The Making a Living Telling Lies panel with Bill Mayhew, Connie Willis, Jake Lake, and Jo Walton was quite intriguing. They got into a whole discussion of the SF big picture. Consensus seemed to be that literature in general is a simplification/concentration of real life. We like stories because the nonessential elements have been discarded. SF is unique though in that it lets you think about things in a flexible way beyond your ideologies. It can build artificial constructs to closely examine real-life issues. SF readers and writers are constantly taking in new data and thinking about it.
The Coming Thing--What's Next and Newest in SF featuring Lou Anders and Walter Jon Williams was also interesting. Short stories are at the forefront of new trends. SF is a dialog between authors. But by the time anthologies are in bookstores usually the trend is over. SF also suffers from reality catching up to it. The panelists were hoping the Urban Fantasy trend was over. Some core SF sub-genres will always be around such as military SF and space opera. A new trend seems to be remixing multiple old trends. Feel free to send Electric Spec any of this stuff. :)
Phew! WorldCon wore me out. I may post some more subjective observations later in the week.