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Chicon 8 schedule

Next month I'll be attending Chicon 8, the worldcon, my first overseas SF convention since September 2019, right before COVID19! It'll also be my first SF convention on US soil—and first book signing there—since February 2017.

Here's my draft schedule, by convention day.

Thursday, 1 September

Table Talk, 1pm, Crystal Foyer

This is what they're doing instead of Kaffeeklatsches/literary beers these days (masking is mandatory at Chicon 8, for obvious reasons)

Panel: Beyond our Assumptions, 5:30pm, Randolph 2

Human-built systems, such as capitalism, are neither immortal, nor inescapable. SFF often helps us imagine a world built on different scaffolding than our own. Each of our panelists will start with their favorite "What If" scenario (such as "What if all children were born without primary sex characteristics?" or "What if our only form of currency was seeds?") and we will brainstorm to build worlds beyond current assumptions of "how things work."

Friday, 2 September

How Horror and SFF Blend, 2:30pm, Crystal Ballroom C

Horror has often overlapped with SFF--hello, Frankenstein! Lately it seems like we're seeing a rise in horror elements in popular SFF, including many recent Hugo winners and nominees. What makes horror blend well with science fiction or fantasy? Are there challenges or problems with mixing the genres? And how do cosmic horror, the Weird, and New Weird fit into this discussion? Come find out whether or not anyone can hear you scream . . . in space!

Autographing, 5:30pm, venue TBA

Saturday, 3 September

Alternates, Parallels, Mirrors, and Multiverses, 11:30am, Grand Hall L

Alternate histories and parallel dimensions have been elements of science fiction for a long time, and they seem especially prominent right now, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Trek to novels like Micaiah Johnson's The Space Between Worlds and Gibson's Jackpot novels. We'll discuss what using multiverses does to writing and reading SFF, talk about texts where it works great and others where it falls flat, ask ourselves why it's having such a moment, and wonder how this panel compares to the infinity of parallel panels happening at the same time.

Getting the "Cyber" part right, 2:30pm, Michigan 1

Computers and information technology are omnipresent in both our daily lives and science fiction, but most SFF doesn't focus on it in a deep or scientific way, often using old and inaccurate tropes. What writers are great at conveying interesting things about actual computer science and techno-culture? What are our favorite examples of AI, programmers, and tech support that feel accurate or insightful?

Reading - Charlie Stross, 5:30pm, Airmeet Readings (this will be a virtual session)

NB: I'm not sure what I'll be reading yet, but as I just sent Season of Skulls off to production and have nearly finished A Conventional Boy it'll probably be one of them, unless it's a chunk of unfinished space opera or something else bites me.

Sunday, 4 September

Waiting for Closure, 1pm, Grand Hall K

Getting involved in a book series is always a tricky proposition. On the one hand, there's the FOMO of hearing all your friends squee about the latest book, but on the other hand there's the agony of waiting for the next one to come--or in some cases, wondering if you'll ever get another book! Let's talk about how serialization affects how we approach books, their plots, themes, and characters--as readers and writers, what does the promise (or threat!) of future installments do to how we engage with a book?

Monday 5 September

Future Transit, 1pm, Michigan 2

We're well on the road to self-driving cars, there are companies designing small supersonic jets, and Virgin Galactic is aiming at suborbital transportation. How will we get around in 10 years? 20? 100? Our panelists will imagine future travel both fast and slow.


Other program item participants omitted because I copy-typed the descriptions from an annoying javascript-based scheduler app that doesn't make things easy. For other participants, see the official final program.

All of this is conditional on me not coming down with COVID19 again, either before I travel or while I'm at the convention. I'll be masking/distancing and testing regularly, as is convention policy: yes, I know it's a pain, but I really don't want to get this virus again or worse, infect you with it afterwards. (I am willing to unmask in public if I'm outdoors, there's airflow, and everybody is sensible about social distancing.)

I have other engagements that are not part of this public schedule (eg. business meetings with my agent and possibly publishers: also toilet stops, meal breaks, etc), so please, if you pass me in the hall and I say I'm on my way somewhere, don't be afraid to ask again later (if I growl it's probably because of my knees, not you). If you missed my signing and I'm not busy I'm happy to stop for a moment to sign books.

