Back from one convention, off to another: Ad Astra, in Toronto this time. It is at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites – a venue remarkably similar to the Toronto Crown Plaza Hotel, where it was held last year. Both hotels are located in the same physical space, at 1250 Eglinton Avenue East. The only difference, really, is the name.
The convention takes place next weekend – starting April 9, that is. Unlike the World Horror Convention, just past, on this one I’ve got lots of programming.
Here’s my schedule:
Fri 8:00 PM
Being a good writer does not necessarily make you a good editor/critiquer. What skills, strategies and techniques are needed to set up a critiquing group and provide constructive criticism of a story?
Matt Moore (m), David Nickle, Suzanne Church, Megan Crewe, Lorne Kates
Fri 9:00 PM
Reading: David Nickle, Peter Watts
David Nickle, Peter Watts
Sat 11:00 AM
ChiZine Publications Panel
Beginning as the print off-shoot of Chiaroscuro, in less than two years, ChiZine Publications has grown into a small but influential player in independent genre publishing. CZP staff and authors discuss and answer questions about its growth in a bad time for publishing, the future of genre publishing, why a small press might be a better option for beginning writers, and how they have fun doing it.
Brett Alexander Savory, Sandra Kasturi, Matt Moore Gemma Files, David Nickle, Claude Lalumiere, Douglas Smith, Helen Marshall, Laura Marshall, Erik Mohr, Bob Boyczuk
Sat 1:00 PM
Monster as Political Statement
Zombies and body snatchers and communism, Frankenstein and the enlightenment, vampires and Victorian morality, the role of women and sexuality. When is a walking corpse just a walking corpse and when does it have a greater message?
Nancy Kilpatrick, David Nickle, Tim Liebe, Thea Munster
Sat 4:00 PM
Autograph Session (to 5:30)
Sun 11:00 AM
Can cross-over books ever be the best in either field? Will an SF novel ever win an Edgar? Do crossovers get a bigger audience (all SF plus all mystery fans) or a smaller one (only mystery fans who like SF)?
Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, David Nickle, James Allan Gardner, Kelley Armstrong
Sun 2:00 PM
Aspiring short fiction writers (audience participation required!) take turns reading the opening lines of their published stories, and the audience chooses which opening(s) they like best. Authors discuss what makes a good opening, why they’re important
Douglas Smith (m), Claude Lalumiere, David Nickle, Robert Boyczuk
Sun 3:00 PM
Laughing in the Face of Death
There’s more crossover than you’d expect between horror and humour. You can find black comedy, horror franchises becoming self-parodies, and intentional and unintentional humour in horror; why does it work? Why do we laugh at horrifying things?
David Nickle, Sandra Kasturi, Aaron Allston, Gavin Stephens
I’m also doing something at noon on Sunday, interviewing Doug Smith about his movie. But that’s all I know about that.