July 14-17, 2011, Burlington, Massachusetts
Saturday July 16, 10:00 AM G
Paranormal Romance and Otherness.
Victoria Janssen (leader), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Toni L.P. Kelner, Kate Nepveu, JoSelle Vanderhooft.
In science fiction, aliens are often used to explore aspects of otherness in our own society, such as gender and race. How are the mythical creatures of paranormal romance and urban fantasy being used to explore these same issues? What are the advantages and the pitfalls for writers?
11:00 AM G
Are We Not Men?: Human Women and Beast-Men in Paranormal Romance.
Stacy Hague-Hill, Victoria Janssen (leader), K.A. Laity, Delia Sherman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies.
In a 2009 blog post, Victoria Janssen [that's me!!!] wrote: "Paranormal romance almost always features the hero as a paranormal being and the heroine as an ordinary human. How does this resonate with gender relations and power relationships in our society? And is it emblematic of women seeing men as Other?" In addition, many of these stories feature women who metaphorically or literally tame men who have non-human aspects, turning them from bestial creatures driven by base urges into civilized, socially acceptable mates. We examine the social context of this narrative and its appeal to paranormal romance readers of various genders.
1:00 PM Vin. Kaffeeklatsch. Victoria Janssen, John Langan. Come find me and get free coffee or tea.
3:00 PM G
Gemma Files, Eileen Gunn, Victoria Janssen, Ellen Kushner (leader), Chris Moriarty.
Diana Wynne Jones and Joanna Russ were two of the women who greatly inspired other women to write speculative fiction. Who are their heirs? And who are their heirs inspiring?
9:00 PM G
There's No Homelike Place.
Debra Doyle, Theodora Goss, Victoria Janssen (leader), Tom Purdom, Kaaron Warren.
Many portal quest fantasies function by exploiting anxieties surrounding the location of home: either home is to be found beyond the portal, where the nerd/outcast finds their true tribe, or home is to be returned to, enriched by the fantasy land left behind in its favor. However, given that our world is increasingly mobile and rootless, why do we seem to produce so few sympathetic narratives of adventurers who never find home--for whom home is less a destination than a journey? Among all the stories of nomads who extol the traveling life but then either settle down (Sharon Shinn's Samaria books) or are forced to stay in one place (Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet), why are there so few where wandering is the happy ending?
Sunday July 17, 10:00 AM G
Great War Geeks Unite, Part 2.
Walter H. Hunt, Victoria Janssen (leader), Barbara Krasnoff, Alison Sinclair, Howard Waldrop.
Last year, the Great War geeks filled a room; there were so many that we barely had time to introduce ourselves before the time ran out. This year, let's try to focus on a single topic: What makes the period of World War I so fascinating to speculative fiction writers and readers? Is it because The World Changed or is there some other reason? Let's chat and maybe get some future panel topics out of our discussion.