I'll be at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, OH next week.
World Fantasy always seems a different animal than some of the other conventions I've attended. It has a more intimate feel; they usually cap the attending memberships at around 1000, I believe.
This year I'll have the pleasure of participating on a couple panels (see schedule below)! I'm very much looking forward to that, and if you're one of the folks attending, come say hello. I don't know as many people going to this con as I usually do, so I'll be looking for new friends :-).
Friday 28 October at 1PM (Delaware CD): Fantasy Emerging from Crisis
Are there trends in fiction that can be tied to global crises? E.g., certain kinds of fantasy emerged from the instability that led up to WWI. The Lord of the Rings is a clear response to the Great War. Are there directions we can anticipate with near-future environmental conflicts (water wars), destabilizing natural disasters, rising seas, income inequality issues, etc. perhaps leading to more political works (especially considering the popularity of Game of Thrones)? 9/11 produced Lavie Tidhar’s World Fantasy Award winning Osama and also inspired stories by Lucius Shepard, Richard Bowes, Jack Ketchum, and others. Fantasy inevitably arises from the zeitgeist. It can also come right out of the headlines.
Saturday 29 October at 5PM (Delaware CD): How George R.R. Martin Has Changed Fantasy
Will imaginary-world fantasy ever be the same? A whole generation has grown up reading A Song of Ice and Fire. As Martin’s epic fantasy comes to a conclusion, where will those readers turn next? ASoIaF is rife with strong female characters, both good and evil, disabled characters with real power, and lack of security around the characters they love. What kinds of stories should we be writing for those fans? What is the long-term influence likely to be, beyond the obvious cash-ins and knock-offs? Great works inspire real growth. What should we anticipate?