Mark Robert Bourne wrote for Bleeding Cool from San Diego Comic Con;
When the schedule of panels for this year’s Comic Con came out I was immediately drawn to one entitled “Wrinkle in Time.” I read the classic novel for the first time in 5th grade and own one of the original editions in hardback – a treasure. So, I was excited that on the 50th anniversary of Madeleine L’Engle’s book there would be a panel discussion. Equally exciting was that Hope Larson, who is working on a Graphic Novel adaptation of the book coming out in October, was on the panel. Other panelists included such esteemed Science Fiction/ Fantasy writers as Peter F. Hamilton, Charles Yu, Phil Hornshaw, Deborah Harkness, Orson Scott Card and David Brin. Greg Bear was the panel’s host.
The room was packed with people as we found seats in the very, very back row. What followed, once the room settled, was a discussion about everything BUT the book “A Wrinkle in Time.” Questions to the panelists included what they thought Comic Con would be like in 10 years and about human progress. This led into what could only be described as fierce tiff between Orson Scott Card and David Brin that took up the majority of the panel. Each author solidly attached to his own point of view. On Twitter, Hope Larson described it as a “Cage Match.”
All I wanted was to hear a discussion of Madeleine L’Engle’s masterpiece, A Wrinkle in Time.
The discussion began with the panelists predicting what Comic Con will be like in 10 years. Brin noted that this year it seemed that TV was the hot craze and that Film had taken a back seat. It seemed to me that, at least recently, TV has been taking more of a risk and bringing the kind of entertainment to people that has been watered down by all the remakes and crappy films of the last year. Brin used the word “Rock Stars” when referring to how the TV writers were being treated at Comic Con. Hope Larson believed that in 10 years Comic Con would return to just being about Comics and Art.
In retrospect both Brin and Card had been volleying jeers since the start of the panel. What kicked it off was when the question involving predicting the future and what it holds for the human race. Brin stood by the principle that “we have entered an age of enlightenment,” while Card was on the “we are humans and we don’t change” side of the spectrum. Brin felt that we’ve advanced with the sexual revolution and race equality calling Card’s view cynical. Card felt humans are predictable and we will never change or grow beyond our nature. We watch with fascination as “Empire’s fall” and as unpredictable events unfold we react naturally and predictably.
Things got uncomfortably humorous when they started the “questions from the audience” section. Someone at the mic explained that he had missed the beginning and wanted to ask the panelists if humanity had entered a dark age or age of enlightenment. The audience roared as the panel shifted in their chairs waiting for shots to be fired from either Card or Brin. Luckily panelist Deborah Harkness cut the tension with the comment that even the dark ages weren’t that dark; “Be careful of big, baggy historical epoch markers.”
The panel ended with pretty much only Orson Scott Card and David Brin making extensive comments. The other panelists, like the audience, looked on astounded by the panel hijacking and sat twiddling their thumbs with really nothing to add. I was disappointed by the total lack of discussion of the book “A Wrinkle in Time” and was somewhat dumbfounded by the tiff between the two authors. Next San Diego Comic Con I hope they have the balls to put both Brin and Card on a panel so we can have some conclusion to the heated match.
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