Mar. 21st, 2011

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Last weekend I attended the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in sunny Orlando, Florida, aka The Happiest Place on Earth. Ten years ago, I met [livejournal.com profile] barbmg, [livejournal.com profile] bondgwendabond, and [livejournal.com profile] colonelrowe at ICFA. So it was a good anniversary and a great time. Academics, writers, critics, and fellow travelers from all over the world get together to read, talk, argue, drink, and relax. I ended up in a reading slot with Connie Willis (who was a guest of honor as was Terry Bisson) and Jeff Ford. Connie read the first chapter of a new novel, Jeff read a story about the doppelgangers of doppelgangers, and I read the beginning of "Holderhaven," my American country house story that's in the most recent issue of CRIMEWAVE. Doing that reading was great fun, as was attending a few other readings, especially ones by Paul Park and Terry Bisson and Kit Reed. I went to a couple panels too, including one mostly cool one about fantastic elements in Shakespeare--lots of discussion of witches, ghosts, fairies, and wizards, not so much of satyrs. Terry Bisson and Andy Duncan did a spot-on version of Terry's "They're Made Out Of Meat" one night. And Andy brought a raccoon that played "Yakety Sax" on the harmonica. And....

How does this make sense to anyone who wasn't there? What is the least bit academic about a raccoon playing "Yakety Sax"? Well, the theme of the conference was "The Fantastic Ridiculous," so there you go. Looks like I've got yet another event I really need to try and get to every year.

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