What is Potlatch?
Potlatch is a single track, discussion and conversation oriented, small convention with a somewhat literary bent.
Potlatch is not a multi-con, an omni-con or any other sort of convention that tries to meet the needs of multiple fannish interest groups. (Don't get us wrong, we like that kind of convention, too; but it's not the convention we're putting on.)
What you will find at Potlatch
What you WON'T find at Potlatch
a film or video room,
Does this mean that no one will decide to take off to a local movie house with a bunch of friends, or wear silly hats, or show off a portfolio to some friends? Of course not, but it isn't an official part of the convention. And, if past Potlatches are any guide, the chances are strong that the programmed discussions (to say nothing of the Algonquins) will range over all aspects of interest to the people there, but that's happenstance, not planning. Think of us as a picnic in the park with friends. Come on over, we're waiting to meet you.
Potlatch 10 Program Schedule
Complete day-by-day event schedule
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Registration is open
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Dealers' Room, and Toy Room are open.
4:00 PM - whenever: Consuite is open
7:00 PM: Wine and cheese party begins in the Consuite.
8:15-8:30 PM: Opening Ceremonies (such as they are)
8:30 - 10:00 PM: PANEL: Thunder and Roses
8:30 AM - 2:30 PM: Registration is open.
9:30 AM - 7:00 PM: Dealers' Room and Toy Room are open.
8:00 AM - whenever: Consuite is open.
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM: PANEL: Science Fiction and Science Myth
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM: PANEL: Diversity in Science Fiction
10:30 AM - 1:15 PM: Writers' Workshops.
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM: Lunch Break.
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM: PANEL: The Economics of Iniquity
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM: Special session for Algonquins, readings,
afternoon tea, and the Tiptree bake sale.
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM: PANEL: The Cutting Edge and the Rusty Spoon
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Dinner Break.
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM: PANEL: The SF Quiz Show, Live
9:00 PM - whenever: Chocolate fondue in the Consuite.
9:30 PM - midnight: Dance in the Whitcomb Ballroom
9:30 AM - 1 PM: Dealers' Room and Toy Room are open.
8:30 AM - 1 PM: Consuite is open.
10:00 - 11:30 AM: PANEL: The Maturation of "Maturity"
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Banquet.
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Clarion West Auction.
The Dead Dog Party will begin shortly thereafter, and will end eventually.
We now have a full slate of panels for Potlatch 10! We'll have seven panels, a mixture of short items in one-hour time slots and longer items in ninety-minute time slots. Things kick off on Friday evening with a panel celebrating our Book of Honor. The lion's share of program events will be on Saturday, but we've also got one on Sunday morning that you won't want to miss.
Thunder and Roses
Our Book of Honor is a collection of stories by one of the greats, Theodore Sturgeon. We'll focus specifically on the stories in Thunder and Roses, but we'll probably take detours along the way into appreciation of other Sturgeon masterpieces and stories of the man himself. Likely stories to concentrate on include the title story, "Maturity," "Tiny and the Monster," "Hurricane Trio," and, of course, your favorite.
Economics of Iniquity: Behind Every Great Fortune
Lies a Great Crime
Why do bad people make good money? Science fiction invents new and often more nasty varieties of the old iniquities: drugs, prostitution, slavery. Some books even posit altogether new iniquities: organlegging, genetic piracy, virtual vice. What are the economics of iniquity in science fiction? Why (and how) are such things profitable? What are the special twists science fiction gives to these economics? How (and why) do authors write about iniquity, and what level of consciousness do they bring to the task?
Diversity in Science Fiction
Diversity is often taken to mean having characters of both sexes and many races. Is that the right way to think about it, or, for science fiction, do we need to think of it some other way? What is diversity, and how does it change the genre? What does diversity make possible that wasn't possible before? Which ideas and themes does diversity promote? Which does it discourage?
Science Fiction and Science Myth: The Science Panel
for the Rest of Us
The relationship between science fiction and real science is complex. What are some of the false ideas that people hold about science, and how does science fiction reinforce (or undermine) those beliefs? Why is it that some developments in science find their way into SF, and others don't? What are we missing? And what does science fiction have to do with science, anyway?
The Cutting Edge and the Rusty Spoon
Some SF from the '40s and '50s has survived long past its sell-by date, while some of the stories we thought were so exciting a decade or two ago seem frozen in yesterday's tomorrow. Is this risk inherent in science fiction? Are ephemeral stories that capture the zeitgeist less worthy than stories that address the general human condition? Do those who live by the cutting edge die by the rusty spoon?
The SF Quiz Show, Live
Need we say more?
The Maturation of "Maturity": When a Master Rewrites
Our book of honor, Thunder and Roses, gives us a look at the writing process by reprinting both the original magazine version of "Maturity," and a version with a different ending that Sturgeon wrote for book publication. How do these differ, and why? Our panel of Writers' Workshop participants will lead a critique of both versions and discuss what motivated Sturgeon's changes.
We're excited about the slate of panels that we're putting together, and we hope you will be too!
And please also remember that the formal panels are only part of Potlatch programming: the other part is the Algonquins. Algonquins can be author's readings, or discussions, or - well, anything, really. They can take place during the slot we've scheduled for them on Saturday, or any other time. They can happen over meals, or in people's rooms, or even outside. Some of the Algonquins that people are planning are "How to Start a Speculative Fiction Magazine: Pleasures and Pitfalls," "Can we talk about the book now, please?," "The Our Lady of Darkness Tour," and "Applied probability theory and the redistribution of wealth." Bring your own ideas, the more the better!
Matt Austern & Tom Becker