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Archive Site: Millennium Philcon Programming Division Meeting - PARSEC - March 10, 2001

PARSEC (Pittsburgh Area Realtime Sciencefiction Enthusiasts) let us run a brainstorm for over an hour at their March 10 meeting. Thanks, PARSEC!

Benjamin Franklin – master of science, master of propaganda

Secret societies – Cabals -

Why do Celts write the best science fiction?

World Building – comparing and contrasting for different media. How is it different for books, movies, games, comics?

What YA do we still like as adults, and what don't we?

What books were popular in their day and what don't look so hot now? -- Racism and sexism in old-time fiction. – books that embarrass us

Books Due Rediscovery

Views of history in SF

Standards for Judging Alternate History

Alternate History Challenge Round

How much history should you know to read alternate history?

A Lot of Pregnant Aliens - How could have Ben Franklin served as ambassador to an alien culture?

Future of Liberty – Freedom of Internet vs. Data Collection (particularly at stores)

Has the devil bought out Microsoft?

Knowing When to Quit – Battlefield Earth and other overly long sets of books OR - When is Stretching the Truth too Far…

Future of Big Corporations – Conglomeration Hell (see Bladerunner, Rollerball, Space Merchants) – select panelists carefully so you have both sides

Would Greg Bear like to do an Art Show Tour?

Why don't we have interior illustrations?

What are the artist's responsibility to the story?

Artists point of view on illustration (Stephen and Jamie on both sides)

Analysis of cover art.

Horror masquerading as science fiction? When is horror “just” science fiction or fantasy? How to write good science fiction/horror. Beyond the BugHunt.

Dark Fantasy Takes Place in California.

Name dropping in time travel stories.

Portraying Transhumans - How to write about someone who is smarter than you are.

Religious Fantasy – the Left Behind and other Millennialist Fiction Books

Logical progression of technology – the future of storefronts. The endurance of the every day experience and how it would change. Everyday life in the 23rd century. Will Burger King win the franchise wars? The Chesterfield syndrome (did Damon Knight invent this term?)

Eye candy – good things in bad movies.

How is the future handled differently in other genres? Fantasy futures vs. sf futures? Cyberpunk vs. space opera futures. Trolls on the turnpike or…

Sects in zero-G – religion in space travel

Are there any realistic computers in science fiction? Why is quality control in the future perfect?

Food problems of the future. Soylent Green could cause Mad Cow in humans?

Gray goo problem – molecular computers – would they take over? (Greg Bear)

Will the Vingean Singularity actually come about? Will the exponential growth of technology continue?

What happens when we use up the world? Eco disasters and limits to growth.

If an AI wrote science fiction, what would it be like?

Are alien android redundant? Star Wars….

Greedy robots - Why would a robot race want to take over the world? Cleaning robots killing human because the hum ans are dirty. Wouldn't we run into other aliens first?

Would we be an aliens' idea of alien?

Finishing the future…

Should Gordon R. Dickson have had an understudy? Is continuing a series after the author has died a good thing? When is it understudying and when is it sharecropping?

Do SF writers have a moral responsibility to promote society? How much has science fiction created the society we have now? Does science fiction have a strong influence on technology? Dammit, I want my flying car. What didn't science fiction predict?

Why aren't science fiction worlds more multi-cultural. (It was raining one night on the planet Mongo…)

A blackboard called mobius…

Is bilateral symmetry in features universal? In movies, it's still cheaper to put a guy in a suit.

Evil queens in old movies

Is a cell phone a constriction of personal space or an expansion of personal space?

How alien can aliens be without alienating the audience?

Exploring creativity.

Differences between the written and the visual – books vs. movies.

Military societies

Why are most YA writers writing fantasy and not SF?

Why do relationships seem grafted on the stories rather than being part of the action. Integrating romance into your story.


Some lists with excellent suggestions from Mary Soon Lee and Bill Hall have been misplaced, but will be added to this one once they are found again.

Upcoming Meetings

  • PSFS Meeting, early April, Brainstorming
  • Program Division Meeting (Last Brainstorming!), Saturday, April 21, 2pm, Laurie & Jim Mann's