Pub crawl: there's going to be a pre-worldcon real ale pub crawl on the evening of Wednesday, August 31st. I'll try to update this with details nearer the time. My wife's one of the organizers, but I may not make it—I recently started a new antidiabetes med that is playing merry hell with my stomach, and drinking even two pints of beer is a reach. (Add bad knees and too much walking and you can see why a pub crawl might lack appeal: I'll just have to see how I'm feeling on the day.)

Comments: Please do not use this topic for general discussion, keep it clear for the worldcon (in case I need to notify folks about schedule changes or discuss where to meet up). Thanks!



Please do not use this topic for general discussion, keep it clear for the worldcon (in case I need to notify folks about schedule changes or discuss where to meet up). Thanks!


Cool, hope to see you there (bumped into you in an elevator at the LAST Chicon).


Interested in the pub crawl, and a number of panels. (I believe I mentioned that I was told that it was a "firm" decision to not have me on any programming, so I'll have more time.)

And I will be at the "Beyond our assumptions" (given the novel I'm trying to find an agent for is about crushing the trillionaires.)


the LAST Chicon

Which I don't remember at all: I was on simvastatin for a couple of years around then, it chewed holes in my memory.


Won't be there ... even if I could afford it ( I can't) - NOT going to the US.
Sincerely hope to make Glasgow '24 ( I've registered ) - remind me where '23 is?
In the meantime, good luck with the meds & the bugs.


The '23 worldcon is in Chengdu, Peoples Republic of China. A first, and it really set the cat among the pigeons. (I won't be going. Not just the political angle: even if the government was squeaky-clean, the air pollution is horrifying and I'm borderline-asthmatic.)


Safe travels! And hope you enjoy the Worldcon, i.e., have loads of interesting discussions with panelists and readers, enough time and energy to get reacquainted with fellow writers, and have productive biz meetings.

Hey, I just checked the link to the Chicon-8 site - they've got 'virtual' memberships!

I've participated in a slew of webinars ever since COVID lockdowns started. (Hell - I've even watched a classical symphony concert on Zoom in real time.) Really glad SF/F cons are keeping up with the times and offering virtuals.

Re: '23rd Worldcon - Chengdu, Peoples Republic of China'

I'm also very unlikely to travel there. Sounds like an interesting city - combination of lots of history and new industry. (And I really like Sichuan/Szechuan food!)


I'm not really one for travel, so I'm wondering if these panels might be posted on Youtube eventually, since some of them sound pretty interesting.



Instead of previewing two novels you've just finished -- and which most of your audience will probably buy (or be given for review) anyway -- why not be a bit more experimental and see if the US audience is up for a bit of Mrs Bigglesworth? For example.


We couldn't make ChiCon 8 in person, but I hope we can make it to Glasgow in 2024.


Glasgow '24 will only happen if we don't get a breakdown of civil order in '23 - & it's not looking good.
Reasons? - Not to be discussed on this thread, I think.


Yeah, feel free to discuss that on the previous thread (now past comment 500). Or I may end up putting up a new topic specifically for the gathering crisis.

(All my worst fears about the economic consequences of Brexit appear to be coming true, just initially far more slowly than I expected -- but now gathering speed like an avalanche. With a war-induced oil shock on top, and a climate emergency that is also going nonlinear!)


Hey, you’re visiting the USA.


Hey, you’re visiting the USA.

Chicago does have some air pollution, but nothing like that of China. I agree with Charlie that Chengdu's problematic for those with breathing problems.

Before I forget: Charlie, if you can arrange a few hours to visit the Field Museum, I doubt you'll regret the time spent there.


This is not my first trip to Chicago ...


Those anti-covid precautions seem wise considering the persistently high baseline of infections, and Im sure you know this already, but please be very careful on planes whilst on the tarmac.

In-flight ventilation is pretty good and will protect you in combo with a good mask (unless you're unlucky), but it seems the high rate of air travel related infection comes not form the flight itself but the time spent before takeoff and after landing when the doors are shut and the ventilation is off.


I was talking about the politics not the air.


[[ Deleted because off-topic. Please keep these comments clear for schedule questions, meet-up requests, and updates from the convention. Thanks! ]]


See you there, I hope!



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on August 16, 2022 1:46 PM.

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