Future of Conrunning and Audiences: Age Diversity, Race and Ethnic Diversity, Gender Parity
Friday 13:30 - 15:00, Fanac Tent (ExCeL)
Conventions are diverse. They occur globally, in all sizes and for specific fandoms, television programmes, genres, actors, books or movies. This diversity rarely carries through to within conventions themselves. In this session we explore some different elements of diversity in fandom. We ask questions including: Do we need conventions for people of different ages or should we try and encourage mixing or let conventions remain as they are and see what happens without interference? How do we encourage people of colour to attend conventions? How do we encourage participation among people of all genders and sexualities? Should we push for gender parity and if so, how? How can we meet the access needs of people with hearing, visual, and mobility impairments? The emphasis in this session will be on "How?" to encourage everyone, but especially those interested in conrunning, to engage with practical solutions to ongoing and difficult questions.
Friday 15:00 - 16:30, Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)
Romance is in the air! Authors discuss the trend of weaving romantic entanglements into young adult literature. From true love to pining for that special someone, authors tackle the thorny subject of love, sex, and the supernatural--not to mention the fateful first kiss. What is it about a supernatural love interest that leaves mere mortals a distant second? Is there a discernible difference in how teen romance is handled between SF/F and its peer genres? And how far is too far when writing teen romance?
Imagining Fantasy Lands: The Status Quo Does Not Need Worldbuilding
Friday 16:30 - 18:00, Capital Suite 11 (ExCeL)
Fantasy world-building sometimes comes under fire for its pedantic attention to detail at the expense of pacing or prose style. Do descriptive passages clog up the narrative needlessly, when reader imagination should be filling in the gaps? Where does that leave the landscapes and cultures that are less well represented in the Western genre: can world-building be a tool in subverting reader expectations that would otherwise default to pseudo-medieval Euro-esque? If fantasy is about defamiliarising the familiar, how important is material culture - buildings, furnishings, tools, the organisation of social and commercial space - in creating a fantasy world?
Note: the title of this panel is a reference to Kate Elliott's essay: