CFP JFA-Performance Issue

Just a reminder since the deadline August 1st:

“Performing the Fantastic” — special issue of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
Jen Gunnels, Drama Critic/ New York Review of Science Fiction Isabella van Elferen, Musicologist/ Utrecht University

The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (JFA) is inviting contributions for a special issue on “Performing the Fantastic.” Performance in this context encompasses any of the performing arts, broadly defined, such as theatre, music, dance, magic, and/or ritual. Articles between 5,000–9,000 words might address, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • Critical analyses of fantastic influenced production designs of traditional forms of performance (theatre, dance, opera)
  • Critical analyses of adaptations of fantastic narratives for the stage (from eighteenth-century Gothic melodrama to Wagnerian opera to musical fantasy)
  • Performance analyses of staged productions (theatre, music, dance) utilizing fantastic subjects or motifs
  • Fantastic use of performative conventions in non-staged (e.g., literary or interactive) narratives
  • Utilization of the fantastic in musical subcultures and their aesthetics (including Goth, metal, neofolk)
  • Fantastic influences on avant-garde and postmodern performance
  • Fantastic performance as social and/or cultural commentary
  • Evocations of the fantastic in magic, ritual, and liturgical performance

In accordance with the journal’s policy, all contributions will be peer-reviewed by JFA and subject to their acceptance. JFA uses MLA style as defined in the latest edition of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: The Modern Language Association). For more details, please see the journal’s “Submission Guidelines” section online at, or e-mail to request a copy of JFA’s style sheet. Please e-mail your contributions and/or any queries to the guest editors Jen Gunnels ( and Isabella van Elferen ( by 1 August 2012.

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Iconic SF writer, Ray Bradbury dies at age 91

Re-printed from a statement on his web site:

Ray Bradbury, recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91 after a long illness. He lived in Los Angeles.

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury has inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston’s classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television’s The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. In 2005, Bradbury published a book of essays titled Bradbury Speaks, in which he wrote: In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I’ve worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.

He is survived by his four daughters, Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergren, Bettina Karapetian, and Alexandra Bradbury, and eight grandchildren. His wife, Marguerite, predeceased him in 2003, after fifty-seven years of marriage.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, Live forever! Bradbury later said, I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.

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CFP: Postmodern Theory, Science Fiction and Race panel at SAMLA (Nov. 9-11, Durham NC)

Postmodern Theory, Science Fiction and Race

In Science Fiction Culture, Camille Bacon-Smith comments that: “…when the ethnographer asks the question, ‘What does postmodern culture look like?’ the obvious place to find the answer is the science fiction community.” As a genre that embraces the impossible, science fiction/fantasy is fast becoming recognized as a genre well suited to demonstrate the cultural contradictions postmodern theory highlights.

Postmodern Theory also problematizes the idea of race, exposing it as a constructed aspect of identity. However, ethnic American authors have consistently written postmodern and science fiction/fantasy texts that challenge or question notions of racial identity in order to draw attention to issues of racial representation. This panel seeks to make connections between postmodern theory, racial identity and the genre of science fiction/fantasy in order to draw conclusions about the future of race in a postmodern culture.

Submissions can address (but are not limited to) any of the following: Representation of race in postmodern texts and/or science fiction/ antasy texts, postmodern theory and the science fiction/fantasy genre, ethnic American contributions to postmodern theory and/or
science fiction/fantasy.

By June 30, 2012, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words via email as a word document to:

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Call for Chapters–CW’s Supernatural

Call for Chapters:
On the Highway to Hell and Back: Critical Essays on the Television Series Supernatural

One-page Abstracts Due June 20th, 2012

First complete draft (15-20 pages plus works cited) due by September 20th, 2012.

Supernatural, now in its seventh season, has gained a cult status and has spawned comic books, novels, fan fiction, and an assortment of companion books.  Like other cult TV shows before it, such as The X-files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel, part of the series’ success lies in the way it combines plot and character with serious investigations of folklore, myth, religion, psychology, and family dynamics.  Supernatural’s story arcs have dealt with, and commented on, issues as diverse as fan culture, sexual orientation, father/son conflict, the changing nature of the U.S. family, and the Apocalypse.  This collection of critical essays will be thematic in nature, focusing on the social, psychological, philosophical, religious and mythic themes of the series.  Specifically it will examine how the series addresses horror in a postmodern context through character and story as well as the recurring use of symbols and plot devices such as the music, cars, the crossroads, biblical texts and religious icons.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Representations of mythic and folkloric themes: fairy tales, non-Western folklore, urban myth/legend, shape shifters
  • Representations of religious themes: God/gods, angels, demons, Satan, Book of Revelations, Western and non-Western religious themes etc
  • Monsters and the monstrous in Supernatural
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Representations of mortality: personifications of Death, reapers, ghosts
  • Family: fathers/sons, mothers, family/domesticity as safety, family as danger/curse  hunting as “family business.”
  • Post-modernist themes: self-referential humor, the writer as God, representations of fans and fanfiction in the series
  • Literary themes: Dracula, Biblical stories, vengeful spirits, the woman in white
  • Music in Supernatural: original soundtrack and Dean’s “car tunes”

Please contact Susan A. George ( and Regina Hansen ( with questions or brief description (no more that 50 words) of your topic and a current CV before submitting an abstract.  One-page Abstracts Due June 20th, 2012.  First complete draft (15-20 pages plus works cited) due by September 20th, 2012.

