mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

Saturday 9:30 a.m. Dreaming Under Darkening Skies: The Cold War Fantastic A discussion of living and creating in the decades when the world was presumed to be an atomic tinderbox waiting for someone to push the button. Many writers cheerfully assumed we’d skip right past the whole mess, and an equal number assumed we’d all be served broiled on toast. While some wrote apocalypses or recoveries, others (including Tim Powers and John M. Ford) wrote intricately paranoiac tales of Cold War magic. What did those decades give our fantasy, what did they take from it, and how much of that time is still haunting our thoughts/works?

Saturday 11:00 a.m. Plotting Agency: From Resistance to Responsibility With great power comes a wall on every side, or so it seems. Much of our fiction can be described along an axis running from Resistance to Responsibility. At one end, characters have little or no control over their circumstances, such as Frodo and Samwise barely avoiding starvation on what increasingly feels like a suicide mission. At the other end lie books like Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor, where protagonists grapple with so much power that their real struggle is to break as little of the world as possible. Many stories seek to provoke or inspire by having characters travel this axis, including Lord of Light, The Broken Earth series, the works of John Christopher, and The Traitor Baru Cormorant. What do stories along this spectrum offer us? In the end, how can power become as much of a prison as deprivation?

For those who don’t know, Fourth Street is a single-track convention, so there’s no need to give room numbers. It’s all in the programming room. Wake up Saturday morning, stick your head under the shower, come down to the programming room and listen to my dulcet tones soothing and cheering you on these soothing and cheering topics.

Date: 2017-06-11 10:34 pm (UTC)
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)
From: [personal profile] okrablossom
>> listen to my dulcet tones soothing and cheering you on these soothing and cheering topics

LOL

Date: 2017-06-12 04:22 am (UTC)
ashnistrike: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ashnistrike
These are making me want to go to Fourth Street even more than I usually do. (Unlikely to happen again for a long while, alas, as it's now inevitably the weekend in closest proximity to my eldest's birthday.)

Date: 2017-06-12 03:25 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
That first panel sounds fascinating. In fact both the book I'm currently reading and the one I read prior to that are arguably directly Cold-War influenced (Gibson's Pattern Recognition, which admittedly isn't fantasy, and Stross's the Nightmare Stacks, which has a honeytrap plot straight out of Le Carre).

And the second one isn't much less interesting. Just a pity I'm on the wrong side of the Pond.
Edited Date: 2017-06-12 03:26 pm (UTC)

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