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Katharine Kerr

Event session

Even if your ideas are original, unusual or outright weird, you need to have a base in reality for form.

In works like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Thomas M. Disch's Camp Concentration, and Michael Swanwick's Jack Faust, we see modern reflections of the old Faust myth -- a tale that has a lot of resonance for SF and F, where knowledge is generally considered a virtue, or a noble goal, rather than something to be pursued only with great care. What other examples of the Faust myth do we have in the SFnal world, and how does our treatment of it over time change, and what does that tell us about who we are, and who we want to be?

Among many other qualities, Shakespeare was a master of using plays within his plays to amplify his themes and plot arcs. This technique of self-reference has been used for dramatic and comedic effect in many works. Orson Scott Card had Ender Wiggin playing through a story game that ultimately tied into and reflected his "real life" story; P.C.

Our panelists look back over writing careers that span decades and discuss what keeps them writing in the long term. 

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