8th Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass in Science Fiction Criticism

The Eighth Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass in Science Fiction Criticism will be held from Monday 11 August 2014 to Wednesday 13 August, immediately before Loncon3, the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention.

We are pleased to announce that the venue will be the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, founded by Charles II in 1675, and the home of the Prime Meridian. This is across the Thames from the Excel site where Loncon3 will take place.

Price: £200.

The tutors for 2014 will be:

Andy Duncan, Professor of English at Frostburg State University, Frostburg MD, winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Award and two World Fantasy Awards, and winner of the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.

Neil Easterbrook, Professor of English at the Texas Christian University, and a prolific reviewer and critic, whose monograph on China Miéville is due to be published in 2014.

K.V. Johansen, a Canadian writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children’s fiction, who has also published three books on the history of children’s fantasy. Her adult novel Blackdog was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award in 2012.

Please apply to farah.sf@gmail.com.

Send a short piece of critical writing, and a one page cv.

Deadline for Applications: February 28th 2014


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Samatar Wins 2014 Crawford Award

 The winner of the 2014 Crawford Memorial Award, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts for an outstanding first fantasy book, is Sofia Samatar for A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press).

According to award administrator Gary K. Wolfe, the novel won broad support from the nominating committee.  The other books included on this year’s Crawford shortlist are Yoon Ha Lee’s story collection Conservation of Shadows (Prime Books), Helene Wecker’s novel The Golem and the Jinni (Harper), and N.A. Sulway’s novel Rupetta (Tartarus Press).

Participating in this year’s nomination and selection process were Farah Mendlesohn, Cheryl Morgan, Ellen Klages, Graham Sleight, Liza Groen Trombi, Stacie Hanes, Karen Burnham, Candas Jane Dorsey, Jedediah Berry, and Jonathan Strahan.  The award will be presented on March 22 during the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida.  The IAFA’s Distinguished Scholarship Award will be presented to Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., and Vera Cuntz-Leng will receive the Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for a work of scholarship written in a language other than English.


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Book Hotel Accommodations Now

Dear IAFA Members,

The Board would like to remind everyone that the hotel block is often booked well in advance of the conference, and if you haven’t secured a reservation you should do so as soon as possible.

Here’s a link to the website to help with that: http://iafa.highpoint.edu/annual-conference/the-hotel/ See you in March!


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CfP reminder: Fantastic Games: Ludic imaginary spaces and their socio-cultural impact

Fifth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung e.V.

[Association for Research in the Fantastic]

at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

September 11 – 14, 2014


In Homo Ludens (1938), his essential and seminal study that is frequently seen as the beginning of Game Studies as we understand them today, Johan Huizinga claimed an ontological connection between culture, as the quintessentially human endeavour, and play. Refuting the constantly raised accusations that play is a futile and escapist activity, Huizinga in contrast attributed it a significant function, both in its metaphorical (i.e. “it is important”), as well as its literal (i.e. “it signifies”) meaning (1971: 1). By its very nature, play opens up spaces and worlds beyond primary, everyday reality, new frameworks of meaning that are, however, not devoid of meaningful interactions with it. Culture, Huizinga argues, needs the free space of play to come into existence in the first place, to change and to adapt.


This intricate and complex web of interconnections between ludic otherworlds and the everyday life of individuals and groups is the core interest of the fifth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung e.V. [Association for Research in the Fantastic]. We have deliberately chosen the very open and inclusive phrasing “ludic imaginary spaces” for the objects of the papers, so that the range of media fitting the description is as wide as it can be: hypertext and other ludic forms of text, board- and card games, pen&paper role-playing games, live-action role-playing games (LARPs), video and computer games, alternate reality games, and gamified activities of all kinds are possible, but this list must in no way be seen as exhaustive. No matter the medium chosen, what is essential is that there is this “free space of movement within a more rigid structure” that exists “because of and also despite the more rigid structures of a system ” that Eric Zimmerman has identified as essential to any definition of play (2004: 159). The organisers of this conference also would like to send a strong message that the conflicts over interpretive authority between Ludologists and Narratologists in playable media that have hindered Game Studies since the late 1990s are a thing of the past, so papers suggesting ways to bridge this gap will be especially welcome.


As the second focus of the conference, according to its title, is on the social and cultural exchanges between the secondary, or even tertiary realities created and the primary reality in which they are in turn created, played, and observed, possible approaches to these media reach from the implicit and explicit social and cultural politics of games and playable media on both the content and the structural level, to the regimes of representation and configuration present, the psycho-social phenomena surrounding the experiences created, to the political and social regulation of playful behaviour, and beyond. Game Studies are necessarily “a multidisciplinary field of study and learning with games and related phenomena as its subject matter” according to Frans Mäyrä (2010: 6), so theoretical perspectives from the whole range of academic disciplines and contributions from those working practically in the design and creation of ludic spaces would ideally come together to provide this fifth annual conference of the GFF with a kaleidoscopic overview of the full range of possibilities, problems, and the future potential of games and playable media in negotiating between the realms of the fantastic and everyday life.


