One of the reasons why it was time for me to finally write about how much I love Rivers of London (aka the Peter Grant book series) and London Falling (aka the Shadow Police book series) is because I recently received my preliminary schedule for the upcoming Worldcon, Loncon 3, happening at the ExCel Centre in East London from Thursday August 14th through Monday August 18th. (FYI, this is NOT the bank holiday weekend.)
These are the panels I’m currently scheduled to appear on:
Urban Fantasy: London
Friday 18:00 – 19:00
The early twenty-first century commercial explosion of urban fantasy — first person, coexisting supernatural creatures, often noirish — was, at least initially, driven by the American market and American writers. Increasingly, however, writers such as Kate Griffin, Ben Aaronovitch and Paul Cornell are writing contemporary urban fantasy set in the UK and, in particular, in London. How has crossing the Atlantic changed this subgenre? How is it similar to or different from older forms of British urban fantasy?
Gillian Redfearn (M), Tony Ballantyne, MaryAnn Johanson, Suzanne McLeod, Tom Pollock, Russell Smith
The Girls Who Waited
Friday 19:00 – 20:00
Last year, in an essay for The Guardian, Anna Smith highlighted the lack of on-screen time-travel stories with female protagonists. In works as varied as Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, The Time-Traveller’s Wife, About Time, The Terminator, and Back to the Future, women are either companions or observers. Is this simply a question of men being given an agency denied to women, or is there something more complex going on? What stories is time travel being used to tell? Which films and TV shows do feature time travelling women, and what do they have in common?
Russell Blackford (M), L. M. Myles, Sarah Ash, MaryAnn Johanson, Andy Duncan
I’m a little disappointed that I won’t actually be on a panel with Paul Cornell (who will also be at the con as a guest), as I was at the Worldcon in Los Angeles in 2006 (my last Worldcon), but I will at least get to talk about his books (and Aaronovitch’s).
Yes, the panels are back-to-back on Friday, but I plan to be around for most of the convention. (I’ll be commuting from home, which will take around an hour each way, so I have to factor that into my adventures… as well as being sure not to miss the last trains home!) I may be scheduled for other events; I’ll post a final schedule closer to the convention.
If you’re going to Loncon and would like to meet for a drink or something, please let me know. Drop a comment here or send me an email. If there are lots of you who’d like to get together, perhaps I’ll organize an informal meetup during the con.
More info at Loncon3.org, including how to buy tickets. Current membership rates will go up on July 13th, so if you’re thinking of coming, best to get a membership soon.
Hope to see some of you there!
UPDATE: I’ve joined another panel:
Into Every Generation a Captain Kirk Is Born?
Saturday 15:00 – 16:00
The twenty-first century is the time of the reboot. From Star Trek to Doctor Who, Man of Steel to The Mandarin, iconic SF and fantasy franchises and characters are being reinvented — often by those who grew up as fans (most often, men who grew up as fans), but with a mass audience in mind. How do viewers and creators navigate (or fail to navigate) the power differentials that result? What different approaches do such works of “professional fanfiction” take to revising their source material, and how do they affect viewers’ and fans’ engagement?
panelists: Lise Andreasen, C. Robert Cargill, MaryAnn Johanson, Nicolle Lamerichs (M), L.M. Myles
Just a little over a week before the con!