A week from tomorrow the 4th Street Fantasy Conversation starts!  It’s one of my favorite conventions of the year, with a single track of programming that results in high-level panels and ongoing discussions about writing.  This year, I’ll be on two panels:

Gesticulation, Body Language, and Communication – 4:00pm Friday

Gesture, posture, and expression can convey as much meaning and cultural difference as the spoken word. When we read about gesture, what do we like, what do we see too much of, and what’s physiologically impossible? What are some examples of gestures or expressions that are dense with meaning but can be challenging to describe?  Theresa Mecklenborg (Moderating), Dana Baird, Scott Lynch, Elise Matthesen, Jon Singer

History as Trade Secret – 2:00pm Saturday

Fantasy has a long tradition of borrowing (and outright stealing) the best bits from history and remixing them to taste. Sometimes historicity is just an aesthetic gloss, but sometimes it serves as the foundation for rich, detailed, and complex works. What makes us admire an author bending history to their ends, and which excesses snap our suspension of disbelief? Tim Cooper (Moderating), Alec Austin, Dana Baird, Ann Chatham, Michael Merriam

I’m looking forward to seeing what will come out of these and all the other intriguing topics this year.