Thursday, March 25, 2010

International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

Last week I spent Wednesday through early Sunday in Orlando at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. It combines most of the best features of academic and fan cons (except for costumes, and usually no music—that's one thing I'd like to see added). Dozens of editors and authors attend in addition to the scholars. A full day of content-rich panels and evening activities, plus good food and great weather (usually)—what more could anybody ask for?

Well, I could ask (and have, fruitlessly) that the sessions don't start at the bloody crack of dawn, i.e. 8:30, but I wouldn't want to give up any of the sessions.

This year I chaired a panel on vampires in anime and manga. The scholar guest of honor, who's Japanese, was on the panel; we had a lively, substantial discussion. Unfortunately, because we had the 8:30 slot on the first full day, only six people showed up in the audience. Sigh.

Later that day I did a reading from my lighthearted erotic shapeshifter novel, LOVE UNLEASHED.

The Lord Ruthven Assembly, the vampire and revenant division, gives annual recognition to distinguished books and other works. This year our fiction award went to THE STRAIN, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, an innovative treatment of vampirism as an infectious disease. The nonfiction award went to a scholarly work called VAMPIRE GOD, by Mary Y. Hallab, about the allure of the vampire in popular culture. We also honored a Korean film called THIRST, which I haven't seen.

One of the sessions I enjoyed most included papers on the Disney princesses and on the evolution of Tinker Bell.

As always, I enjoyed hanging out with friends I see only once a year, including Jacqueline’s co-author, Jean Lorrah. After the Saturday night banquet, on Sunday I flew home and turned back into a pumpkin for the rest of the year.

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt

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