Walter Mosley, Jeff and Ann Vandermeer, and John Scalzi explore an alternate universe
With an introduction by TOR.com blog poster, Sci-Fi author and creative writing teacher Ryan Britt, award-winning mystery and afrofuturist visionary author Walter Mosley, award-sinning sci-fi authors John Scalzi, Ann and Jeff Vandermeer stepped onto the stage at BookExpo America 2012 sans space suits or tin foil hats to explore the profound, literary realities of alternative universes and the art of fiction. Mosley launched the panel discussion with comments on how sci-fi weirdness prepares us for the future, which is not so far from the present as it may seem, followed by the Vandermeer husband and wife team introduced their new compendium of 'strange and dark stories,' The Weird (TOR Books; May, 2012), and Scalzi offered anecdotal evidence of 'the weird' of sci-fi influencing tech design and social norms in the present. Britt then steered the panel to a discussion of the need for 'the familiar' within 'the weird', pointing to Scalzi's new novel, Redshirts (TOR Books; January, 2013), a takeoff of the classic Star Trek, followed by a conversation about the form and function of holograms and time travel in light of a novella in Mosley's new book,The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin: Two Short Novels from Crosstown to Oblivion recently released in paperback (TOR Science Fiction Reprint; March, 2013). Britt wrapped the panel with a spirited discussion on the real or imagined distinctions between 'literary' vs.'genre' fiction.
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