Danelle Mallen / March 1, 2015
For as much as no one likes to be tricked, nearly everyone loves a good trickster.
From Han Solo to Jack Sparrow to Loki, this dashing and morally ambiguous character type is a much-loved staple of science fiction and fantasy. They’re the comic relief, the unexpected love interest, and often the source of surprising insight. They shrug off the strictures that bind a good, law-abiding hero, but they’re never completely bad either. Perhaps it’s the signature smirk or the propensity to survive by sheer, dumb luck. Whatever the allure, these mischievous characters never seem to lack a healthy fan base.
At the panel “Aim to Misbehave,” Elizabeth Bear, Gail Carriger, Scott Lynch, and Sam Sykes will sit down to talk about why we love these characters and their misadventuring ways so much. Considering the variety of their own trouble-makers, I think we’re looking at the perfect way to bring the Festival to a close.
Bear is a Hugo Award-winning author with 28 novels and over 100 short stories under her belt. Her ne’er-do-wells are numerous—from the ex-soldier Jenny Case to the personification of Las Vegas, One-Eyed Jack, and his crew—and always ready for things to go wrong.
Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series—and its follow-up, the Custard Protocol series, which is due to premier in March—feature the indomitable (and soulless) Alexia Tarabotti and a slew of miscreants destined for derring-do, whether they plan for it or not.
Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series is just chalk-full of misbehaving rapscallions, with Locke Lamora—a fan favorite—taking the lead among them.
Sykes is best known for the misadventurer Lenk and his dastardly merry crew of thieves, rogues, and other misanthropes. It’s not clear which is sharper: their weapons or their wit.
These writers have brought to life a number of impressive and well-loved tricksters and trouble-makers. This panel is sure to delight those of us who love our rascals just the way they are.
Stay late to make it to this fantastic panel on Sunday at 4 PM in the Integrated Learning Center, Room 140.
Dani Weber is a writer and editor living in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and dog. If you want to hear more of her thoughts on books, video games, and comic books, you can find her on Tumblr.