Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Aug 2016, 11:55 a.m.

MidAmericon and Zambia

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2016 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

MidAmericon II, the 74th Worldcon (a long-standing yearly celebration of scifi and fantasy and the fandom thereof) has just released its programming schedule. I'm participating in several program items. All of the following take place August 17-21, 2016, at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, MO.

  1. Panelist, "The Interstices of Historical and Fanfiction", Wednesday Aug 17, 7pm-8pm, KCCC 2204
  2. Panelist, "The Imaginary Book Club", Thursday Aug 18, 11am-noon, KCCC 2502A
  3. Panelist, "Bad Boy Woobie", Thursday Aug 18, 1pm-2pm, KCCC 2204
  4. "Comedy Tonight!" (I'll perform about 30 minutes of stand-up comedy during this three-person showcase), Thursday Aug 18, 7pm-8:30pm, KCCC 3501B
  5. Panelist, "The New Space Opera Golden Age on the Screen", Friday Aug 19, 10am-11am, KCCC 2503B
  6. Auctioneer for Tiptree Award Auction, Friday Aug 19, noon-1pm, KCCC Flexible Activities Space
  7. Panelist, "The Art and Science of Fiction Translation", Friday Aug 19, 2pm-3pm, KCCC 3501F
  8. Panelist, "Comics Confrontational! Social Issues in Recent Comics", Saturday Aug 20, 10am-11am, KCCC 2206
  9. Panelist, "Representation in Comic Books: From Absences to Affirmatives", Saturday Aug 20, 1pm-2pm, KCCC 3501B

At this Worldcon I will finally get to meet, for the first time, Ken Liu, whom Leonard and I published in Thoughtcrime Experiments seven years ago. I predict I will meet him because he and I will both serve on that scifi translation panel, and I'll see friends Elise Matthesen and Teresa Nielsen Hayden because we're also on sessions together. Will I get to see other friends? Only future Sumana knows.

Then, in late August and early September, I'm visiting family abroad. Specifically: my sister Nandini, an extremely impressive person, works for the United Nations Capital Development Fund as a Digital Finance Country Technical Specialist. In case you haven't heard of UNCDF:

UNCDF is the UN's capital investment agency for the world's 48 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.

Getting this job meant that she and my brother-in-law moved to Zambia. I will make my first ever trip to Africa in order to see them! And I'll get to see Victoria Falls. If you know someone in Lusaka you think I should meet, especially anyone interested in open source software, please let me know!