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Author Archives: First Vice President

ICFA has some good evening programming to check out, but maybe you’re looking for something a bit different to do for one evening, something away from the hotel. Maybe you’re coming in a bit early or staying a bit late. Maybe you don’t usually stay for Saturday night’s banquet.

If so, you might want to check out Cirque du Soleil’s show La Nouba at Downtown Disney World. I saw it last year and am going to see it again this year, and I thought some of you might want to know how I’m going to get there on public transit.

I’ll let those of you with a car check out Google Maps for driving directions. If you’re not driving, you could certainly take a cab or get a group together for a shuttle, but if you want to save some cash, it really isn’t that difficult to get around Orlando by bus, especially if you are used to using public transit at home.

There are a couple of different routes you could take. Last year I tried transferring from the #42 Airport/International Drive (see last year’s post for using this bus to get to Florida Mall and the Outlet Malls) to the #50 Downtown Orlando/Magic Kingdom. It worked out well except that I didn’t like the looks of the transfer point near Sea World on the way home: by the side of a highway in the dark. Instead, I transferred to the #111 Airport/Downtown Disney and I think that bus will work much better.

Both the #42 and the #111 begin at the Airport, only minutes from the hotel. You can hop on the hotel shuttle to the Airport and walk down the bus/shuttle area to the public transit stop, or you could pick up the #42 in front of T.G.I.Friday’s on S. Semoran and be there in a few minutes.

The #111 leaves the Airport on the hour and half-hour all day, and takes about an hour to get to Downtown Disney. Or you could pick up the #42 across the street from T.G.I.Friday’s and transfer to the #111 at Florida Mall (the connection times look pretty good).

The #111 does not go into Downtown Disney itself, as the #50 does (at least, it didn’t last year; the schedule now suggests that it does). It runs down Buena vista Blvd, past Downtown Disney (clearly visible on your right, and the bus will announce it also), on its way to the Ticketing and Transportation Center for Walt Disney World. You can get off anywhere along Buena Vista Blvd in front of Downtown Disney, and walk through the area to the Cirque du Soleil on the west side.

To get back to the hotel, you’ll need to cross Buena Vista Blvd; there’s a crosswalk at the parking lot entrance, right near Planet Hollywood, and you just walk up the sidewalk until you come to a stop with #111 listed on it. The area is busy and brightly lit, so I didn’t feel at all worried last year waiting for a bus late in the evening. Take the #111 right to the airport and either call the hotel shuttle, or transfer to the #42 at Florida Mall (getting off in front of T.G.I.Friday’s and crossing S. Semoran) or at the Airport (getting off at the stop right after the intersection of S. Semoran with Lee Vista Blvd). Then it’s a short walk back to the hotel.

Last year I went to the 6pm show and was back at the hotel in lots of time to drop in on the Tuesday night party in the President’s suite.

Helpful links:

Orlando’s transit page, with maps and schedules.

Here’s a link to La Nouba. The show runs twice per evening, Tuesday through Saturday. You can buy tickets now to be held at the ‘will call’ or you can wait until you get there and hope there will still be some seats on sale at the box office (which did seem to be the case last year).

Here’s a link to Downtown Disney which is a shopping area (mostly Disney merchandise) on the outskirts of Walt Disney World. There are restaurants such as Planet Hollywood and House of Blues, and Fulton’s Crab Shack, and the theater for Cirque du Soleil, all bordering a nice little lake where ferries shuttle Disney World guests. So you can have a nice meal, walk around the lake, and then take in the show.

A Wikimapia view of Downtown Disney. I centered it on Planet Hollywood, and you can see the Cirque du Soleil tent on the left side of the page. Buena Vista Blvd is the road marked in yellow, curving along the bottom of the screen. You can see a crosswalk out of the parking lot at the center bottom and another one near what’s marked as Hess Station; the bus will stop every couple of blocks along Buena Vista. The schedule map shows it stopping at Downtown Disney West Side Transfer Center (timing point 3) but it didn’t do that last year, so I’m heading for a stop on Buena Vista just in case. But I’ve marked the location for the transfer center on the Wikimapia; it’s a very short walk from the Cirque du Soleil tent.

