Wiscon and Chicago Schedule

I’ll be attending Wiscon36 from May 25-28 in Madison, Wisconsin. I went for the first time last year and had a fantabulous time. I’m flying in early and departing late via Chicago. So if anyone has suggestions for adventures, gatherings, food or interesting graffiti in the region, I welcome your suggestions.  Here are the things that I will be doing.

From Sherlock to Sheldon: Asexuality and Asexual Characters in SF/F Fri, 4:00–5:15 pm
Moderated by K. Tempest Bradford. With the good company of Dash (editor of Expanded Horizons), L J Geoffrion and Jed Hartman
We’re all familiar by now with the sexual orientations homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual. Much less discussed are asexuals, persons who do not experience sexual attraction. This panel discusses what asexuality is and is not, and proposes ways for authors to explore this overlooked orientation in their characters. Is it enough that a character has no on-page sex life, or should asexuality be more positively portrayed? Asexuality in real-time fandom and asexual characters in fiction and media may also be discussed as time allows.

READING: Transformative Spaces Sun, 10:00–11:15 am at Michelangelos
A place can change you; where you are can deeply affect who you become in ways you might never have expected. From a world on the midnight brink of interstellar war, to a teenage girl forced into a dystopian fertility nightmare, from an abandoned feather who’ll do anything for a part on the stage, to a place between worlds, where everything can change—join Liz Argall, Jed Hartman, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Heather Shaw as they explore the transformative power of place through their fiction. Sometimes, it’s both the journey and the destination that matters!

We’re Not Contortionists: Ridiculous Female Positions in SF/F and Comic Artwork Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm Assembly
Moderated by Tracy Benton. With the good company of Heather Keith Freeman, S. N. Arly and Jessica Plummer
A fun (if slightly depressing) panel on how women are depicted in cover artwork on SF & F books and in comic book characters. Artist Kate Beaton and author Jim C. Hines, among others, have recently been calling out the silly and impossible poses artists are putting women into in comics and on covers. This panel is an Action Panel! The organizer creates a Powerpoint of the offending illustrations. After a brief presentation, the panelists take up the challenge of duplicating the impossible poses before the audience! At the end, the audience votes for the most horrible book cover and the best panelist imitator.

Why Are Certain Works “Guilty Pleasures”? Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm Assembly
Moderated bu Ellen Klages. With the good company of Dr. Janice M. Bogstad, Lisa Cohen and Annalee Newitz

Why do we feel embarrassed or guilty about enjoying certain works? Why do we enjoy them if they make us feel guilty? How do we form our perceptions about which works are inherently unimportant or shameful, and how does this impact which books are guilty pleasures?

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