My schedule starts Friday at 3 p.m. with a panel on alternate history, "For Want of a Nail". It will be held in the Madison Room, and I am moderating. The other panelists are Julie Barrett, Melanie Fletcher, Katherine Eliska Kimbriel, and Rie Sheridan Rose.
The panel's description is as follows:
"How big of a change is needed to change history? The traditional tale of losing a war due to not having a nail for a horseshoe is a perfect indicator that not much is needed. However, if you make small changes you need to be able to predict where the nail falls, so to speak. Our alternate history experts talk about how to alter history in ways which are quite subtle, but create huge results."
I've gone to conventions over the years where the programming seems random and a bit arbitrary, or at least inexplicable, when it comes to what's handed me, and then there are times when the panels indicate my someone actually ready my biography and bibliography with an eye towards the choices.
This upcoming ConDFW has one of the best matched up line-ups for me, if not the best, I've ever seen. Having been a finalist for the Sidewise Award in 2013 gives me a modicum of respectability as an alternate history author.
Of course, anyone who plans to attend the panel needs to buy"The Clock Struck None" as the primary textbook.
Note the First: I will never, however, complain about convention programming because the people who do it are volunteers, and any time anyone gives of their time freely like that is to be thanked, and if there are any inadequacies, they're only human. A number of years ago I left a convention halfway through because my programming was messed up, but it was because of the human factor; it was when the Great Recession was beginning to bite and people were losing their jobs left and right. As it happened, that was the last time that convention was held, it didn't survive the Recession.
Not the Second: One of the best panel line-ups I ever was presented with was from last year's WorldCon. LonCon offered me panels on both Alternate History and Steampunk, but I had to renege on my offer to participate because the newspaper I worked at was sold in June and the bastards refused to honor my two weeks' paid vacation accumulated under the previous owners. I went from 14 days vacation to zero, and LonCon went out the window.