As usual for GFF conferences, there will be an additional Open Track for all papers not directly related to the conference topic to safeguard a pluralism of perspectives in our research in the Fantastic. We thus invite papers of all aspects of the fantastic for this open track.


In the same vein, the GFF is happy to announce the availability of two student grants of €250 each as support of travel arrangements to the conference for the two most interesting student projects handed in. Apply for the student grant with abstract and bionote at the address below.


If you would like to contribute your voice to such a discussion of ludic imaginary spaces, we cordially invite you to send us a 350-word abstract to gff2014@aau.at detailing your projected 20-min paper in either German or English. Please do not forget to include your contact details, as well as a short bionote. The deadline for abstracts is December 31st, 2013.



René Schallegger

Department for English and American Studies

Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

Universitätsstraße 65 – 67

9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee / Austria

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Activities in London Summer of 2014

9th and 10th August: Nine Worlds Geekfest at the Raddison Heathrow: https://nineworlds.co.uk/2014/tickets

11-13th August Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass.

14th-18th August Worldcon in London http://www.loncon3.org

20th August Bujold Conference, Anglia Ruskin Cambridge: http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/node/52317

21st August: Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison Warwick University (UK)

22nd-23rd August: SF/F Now  (A.Rhys.Williams@warwick.ac.uk

22nd-24th August Shamrokon (the Eurocon): http://www.shamrokon.ie/

5th-7th September British Fantasy Con: http://www.fantasycon2014.org/

5th & 6th September Diana Wynne Jones conference, Newcastle: http://conferences.ncl.ac.uk/dwj/conferenceprogramme/

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CfP: SF/F Now and Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison

SF/F Now and Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison conferences

Warwick University (UK)

21-23 August 2014

SF/F Now (22-23 August) is a 2-day international, interdisciplinary conference exploring the current research into the fantastic (in any medium) and the ways in which sf, fantasy, and the weird grapple with and illuminate the crucial political and social issues of the moment.

It will consist of conventional panels and a series of innovative workshops led by pairs of international specialists exploring the relation of fantastic fiction to contemporary issues: Animal Studies; Crisis & Protest; Energy & Petrofiction; Environmental Studies; Humanity 2.0; Utopia & the City; Science Studies; World Systems & World Sf. The workshops are designed to allow all participants the opportunity to benefit directly from discussion with all our attending experts.

Workshop leaders include Gerry Canavan (Marquette), Caroline Edwards (Birkbeck), Steve Fuller (Warwick), Joan Haran (Cardiff), Veronica Hollinger (Trent), Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck), Graeme MacDonald (Warwick), David McNally (York), Charles Sheppard (Warwick), Stephen Shapiro (Warwick), Imre Szeman (Alberta), and Sherryl Vint (UC Riverside).

We invite proposals (300-500 words) for 20-minute papers or pre-constituted panels (3×20 minute papers on a related theme) on topics relating to the current state of the fantastic, contemporary research into the fantastic, or the relation of the fantastic to social and political issues, including but not restricted to those covered by the workshop titles. Please include detail of institutional affiliation and any AV requirements.

Deadline for proposals 31 March 2014. For further information, join our FB event page SF/F Now (http://on.fb.me/1ce1dfn)

SF/F Now will be preceded by a one-day conference, Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison (21 August 2014), on one of Britain’s leading sf and fantasy writers and critics. Deadline for proposals 31March 2014. Selected papers will appear in a collection co-edited by Mark Bould and Rhys Williams. Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison, in collaboration with Gylphi. For further information, join our FB event page Irradiating the Object (http://on.fb.me/1dSlKmV).

A small number of travel and accommodations bursaries will be available for students attending all three days of the conference(s). For those wishing to apply, please include a CV with you proposal.

Please address any queries and submit proposals to Rhys Williams (A.Rhys.Williams@warwick.ac.uk) and/or Mark Bould (mark.bould@gmail.com).

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CfP: Fafnir – Nordic Journal for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research


Fafnir – Nordic Journal for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research invites authors to submit papers for the upcoming edition 2/2014.

Fafnir – Nordic Journal for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research is a new, peer-reviewed academic journal which is published in electronic format four times a year. The purpose of Fafnir is to join up the Nordic field of science fiction and fantasy research and to provide a forum for discussion on current issues on the field. Fafnir is published by FINFAR Society (Suomen science fiction- ja fantasiatutkimuksen seura ry).

Now Fafnir invites authors to submit papers for its next edition, 2/2014. Fafnir publishes various texts ranging from peer-reviewed research articles to short overviews and book reviews in the field of science fiction and fantasy research.

