replace it? Would humanity be more united or would we just find something else to fight about?
Saturday 4:00 pm: Is the golden age of sf still relevant? (Ends at: 4:55 pm)
Panelists: Sarah AveryBrenda W. Clough (M), Jon SkovronMichael A. VentrellaSherri Cook Woosley
Should readers continue to read golden age stuff? Can new readers still enjoy stories from the 40s and 50s without the benefit of nostalgia? If not, how far back can new readers go? Do new readers lose anything by not knowing the history of the genre?
Saturday 10:00 pm: The Golden Child (Ends at: 10:55 pm)
Panelists: Martin Berman-GorvineTom DoyleJon Skovron (M), Michael A. Ventrella
Much of fantasy is based on the prophesized child whose destiny is to fight the evil one. From the Bible (Moses, Jesus) to Paul Atrides, to Harry Potter. Why is this overused and is it making it too easy for the author to avoid creating motivation for the conflict? Is this a holdover from the rightful king idea? Which authors do this right? What alternatives exist?
Sunday 10:00 am: Mechanistic Magic Systems (Ends at: 10:55 am)
Panelists: Leah CypessLH MooreJon SkovronMichael A. VentrellaChristopher Weuve (M)
Do elaborate mechanical systems of magic such as in Sanderson’s Mistborn remove the awe and wonder of magic and make it into a science? Or do such restrictions enable the author to be more creative?

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