IAFA and Facebook

My involvement with Facebook is, to put it lightly, a bare minimum; however, Stacie Hanes has been so kind as to establish the IAFA on Facebook. So, for those facebookers (is that even a term? what is the term for those actively participating in Facebook?), the link is:

http://kent.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2249636821

There’s also one for the SFRA as well (a little courteous plug to our fellow association). It’s at:

http://kent.facebook.com/group.php?gid=224968681

Finally, Kathryn Cramer has set one up for NYRSF at:

http://kent.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4719447319&ref=mf.

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CFP: International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

The 29th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

Delightful Horror and the Sense of Wonder:
Appreciating the Sublime in the Fantastic

The 29th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts will be held March 19-23, 2008, at the Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The focus of ICFA-29 is on the relationship between the sense of wonder embodied by the sublime and the fantastic in literature, film, and other media. The sheer magnitude of the universe gives rise to the amazing, the astonishing, the astounding, the thrilling, and the wondrous. Edmund Burke argued it is “infinity [that] has a tendency to fill the mind with that sort of delightful horror which is the most genuine effect and truest test of the sublime.” It then should come as no surprise that the sublime has been a mainstay in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other related fantastic modes. Papers are invited that explore this topic. In addition, we especially look forward to papers on the work of our guests:

Guest of Honor: Vernor Vinge, author of “The Technological Singularity” and Hugo Award winning A Fire Upon the Deep.

Guest of Honor: Greer Ilene Gilman, author of the Crawford Award-winning Moonwise.

Guest Scholar: Roger Luckhurst, author of The Trauma Paradigm (Routledge) and Science Fiction (Polity Press).

As always, we also welcome proposals for individual papers and for academic sessions and panels on any aspect of the fantastic in any media. The new deadline is October 31, 2007 but we will be happy to consider papers until the original deadline (November 30), pending availability.

We encourage work from institutionally-affiliated scholars, independent scholars, international scholars who work in languages other than English, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

The Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for an Essay Not in English is open to all members of the IAFA. The IAFA Graduate Student Award is open to all graduate students presenting papers at the year’s conference. Details are available via Robin Reid, Second Vice-President (Robin_Reid@tamu-commerce.edu). Finally, the Dell Magazines Undergraduate Science Fiction Award will also be handed out at this year’s conference.

March 19-23, 2008
Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel

Look for Information and Updates at the IAFA website: www.iafa.org

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Awards Information Update

Locus Online reports Ben Bova’s Titan is the winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel published in 2006 and Robert Charles Wilson’s “The Cartesian Theathre” is the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short fiction of the year. The awards were this weekend at the Campbell Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

In addition, the Rhysling Awards for best SF/Fantasy/Horror poetry of 2006 went to Rich Ristow for “The Graven Idol’s Godheart” (short poem) and Mike Allen for “The Journey to Kailash” (long poem). The awards were announced last weekend at ReaderCon.

For more information, please click here.

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Fred Saberhagen: 1930-2007

Locus Online has news regarding the death of sf and fantasy author Fred Saberhagan. For more information, please click here.

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The IAFA Needs You

As we make the transition from an ICFA based in Fort Lauderdale to one based in Orlando, one of the things the IAFA has lost is local assistance/resources. The IAFA is looking for any Orlando-based members to assist in conference preparation, chiefly to move materials, help get the location prepped, report if some wildstorm has destroyed the hotel, etc. Your availability would be needed the Sunday before the conference until the Monday after the conference. So, any Orlando-based IAFA members want to take a direct involvement in getting ICFA off the ground in Orlando? If so, please make yourself known on the iafa-l so first contact can be established. Much thanks.

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Announcement: The Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for an Essay Not in English

The IAFA is proud to announce that the annual award given for best essay not in English has been officially renamed The Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for an Essay Not in English. Jamie taught German at Virginia Tech and his fantastic artwork has been the cover art for books by Michael Jasper and Michael Bishop. Jamie’s impressive electronic portfolio can be found at http://www.memory39.com/.

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Photos of the Marriott Orlando — New Site for ICFA

Bill Clemente, the IAFA Treasurer, has posted photos of the recent Executive Board retreat at the Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel, our new ICFA site. If anyone would like to have a better visual then click on the link and enjoy.