The submissions must be original work, and written in English (or in Finnish or in Scandinavian languages). Manuscripts of research articles should be between 20,000 and 40,000 characters in length. The journal uses the most recent edition of the MLA Style Manual. The manuscripts of research articles will be peer-reviewed. Please note that as Fafnir is designed to be of interest to readers with varying backgrounds, essays and other texts should be as accessibly written as possible.

The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2014.

In addition to research articles, Fafnir constantly welcomes text proposals such as essays, interviews, overviews and book reviews on any subject suited to the paper.

Please send your electronic submission (saved as RTF-file) to all three editors at the following addresses: jyrki.korpua@oulu.fi,hanna.roine@uta.fi and paivi.vaatanen@helsinki.fi. For further information, please contact the editors.


This edition is scheduled for June 2014. The deadlines for the submissions for the next two editions are scheduled at 31 May (3/2014) and 31 August (4/2014).

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Call for Film Reviewers

Science Fiction Film and Television is looking for film and TV reviewers for recent DVD/Blu-ray releases. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide copies of the films/series, but every published reviewer who works from their own copy does receive a free copy of the issue in which his or her review appears.

Our film and television reviews (1000-2000 words) are intended to fill the gap that exists between popular/journalistic reviews and the fuller critical treatment only some films/programmes will receive, often much later, in academic venues. Ideally, each review will situate the film or television show within a broader critical and/or historical framework and sketch out a critical analysis which will prove useful to students and researchers. They are reviews of the films/programmes themselves, not of the DVD/Blu-ray edition (unless there is something particularly noteworthy to which you wish to draw attention).

We are interested in reviews of the titles listed below, but if you would like to propose something else please do so – we are especially keen to cover non-Anglophone and otherwise marginalised films and television series. Check with us (mark.bould@gmail.com and sherryl.vint@gmail.com) first to ensure we have not already commissioned a review, and if you have not written for us before, please include a cv.

After Earth



Cloud Atlas

The Cosmonaut

Ikarie XB 1


Pacific Rim

Space Battleship Yamato

This is the End

Upside Down

Upstream Color

The Wolverine

World War Z

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Contributions are sought for an edited collection of essays on Dark Fantasy novels.

Dark Fantasy emerged in the 1960s as a direct attack on high fantasy conventions, aims, and archetypes. Dark Fantasy narratives typically subvert, challenge, or abandon crucial fantasy elements, such as utopian landscapes, the experience of wonder, the virtuous hero, the moment of “eucatastrophe”, and the satisfying resolution to plot. Dark Fantasy has recently experienced a surge in popularity, yet has received little critical attention.

We invite Dark Fantasy scholars to submit essays to an edited collection. Essays should be between 4000 and 5000 words. The aims of the volume are, firstly, to bring scholars in the field to one place—given Dark Fantasy’s diffuseness—and secondly, to offer a collection that demonstrates the ways that Dark Fantasy texts can be analysed through various critical lenses. Finally, the volume would stake a place for Dark Fantasy within studies of popular culture.

Possible topics include

  • Contested definitions of Dark Fantasy (for instance, Clute and Grant’s Encyclopaedia of Fantasy [1999, 249] definition relies on what Dark Fantasy is not as much as what Dark Fantasy is)
  • Dark Fantasy’s relationship to other fantasy genres
  • Specific Dark Fantasy texts, such as Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone series, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Stephen Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, Stephen King’s the Dark Tower series, as well as urban Dark Fantasy texts such as the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Stacia Kane, and the Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris.
  • Heroes and villains in Dark Fantasy
  • Appropriations of Dark Fantasy in fan fiction

Abstracts of 500 words plus a brief biography should be sent to Glen Thomas (gj.thomas@qut.edu.au) & Tyler Bartlett (tg.bartlett@qut.edu.au).

Abstracts should be received by 28 February, 2014, with final essays due by 30 September, 2014.

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Odyssey Writer’s Workshop now accepting applications!

Odyssey is an internationally known workshop for fantasy, science fiction, and horror writers.  Held for six weeks each summer at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Odyssey offers developing writers an intensive learning and writing experience combined with in-depth critiques of their manuscripts.  Fifty-eight percent of our graduates have gone on to professional publication.

Odyssey is the only program of its kind run by an editor.  Jeanne Cavelos, the director and primary instructor, is a best-selling author and former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work.  She gives each student direct, useful, and personal attention in identifying the strengths and weaknesses in his writing.

The workshop also attracts top writers in the field to serve as guest lecturers.  Over the past eighteen years, authors such as Harlan Ellison, Terry Brooks, Ben Bova, Jane Yolen, George R. R. Martin, Patricia McKillip, Steve Rasnic Tem, Melanie Tem, Nancy Kress, and Dan Simmons have taught at the workshop and shared their insights into writing and the writing life.

Since Odyssey draws many university students, undergraduate credit is available for the workshop through Saint Anselm College.

Our early action deadline is January 31st and our regular admissions application deadline is April 8th.  More information about the 2014 session can be found in the press release below or at the workshop website: www.odysseyworkshop.org.

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