I totally forgot to write this post and the conference is starting tomorrow. And, if all the flying goes smoothly, I will be in Minneapolis tonight. Also, I’m going to be on some panels. Additionally, I’m very excited to see people again in person and might not have finished my cup of coffee this morning yet, hence stream of consciousness-like wording of this post.
Anyway, here’s my schedule for 4th Street Fantasy:
Designing Worlds for Everyone – 4:00 PM Friday
Stella Evans (M), Avani Gadani, A.T. Greenblatt, Benjamin C. Kinney, Michael Merriam.
From airport scanners with only two body type defaults to facial recognition systems that can’t recognize BIPOC, unconscious—or conscious—design decisions from our world that treat people unequally seep into our fantasy worlds. Authors create fantastic worlds full of stairs wheelchair users can’t access or magic systems designed to erase disabilities. But there also exist magic writing systems that dyslexic users excel at and blind earthbenders who don’t have to overcome their disabilities in order to thrive. What are broad principles or specific ways of approaching world-building to include as many people in the fantasy as possible?
Ambiguous Narrative Stances – 11:30 AM Sunday
A.T. Greenblatt, Marissa Lingen, Jenn Lyons, Aja McCullough (M), Abra Staffin-Wiebe.
What kind of ambiguity serves a story, in endings and in narrative support? Raising complicated questions with no easy answers is all well and good; avoiding dealing with what they mean entirely is an abnegation of responsibility. We can’t control reader interpretations, and there can be power in letting readers fill in for themselves what goes, but when is failing to take an explicit stance a disservice to the reader, and how explicit is it important to be? Where is the line between an ambiguous ending that fails the reader by failing to take a stance, or that serves the reader in forcing them to think through implications to their logical conclusion and intentionally decide on their own reading?
As I said, very excited for this and if you’re there, please feel free to come say hello.