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My LonCon (WorldCon 2014) schedule

I spent most of last week in San Jose with a new client, and as such forgot to post my LonCon (which I have taken to calling Long Con, given the price of airline tickets and hotel accomodation) schedule. Here it is. It’s a pretty cool schedule. And after it’s done, we plan to hit a bunch of museums!

Angry Robot and Titan Books Summer Invasion of Forbidden Planet’s London Megastore

Wendnesday August 13 18:00 – 19:00

Strictly speaking, this isn’t an offcial LonCon event. But it’s going to be awesome. The lineup includes Cory Doctorow, Charlie Stross, Ramez Naam, Kim Newman, and loads of others. We’re not reading, but we are signing. I fly in that same day, so if you find a short woman dozing in a corner of the manga section, she’s probably me.

The Anime Canon: From the Classics to the Defining Works of Today

Thursday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 3

You’ve seen Akira, you’ve seen some Studio Ghibli, and you saw a couple of episodes of Cowboy Bebop that one time … but where do you go from there? What does the anime canon look like? Which stories defined the form, and which became shared experiences that defined the fandom? And are they the best entry-points for a newcomer?

(For that, I plan to rail against the exclusion of Cowboy Bebop from this otherwise quite solid list at io9.)

Reading: Madeline Ashby

Friday 17:30 – 18:00, London Suite 1

The Philosophical Mecha

Saturday 15:00 – 16:30, London Suite 3

When is a giant robot more than just a giant robot? Many of the best and most famous anime — such as Evangelion, Gasaraki, or Flag — use the mecha as a tool to explore politics, philosophy, and the human condition. What is the conception of the human explored in such series, and how is it mediated by technological experience?

50 Years After: Asimov predicts 2014 World’s Fair

Saturday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 15

In 1964, Asimov wrote a set of predictions for the 2014 World’s Fair. What did he predict, what did he get right and wrong, what did he say that was useful, and what did he miss completely?

I Can’t Do That, Dave: artificial intelligence, imagination, and fear

Sunday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 10

From the Minds of Iain M Banks’ Culture to Portal’s GLaDOS, artificial intelligences abound in sf, and not infrequently they turn on their creators. Whether as idealisation of reason or deadly threat – or both – why do AIs have such an enduring appeal? Where do fictional AIs stand in relation to the real-world science? And to what extent has sf explored the ethical questions surrounding the creation of sentience to better serve humankind?