Saturday, September 28, 2013

RoberCon, Anne Serling, Panels, TOMORROW

Tomorrow will mark a historic day in Binghamton genre history: our first speculative fiction conference, which of course makes all the sense in the world. This was Rod Serling's hometown, after all. Of all the places to host a speculative fiction conference, Binghamton makes the most sense. Here's some of the details below, from the RoberCon page of the Roberson Museum and Science Center:

We invite you to be part of Binghamton, NY’s first ever SciFi Convention being held at Roberson Museum and Science Center.  Roberson features great amenities with tremendous space including a three story museum, an historic mansion and a Digital Planetarium.  It’s the perfect setting as we host fans of every age and imagination.

RoberCon will feature a special guest appearance by Anne Serling, daughter of “The Twilight Zone” creator, Rod Serling. She will appear at RoberCon from 1-3pm offering a reading of her book “As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling.”  Serling will also participate in an audience Q&A and sign and sell copies of her book. 

A combination of over 30 business vendors and Fan Groups representing SciFi, fantasy, games, videos, comics, podcasts, art, steampunk, costuming and more will take part in the event at Roberson. 
RoberCon guests will be able to interact with vendors and fan groups, participate in a costume contest, enjoy multiple gaming opportunities, experience 17th Century battle and have access to Roberson’s various exhibitions.  The Bellydance Ensemble of the Southern Tier will also be hear at 11am to entertain our guests! 
Additionally, several SciFi enthusiasts will take part in a variety of panel discussions relating to local film making, SciFi literature, costume building, Star WarsStar Trek,Doctor Who and the legacy of Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone.” Special demonstrations will also take place in Roberson’s Digital Planetarium throughout the day. 
So the first SQUEE! worthy item is of course Anne Serling as our guest of honor. I hope to meet her and not act like a blubbering idiot, and get a copy of her memoir, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling. Also, I'll be speaking on the following panels:
12:00 - 1:00
From Star Wars to Superheroes: Myth in Modern Storytelling
Computer Lab (second floor)
Presenters: April L’Orange (moderator), Kevin Lucia, Chuck Rothman, Craig DeLancey

Everything old is new again. Whether it’s movies or TV, books or comics, fantasy or science fiction or something in between, some of the most powerful stories we tell incorporate elements of myth. We’ll talk about the empire myth that shows up from Star Wars to Dune, the golem story behind Frankenstein and The Terminator, Arthurian legend in Tolkien’s work and Babylon 5, and more.
2:00 - 3:00
Between the Covers (Or Not): The Changing Face of Book Publishing
Computer Lab (second floor)
Presenters: Joshua Palmatier (moderator), Jill Shultz, Paul Juser, Kevin Lucia, Carrie Cuinn

In many ways, the publishing industry didn’t change much between the Gutenberg printing press and the end of the 20th century. But in the last 10 or 15 years, all bets are off. Online bookstores and shrinking profit margins have created an environment where small publishers and indie authors have supplemented huge publishers with familiar names. A book may no longer be a chunk of paper sandwiched into a cover. Writers, editors, artists and publishers will talk about how the process of putting the book into the readers’ hands continues to transform.
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, also jazzed that many of my students will be attending. And no, I won't be speaking about horror at all, but the organizers of RoberCon invited me because they'd like to expand the convention to include horror, and we've even talked about me running RoberCon's horror track, so I'm excited to break some ground in that area.
I'd heard somewhere RoberCon had sold out, but it doesn't say that on the website, so if you're local, try to register and come out. I'll have advance copies of Things Slip Through that I'll be selling at a special convention rate, all day long. Hope to see folks there!