Potlatch has strong traditions around its program. They didn't start out as
traditions; they were meant to encourage interesting discussions and a sense
of shared experience. There are no guests of honor, but there is a Book of Honor.
Instead of moderators, there are "ringleaders," which basically means that panelists
are encouraged to participate in planning and organizing their panel. There
is a single track of programming. Nobody is scheduled to be on more than one
panel. Panels that we can't fit in to the program, or that are spur of the moment,
or that benefit from a more informal structure, can happen as "algonquins."
These ideas have worked well, so we keep doing them.
Here is our working schedule for this year:
Friday (4 March)
4:00 pm: Registration and Hospitality Suite open
5:00 pm: Dealers Room opens
8:15 pm: Opening Ceremonies
10:00 pm: Tough Guide to the Post-Apocalypse
David D. Levine (moderator), Tom Whitmore (moderator)
Diana Wynne Jones’ Tough Guide to Fantasyland takes the
overused tropes and cliches of fantasy and skewers them in the form of
a traveler’s guide to the standard fantasy universe. The standard
post-apocalyptic landscape has become equally well-visited in recent years
and we think it deserves a Tough Guide of its own. Audience members will
suggest entries for the book, in categories such as What to Pack, What
to Wear, How to Make Friends and Influence People, and Things to Watch
Out For. David Levine and Tom Whitmore will moderate and collect suggestions
into a first draft guide. Who knows? We might even get a book deal out
9:00 pm: Dealers Room and Registration
2:00 am: Hospitality Suite closes
Saturday (5 March)
8:30 am: Registration and Hospitality
9:00 am: Fables and Storytelling
Lenny Bailes (ringleader), Randy Smith, Amy Thomson
Are there common storytelling values that most “fable tales”
share, which make them both accessible and compelling? The source material
from Aesop, Mother Goose, and the Brothers Grimm has been reapplied in
many novels, short stories—and now graphic novels. How have the
classic tales been successfully reworked in new treatments? Snow White,
Cinderella, and Aladdin live again in the Datlow/Windling anthologies
and in Bill Willingham's long-running Fables comic book series for Vertigo.
10:30 am: Book of Honor: Earth Abides
David Bratman, Ian K. Hagemann, Howard V. Hendrix, Laura Majerus (moderator),
Alan Rosenthal, Don Scott
Paula Butler, Ctein (moderator), Howard Davidson
2:45pm: Break for Algonquins, Readings,
Tiptree Bake Sale
4:45 pm: The Left Abides
Terry Bisson, Eileen Gunn (ringleader), Nick Mamatas, Rachel Swirsky,
6:00 pm: Dealers Room closes
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Dinner Break
We will accept cash, check, Paypal, and credit cards processed through
Paypal at auction checkout. To ensure that Clarion West receives the
maximum benefit of your winning bid, we will add California’s
9.25% sales tax to your total due at auction checkout. If applicable,
Paypal's processing fees of 2.2% + $.30 will also be added to your total
2:00 am: Hospitality Suite closes
8:30 am: Hospitality Suite opens
9:00 am: Whither Potlatch?
Tom Becker, Jack Bell, Ulrika O’Brien
For a while it looked like Potlatch 20 might be the last one in its current
form. A Potlatch 21 committee has now been formed, but this is still a
worthwhile discussion to have. Let’s have a general conversation
in the Potlatch community about when, how, and whether to keep holding
Potlatches. What are the possibilities?
10:00 am: Dealers Room opens
10:30 am: Alan Rinzler: Secret Master of Publishing
Debbie Notkin, Alan Rinzler
Especially outside of the science fiction field, most book editors are unsung
heroes (and sometimes unsung villains), working behind the scenes to get books
published, improve their quality, and find them wider audiences. Alan Rinzler
is perhaps the best-known and most remarkable editor of his time. Alan was
an editor for Rolling Stone magazine back in the day. In the late
1960s, he acquired Toni Morrison's first book for Knopf. Since then, he has
worked with writers from Hunter Thompson to Shirley MacLaine, from Tom Robbins
to Robert Ludlum. Alan is now a full-time “book doctor,” and one
of the many things he’s doing as part of that work is reviving an old
interest in science fiction.
Debbie Notkin will interview Alan about fiction, book doctoring, and the
publishing industry. Some of his illustrious past (and great stories) will
probably make their way into this one-of-a-kind program item.
11:45 am - 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
1:00 pm: Hospitality Suite closes for party
1:00 pm: Potlatch Birthday Party
Come help us celebrate 20 years of Potlatch,
with cake, ice cream, and conversation.
2:00 pm: Potlatch Memories
Karen Schaffer (moderator) and a cast of dozens
Past Potlatch committee members and attendees will tell their favorite stories
from Potlatches past. Were you there? Come and tell your story.
2:00 pm: Dealers Room closes
3:00 pm: Hospitality Suite reopens
Algonquins are named for the meetings of Dorothy Parker and her peers (Harold
Ross, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, and others).
The Algonquin Round Tables of the 1930s were held at the Algonquin Hotel
in New York City, where lively discussion took place.
Our Algonquins can be anything you like, a continuation of discussion from
a panel; a demonstration of craft, art, technology; a trip to a favored
restaurant or to investigate a new one; a reading from a work in progress
or an old favorite.
To create an Algonquin, use the signup board. It will be by the convention
If you have an idea in mind, sign up early, or a soon as you have an idea.
You can use the seating area in the lobby, or the landings outside the program
room for your Algonquin. The Summit Room (ground floor, near the bar) is also
open to Algonquins whenever it hasn't been previously reserved.
Currently submitted Algonquin suggestions:
Mog Decarnin Memorial
FOGcon (Vylar Kaftan)
A Saunter through the life and work of George R. Stewart (Donald M. Scott)
The hero's and heroine's journey (Valerie Frankel)
The Genre-Crossing Poem: Ursula Le Guin, Ana Maria Shua,
Emily Galvin, Ilsa Efland and others (Carol Dorf)
Journey to Neon, auction item demo (Ellen Peel)
(Artist, Julie Newdoll, is donating a copy of her chemistry board game, "Journey
to Neon" to the Clarion West auction. "Journey to Neon" is
a series of board games featuring rubber stamps based on the first 10 elements.
We'll be showing off this unique and entertaining game during the Saturday
afternoon bake sale, tea, and algonquin break, so look for our demo table
and experience the game before it comes up for auction.)
David D. Levine