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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Marketing and Communications | January 08, 2014

Fans of Game of Thrones have until February 7, 2013, to visit the George R. R. Martin Deeper than Swords exhibit at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives before it closes. The exhibit showcases objects, editions and manuscripts from the best-selling author’s prolific writing career. The collection forms the capstone of Texas A&M University Libraries’ internationally recognized Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.

As the exhibit closes, the Libraries will broaden the dimensions by adding “filk” related materials to its science fiction collection. Filk is best described as a musical culture, genre and community among science fiction and fantasy fans, which is a manifestation of fan labor to create a wide-range of musical styles and topics.

Science fiction conventions, as well as designated filk conventions, have various filk programming that includes concerts and late night filk circles, where music is performed and shared, as well as panels about music and fandom. Most filk conventions put out songbooks with songs submitted by members of the community to share with attending members.

The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids— which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks. Cushing Library is also a depository for many books and materials of famous science fiction and fantasy authors, from the likes of George R. R. Martin to Joe Lansdale, Elizabeth Moon and Ray Bradbury, among others.

The collection features a diverse mixture of materials, including the personal science fiction and fantasy library of Anne McCaffrey, and thousands of science fiction and fantasy-related monographs in hardcover and paperback, which date from the 17th century to the present. The extensive periodicals collection contains over 90 percent of the American science fiction pulp magazines published prior to 1980.

For more information about donating fanworks and filk-related materials, please contact Jeremy Brett, processing archivist, at, or Lauren Schiller at

To learn more about the collection itself, please visit the Cushing website at:

Whether heroes of Antiquity such as Ulysses or Achill, biblical heroes like David or Judith, medieval folk heroes like Robin Hood or Joan of Arc, heroes of national revolution such as Danton or Marat, literary heroes and anti-heroes like Don Quijote or Faust or contemporary superheroes such as Lara Croft or Batman, heroes and heroines were always used as canvas and identificatory figures for individuals, social groups or societies as a whole.

Although a “postheroic age” is often postulated today, one can perceive a new boom of the heroic not only but especially within popular culture nowadays. Thereby, traditions are challenged by new types of heroes and hybrid forms and processes of trivialisation and diffusion stand alongside scepticism and taboos. helden.heroes.héros. e-journal on cultures of the heroic, an open-access journal published by the collaborative research center “Heroes – Heroization – Heroisms” at Freiburg University is exploring this tension between exceptionality of heroic figures and the social groups which they both stabilize and question.

Since the heroic can only ever be visible through representation and groups of followers can only be constituted through the medial dissemination of hero narratives, the second issue of the journal (summer 2014) will be concerned with the issue of “Popular Culture”. The issue will focus on figures, modes of presentation, media-specific phenomena and functions of popular representations of the heroic. What are characteristics of popular heroes? In which media are heroes and their heroic acts presented and who is selecting them? Are there connections between today’s heroes and the folk heroes of earlier times? These and similar questions should be discussed in the submitted contributions.

The Call for Papers is directed at researchers from all humanities and social sciences who are dealing with the representation of the heroic in popular media – not only of the 20th and 21st century, but of all ages. Contributions will be selected based on peer review and abstracts of 2000 characters (including spacing) as well as a short CV should be submitted until 31st January 2014 to:

The Eighth Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass in Science Fiction Criticism will be held from Monday 11 August 2014 to Wednesday 13 August, immediately before Loncon3, the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention.

We are pleased to announce that the venue will be the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, founded by Charles II in 1675, and the home of the Prime Meridian. This is across the Thames from the Excel site where Loncon3 will take place.

Price: £200.

The tutors for 2014 will be:

Andy Duncan, Professor of English at Frostburg State University, Frostburg MD, winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Award and two World Fantasy Awards, and winner of the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.

Neil Easterbrook, Professor of English at the Texas Christian University, and a prolific reviewer and critic, whose monograph on China Miéville is due to be published in 2014.

K.V. Johansen, a Canadian writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children’s fiction, who has also published three books on the history of children’s fantasy. Her adult novel Blackdog was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award in 2012.

Please apply to

Send a short piece of critical writing, and a one page cv.

Deadline for Applications: February 28th 2014


 The winner of the 2014 Crawford Memorial Award, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts for an outstanding first fantasy book, is Sofia Samatar for A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press).

According to award administrator Gary K. Wolfe, the novel won broad support from the nominating committee.  The other books included on this year’s Crawford shortlist are Yoon Ha Lee’s story collection Conservation of Shadows (Prime Books), Helene Wecker’s novel The Golem and the Jinni (Harper), and N.A. Sulway’s novel Rupetta (Tartarus Press).

