Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space: The Fantastika and the Classical World. A Science Fiction Foundation Conference in 2013

Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space: The Fantastika and the Classical World. A Science Fiction Foundation Conference

At The Foresight Centre, University of Liverpool

Guests of Honour/Plenary Speakers: Edith Hall, Nick Lowe, and Catherynne M. Valente

Website: http://www.sf-foundation.org/conference

Call for papers

The culture of the Classical world continues to shape that of the modern West. Those studying the Fantastika (science fiction, fantasy and horror) know that it has many of its roots in the literature of the Graeco-Roman world (Homer’s Odyssey, Lucian’s True History). At the same time, scholars of Classical Reception are increasingly investigating all aspects of popular culture, and have begun looking at science fiction. However, scholars of the one are not often enough in contact with scholars of the other. This conference aims to bridge the divide, and provide a forum in which SF and Classical Reception scholars can meet and exchange ideas.

We invite proposals for papers (20 minutes plus discussion) or themed panels of three or four papers from a wide range of disciplines (including Science Fiction, Classical Reception and Literature), from academics, students, fans, and anyone else interested, on any aspect of the interaction between the Classical world of Greece and Rome and science fiction, fantasy and horror. We are looking for papers on Classical elements in modern (post-1800) examples of the Fantastika, and on science fictional or fantastic elements in Classical literature. We are particularly interested in papers addressing literary science fiction or fantasy, where we feel investigations of the interaction with the ancient world are relatively rare. But we also welcome papers on film, television, radio, comics, games, or fan culture.

Please send proposals to conferences@sf-foundation.org, to arrive by 30 September 2012. Paper proposals should be no more than 300 words. Themed panels should also include an introduction to the panel, of no more than 300 words. Please include the name of the author/panel convener, and contact details.

Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space is organised by the Science Fiction Foundation, with the co- operation of the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool.

Tony Keen
Chair, 2013 Science Fiction Foundation Conference

Monday, September 12, 2011

Relaunch of FA Online

One of the things that occupied what turned out to be the last months on Martin Skidmore's life was FA Online, a relaunch of a (or as Martin had it, the) critical comics magazine that Martin had edited in the 1980s. Martin didn't do this simply as a vanity project - he had enough outlets for his writing about comics through Freaky Trigger and his LiveJournal (and if they were Japanese, his Japanese Arts site). But Martin felt that there was a need for a good comics review site to exist, so set about creating it.

Martin could have done something wonderful with FA Online, had he been given the chance. His friends can never do the same, but at least we can stop the site ossifying, and keep it growing as a tribute to Martin's memory - and also because we think there's a need for a good comics review stuff. Which is how Will Morgan, Andrew Moreton and (very much in a junior role) myself have come together as the new editorial team. We've just done the relaunch this evening, with new reviews and features, including an article on Captain America and a review of the new Cap movie by me.

We're also keen to reproduce some of Martin's older comics journalism, back before most of this was done online, and the first of these is up, a treatment of the 'Viet Blues' story of Alack Sinner.

So go read, comment, and if you're so inclined, write for us.