And I am now on five panels.
The Changing Face of the Urban Fantastic
Thursday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
Urban fantasy is a broad church. To some, it’s the genre of “Wizard of the Pigeons” and “War of the Oaks”; to others, it means Sam Vimes patrolling the streets of Ankh Morpork, or Locke Lamora conning his way through Camorr. Most recently, it has become synonymous with werewolves, vampires and hot detectives. What holds together the urban fantastic? Are different strands of the genre in conversation with each other? And how important is the influence of the structures and tone of other genres like crime fiction?
Liz Bourke (M), Paul Cornell, Robin Hobb, Freda Warrington.
Chivalrous Critics of Fannish Dimensions
Saturday 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)
What makes a good epic fantasy? Does quality of prose matter, or is insisting on literary rigor killjoy and elitist? Is it possible to ‘overthink’ your experience of reading epic fantasy – or is it patronising to the sub-genre to suggest it should be given an easier ride than other types of writing? What are some of the primary critiques of epic fantasy and how can they be used to improve the genre moving forward?
Myke Cole (M), Liz Bourke, Nic Clarke, Justin Landon, Mari Ness
What does Ireland have to offer?
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL)
Ireland is disticntly different as a nation and its people posses a unique identity. How does this work through the creative fiction of modern times? Has the mighty weight of Irish Mythology that have permeated fantasy had an impact on modern writers in Ireland? Where is the new fiction coming from, and what issues of interest are explored?
Liz Bourke (M), Susan Connolly, Kathryn (Kate) Laity(, Ruth Frances Long, Bob Neilson.
I see I’m moderating this one, so I won’t be allowed to go to town on the snark. But seriously. Irish Mythology has a “mighty weight”? OH CELTIC TWILIGHT ROMANTICISTS I STAB YOU.
Seeing the Future, Knowing the Past
Sunday 12:00 – 13:30, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)
Fantasy’s use of prophecy – knowable futures – often parallels the way it treats the past, as something both knowable and stable: details of history known from a thousand years back, kingly bloodlines in direct descent for several hundreds of years, etc. In reality, George I of England was 58th in line for the throne and there is a Jacobean claimant still out there somewhere. No one really knows where France originated. History is messy and mutable. Why is fantasy so keen on the known?
William B. Hafford (M), Sarah Ash, Liz Bourke, Karen Miller, Kari Sperring.
Critical Diversity: Beyond Russ and Delany
Monday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)
The popular history of SF criticism might just be, if possible, even more straight, white and male than the popular history of SF — but things are changing. Online and in journals, diverse voices are starting to reach a critical (if you’ll excuse the pun) mass. Which publishers and venues are most welcoming to critics from marginalised groups? What are the strengths and weaknesses of academic and popular discourse, in this area? And most importantly, whose reviews and essays are essential reading?
Andrew M. Butler (M), Liz Bourke, Fabio Fernandes, Erin Horakova, Aishwarya Subramanian.
I don’t read a lot of criticism. I’m usually too busy trying to meet deadlines. But I can talk about what I do read, I guess.