Participating in this year’s nomination and selection process were Farah Mendlesohn, Cheryl Morgan, Ellen Klages, Graham Sleight, Liza Groen Trombi, Stacie Hanes, Karen Burnham, Candas Jane Dorsey, Jedediah Berry, and Jonathan Strahan.  The award will be presented on March 22 during the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida.  The IAFA’s Distinguished Scholarship Award will be presented to Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., and Vera Cuntz-Leng will receive the Jamie Bishop Memorial Award for a work of scholarship written in a language other than English.


Dear IAFA Members,

The Board would like to remind everyone that the hotel block is often booked well in advance of the conference, and if you haven’t secured a reservation you should do so as soon as possible.

Here’s a link to the website to help with that: See you in March!


Fifth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung e.V.

[Association for Research in the Fantastic]

at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

September 11 – 14, 2014


In Homo Ludens (1938), his essential and seminal study that is frequently seen as the beginning of Game Studies as we understand them today, Johan Huizinga claimed an ontological connection between culture, as the quintessentially human endeavour, and play. Refuting the constantly raised accusations that play is a futile and escapist activity, Huizinga in contrast attributed it a significant function, both in its metaphorical (i.e. “it is important”), as well as its literal (i.e. “it signifies”) meaning (1971: 1). By its very nature, play opens up spaces and worlds beyond primary, everyday reality, new frameworks of meaning that are, however, not devoid of meaningful interactions with it. Culture, Huizinga argues, needs the free space of play to come into existence in the first place, to change and to adapt.


This intricate and complex web of interconnections between ludic otherworlds and the everyday life of individuals and groups is the core interest of the fifth annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung e.V. [Association for Research in the Fantastic]. We have deliberately chosen the very open and inclusive phrasing “ludic imaginary spaces” for the objects of the papers, so that the range of media fitting the description is as wide as it can be: hypertext and other ludic forms of text, board- and card games, pen&paper role-playing games, live-action role-playing games (LARPs), video and computer games, alternate reality games, and gamified activities of all kinds are possible, but this list must in no way be seen as exhaustive. No matter the medium chosen, what is essential is that there is this “free space of movement within a more rigid structure” that exists “because of and also despite the more rigid structures of a system ” that Eric Zimmerman has identified as essential to any definition of play (2004: 159). The organisers of this conference also would like to send a strong message that the conflicts over interpretive authority between Ludologists and Narratologists in playable media that have hindered Game Studies since the late 1990s are a thing of the past, so papers suggesting ways to bridge this gap will be especially welcome.


As the second focus of the conference, according to its title, is on the social and cultural exchanges between the secondary, or even tertiary realities created and the primary reality in which they are in turn created, played, and observed, possible approaches to these media reach from the implicit and explicit social and cultural politics of games and playable media on both the content and the structural level, to the regimes of representation and configuration present, the psycho-social phenomena surrounding the experiences created, to the political and social regulation of playful behaviour, and beyond. Game Studies are necessarily “a multidisciplinary field of study and learning with games and related phenomena as its subject matter” according to Frans Mäyrä (2010: 6), so theoretical perspectives from the whole range of academic disciplines and contributions from those working practically in the design and creation of ludic spaces would ideally come together to provide this fifth annual conference of the GFF with a kaleidoscopic overview of the full range of possibilities, problems, and the future potential of games and playable media in negotiating between the realms of the fantastic and everyday life.


As usual for GFF conferences, there will be an additional Open Track for all papers not directly related to the conference topic to safeguard a pluralism of perspectives in our research in the Fantastic. We thus invite papers of all aspects of the fantastic for this open track.


In the same vein, the GFF is happy to announce the availability of two student grants of €250 each as support of travel arrangements to the conference for the two most interesting student projects handed in. Apply for the student grant with abstract and bionote at the address below.


If you would like to contribute your voice to such a discussion of ludic imaginary spaces, we cordially invite you to send us a 350-word abstract to detailing your projected 20-min paper in either German or English. Please do not forget to include your contact details, as well as a short bionote. The deadline for abstracts is December 31st, 2013.



René Schallegger

Department for English and American Studies

Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

Universitätsstraße 65 – 67

9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee / Austria

9th and 10th August: Nine Worlds Geekfest at the Raddison Heathrow:

11-13th August Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass.

14th-18th August Worldcon in London

20th August Bujold Conference, Anglia Ruskin Cambridge:

21st August: Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison Warwick University (UK)

22nd-23rd August: SF/F Now  (

22nd-24th August Shamrokon (the Eurocon):

5th-7th September British Fantasy Con:

5th & 6th September Diana Wynne Jones conference, Newcastle:

SF/F Now and Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison conferences

Warwick University (UK)

21-23 August 2014

SF/F Now (22-23 August) is a 2-day international, interdisciplinary conference exploring the current research into the fantastic (in any medium) and the ways in which sf, fantasy, and the weird grapple with and illuminate the crucial political and social issues of the moment.

