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Monthly Archives: March 2020

The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts is pleased to announce the 2020 award winners.

The Crawford Award: Tamsyn Muir, Gideon the Ninth (

The Jamie Bishop Memorial Award: Valentina Gosetti and E.J. Kent, “Maribas et la sorcellerie masculine” [“Marinas and Male Witchcraft”]

The Walter James Miller Memorial Award: Brittany Roberts Brittany Roberts, ”The Soviet Anthropocene: Desiccation, Desertification, and Environmental Horror in Dmitri Svetozarov’s *Dogs*”

The Imagining Indigenous Futurism Award: Julia A. Thompsan , “White Hope”

The David G. Hartwell Emerging Scholar Award: Filip Boratyn “Magic(s) of the Anthropocene: Enchantment vs. Terroir in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach.”

Dell Magazines Award: Rona Wang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Imitation Game”

Lord Ruthven Awards

Vampire Non-Fiction: Sorcha Ní Fhlainn for Post-Modern Vampires: Film, Fiction and Popular Culture

Fiction: Bryan D. Dietrich and Marge Simon for The Demeter Diaries

Media: TV series What We Do in the Shadows



As IAFA president Dale Knickerbocker wrote ( on March 23, 2020, the organization was able to negotiate an advantageous agreement with the conference hotel. This means that the financial impact of ICFA 41’s cancellation is not catastrophic. We thank ICFA attendees for their outpouring of support.


ICFA 41’s theme, “Climate Change and the Anthropocene,” will be repeated for ICFA 42. Guests of honor Stacy Alaimo (University of Oregon) and Jeff VanderMeer have agreed to attend. ICFA 42 is scheduled for March 17–20, 2021.

Although the theme is the same, the conference will be treated as a wholly new endeavor. All papers, panels, and so on must be resubmitted for reconsideration.

ICFA 43 “Fantastic Alterities” will feature guest author Rebecca Roanhorse and guest scholar Farah Mendlesohn. ICFA 43 is scheduled for March 16–19, 2022.


Everyone signed up for ICFA 41 has been credited. Please log into your account ( and check your credit, which must be used within the next 2 years. If you are fine with a credit, you need do nothing.

If you wish to donate your credit to IAFA, or if you require a refund, please email me. Thanks to those who have already donated their credit.

If you require tax paperwork for a donation, or if you need a special invoice run for institutional reimbursement, please email me, including all relevant details.

If you notice a financial discrepancy between what you paid and what you are credited, please email me. I can look at your credit-card payment transaction and update the system accordingly.

It would be convenient if all these requests could be made by April 15, 2020.


Those who received travel grants for ICFA 41 will receive them again for ICFA 42.


When you log into your account to check your credit, please also check your division. The Gothic and Horror (GAH) division was recently added. If this is a field of interest for you, please tick the relevant box so that we can get a listing of people interested in this division. Likewise, if you’ve moved from one division to another, edit your preferences so that we can send the division heads an accurate listing.


We stopped ICFA 41’s merchandise order before it was fully printed. Therefore, there is no ICFA 41 merch, except for about 40 totes. Apologies to ICFA merch completists. The artwork for ICFA 41 will be reused for ICFA 42. The fate of the ICFA 41 totes (which list the convention date but not the guests of honor) remains to be determined.


I hope to see everyone in 2021.

Karen Hellekson, IAFA Registrar (

Dear IAFA Members,

I have excellent news regarding the ICFA. We have negotiated a settlement with the hotel that is very advantageous to the IAFA: we will put down a $10,000 deposit toward next year’s conference, so the net cost for the cancellation is zero. To give you an idea just how important this is, we could have been on the hook for a $130,000 payment (not a deposit) even if they had not invoked penalty clauses, which would have been disastrous. Expect an e-mail regarding options for 2020 registration fees and credits once we have a fuller understanding of the of all the financial implications the registration credits will have on our planning for 2021. On behalf of the board, officers, and division heads, I would like to express our profound gratitude for your patience and understanding during these trying times, and for the many expressions of support we received from all of you.

The board and officers met yesterday via videoconference, and I am pleased to announce that the theme of next year’s conference will be the Anthropocene, and that the Guest Author Jeff VanderMeer and Guest Scholar Stacy Alaimo have agreed to participate. The 2021 theme will be moved to 2022. The guests for the 2021 conference, have very graciously agreed to the postponement.

We will continue to update you as the situation evolves but, rest assured, we will survive.

From all of us, please stay safe and well!


Dale Knickerbocker
IAFA President

Dear IAFA friends,

For the last two weeks, the IAFA Board has been monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. Until yesterday, we considered it our responsibility to keep the ICFA going for the more than 400 members who were still planning to attend, and to let each individual decide for themselves the risk.

The situation has changed drastically and quickly. The WHO has ruled this an official pandemic and, well, you’ve all seen the news. We believe it would be irresponsible for us to hold the conference because travel poses a public health threat, so ICFA is cancelled. We now must enter into negotiations with the hotel to try to minimize the financial damage. At this time, our policy to credit registration forward (as opposed to refunds) has not changed, but we will give you an update when the situation becomes clearer.

Dear IAFA members:

As you know, the ICFA will continue. A conference is not just about papers and readings, or even about receiving feedback on them, but about meeting people with similar interests. It is an environment in which new projects are hatched and new friends made. This will go on.

However, given the extreme circumstances and the fact that you all have invested time and money in the opportunity to present and to receive feedback on your work—and to receive professional credit for it—, the Board and Division Heads of the IAFA have been working to formulate a way to make this happen. The logistic challenges are many and daunting. We have come up with what we believe is the least imperfect solution (actually, solutions). More specifics will be forthcoming, but here is the general outline. These policies will be in place only for this year’s ICFA.

