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Dates: March 11-13, 2016
Location: San Francisco Bay Area at the Walnut Creek Marriott (same as FOGcon 2 - 5)
“When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation.”
--Jorge Luis Borges
Jo Walton has published twelve novels, three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002, the World Fantasy Award in 2004 for Tooth and Claw, and the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2012 for Among Others. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are much better. She writes science fiction and fantasy, reads a lot, talks about books, and eats great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year.
Ted Chiang has won the Campbell Award, four Hugos, four Nebulas, three Locus awards, and more. His stories may be short, but the questions he asks are large – what does it mean to be human? – to be bodily? What is real? How do we know? How do our words – our language -- affect our world? How does causality work? He seems more interested in the questions than in the answers, and that should make for some fascinating conversations.
With a Ph.D. in biology and committed to the intersections of sciences, arts, and politics, Donna Haraway is an internationally recognized feminist theorist and philosopher of science and technology. Since 1984 she has been a professor in the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Donna Haraway’s seminal work, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, has become the authoritative text in theorizing the politics of cyborgs, the techno-mythological ideal, and its promised utopia(s). One of the most influential essays in the book is entitled 'A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century'. In this essay, Donna Haraway introduced her metaphor of the ‘cyborg', which was to become highly influential in feminist and critical theory since the essay's first publication in Socialist Review in 1985. In the text, which draws its title and theme of a call to action from Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto, Haraway utilizes the metaphor of the cyborg to make an original argument against the presuppositions of fundamentalist identity theories:
There is nothing about being female that naturally binds women. There is not even such a state as 'being' female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices. (Haraway 155)
Donna Haraway is also the author of The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (2003), and When Species Meet (2008).
Octavia Butler (posthumous)
Octavia Estelle Butler, often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” was born in Pasadena, California on June 22, 1947. She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Pasadena Community College, and also attended California State University in Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles. During 1969 and 1970, she studied at the Screenwriter’s Guild Open Door Program and the Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop, where she took a class with science fiction master Harlan Ellison (who later became her mentor), and which led to Butler selling her first science fiction stories.
Butler’s first story, “Crossover,” was published in the 1971 Clarion anthology. Patternmaster, her first novel and the first title of her five-volume Patternist series, was published in 1976, followed by Mind of My Mind in 1977. Others in the series include Survivor (1978), Wild Seed (1980), which won the James Tiptree Award, and Clay’s Ark (1984).
With the publication of Kindred in 1979, Butler was able to support herself writing full time. She won the Hugo Award in 1984 for her short story, “Speech Sounds,” and in 1985, Butler’s novelette “Bloodchild” won a Hugo Award, a Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and an award for best novelette from Science Fiction Chronicle.
Other books by Octavia E. Butler include the Xenogenesis trilogy: Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988) and Imago (1989), and a short story collection, Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995). Parable of the Sower (1993), the first of her Earthseed series, was a finalist for the Nebula Award as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The book’s sequel, Parable of the Talents (1998), won a Nebula Award.
In 1995 Butler was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship.
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