A love letter to the people who do the thankless work behind the scenes at SFF cons everywhere!
It’s three days before the start of ConEIRE, the best Irish-themed science fiction and fantasy con in the tri-state area, when a phone call sets the entire Convention Committee into panic mode. Is Big Name Writer going to pull out at the last minute? What does Very Famous Artist have to do with that decision? And what do the fairies have to say about all this? Follow the hilarious mishaps as the committee members work desperately to salvage months of planning and hard work, all of which are about to be undone by a well-known prima donna.
But there are skulk members appearing throughout the con:
Where does the Gothic fit into the overall horror tradition? What elements of the Gothic remain so compelling today, and why? Panellists discuss the genre from its roots to Southern Gothic and other modern interpretations.
From body horror to body snatchers to possession and beyond, how has horror explored, exploited, and pushed the limits of bodily integrity? What is the subtext of different approaches to body horror, and what practitioners are exploring these assaults on the flesh in the most interesting ways?
Come and learn more about free weekly podcast fiction! Join the Escape Artists for an audio fiction show presented by all four EA podcasts: Escape Pod, PseudoPod, PodCastle, and Cast of Wonders. There’ll be a Q&A session, swag giveaways, all the latest news, and live readings.
Noir tropes are hugely popular in science fictional settings, such as China Miéville’s The City and the City, or William Gibson’s Neuromancer. In what ways are noir tropes adapted or subverted within the genre? Is there a difference in the ways SF books, comics, and movies use elements of noir? The panel will discuss the uses of noir across SF genres and formats.
The medieval period is a rich source of inspiration for writers of speculative fiction, but medieval life has been so romanticised in popular culture that it has become hard to separate the chaff of fiction from the wheat of historical fact. Our panel of medievalists will saddle up their warhorses and ride to rescue the damsel of medieval history!
How do revolutions (e.g. overthrowing government) occur in an era of advanced technologies? Are orderly regime changes jeopardised with growing asymmetries in weaponry, surveillance, and political power? Are current political processes up to the challenge?
Susanna Clarke’s sprawling novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell takes in the whole of the 19th century attempt to restore magic to respectability in England. Repeatedly the readers are warned that fairy magic is ‘not respectable’ – most often by Gilbert Norrell, who hides his shame at stooping to its employment on at least one occasion. Why is fairy magic not ‘respectable’? I will argue that it is because it is mostly Celtic, rather than the more dour, respectable, and rather puritanical English magic that Norrell seeks to revive and rule over. In contrast, John Uskglass was trained in fairy magic and his troop, the Raven King’s army, is specifically identified as the Daoine Sidhe. In pursuing the Raven King’s example, Jonathan Strange remains open to this Celtic influence and soon surpasses his teacher in skill and daring, but both Englishmen are unprepared for the full fury of the fairy fight.
Who decides which YA books get bought? Publishers? Editors? Booksellers? Parents? Or maybe even YA readers? Join us for a thoughtful discussion on marketing and publishing in YA as we look at how YA novels get chosen. Moreover, what are publishers and readers looking for in a book?
Content warning: may include discussions of suicide and self-harm, mental illness and ableism, eating disorders.
Mental health used well can drive a story, create believable motives for characters and even greater awareness amongst the audience. However, these issues are not always treated sensitively or realistically. This panel will explore examples of mental health issues in genre fiction and consider their implications and accuracy.
Critic Peter Tremayne observed that: ‘Practically every Irish writer has … explored the genre for the supernatural part of Irish culture.’ Ireland has always held its own in fantastical literature, from Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker to Dorothy Macardle and Elizabeth Bowen. But is there a discernible tradition threaded through their fictions? And what, if anything, makes their writing Irish?
Aunty Fox is going to be out and about a bit in the coming months.
First up this Saturday I will be resplendent in a yellow t shirt for Leicester Comic Con at Silver arcade.
There will be a Fox Spirit table which I have helpers for in case I have to run off and deal with volunteer things. Kate Laity will be in attendance and a few other skulk members will be dropping by and signing stuff so if you are in the area come and say hi and check out the first Leicester Comic Con in all its awesome.
In July I am at Harrogate, technically this is a holiday, I don’t work it, but I am always happy to see people so if you spot me come and say hello.
Next up is NineWorlds Geek Fest in August where I will be easily found behind the Indie books table. Small press and self pub folks can get more information about having their books on the table from email@example.com
We will only be displaying small numbers of books from each seller at any given time but are there for three days so stash extra stock in your room and come and replenish the table later. 10% of all sales will go to NineWorlds charity partner. Come by and see your Aunty Fox and peruse the small press offerings.
Finally I will be attending FantasyCon, I am on no panels this year and have not booked a table or a launch, I will be in the bar having a lovely time. come and hang out with the skulk.
There will no doubt be other small events and things I go to at short notice and I know lots of FS writers and artists are out and about at other things this year. Check out the events page for the ones I know about.
Yes, it’s come to that, I’m so busy I’m using TWO whiteboards.
Sadly I am not attending World Fantasy Con, however Mhairi Simpson who edited the fabulous Tales of Eve and a whole bunch of the skulk will be there. find them, they are lovely and very approachable and will be happy to talk about stuff.
Mhairi is also having a launch for the book at 10am on the Sunday. Plenty of FS will be in attendance and she should have copies of some of the other titles in our range too, so you can pick those up and get them signed.
Our own Alasdair Stuart will also be at WFC as red coat, seek him out he’ll be easy to spot at over six foot and in a red coat.
Additionally Vulpes launches at 8:30 am on Monday, so be here for that, it’s extremely exciting!
Now I have to go back and fill out the other whiteboard.
Fox Spirit is pleased to announce that we have arranged to hold a celebration WEIRD NOIR CARNIVAL at Bouchercon 2013 in Albany. For those unfamiliar with it, Bouchercon is a moveable feast celebrating the very finest in crime and mystery writing. Consider it the Woodstock for writers in the genre. It runs from the 19th to the 22nd of September in Albany, NY. Guests of honour include Sue Grafton, Anne Perry, Tess Gerritsen and many many more big names (and small!).
Friday afternoon at 1:30 PM we will be holding the “WEIRD NOIR CARNIVAL” with readings, promotional items and some giveaways! Join editor K. A. Laity, and authors Jan Kozlowski and Chris L. Irvin (and maybe some surprise guests!) for the fun and get weird, get noir.
Follow Bouchercon on Facebook — and if you haven’t already done so, drop by our Fox Spirit page and give us a like!