Of course, if you just want to do some shopping, check out last February’s entry on taking the bus to Florida Mall and the Outlet Malls. It’s in the archive under February 2009.

On behalf of the Executive Board of IAFA, I would like to announce that we have decided upon a replacement for Susan George, who recently stepped down as Film and Television Division Head at the end of her term. The new Division Head will be Jeffrey Weinstock of Central Michigan University.

Jeffrey has been a member of IAFA since 1996, presenting papers on a wide variety of topics. He has edited several collections including books on South Park, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Blair Witch Project, and has an upcoming book on the films of M. Night Shyamalan, in addition to working in nineteenth and twentieth century American Literature. In service to IAFA, Jeffrey has served on the Graduate Student Paper Award committee, and is Reviews Editor for JFA. He brings to the position of division head a great deal of experience in conference planning and organizing.

The board was pleased with the response to the call for candidates for the position; three people expressed interest in the job, all of them well qualified. We thank all of the candidates and hope that all will find other ways in which to continue to contribute to the success of the conference and of the association.

Chrissie Mains

(Not a Definitive Guide, Being the Limited Experiences of one Chrissie Mains, Cosmetics Junkie)

Just in case anyone else is interested in doing some shopping during the conference and is wondering how to get around Orlando without a car, I thought I might as well post some of my own research into public transit and Orlando malls.

The public transit system in Orlando is called Lynx (links, get it?) and their website is There’s a useful transit map, as well as schedules and route maps to help you to plan your outing.

A very useful Lynx route #42 runs from Orlando International Airport to the Premium Outlets Mall, passing through Prime Outlets Mall and the Florida Mall on its way. Since the hotel is so close to the airport, it’s easy for those staying at the hotel to catch this bus and visit not only those shopping destinations but also other places on International Drive as well as connections to other bus routes going to downtown Orlando and to Walt Disney World (it also passes by Sea World, but that’s not shopping, is it?).

To catch the #42 bus, leave the hotel’s front entrance, walk around the lovely water feature (apparently called Lake Lorri, according to Wikimapia), and north on Augusta National Drive to the first major intersection; turn left onto T. G. Lee Blvd, and continue west to the major intersection with S. Semorran Blvd. You’ll want to be on the north side of the intersection, so that when you cross S. Semorran, you end up at the bus stop across the street from T.G.I. Friday’s. For a visual aid, go to the following Wikimapia link, where I have outlined the Bus Stop:

Wikimapia TGIF and #42 Bus Stop

Here’s a link to the schedule and route map for #42, in pdf format:

#42 Schedule

Use the airport timing point, since it doesn’t take that long for the bus to get from the airport to this stop. The bus runs every 30 minutes. The fare is $2.00 each way, but you can apparently purchase a weekly pass for $16. The return #42, on its way to the airport, will turn the corner right in front of T.G.I. Friday’s, so you’ll only have to walk across the intersection to be on your way back to the hotel.

The Florida Mall is about 20 minutes from the stop. The bus will stop for about 5 minutes in a bus area right by the parking lot, so don’t worry about where to get on or off. The Florida Mall is a huge mall, with six department stores and a whole lot of other stores (including a Sephora!), with Target right across the parking lot. There are also a number of restaurants there, both food court and nice sit-down places. Here’s a link to the mall’s website:

Florida Mall

And here’s a Wikimapia view:

Wikimapia of Florida Mall

You can see the Target in the top right corner, and I’ve labelled the bus stop area to the left of the JC Penney’s.

If you just want a relatively stress-free shopping afternoon, Florida Mall is probably your best bet, as it’s not a long bus ride and there are no connections necessary.