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ICFA Conferences — Future Planning

There has been some discussion on iafa-l regarding the dates of ICFA-29 (March 19, 2008 to March 23, 2008) because there are a series of unavoidable conflicts, including the Easter weekend. Some of the reasons for the ICFA-29 dates and the extreme difficulties in moving the dates are discussed on iafa-l, so I won’t repeat them here. But, for those of who like advanced planning, here are the next series of ICFA dates:

ICFA-29 (2008): March 19 (Wednesday) to March 23 (Sunday)
ICFA-30 (2009): March 18 (Wednesday) to March 22 (Sunday)
ICFA-31 (2010): March 17 (Wednesday) to March 21 (Sunday)
ICFA-32 (2011): March 16 (Wednesday) to March 20 (Sunday)

On to Orlando!

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On to Orlando! Some Initial Thoughts

I’ve come home from our 2007 Executive Board meeting, kissed my wife hello, ate some dinner, and have now retreated to my office to post initial thoughts on the Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel that awaits us for our future ICFA conferences. This is a wonderful site and full kudos go to Donald Morse and Jeri Zulli for finding this gem. While these are my personal thoughts and don’t necessarily reflect all the Board members’ official positions, I think it’s safe to say that the Executive Board was extremely pleased (maybe even thrilled) at the new location and the amenities it offers. It’s undergone (and will have completed by the time we’re there in March) a $17 million renovation and the quality shines forth. Here are some of the perks (in no particular order):

•a 24 hr. gym with state-of-the-art equipment (including 5 treadmills, 3 stair steppers, 3 stationary bikes, weights, change rooms with sauna/steam (male and female), lockers (but no locks; bring your own), a rubber floor, hot towels, and fresh fruit; also, the gym overlooks the indoor pool…

•…which also becomes the outdoor pool. The two pools are connected so one can swim indoors and then swim through a plastic barrier and, voila, you’re swimming outdoors. The pool varies in depth from 3-7 feet. There is also a baby pool for any attendees who bring young ‘uns and want them to go for a safe dip. The pools are open until 10:00 PM but we know hotel guests (including an Executive Board member or two) were swimming at 11:00 PM and even at 2:00 AM. The indoor pool also has a hot tub beside it and, of course, there are plenty of towels available; and, . . .

•. . .speaking of availability, there are plenty of deck chairs/loungers surrounding the pool area that will facilitate those vitally important late-night sessions that are as equally important as ICFA’s paper sessions and panels. There is plenty of deck space and not all of it surrounds the pool. In fact, your Executive Board has already found an ideal conversation area and dubbed it “the Boardroom” (thanks to Gary for that), but I’m not telling where it is – I have to draw a line at my promotional responsibilities somewhere. Anyway, there is plenty of deck space for conversations; and, what would deck space be without . . .

•. . . the Tiki bar?! I don’t have the official name handy, but suffice to say it is a fully-stocked bar that we’ve been assured will stay open until 11:00 PM every night of the conference. They have all the drinks you could imagine (or at least I’m told; I don’t drink so my liquor knowledge is limited) and a fave was the mango daiquiri, both the regular version and the “Jeri” mango daiquiri (ask her about the difference). The bar/pool area is also surrounded by a little lake and there are trails around the lake area, although I didn’t personally go to them so I cannot really offer substantial commentary. There are also tennis courts and a beach volleyball court. But, don’t feel you need to stay at the outdoor bar/pool area all the time, because. . .

•. . . there is a wonderful indoor bar that is part of the Luxe Restaurant. That bar is equally inviting and an added bonus is that they will serve patrons in the bar but also in the many nooks and crannies located in front of the bar/restaurant area and in the lobby; after all, what would a lobby/lounge area be like if they didn’t allow for intimate gatherings? Well, the Marriott has taken this into consideration as there are plenty of couches throughout the lobby area of the hotel and they are also served by the bar staff. Also, speaking of the Luxe Restaurant. . .