It will consist of conventional panels and a series of innovative workshops led by pairs of international specialists exploring the relation of fantastic fiction to contemporary issues: Animal Studies; Crisis & Protest; Energy & Petrofiction; Environmental Studies; Humanity 2.0; Utopia & the City; Science Studies; World Systems & World Sf. The workshops are designed to allow all participants the opportunity to benefit directly from discussion with all our attending experts.

Workshop leaders include Gerry Canavan (Marquette), Caroline Edwards (Birkbeck), Steve Fuller (Warwick), Joan Haran (Cardiff), Veronica Hollinger (Trent), Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck), Graeme MacDonald (Warwick), David McNally (York), Charles Sheppard (Warwick), Stephen Shapiro (Warwick), Imre Szeman (Alberta), and Sherryl Vint (UC Riverside).

We invite proposals (300-500 words) for 20-minute papers or pre-constituted panels (3×20 minute papers on a related theme) on topics relating to the current state of the fantastic, contemporary research into the fantastic, or the relation of the fantastic to social and political issues, including but not restricted to those covered by the workshop titles. Please include detail of institutional affiliation and any AV requirements.

Deadline for proposals 31 March 2014. For further information, join our FB event page SF/F Now (

SF/F Now will be preceded by a one-day conference, Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison (21 August 2014), on one of Britain’s leading sf and fantasy writers and critics. Deadline for proposals 31March 2014. Selected papers will appear in a collection co-edited by Mark Bould and Rhys Williams. Irradiating the Object: M. John Harrison, in collaboration with Gylphi. For further information, join our FB event page Irradiating the Object (

A small number of travel and accommodations bursaries will be available for students attending all three days of the conference(s). For those wishing to apply, please include a CV with you proposal.

Please address any queries and submit proposals to Rhys Williams ( and/or Mark Bould (


Fafnir – Nordic Journal for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research invites authors to submit papers for the upcoming edition 2/2014.

Fafnir – Nordic Journal for Science Fiction and Fantasy Research is a new, peer-reviewed academic journal which is published in electronic format four times a year. The purpose of Fafnir is to join up the Nordic field of science fiction and fantasy research and to provide a forum for discussion on current issues on the field. Fafnir is published by FINFAR Society (Suomen science fiction- ja fantasiatutkimuksen seura ry).

Now Fafnir invites authors to submit papers for its next edition, 2/2014. Fafnir publishes various texts ranging from peer-reviewed research articles to short overviews and book reviews in the field of science fiction and fantasy research.

The submissions must be original work, and written in English (or in Finnish or in Scandinavian languages). Manuscripts of research articles should be between 20,000 and 40,000 characters in length. The journal uses the most recent edition of the MLA Style Manual. The manuscripts of research articles will be peer-reviewed. Please note that as Fafnir is designed to be of interest to readers with varying backgrounds, essays and other texts should be as accessibly written as possible.

The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2014.

In addition to research articles, Fafnir constantly welcomes text proposals such as essays, interviews, overviews and book reviews on any subject suited to the paper.

Please send your electronic submission (saved as RTF-file) to all three editors at the following addresses:, and For further information, please contact the editors.


This edition is scheduled for June 2014. The deadlines for the submissions for the next two editions are scheduled at 31 May (3/2014) and 31 August (4/2014).

Science Fiction Film and Television is looking for film and TV reviewers for recent DVD/Blu-ray releases. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide copies of the films/series, but every published reviewer who works from their own copy does receive a free copy of the issue in which his or her review appears.

Our film and television reviews (1000-2000 words) are intended to fill the gap that exists between popular/journalistic reviews and the fuller critical treatment only some films/programmes will receive, often much later, in academic venues. Ideally, each review will situate the film or television show within a broader critical and/or historical framework and sketch out a critical analysis which will prove useful to students and researchers. They are reviews of the films/programmes themselves, not of the DVD/Blu-ray edition (unless there is something particularly noteworthy to which you wish to draw attention).

We are interested in reviews of the titles listed below, but if you would like to propose something else please do so – we are especially keen to cover non-Anglophone and otherwise marginalised films and television series. Check with us ( and first to ensure we have not already commissioned a review, and if you have not written for us before, please include a cv.

After Earth



Cloud Atlas

The Cosmonaut

Ikarie XB 1


Pacific Rim

Space Battleship Yamato

This is the End

Upside Down

Upstream Color

The Wolverine

World War Z