First, there will a new policy on chairing sessions, panels, roundtables, and readings. If the person scheduled to chair is not present, the first person scheduled to speak will take over (presenters can introduce themselves); if that person is absent, it befalls the next. Division Heads will not be scheduling new chairs as the situation is too fluid.

Registered scholars and authors have the option to:

1. Not participate and have registration credited forward to be applied within 2 years.

2. Participate by uploading their paper to a database that will be accessible to registered conference participants. Participants may then leave comments or questions for the author. Those choosing this option would be responsible for uploading their own paper and notifying the Division Head or 2nd VP that they’ve done so. This will then be posted on a list accessible from the IAFA web page that will be updated throughout the conference. These must be uploaded by midnight Saturday, the last day of the conference, and will be available for comment for one week after. Details forthcoming.

3. Participate by video recording their presentation and uploading it to YouTube, then providing us with the URL. This will then be posted on a list accessible from the IAFA web page that will be updated throughout the conference. Those choosing this option would be responsible for uploading their own paper and notifying the Division Head or 2nd VP that they’ve done so. These must be uploaded by midnight Saturday, the last day of the conference, and will be available for comment for one week after. Details forthcoming.

4. Participate via in absentia presentation. Participants who will not be present are responsible for finding their own reader. You can contact members of your panel (or any member of the IAFA) through the online Member Directory, available here: Just sign in with the information you normally use to access your membership and registration. The deadline for finding readers and informing the Division Head / 2nd VP will be 5:00 EST Friday the 13th of March to allow time to update the schedule. Authors wishing to have their papers read in absentia may Skype/videoconference/phone in and answer questions but may not present that way, as the rooms do not have reliable connectivitywifi. They would be responsible for finding someone present to do this, and for hardware, software, and an internet connection as needed. Details forthcoming.

We are limiting people to choosing only one option, as our Division Heads and 2nd VP will be dealing with considerable extra last minute work and we do not wish them to have to reduplicate their efforts.

If you have already cancelled but would like to participate remotely, please notify the Registrar.
Please note:

*No roundtables or panels can be done this way.
*Anyone participating through any of these procedures must pay registration.

View our previous communication about Cancellations and Credits/Refunds at this link:

News from the Florida Department of Health:

If you have been to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea in the last 14 days, you must self isolate for 14 days.

For up-to-date information of the situation in Florida (still no reported or suspected cases in the Orlando area), see:

As a result of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the news about COVID-19, the IAFA board would like to take this opportunity to issue an update on ICFA 41.

The conference will meet.

We have to meet certain guaranteed minimums for room occupancy, food and beverage expenditures, etc., specified in our contract with the hotel, or pay out of pocket. It is not an exaggeration to say that cancellation would jeopardize the very existence of the IAFA.

The first concern of the board members is members’ safety and well-being. We urge IAFA members to proactively research COVID-19 and consult status reports through reputable sources such as the World Health Organization (, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, and the Florida department of health (, whose websites are continually updated. We would also advise checking for updates with your travel provider and travel insurer.

So far, nothing that has been posted suggests that travel to Orlando poses any significant risk, so those who cancel travel to Orlando at this time may not be covered by their travel insurance. However, we do understand the current level of concern, and we also understand that some members may think that they cannot take any risk traveling at this time for personal health reasons or proximity to immunocompromised individuals.

Because of the extraordinary circumstances, we are crediting registration for those who cancel as a result of the outbreak. This credit must be used within 2 years. We will provide refunds to people from countries under travel restrictions. Because we are required to have final numbers for rooms and meals to the hotel a week before the conference, we will provide credits or refunds only to people who cancel by 5p EST on March 9, 2020.

If you are most comfortable canceling your attendance, do please email me at once, and I will inform all relevant stakeholders. If you have hotel reservations at the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside, please do NOT cancel your reservation directly through the hotel, or we will lose the room from our block. Instead, e-mail Jeri Zulli ( with the date range and confirmation number. Jeri will take care of the paperwork. Likewise, if you need a room, please reach out to Jeri at once.

The board is discussing a number of ways to make it possible for people not able to attend physically but who wish to have their work included in some way to do so. We will make an official announcement before the March 9 deadline.

I will soon send around an email addressing logistical concerns for those traveling to attend the conference.

–Karen Hellekson, IAFA Registrar (

Dear IAFA Members and Registered ICFA Attendees,

The ICFA will not be cancelled as there is not yet a widespread outbreak in the U.S. Obviously, the situation will continue to change; however, only in the most extreme case would we consider cancellation, due to our contractual obligations with the hotel. Both the Marriott and the IAFA are taking measures to minimize risk at the ICFA, as outlined in our last e-mail.

As of today, 3 March, this is the CDC threat assessment: “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.” Keep up to date at:

In Florida: according to the Florida Department of Public Health There are currently two confirmed and eight individuals are awaiting test results, none in the Orlando area. Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rvikees said Florida is still considered low-risk. Keep up to date at:

Anyone at risk, or who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus, should certainly consider not traveling. If you feel that travel may jeopardize your health and need to cancel, please contact Your registration fee, as well as any meal tickets or merchandise purchased, will be credited forward (it must be used within two years). If you want this year’s merchandise, we will send it to you. We will refund fees and purchases for anyone whose point of origin is a country where travel to or from has been restricted by any authority.

Important: If you have a reservation at the Marriott, please do not cancel your room directly with the hotel, but send your confirmation number to our Conference Director: If you cancel directly with the Marriott, we lose the room.

​We will certainly keep you up to date on any changes.

On behalf of the board and officers of the IAFA, our best wishes for your future health, and we hope to see you in Orlando!

Dale Knickerbocker
IAFA President