My other panel at this year’s Finncon was on the subject of ebooks. I got to moderate it (thanks Jukka!), which means that it went pretty much as I hoped. There were no lengthy digressions into technical neepery, and no political rants. We covered a whole lot of interesting issues, and I gave away a bunch of business cards at the end. Hopefully this means a few more sales.
I confess to grabbing lunch rather than going to Peter Watts’ GoH talk, which may have been a mistake as I think he talked about cephalopods. Tentacles are good.
Immediately after lunch there were two fairly serious panels. The first saw a bunch of writers and critics, including Aliette and Stefan, talking about the use of metaphor in SF. Tom Crosshill moderated and kept it all moving smoothly.
This was followed by Merja Polvinen talking about using the techniques of cognitive narratology to analyze The City and The City. Most of you, I suspect, will glaze over at the term “cognitive narratology”, but basically all it means is the study of how the mind processes story. In the case of China’s book, this means looking at the linguistic tricks that he uses to convince the reader of the reality of his twin cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma. This is the sort of thing that all serious writers should take an interest in. You can learn so much.
By this point I was seriously in need of a nap, so I headed back to the hotel. The skies looked a little dark, and shortly after I got to my room Thor put in an appearance. It was very loud, very wet, and thankfully very brief. By the time I had to head back to the con it was dry again.
The last panel of my day was a presentation by some visiting Russian fans, which was very interesting and worth it’s own post. After that I had to judge the masquerade, and again that is worth a post of its own.