Do Not Listen to Gwenda Bond

The panel is not dead. If Gwenda actually explains what she means by such a ridiculous statement, I’ll explain why she is wrong.

For those of you who do not fritter away countless days of your lives going to science fiction conventions: a panel is a discussion consisting of a few people (usually about five) sitting behind a desk in front of an audience nattering on about something for (usually) an hour.


  1. Kristin on #

    As someone who only attended 1/2 panel and a reading due to various circumstances — up 1/2 panel from last year by the way — I think she may just mean that cons are great even without the panels. Just a guess.

  2. gwenda on #

    It’s dead, dead, deadity dead dead!* (Unless it has Maureen McHugh or Karen Joy Fowler on it… and a few other people I’m too tired to list.) I just think the panel needs a rest for a bit, so that it can evolve into a more revolutionary, less frustrating form.

    Possible involving the evolution of the SuperModerator, who renders all panels great.

    *You realize the whole fun of saying something is dead is that the thing being pronounced dead never really is, right? See: the novel, the short story, books, god (er), jelly shoes. Etc.

  3. Shelly Rae on #

    Except I’m pretty sure that jelly shoes are dead. But Elvis is not. Nor feminism (right on sister!). Haven’t panels simply mutated into blogs, & lists, & forums (oh my!)?

  4. Justine on #

    And the other half is having other people vehemently insist that whatever it is absolutely is NOT dead!

    5:45AM in Madison about to get a plane back to NYC. Very, very, very tired.

  5. gwenda on #

    Sleep would be nice, wouldn’t it? Safe trip, dear.

  6. Jed on #

    I think we should put together a panel at next year’s WisCon about whether the panel is dead or not.

    Or at least a panel about how to have an effective panel.

  7. Cheryl on #

    And there was me thinking that “The Panel is Dead!” was some new pop group Gwenda had discovered.

    Still, Jed is right, we should discuss these things. I recommend we found a new literary movement within SF that will write fiction based on the assumptions that the panel is indeed dead. Then there will be a massive reaction against it and panels will suddenly become much better.

  8. Justine on #

    That’s a great idea, Jed. Let’s do it! you can put in suggestions for panels for wiscon 30 here. Do it!

  9. Benjamin Rosenbaum on #

    The panel has been lit on fire, blown up, qrushed into bitty pieces, and then blown up again into smithereens!

    But it lives on!

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