Since lots of other people are posting their Worldcon progrm(me) schedules, I might as well share mine, too. Frankly, I find it a little baffling:
Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, London Suite 5 (ExCeL)
Kay Kenyon, Chad Orzel
Saturday 11:00 - 12:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)
'Banksian' has become a commonplace descriptor in SF reviews, but what do we mean by it? What are the characteristics we associate with Iain M Banks' work? How far has his influence travelled? Who is writing Banksian SF today?/>
Chad Orzel (M), Michael Cobley, Jaine Fenn, Paul Kincaid, Ruth O'Reilly
We need to talk about TED
Saturday 15:00 - 16:30, Capital Suite 15 (ExCeL)
TED talks began as a way to communicate "ideas worth spreading", and have since spread to encompass a wide range of TED conferences across the globe. How well does TED do at communicating their ideas to a generalist audience? Are we missing out on interesting science that can't fit into a slick 18-minute presentation?
Chad Orzel (M), Sarah Dillon, Vanessa Harden, Andrea Phillips, Nickolas Falkner
This is baffling to me not because of the items that are on the schedule-- I listed Banks as an author I'd be happy to talk about, and I mentioned the TED@NYC thing in my bio, so those are both logical choices. What's baffling to me is what's not on this, namely anything to do with physics. This despite specifically mentioning physics as my area of expertise, offering to do something relating to my non-fiction science books, and expressing surprise at the lack of science-y items on the draft schedule they sent me a couple of weeks ago (which included these two panels, plus one other that I was apparently dropped from; I got a form-letter reply saying they were reviewing all the comments they received, and nothing more).
I don't mind doing either of these panels-- I suspect they'll be fun, in fact. But it also seems like a bit of a waste for me to not be doing anything relating to my actual areas of expertise. I hope this is because their planned science track is chock full of people way more famous than me doing awesome stuff, and not because they're just not that interested in physics-y stuff. Although, if it's the latter, I suppose that will give me time to go hang out at the British Beer Festival instead...
Jordin & I are next year's sci/tech programming mavens. Let's have a meal or drinks or something at Loncon & discuss.
That's a pity. I was at the Glasgow Worldcon in 1995. was at a very enjoyable talk from the great Hal Clement on Mercury. You should see if the organisers can get you on some more appropriate panels.
Hope you enjoy the beer!
Of possible interest regarding the Culture as a sort of "computer-aided" anarchy: Yannick Rumpala, "Artificial intelligences and political organization: an exploration based on the science fiction work of Iain M. Banks," Technology in Society, Volume 34, Issue 1, 2012.