Cowboy Bebop and Dune are back on screens but it’s not 1965, 1984, or 1998. Is it that everything old is new again, or is space opera just a genre that keeps on giving? If E.E. “Doc” Smith’s The Skylark of Space is the root of the tree and Asimov’s Foundation series is the trunk,… Continue reading The Phylogenetic Tree of Space Opera
Exoplanets — Padi Boyd In 1992 the first planet orbiting a star other than our Sun was discovered. Since then, almost 5000 planets in 3600 systems have been added to our catalogue of exoplanets. We will discuss the latest findings and marvel at the variety (and new types) of worlds that exist. Exoplanet Worldbuilding in… Continue reading Science Talk 2: Telescopes and Exoplanets
Solarpunk is a movement that envisions how the future might look if humanity succeeds in solving significant modern problems, with an emphasis on climate change, pollution, and sustainability. Panelists discuss themes and plot elements unique to Solarpunk, story outcomes that work best in this genre, and real-world changes that have emerged from the Solarpunk movement.
Creepypasta: the internet evolution of the urban legend. It has risen from nothing to become a mature horror genre over the last decade. What is it, why does it work, and how will it evolve into the future?
Smut? In our speculative fiction? Of course! Let’s talk about what’s trendy in speculative erotica and the state of erotica publishing. What are the current awards, and who judges them? How is erotic romance different from erotica, and is the distinction useful for writers or publishers?
Novellas and novelettes are having a moment right now. What makes them effective? Is it because they can home in on a specific idea or emotional payoff in depth, that they are the perfect length for one reading session, or some other kind of magic? What are some of our favorites to read, and what… Continue reading Why Do We Love Novellas and Novelettes?
Early fairy tales tended to be very dark stories. The 1800s saw the emergence of lighter, more whimsical fairies. Walt Disney made them even more saccharine. Now we are starting to see a return to the more dangerous, untrustworthy Fae. From Grimm’s Fairy Tales to Sleeping Beauty, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and The Dresden… Continue reading From Grimm to Disney and Back: The Changing Fae
Alternate histories provide an opportunity to think not ‘what if this goes on?’ but ‘what if this never happened?’ What are the best and most challenging alternate histories being written today? (This panel features the presentation of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, established in 1995 to recognize the best alternative history stories and novels… Continue reading Sidewise in Time: New Alternative Histories
What unexamined prejudices exist in urban fantasy? Where do they come from? Which works and authors are addressing them?
The fall of the Eastern bloc and Soviet-dominated governments signaled a massive change in the cultural, legal, and economic status of many former Soviet-satellite nations. Now with 30 years of perspective since the fall, how did this affect the themes, topics, and formats of genre fiction, in those nations, on the page and screen?