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Leo Dillon (1933-2012)

Artist Leo Dillon, 79, died May 26, 2012.

Dillon is best known for his professional and personal partnership with wife Diane Dillon (née Sorber) — they are the only artist team to jointly win a Hugo for Best Professional Artist (1971). They have worked extensively in various fields of commercial art, creating album covers, holiday cards, movie posters, advertising, and children’s books. They also illustrated numerous SF novels, notably many covers for Ace Books in the ’60s, including many of the Ace Specials, and are also known for their iconic cover and interior illustrations of Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthology. Their work in the SF field became less frequent after 1972.

Leo Dillon was born March 2, 1933 in Brooklyn NY. He attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, where he met Diane, also a student there. They both graduated in 1956, and were married the following year.

The duo won Caldecott Medals for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (1976) and Ashanti to Zulu (1977), and their work was collected in The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon (1981). They were named Spectrum Grand Masters in 1977, were inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997, and received a joint World Fantasy life achievement award in 2008.

For more details, see his entry in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia.

A complete obituary will appear in the July issue of Locus. This blog entry is reposted from Locus.

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CFP: NEPCA SF and Fantasy CFP

2012 Conference of The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA) St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York
26-27 October 2012
Proposals by 20 June 2012 (UPDATED)

Proposals are invited from scholars of all levels for papers to be presented in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area.

Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length (depending on final panel size) and may address any aspect of the intermedia genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or legend as represented in popular culture produced in any country, any time period, and for any audience. Please see our website

( for further details and ideas.

If you are interested in proposing a paper or panel of papers, please send a proposal of approximately 300 to 500 words and a one to two page CV to both the Program Chair AND to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Chair at the following addresses (please note “SF/Fantasy/Legend Proposal” in your subject line):

Tim Madigan
Program Chair

Michael A. Torregrossa
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend Area Chair

The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA) is a regional affiliate of the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association. NEPCA is an association of scholars in New England and New York, organized in 1974 at the University of Rhode Island. We reorganized and incorporated in Boston in 1992. The purpose of this professional association is to encourage and assist research, publication, and teaching on popular culture and culture studies topics by scholars in the northeast region of the United States. By bringing together scholars from various disciplines, both academic and non-academic people, we foster interdisciplinary research and learning. We publish a newsletter twice per year and we hold an annual conference at which we present both the Peter C. Rollins Book Award and an annual prize.

Membership in NEPCA is required for participation.

Annual dues are currently $30 for full-time faculty and $15 for all other individuals.

Further details are available at


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Neil Gaiman delivers 2012 Commencement Address at the University of the Arts

Neil Gaiman spoke to the graduates of the colleges of Art, Media and Design and Performing Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  It was his first ever such address. According to a press release from the university, it “has been tweeted thousands of times, viewed in 146 countries, translated into eight languages, interpreted in illustration and is being called the best commencement speech of 2012.”

A video is available through TED-Ed:

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Compton Crook Award Winner announced

The Compton Crook Award Winner for the 2012 prize is T. C. McCarthy for Germline, published by Orbit.

The Compton Crook Award is presented to the best first novel of the year written by a single author: collaborations are not eligible: in the field of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror by the members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc., at their annual Baltimore-area science fiction convention, Balticon, held on Memorial Day weekend in the Baltimore, MD area each year.

This prize, named after a Towson State College Professor of Natural Science named Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981, was first awarded in 1983 for a work published in 1982.

The award is presented for the best book in the genre that was published in the year prior to the year of award and consists of a check for $1000.00 and Guest of Honor treatment for two years at Balticon. The first year of Guest of Honor treatment is the year the award is presented and the second year is to participate in the presentation of the following year’s award.

More information available at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society web site.

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FINALISTS: 2012 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards

The finalists for this year’s Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (honoring the best short science fiction or fantasy story published in 2011) and John W. Campbell Memorial Award (honoring the best science fiction novel of 2011) have just been announced.

2012 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Nominees

  • “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (, June)
  • “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s Science Fiction, July)
  • “Ghostweight” by Yoon Ha Lee (Clarkesworld, January)
  • “The Old Equations” by Jake Kerr (Lightspeed, July)
  • “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse Three)
  • “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April)
  • “The Choice” by Paul McAuley (Asimov’s, December/January)
  • “Silently and Very Fast” by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld, October)

Also nominated: “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson, but the author, who is also a juror, removed her story from consideration.

2012 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominees

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (published by Crown/Random House)
  • This Shared Dream by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Tor)
  • Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh (Night Shade)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Ballantine/Del Rey)
  • The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)
  • The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski (Tor)
  • Dancing with Bears by Michael Swanwick (Night Shade)
  • Osama by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  • Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (Simon & Schuster)
  • Home Fires by Gene Wolfe (Tor)
  • Seed by Rob Ziegler (Night Shade)

The Awards will be presented during the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet. This year’s Campbell Conference will be held 5-8 July, as always, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

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Congratulations SFWA Officers

The results of the SFWA officers’ election were announced during the 2012 Nebula Awards Weekend (May 17-20, 2012 in Arlington VA) at the SFWA business meeting.

President: John Scalzi
Vice President: Rachel Swirsky
Secretary: Ann Leckie
Treasurer: Bud Sparhawk
West Coast Representative: Jim Fiscus
Canadian Representative: Matthew Johnson

For more information, see their blog post.

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