I am once again an invited participant at the annual convention put on by the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention, Balticon. This will be my fourth year as a panelist and a volunteer. I will be on several panels for the new media track and helping to get recordings of author readings for release on the Balticon Podcast. The convention starts a week from today, May 28th, and runs through Memorial Day, May 31st. It will be held at the Hunt Valley Marriott (affectionately known as the Mandelbroit Marriott for its wonderfully gnarly floor plan.)
I’ve posted my panels on my Google Calendar but I’ll reproduce them here for those not using that particular service.
- Into The Blender: Live!
Friday, 11PM to 12AM in Chesapeake
Dealing with blended families
Chooch, Viv, and possibly a special guest discuss parenting; blended families (children from previous marriages); dealing with school, work, long distance family relationships; pop culture; gaming, and gadgetry geekiness.
- Art, Music, and Literature in an Age of Technological Reproducibility
Saturday, 5PM to 6PM in Derby
A discussion of the benefits and dangers surrounding cultural production on a globalized, digital platform. Technology has a long history of shaping our cultural arts. Around 1900, technological reproduction had reached a standard that permitted it to tangibly reproduce all known works of art, profoundly modifying their role and effect in the artistic process. Laws were made to strike a balance between an individual artist’s incentive to create, and the virtues of a public domain, where others can experiment and improve upon previous ideas. In today’s “Digital Age”– an era defined by the ability to make copies and share information at the speed of light– art, music and literature that participate in the online ecosystem are being perceived differently, taking on a new aura. Ironically, the artistic material that is produced and shared online; that which forsakes the Barnes and Nobles and Virgin records shelves to exist only in non-tangible form, is now deemed “Content,” rather than art. But “content” implies that it is a thing– that it can be contained, bought and sold. What consequences might this re-branding of art and creative work hold for future generations? What is the fate of our cultural creative commons?
- Lovecraft Mythos Cagefight
Sunday, 12PM to 1PM in Derby
Who Would Win in a Fight?
Cthulhu vs. Dagon? Yog-Sothoth vs. Shub-Niggurath? Would the match be a TKO or won on points?
- Free Yourself: Open Source Software for Use
Sunday, 3PM to 4PM in Derby
Chances are you probably use some OSS, and you don’t even know it. Our panel of open source developers and evangelists discuss the facts and help you find the OSS packages that can free you from outrageously high costs, bizarre licensing practices, and poor interface design. Come and learn ways to save yourself money, improve your productivity, and secure your computer. You don’t have time or money to ignore OSS anymore. Set yourself free.
- The Zombie Apocalypse Preparation Kit
Monday, 10AM to 11AM in Derby
What’s in your wallet?
Experts discuss the impending Zombie Apocalypse and how they plan to survive it. What’s in your Zombie emergency kit? Will you be prepared? What’s the best choice of weapon? What tactics work best for hiding? These questions and more will be answered.
In addition to my official commitments, I will also be at a couple of unofficial gatherings. I already posted about the FLOSS and Tech Geek BoF and my co-homebrewer and future co-host on the Living Proof Brewcast, John Taylor Williams, has written about our BYOBS gathering for our fellow homebrewers and beer enthusiasts.