Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Science fiction and fantasy (and horror) conferences galore

It's pretty frequent that I wish I had a couple extra versions of myself. It would be great for productivity.  And that way I might not have to miss so many excellent cons (conferences and conventions both). The coming eight months or so are full of science-fictional and fantastical conferencing and convening opportunities, and somehow I have to choose only a few to actually attend...


FAN EXPO: Aug 23-26
I'm pleased to say I'll be heading out to this Toronto extravaganza for the first time in a few years, though I'll only get to experience a sliver of what's going on. As usual, it's the science fiction expo and the Festival of Fear that are the main draws for me.

SLSA (Society for Literature, Science and the Arts): Sep 27-30
Where literature and the arts meet science you inevitably find science fiction and SLSA always seems to have stimulating sf panels. This year the overarching theme is the nonhuman. I was slotted to attend, and wish I could, but a trip to Milwaukee at the end of September just isn't in my power.

NEPCA: Oct 26-27
This regional branch of the Popular Culture Association features a few science fiction & fantasy panels on its programming schedule, one of which will include a paper by me. This year the conference takes place at Saint John Fisher College in Rochester.

I've never been, but this year the con comes to Toronto, so I'm sorely tempted (though membership comes at a steep price). Announced guests include John Clute and Gary K. Wolfe, whose scholarship I admire, and authors like Charles de Lint, Tanya Huff, Patricia Briggs, and Mercedes Lackey.


INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE for the FANTASTIC in the ARTS – Fantastic Adaptations, Transformations, and Audiences: Mar 20-24
I've been to ICFA twice and had a great experience both times. This year promises to be even livelier than usual with Neil Gaiman featuring among the top-listed guests, along with author Kij Johnson and scholar Constance Penley. Does this fall after March break in 2013? In the past I've found myself making the return trip to Orlando in the midst of vacationing families. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere, but there's a good Asian restaurant and the pool is nice. If you want to participate you have until the end of October to put together a persuasive proposal.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy and Horror areas of this huge conference are active and engaging, and well worth checking out (although not the only panels of interest, of course). This year folks are gathering in Washington, DC, for the main event. The SF/F section has set a Nov 30 deadline for proposals.

I haven't been to the conferences of either organization, although they sound like fascinating collections of people and ideas. This coming year people can check them both off in one shot. Proposals for this California conference are due on September 14, so time is running out.

Our call for presenters isn't out yet, and we don't have an official science fiction, fantasy or horror section, but these genres tend to feature fairly prominently in the programming schedule. Stay tuned for more info about next year's conference, the last slotted for Niagara Falls (at least in the immediate future).

WisCon 37: May 24-27
Billed as the "world's leading feminist science fiction convention," WisCon is featuring Joan Slonczewski and Jo Walton as Guests of Honor this year. This is another enticing event I have yet to check out.

And this isn't even all of them! 

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