If you stay on this bus for another 30 minutes, you’ll end up at Prime Outlets (I haven’t done that yet, but it’s on the books for this year). And if you take it to the end of the line, another 30 minutes or so, you’re at Chelsea Premium Outlets. I did do this last year, and while it’s nice enough, I’m not sure it’s worth ending up on a bus in rush hour traffic. But if you want to try it out, here are their websites:

Prime Outlets Orlando

Premium Outlets Orlando

I also plan to transfer to route #50 at Sea World, in order to get to the Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba at Downtown Disney World. This route also ends up at the Transportation and Ticketing Center for Walt Disney World, and it looks like it travels much of the route on I4 and thus doesn’t stop often; at any rate, the timetable claims it can travel between the downtown Orlando station and Downtown Disney World in about 45 minutes. If you really want to do Disney World, there are probably easier and faster ways to get there, of course.

On behalf of the Executive Board of IAFA, I would like to announce that we have decided upon a replacement for Joe Sutliff Sanders, who has just stepped down as CYA Division Head at the end of his three-year term. The new Division Head for The Fantastic in Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Art will be Amie Rose Rotruck of Hollins University.

Amie is a longstanding member of IAFA, who has been presenting papers and participating on panels in the CYA Division since its inception. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and is currently completing an MFA at Hollins. She also has a BS in Writing for Children and the Certificate of Children’s Literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Her first book, Bronze Dragon Codex, a middle grade fantasy novel in the “Practical Guide to Dragons Adventure” series, will be out in June.

Joe will be staying on board through the end of the conference in 2009 to serve as a mentor, so we expect that the transition will go very smoothly.

The board was pleased with the response to the call for candidates for the position; four people expressed interest in the job, all of them well qualified. We thank all of the candidates and hope that all will find other ways in which to continue to contribute to the success of the conference and of the association.

Chrissie Mains

From Chrissie Mains, First Vice-President:

After much sweating of palms and furrowing of brows, the program for ICFA 29, to be held in Orlando March 19-23, is available on the association’s website for your information and enjoyment. From the main page, click on the link for Conference Information, and scroll down until you see the link for this year’s program. Clicking on that link will open a page that lists the program schedule. Do remember that this program is preliminary and subject to change right up until the conference starts, so don’t use it as a basis for your travel plans!

I’d appreciate it if everyone who is participating on the program in any way could check to make sure that their names, their affiliations, and the titles of their papers are spelled properly; it’s especially important to check the formatting of titles, since some formatting information can be lost in transit in the long journey between your computer and mine. If you spot a typo, please contact me at and I’ll fix that right up. And it wouldn’t hurt to use the browser’s ‘find on this page’ function to look for your name, in case you’ve been scheduled on a panel or other event that you weren’t quite aware of (hey, it happens sometimes).

Do keep in mind that any requests for scheduling and A/V had to be included in the original proposal; such requests affect the grouping of papers into sessions and the scheduling of those sessions into the rooms we have available, and it’s extremely difficult to make changes at this stage. If you see a problem, then contact both your division head and me immediately, and we’ll do our best to resolve it.

However, there is a limited time in which to make any corrections to the program that will appear in print, so don’t put this on your to-do list for later. And I’ll say again: if you think you won’t be able to make the conference after all, now is the time to tell us.

We’ve got a wonderfully diverse program this year, and we think you’ll love the new hotel (the pool bar is really quite nice, and the room for our evening programming is beautiful). And remember, although the program officially ends with the Saturday night banquet, this year we do have a Sunday trip to Universal Studios theme park (more info on the website).

See you in March,

Hello, all IAFA members attending (or still thinking about attending) this year’s conference in beautiful Orlando, Florida in March 2008.

While our early deadline for submissions has passed, we do have a secondary deadline this year, November 30, 2007. Those of you who regularly attend ICFA know that we aim to provide a good mix of programming. We think that it’s in part this mix of programming that makes ICFA such a wonderful experience for all of us, whether we’re scholars or teachers, authors or poets.

