I listened in on “RPG Licenses,” which dealt with the business of licensing existing media properties, such as Firefly, dealing with the rights owners, and figuring out which properties would actually make good games. Georgie went to “A Pack of Ideas,” which was a presentation on the Tarot and how to use it as an aid to writing. Georgie said it was a very interesting and informative presentation and nicely illustrated.
The 11:30 slot had “What’re Your Top Ten?” discussing YouTube videos, presented by Lynn Laakso and Todd Voros; “World Building Upgrades,” Brandon Sanderson, Jim Frenkel, author Chad Ballard, and Melissa Olsen; “The Cyberpunks Were Right,” Bill Bodden, Thomas Shaul, Dick Smith, and Leah Zeldes Smith; and “Will Comics Ever Be Respectable?” with Richard Russell and myself.
“Will Comics Ever Be Respectable?” had a good audience and a lively discussion touching on comics from classics to new titles, and agreed that there are many comics that are “respectable,” but perhaps it would be best that the genre of “comics” as a whole remained rather raffish and runagate.
In the 1:00PM segment, we had “Magical Ethics,” with C.K. Hinchliffe, Lee Schneider, Brandon Sanderson, Thomas Shaul, Margaret Weis and Chad Ballard; “What Constitutes Canon?” with Athena Foster, Leah Zeldes Smith, Steve Lemberg, Catie Pfeifer, and Melissa Olsen; and “When Social Justice Isn’t Justice,” with F.J. Bergmann, Richard S. Russell, and myself moderating.
“When Social Justice Isn’t Justice,” was rather a fraught topic, since both F.J. (Jeannie) and Richard have been “villainized” on the Internet. However, it was agreed that social justice is a worthy goal, even though the current tools for achieving it are crude and prone to misuse, with particular scrutiny of Internet tendencies to jump to conclusions, view with alarm, exaggerate, smear, and engage in guilt by association. The audience was attentive and engaged, and a serious and thoughtful discussion was had.
The last round of programming began at 2:30PM, with “Marvel vs. DC, the Media Wars,” featuring Paul Weisner, Jennifer Margret Smith, and Bill Bodden; “Famous Mages of Story,” Catie Pfeifer and Georgie Schnobrich; “Not Your Father’s Mars,” Paul Dale Anderson, Richard Russell; and “Gaming in the Classroom,” Nicholas Kotelensky, Thomas Shaul, and Margaret Weis.
I went to “Famous Mages of Story,” which was a well-researched panel, beginning with Merlin, working up through Gandalf, Belgarath, Harry Potter and Harry Dresden, up through newcomers like Peter Grant of the “Rivers of London” series.
I also got feedback from participants on the “Gaming in the Classroom” panel that it was a very constructive and productive event.
Things closed down after 4:00PM, with Georgie and I making our way home, tired and generally happy. There were a few unavoidable glitches and hitches, but nothing that couldn’t be recovered from, and that’s our definition of a good con.
Brandon Sanderson, Margaret Weis, and Marjorie Liu were all wonderful guests, and you would be fortunate to have them at your con or a con near you. Huge thanks are also due to the entire ConCom and all the program participants who put in great amounts of time, effort, and thought for our mutual benefit.
At this time, Odyssey on 2017 looks like a “go.” Stay tuned!
Odyssey Con: http://www.odysseycon.org/
Odyssey Con on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/groups/22351026475/
Chad Ballard: http://www.amazon.com/Chad-Ballard/e/B01A667ZU0
Diane Greenlee/Anna Black: http://www.annablack.net/
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