Worldcon panels: Board games

These are various notes for the panels I was on. I am starting with the board game panel!

I was a bit apprehensive about this one – I asked to be put on at least one non-diversity-related panel, which meant that I was put on exactly one such panel 🙂 and this was it. It was a fun experience and I am glad I did not run away in fear self-reject myself from it. Special thanks to Miles Tugman for the encouragement and the board games! 🙂

These were the recommendations I mentioned, I hope I did not leave anything out:

Where to go to learn more about board games:

  • BoardGameGeek is probably the best place. Links will point to BoardGameGeek 🙂

If you are looking for a fun, short game (max. 30 mins):

  • for computer gamers: Race for the Galaxy. Many similarities to computer-based 4x strategy games. Plays especially fast in the online version.
  • for non-computer gamers: Dominion. Like a collectible card game, without the collecting part. It does have 84329 million expansions though.

Games that play well with 3 players:

  • Yggdrasil – cooperative game where the number of players also varies the difficulty a bit, 3 players seems quite good in my experience.

If you are looking for a good introductory game:

  • Carcassonne. Has both chance and strategy elements, simple rules, relaxing art, fun tactile experience of assembling the board from tiles. Also good in mixed age groups. Currently has a reissue with new graphics – compare the old and the new and make sure you get the version you like better! (I prefer the old one.)

One interesting current trend in boardgaming:

  • Games with overarching storylines structured similarly to TV series, like Pandemic: Legacy (I haven’t played it yet, but I really want to 🙂 )

Fun games few people know:

  • Jäger und Sammler – very popular in Hungary as Mamutvadász, won the local Game of the Year award (similar to Spiel des Jahres). Stone age theme with beautiful art! Simple rules that lend themselves to house variants really well in our experience. Zombiegeddon is an American version with really ugly art (I warned you). There is no text on the game elements themselves – you can order a European version and download the rules online.
  • CIA vs KGB – simple, fun, very cheesy Cold War theme 😀

And now for literature:

How can board games inspire my own SF writing?

In two ways:

  • Player interactions – the ways behavior can be manipulated by the use of explicit rules, what interactions emerge from this, etc. Not so much specific games and settings, but more of this meta-approach that stems from my experiences as both a board gamer and a video gamer. Thus it can be hard to see exactly where the influence appears in my work, but it is certainly there.
  • Depictions of gameplaying in a fictional setting – this is much easier to notice.

Books I mentioned (mostly related to the second point):

  • The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks – note the explicitly acknowledged influence of Civilization, which started off as a computer game, but then became a board game too.
  • Burning Bright by Melissa Scott – also RPG-related.

The quiz question I prepared for the audience:

I hope people enjoyed the panel and I’m also wishing much enjoyment to the winners of the quiz – have fun with your new games!

Inkscrawl: Living Bodies in Motion issue table of contents!

I survived Worldcon! It was fun! More updates including panel notes coming later, G-d willing. This is a pre-made announcement…

Everyone signed their contracts, so I can announce the lineup of the next issue of Inkscrawl! I guest-edited this issue of the speculative micropoetry magazine (10 lines or shorter) with the theme Living Bodies in Motion.

The issue will be online hopefully over the next week. In the meanwhile, the table of contents is here – the section headings feature words from each poem. I am very much looking forward to sharing these poems with you!

inkscrawl #10: living bodies in motion

guest-edited by Bogi Takács

shout / gnaw / skitter / thrash / fly

Hurricane by Sheree Renée Thomas

verdigris by A Watson

Plastic Hour by M.J. Cunniff

Roar by Ada Hoffmann

Theretra by May Chong

grasp / shovel / turn / dive

Parallax by S. Qiouyi Lu

Still Snow(ing) by Mary Alexandra Agner

The Map, the World, the Dancer by Toby MacNutt

The Holiness of Your Turns by Mitchell Hart

sleep-dance / slap / plan / cut / scatter

Alien Baby by Malka Older

Shuttlecock by Naru Dames Sundar

A Gun and a Boy (Le Cercle Rouge) by Sonya Taaffe

marsyas by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

quiet hands by Kythryne Aisling

deny / fall / emerge / continue

Plate 24 by Holly Day

The Dancer by Lynette Mejía

Full Blown Magnolia by Sheree Renée Thomas

the commute by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

Worldcon schedule

My Worldcon schedule is finally here! There were some difficulties with scheduling. This is more or less final…


I am still trying to find a ride back home from the convention center on Thursday – I just realized while making this post that my Thursday panel was 9-10 PM, not AM. If you are in the area and would not mind driving me home, I would supply you with ample sweets, pay for your gas and/or time, serve as your sensitivity reader, draw you cute fluffies, etc. as is your preference 🙂 I live about 40 minutes’ drive from the convention center. (We will drive with Rose on all the other days, but 10 PM is wayy past Mati’s bedtime.) I found a volunteer for this, thank you so much!

….and here is my schedule:

Asexual Viewing and More! – Beyond the Binary Gaze

Thursday 21:00 – 22:00, 2209 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Thor stands at a window, muscles rippling. Arrow strips and Teen Wolf shows a montage of bare-chested men. There is a growing awareness of the female gaze in attracting viewers (not to mention the female dollar) and as a result, film and television often caters to female (hetero)sexuality. This could be seen as fun and long overdue…but what about LGBTQI gaze(s), asexual, polyamorous or pansexual viewing? Our panel discuss the move from appropriation to representation.

Jed Hartman, Bogi Takács, Tex Thompson (M), Cait Spivey, Jay Wolf


Spec Fic Poets: A Group Reading

Friday 12:00 – 13:00, 2203 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)

Eight speculative fiction poets come together in this fun and engaging reading as they perform their work in their own unique styles.

Frederick Turner, Michael Substelny, Mr. Robin Wayne Bailey, Mary Soon Lee, Jim Davidson, Symantha Reagor (M), Bogi Takács, Erin Wilcox


I Love Boardgames!

Friday 16:00 – 17:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Boardgames rule! Our panellists share the boardgames they love playing when they are not busy creating worlds, destroying universes, and doing dreadful things to their characters. What kinds of games do they enjoy? What sparks their creative juices and stirs the imagination? Most importantly, they recommend great games for players both experienced and new.

William Frank (M), Andrea G. Stewart, Bogi Takács, Sean Patrick Hazlett, CFA, Miles Tugman


Reading: Bogi Takács

Friday 13:30 – 14:00, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center) – This was moved around and the new time is not in the program yet, so I am not 100% sure about the location.


Autographing: Rose Lemberg, Bogi Takács, Adam Rakunas, Alyssa Wong, Katherine Wynter

 Sunday 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Kansas City Convention Center, Autographing Space


Non-Anglophone Authors You Must Know

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Most of the world is not English speaking, so as the minority, what should English-language users start to pay attention to so that we can start to read outside of our own communities – even if that will be in translation most of the time?

Bradford Lyau (M), Bogi Takács, Dr Nick Wood, Dr. Catherine Schaff-Stump, Ivan Kranjcevic