"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)
The Best and Worst Books of July

Nine Worlds – ALL OF THE BOOKS: The Debates!

GavelOne of the highlights of 2013’s inaugural Nine Worlds Geekfest convention was the Good vs Evil debate.

Full disclosure: I moderated the Good vs Evil debate – with the help of an Eye of Sauron talking toy – and the debate became so raucous that we got complaints from the Doctor Who panel going on next door. (Sorry, guys.) Good won out in the end, thanks to a not-at-all arbitrary point-scoring system which I instituted and maintained in secret. And explained to no one. (Which might suggest that, in fact, evil actually won the day. As you see, the debate rages on.)

In any event, the debate was popular enough that we’re doing more this year. And since we can’t do good versus evil again, we’ve moved along to two new and fruitful topics: science fiction versus fantasy, and dragons vs werewolves vs vampires vs warlocks.

And both will be moderated by a completely impartial, eminently* qualified** judge: me.

On Saturday we’ll be hosting the ultimate deathmatch smackdown between dragons, werewolves, vampires and warlocks. Each panellist will be arguing for their team: Elizabeth Bear will be counsel for dragons, Gail Carriger will be on deck for werewolves, Joanne Harris will be making the case for vampires, and Scott Lynch will be representing warlocks. Audio-visuals will be encouraged, as will funny voices and pantomime. You won’t want to miss it.

On Sunday we’ll decide the eternal debate between science fiction and fantasy. Blasters or bastard blades? Spaceships or sorcery? No middle ground will be tolerated (although, if anyone switches sides halfway through the debate… well, Her Honour will take the betrayal into consideration before rendering her verdict.) Daniel Polansky and Liz Bourke will be counsel for Fantasy, while Geoffrey Ryman and Zen Cho will be representing Science Fiction. As before, funny voices and sound effects will be encouraged.

Your completely impartial judge, jury and executioner will also be taking audience participation into account before rendering her verdicts. So, if you’ve got a horse in any of these races (or just like shouting about science fiction, werewolves, and mangled judicial processes) please come along!

*I have a lot of opinions about all these topics.

** I watch a lot of courtroom dramas.