This weekend, October 27-30, will see some of the glitterati of fantasy and horror fiction publishing descend on Columbus, Ohio for the annual World Fantasy Convention! Among then will be some Serial Box authors from our first three serials, Bookburners, Tremontaine, and Whitehall! You can check out their list of appearances below–and WFC attendees should be sure to stop by their tables at Saturday night’s mass autographing party! In attendance: Madeleine Robins, Delia Sherman, Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone and Ellen Kushner.
Madeleine Robins (Whitehall) has been a nanny, an administrator, an actor, and a part-time swordswoman; has trafficked book production, edited comics, and repaired hurt books. She’s also the author of five Regency romances, the New York Times Notable urban fantasy The Stone War, Daredevil: The Cutting Edge, and three Regency-noir mysteries, Point of Honour, Petty Treason, and The Sleeping Partner, featuring the redoubtable Sarah Tolerance, agent of inquiry. Sold for Endless Rue, an historical retelling of Rapunzel set at the medieval medical school of Salerno, was published in 2013. She is a founding member of the online authors’ cooperative Book View Café. A native New Yorker, Madeleine now lives in San Francisco with a dog, a husband, and a hegemonic lemon tree. She’s working on another book. MadeleineRobins.com. @MadERobins.
Delia Sherman (Whitehall) is the author of numerous short stories, as well as the novels Through a Brazen Mirror and the Porcelain Dove. She has judged the Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Novel, The James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and the World Fantasy Award. She has taught SF and Fantasy writing at Odyssey: the Fantasy Writing Workshop, the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the Hollins University Graduate Program in Children’s Literature, the Alpha Workshop for Young Writers, and workshops at colleges and science fiction conventions all over America. DeliaSherman.com. @deliasherman.
Amal El-Mohtar (Bookburners) has received the Locus Award and been a Nebula Award finalist for her short fiction, and won the Rhysling Award for poetry three times. She is the author of The Honey Month, a collection of poetry and prose written to the taste of twenty-eight different kinds of honey, and contributes reviews to the LA Times and NPR Books. Her fiction has appeared most recently in Lightspeed, Uncanny Magazine, and is forthcoming in The Starlit Wood anthology from Saga Press. She divides her time and heart between Ottawa and Glasgow. amalelmohtar.com, @tithenai.
Max Gladstone (Bookburners) has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone.
Ellen Kushner‘s (Tremontaine) paying jobs have included folksinger, book editor, national public radio host (Sound & Spirit/WGBH), writing teacher (Clarion, Odyssey, WRX, Hollins Child.Lit.MFA), audiobook narrator (all three Riverside novels for Neil Gaiman Presents) and pilgrim at Plimoth Plantation. Her Riverside novels begin with Swordspoint, followed by The Privilege of the Sword (Locus Award, Nebula nominee); The Fall of the Kings (written with Delia Sherman) and a growing collection of short stories. She lives in New York City with Delia Sherman, no cats, and a whole lot of airplane and theater ticket stubs she just can’t bring herself to throw away. EllenKushner.com. @EllenKushner.
5pm: DELAWARE CD: Costume Makes the Character. What do fantasy characters wear and how does that affect the story? Think of Conan or Gene Wolfe’s Severian. Very different characters with a very different appearance. Julian May deliberately gave her characters elaborate costumes so she could see them in subsequent masquerades. Certainly the characters in Ellen Kushner’s The Privilege of the Sword et al. have a definitely fashion sense. Pop culture blogger Gavia Baker-Whitelaw has opened a lot of eyes to what costuming says in film. This link is a bit harder in literature where the imagination does the work of the eyes. How can writers describe clothing to overcome a reader’s bias about how people should look? How can clothes be used as sign posts to help readers conceptualize a strange world?
Delia Sherman, Madeleine Robins (m), Cinda Chima, Mercedes Lackey
5:30pm: UNION C: Amal El-Mohtar reading
8pm: DELAWARE CD: Long Tail of the Tall Tale
“Tall tales, like their fairy tale cousins, are reinvented in every culture around the world. These tales, handed down through generations, provide an amazing context for how humans relate to one another and to story. How have these oral traditions influenced today’s fiction? Is there such a thing as a modern tall tale?”
Anatoly Belilovsky, Mimi Mondal, Amal El-Mohtar, Kit Reed, Andy Duncan (m)
Noon: UNION D: Delia Sherman reading
1pm: UNION AB Fantasy without Magic Is this a subgenre? Gormenghast, Islandia, Ambergris are all imaginary places, quite apart from known history and geography, fantasy-lands but without anything supernatural going on. When the magic is in the place instead, how do we read and explore those works? Phyllis Eisenstein, Madeleine Robins, Fred Lerner (m), Emmie Mears, Ellen Kushner
4:30pm: UNION D Ellen Kushner Reading
5pm: DELAWARE CD: A Golden Age of Contemporary Asian Fantasy:
This panel explores the growing body of work by writers from Asia and the diaspora, who interrogate, reinterpret, and develop the literary traditions of their countries and cultures of origin (among other literary traditions and cultures, including the “West”) in a globalized context.”
Brenda Clough, Mary Soon Lee, Rajan Khanna, Amal El Mohtar, Don Pizarro, Mimi Mondal
11am: UNION AB The Fantasies of James Thurber It is not just that he wrote some of his most famous works right here in Columbus (there is a Thurber museum not far from the con hotel), but we celebrate James Thurber’s delightful fantasies for their sheer and exuberant merit. Surely The Thirteen Clocks is one of the masterpieces of 20th century American fantasy. And there is so much more. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” The White Deer. Panelists are encouraged to read aloud their favorite passages. Jane Yolen, Leo Vladimirsky, Ellen Kushner, Gary K. Wolfe, Elaine Isaak
2pm:UNION AB: Middle grade fantasy after Harry Potter: how long, how sprawling, how British, how tied to schools?
Jane Yolen, Nina Kiriki Hoffman (m), Delia Sherman, Sarah Beth Durst
5pm: UNION AB: Old Stories, New Twists: In YA literature, retellings of fairy tales, myths, and literary works by authors including Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and CS Lewis are increasingly popular. What pleasure is there for readers and authors in these retellings and what do they tell us about changes within the genre? The panel will discuss the work of Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, Julie Kagawa, Malindo Lo, Gregory Maguire, and other authors working this fruitful vein of fantasy.
Jane Yolen, Cinda Williams Chima (m), Amal El-Mohtar, Juliet Marillier, Rani Graff
5pm: UNION D: Max Gladstone reading
5:30pm: UNION C Ellen Kushner Reading
11am: UNION AB: Atheist Fantasy? Is God Dead? In Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass series, two children literally kill God. If there are no gods or spirits, what would such fantasy be about? Joanna Russ’s “The Man Who Couldn’t See Devils” (in Anne McCaffrey’s Alchemy and Academe) is a remarkable story about the only person who couldn’t experience the supernatural in an otherwise spirit-haunted world. Or can the supernatural or fantastic get along quite well without any vestige of religion?
Kevin Maroney (m), L.E. Modesitt, Jeff Minerd, Larry Hodges, Auston Habershaw, Max Gladstone
11am: DELAWARE CD: Strange Circuses. A recurring theme in fantasy fiction, found in The Circus of Dr. Lao, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Night Circus, etc. Explore the magic and menace of the supernatural circus. Would you dare to attend one?
Delia Sherman, Chris Phillips, Chris Roberts, Sarah Pinsker.