•. . . the food was very impressive and reasonably priced. The food in Lauderdale was problematic as expensive prices were paired with poor quality. In this case, I thought the food quality was wonderful and the prices seemed (to me) reasonable for hotel food. Granted, there is a problem with vegetarian dishes (I don’t believe there were any on their dinner menu) and we’ve brought that to their attention so hopefully that’ll be rectified by March. They did directly tell us that they are sensitive to their patrons’ food needs, so that’s a good sign for vegetarians and those who do have food allergies. While we ate in the Luxe Restaurant (I can’t speak for anyone else, but their breakfast was delicious: two scrambled eggs, toast, three sausages, juice, and hash browns for around $12) we didn’t get a chance to eat in the upscale Porterhouse Restaurant. That establishment requires reservations and the cost of the entrees run anywhere from the mid-20s to 40s, all depending on your food choice. We were told that the Orlando Sentinel has a special section of their paper where they publish restaurants’ recipes and the Porterhouse has had its recipes published in the newspaper, so that’s gotta be a good sign. So, certainly give the hotel food a try because I thought it was quite good and aside from the problem with vegetarian dishes it seems the other Board members agreed on its quality; yet, if you wanted to take a break from the hotel food and venture out to another establishment. . .

•. . . you’re in luck! There are other restaurants. In addition to the Marriott, there are about five or six other hotels all within walking distance and you can obviously eat there. In addition, there is a Denny’s about 5-10 mins. away, a T.G.I. Fridays about 10 mins. away, another chain establishment that will go unnamed (be quiet, Bill!) also about 5-10 mins. away, and an entire series of pubs/restaurants anywhere from 5-10 mins. to 30 mins. away [note: all time references are based on walking]. So, for those of you who are on a budget, notably our valued Undergraduate and Graduate Students, there are so many more food options (as well as a Walgreens, Kinkos, etc.) than the Lauderdale location ever offered. But, what about that eclectic and/or specialized culinary fare? Well. . .

•. . . I really can’t tell you. Since Orlando is a tourist mecca and we were in a tourist hotel area, I didn’t personally see specialized restaurants. The hotel has a map (which we’re going to adapt) so that might be useful, but specialty/non-chain/non-pub restaurants might require transportation so perhaps a rental car might be in order. Oh, did I mention that conference attendees will have free parking during the conference?!?! So, transportation is certainly facilitated, and speaking of transportation. . .

•. . . we barely heard the planes. The Lauderdale location had a steady retinue of planes flying over our heads but that was not the case in Orlando. True, we did hear planes but the number was dramatically reduced. At one point we realized it’d been several hours since we heard a plane flying overhead, so that made the experience so much better. As many of you will agree, the Lauderdale location felt like we were abandoned in an industrial park with nothing around us, sorta like…well, the airport! The Marriott is dramatically different as airport-noise is less obtrusive and with all the surrounding amenities it just feels like we’re in a civilized area. Our Marriott representative said that they’ve tried to make the Marriott feel like a resort and not an airport-hotel and, from my perspective, it certainly feels that way. The overall ambiance is much more professional, including such “little” things as windows in the meeting rooms where we’ll be holding our panels, bigger registration space, working elevators that don’t lurch up-and-down before opening their doors (sometimes before actually stopping at the floor), an automated elevator voice announcing the floor as well as braille on the buttons, free Xerox copying at the front desk (max. of 20 copies per person; note: the per-page printing costs are unusually high), televisions in the lobby and weight room that can be turned down (or off) by the patrons, a directory providing nearby licensed/bonded childcare (thanks for that, Robin!), and a staff that generally wants to see us happy.

Overall, I think you’ll all be pleased with what Orlando has to offer us and this new environment appears well-positioned and well-suited to address ICFA’s needs and help contribute to our growing conference experience. More information will be forthcoming, but I thought I’d share these initial comments.

But wait! I know, some of you are going to miss that cat that wandered around the Lauderdale location (did it have a name?). Rest assured, the Marriott has some local wildlife on the premises, including cute lizards, ducks (ask Stacie what they were doing when she and I found them), a wide variety of birds, at least one raccoon, turtles (well, one anyway that I saw in the lake) and, if you’re lucky, you’ll see Al and Junior (you’ll find out).

On to Orlando!

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Awards Information Update (Mythopoeic, Ditmar, and Lambda)

Locus Online has posted the finalists for Mythopoeic Awards as well as the winners for both the Ditmar Awards and the Lambda Literary Awards. The link is here.

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