This weekend is Farpoint, a science-fiction convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland that I’ve been attending since 2006. (I was supposed to be at the famous “Snowcon” Farpoint in 2003 — I’d registered for it and was looking forward to it — but when I saw what the weather forecast for Maryland was, I cancelled my hotel reservation and stayed put in North Carolina that weekend.) The headlining guests at Farpoint this year are Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Doctor Doctor, and a metric ton of other things), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Timothy Zahn (science-fiction novelist), and Nora McLellan (Killjoys).

I’ll be on six hours of programming across the weekend. Here’s where you’ll be able to find me.

Friday, February 9

Plotting Unconventionally
Salon C, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Allyn Gibson, Heather Hutsell, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Russ Colchamiro
Sometimes writers need guidance or use unexpected tools when building a story. For example, Philip K. Dick famously wrote The Man in the High Castle with the aid of the Chinese oracle, I Ching. The panelists will discuss the pros and cons of plotting stories using aids such as story dice (like Rory’s Story Cubes), writing prompts, and books like Plotto.

Farpoint Book Fair
Hunt Valley Hallway, 10:00pm – 12:00am

Saturday, February 10

Another Regeneration, Another Show
Salon A, 10:00am – 11:00am
Jennifer R. Povey, Thomas Atkinson, Allyn Gibson, Colin Caccamise
With a new showrunner and our first female Doctor, we’ll discuss Doctor Who‘s current season.

Sunday, February 11

Superhero Film Overload?
Salon A, 10:00am – 11:00am
Allyn Gibson, Glenn Greenberg, J.L. Gribble
A decade ago, Marvel Studios looked like they were taking a risk with the first Iron Man movie. Now, Marvel produces three or four films a year, plus a slate of tv series. Meanwhile, DC Comics is building their own cinematic universe alongside several tv series. Fox and Sony are making their own Marvel movies, Valiant Entertainment has films in development, Dark Horse Comics is rebooting Hellboy, and Amazon has rebooted The Tick. Have we hit superhero saturation? Will audiences tune out?

Blade Runner: The Edge of Human
Salon A, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Allyn Gibson, T. Eric Bakutis, Andrew Kelley
Thirty-five years after Ridley Scott took film audiences into Blade Runner, a dystopian future where the line between man and machine were blurred, audiences returned to that world in Blade Runner 2049. Our panelists will discuss the film, whether it is a worthy successor to the original, what the new film says about what makes us human, and whether or not Rick Deckard is a replicant.

Over the next few days I’ll pull together notes and whatnot for my panels. I try to be prepared. :)

And I’ll need to leave work a little early on Friday.

For more information on Plotto, a copy of which I’ll be bringing to the panel on Friday night, see:

There was a Farpoint Writing Contest, but I didn’t submit an entry. Ironically, it would have been perfect for the “Plotting Unconventionally” panel, as the writer guests were given a prompt to write from, but I struggled to come up with an idea that I liked or interested me.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing Matt Frewer, and I’d like to get the DVD sleeve for his version of The Hound of the Baskervilles autographed. I’m also looking forward to seeing Timothy Zahn again, and I’ll bring my copy of Thrawn to get it autographed as well. There’s a lot to do this weekend.

Perhaps I’ll see some of you at Farpoint!

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