Heavy Metal and Fantasy

Epic fantasy can tread on a razor’s edge of goofiness. A certain suspension of irony is needed to take barbarians, wizards, and silly names seriously. Heavy metal music similarly requires emotional commitment to stylistic bombast. Is earnestness and willingness to commit why we love both genres? From classic warrior metal bands like Manowar to the… Continue reading Heavy Metal and Fantasy

The Magnificent Novella

Novellas are thriving. Benefiting from the work of small presses and the opportunities of digital magazines, the form has received a new lease of life. These authors will discuss the novella in terms of craft and form, in regards to their own work, and the growing landscape of novellas produced both by the lovely folks… Continue reading The Magnificent Novella

Cultures of Fear

The stringy-haired ghost girl is a Japanese trope, while the isolated cabin in the woods is very American. How much of horror is culturally specific? How do such tropes develop, and how do they translate to foreign audiences?

Decolonizing Secondary World Fantasy

Secondary world fantasy gives opportunities to shape narrative and setting in forward-looking ways, yet so often writers look backwards and lean on facile historical analogues. How do you free your worldbuilding from, or use it to oppose, colonialist narratives when our own history is so inextricably linked with colonialist expansion?

Is the Genre Too Big for Meaningful Hugos?

When Discon I was held in 1963, fewer than 250 science fiction novels were published in English. In 2020, there were more speculative fiction novels published than one person could read. Short story publishing is even more crowded. What does a “best of” award mean when nobody can properly assess the full genre?

Imaginary Book Club

Our panelists have found some amazing books they would like to recommend to you. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy them in the Dealers Room, because none of them actually exist. (Warning: this panel may make you wish they did!)

Incorporating Genre Fiction in the Classroom

Can speculative fiction be used to teach history, science, politics, and other subjects? Outside of literature classes, there are many different ways to incorporate speculative fiction ideas to engage students in the classroom. What are the best ways to do this? What are some pitfalls?

The Work of Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo Hopkinson is an award-winning author and 2021’s SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. This panel will discuss the range and scope of Hopkinson’s work across fiction and nonfiction, and explore her impact on writers and on writing.

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