We’ve already received lots of proposals for all kinds of events for this conference, but we’re still looking for more. For one thing, our new hotel (Orlando Airport Marriott) has an extra conference room for us to fill! We would love to hear from any member of IAFA about ideas for panels, fiction workshops, additional author and poetry readings, and special events.

Keep in mind that there are some limits on how many and what kinds of events participants can be part of. For instance, if you’re an attending author reading from your fiction in the creative track, you can’t also present an individual paper in an academic session, although you can still participate in a panel discussion. And if you’re an academic reading a paper, you can’t also read from your creative work in the creative track, although you can still participate in other kinds of creative events, such as workshops or themed talks about writing the fantastic.

If you’re not sure who to approach about what, you can contact any Division Head or 1VP Chrissie Mains (cemains AT or cmains AT and we’ll work on putting you in touch with others with similar interests and ideas.

Anyone interested can organize both academic and creative events and propose them for inclusion in the programming (although obviously we can’t guarantee that every proposal can be accepted). The only limit to participation in ICFA is space (which is larger than in previous years) and the needs of the 1VP to be able to schedule events with a minimum of conflicts (sadly, that will never change).

Looking forward to seeing you in March
Chrissie Mains

On behalf of the Executive Board of IAFA, I would like to announce that we have decided upon a replacement for Chuck Nelson, who will be stepping down as FE Division Head following the conference in March 2008. The new Division Head for Fantastic Literatures in English will be Stefan Ekman of Lund University, Sweden.

Stefan is a longstanding member of IAFA, who has been attending the conference for many years. In addition to presenting papers on Tolkien, de Lint, Gaiman, Vess, and others, he has ably chaired sessions and moderated panels. He has also contributed to the association in other ways, formerly as the Student Caucus Representative and most recently as the web designer for IAFA’s new website. He has worked closely with Chuck over the years, and we expect that the transition will go very smoothly.

The board was extremely pleased with the response to the call for candidates for the position; eight people expressed interest in the job, and the board had a very difficult time making a decision from amongst so many qualified candidates. We thank all of the candidates and hope that all will find other ways in which to continue to contribute to the success of the conference and of the association.

Chrissie Mains

Chuck Nelson, after many years of able and much-appreciated service as Division Head for Fantastic Literature in English, has decided to step down effective March 2008 (immediately following the conference).

The Division Head is the person who sends out paper calls for his/her Division, collects and accepts paper proposals, creates paper sessions, helps to create panels, and passes the work s/he’s done on to the 1st Vice President for scheduling. This Division is responsible for all aspects of the fantastic in British, American, and Commonwealth Literature that are not covered by divisions such as Horror and Children’s/Young Adult. In past conferences, the FE Division has sponsored papers on the work of Shakespeare, Tolkien, Gaiman, McKillip, Holdstock, Twain, Mieville, Aldiss, Lewis, MacDonald, and many other authors, as well as papers on theories of the fantastic and fantasy literature.

Qualifications include current membership with IAFA (at least a couple of years’ experience with the organization so you have some understanding of how things work at the conference), easy and dependable internet access and comfort level with computers, organizational skills, the ability to work as part of a group working together on the ‘big picture’, a willingness to work through the transition with Chuck beginning this fall, the ability to attend March conferences while you hold the position and to attend the Division Heads’ meeting run by the 1st VP at the conference, plus, of course, the time to do the work involved. Division Heads hold office for a term of 3 years (with a probationary first year) with the possibility of renewal for a second 3-year term.

If you’re interested in taking on the work of FE Division Head, please contact both Chrissie Mains, 1st Vice President ( and Chuck Nelson, outgoing FE Division Head with a brief statement about your interest in and qualifications for the job. The IAFA board of directors will consider all applications for the position.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2007.

Chrissie Mains