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World Fantasy Convention 2016


Up until this year, the World Fantasy Convention was lauded as the best of the speculative fiction and fantasy conventions. But, with the release of its 2016 program, that has come to an end.

People are ranting about panel topics calling Watership Down a ‘recent’ animal fantasy. Another panel on H P Lovecraft is listed as if he’s NEWS and not ANCIENT, THOROUGHLY-MAPPED HISTORY.

Far from portraying the World Fantasy Convention as a professional convention for writers about writing or a convention for fans reading recent works — anything written in the past few decades — 2016’s world fantasy convention seems intent on discussing ancient history or, just for the helluvit and to show that fantasy isn’t whitewashed, they want to talk SPICY ORIENTAL ZEPPLINS. I kid you not.

How about a group of us podcasters get together and we stage our own World Fantasy (or SFF) convention online in podcasts? We could team up panels of authors discussing topics related to their work like diversity, appropriation, innovation, young adult, mature adult (as in fantasy with older protagonists), genre-blending, life reflecting art and art reflecting life, and fantasy as philosophy/morality/political exposé.

A significant group of podcasters could manage a pretty impressive online convention via our separate podcasts and we could all link to one another, thus collating the best online literary convention ever.

And, best of all, this convention would be accessible to those with computers and internet. No need to pull thousands of dollars out of your ass, find childcare, struggle through crowded hallways, miss out on panels because you can’t fit your wheelchair in the elevator after walking people push in front, or struggle with any of the myriad other issues that prevent people from attending conventions.


Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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