coraa: (changeling)
Saturday I overslept a bit, and made it a little late to the first session of the day: Female Friendships in Fantasy. After that I went to the Faerie DNA panel, which I didn't take good enough notes on to post as such, but I'll recount what I can remember under the cut ) I then attended a Q/A session with a publisher at Random House, Mallory Loehr, that was fascinating and full of good information (unfortunately I did not get notes on that either).

The lunch keynote for Saturday was by Terri Windling: she called it her "why fairy tales are important" speech, and it was very interesting, especially as someone with an interest in the evolution of folklore. We explored the history of Red Riding Hood, which began as a coming-of-age story in which the girl (with help from older women) defeats the wolf by her own cleverness and skills... and eventually became a cautionary tale about vanity and interest in men, in which the girl must be rescued. She also talked about a very creepy earlier version of Snow White, in which the prince took a while to wake the princess, and, uh, there was some... implications of their relationship while she was comatose—and how that became the much tamer version we known now. She also talked about the way that fairy tales came to be considered children's stories, when they did not begin that way at all.

After lunch, I attended the Golden Age of YA panel, had a relaxing afternoon, went to an early dinner, and then got dressed for the A Star Shall Fall launch party and the Faerie Ball.

For this part, I need pictures, so: under the cut!

The 'A Star Shall Fall' Launch Party )

After the launch party, we made our way to the faerie ball for more chatter and dancing.

At the faerie ball we were given glowsticks to give it that appropriately sparkly demeanor. There was a murder mystery plot (I didn't take part in it, but it sounded like a lot of fun), and lots of chatting, storytelling in the lobby, and dancing, dancing, dancing. I loved the ball from last year, and it was even better this year: a wide variety of people took part in the dancing, from those who could dance with great grace or passion or both to... uh, me, whose idea of dancing is to flail in an uncoordinated yet joyful manner. I am very often too embarrassed by my dancing to do it in public, even though it makes me happy, because of the 'uncoordinated' bit, but Sirens is one of those places where I feel pretty confident that everyone will appreciate the 'joyful' more than they will mind the 'uncoordinated flailing,' so I danced until I was soaked with sweat, and had a great time.

I also took pictures: people wore everything from jeans to elaborate faerie costumes, and the combination was enough to make the ball seem like actually a pretty darn magical place.

Faerie Ball )

The next day, we got up for the farewell auction and breakfast, where I won the handpainted version of the con symbol for the year (a girl reading a book with a faerie rising up behind her). It will be mailed to me. Squee!

They also announced the theme for next year, about which I am very, very excited: Monsters. Literal monsters, the monstrous, monstrous women (literally and figuratively), and the way that women have been imagined as monsters—for good and for ill. I already have several ideas for panels. And the guest lineup is pretty fantastic: Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor.

Anyway, after breakfast and many goodbyes, my traveling companions and I packed up and hit the road for Horse Camp, about which more later!
coraa: (sirens)
Last one! (Yes, the spam will end soon, I promise.) This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart—partly because for all my life, but particularly as a teenager, my strongest social bonds were nearly always with other women. So it struck me odd how few strong female friendships we see in fiction (other than women's lit and chicklit).

Moderator: Mette Harrison ([livejournal.com profile] metteharrison)
Participants: Holly Black ([livejournal.com profile] blackholly), Rachel Manija Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija), Janni Lee Simner ([livejournal.com profile] janni), Sherwood Smith ([livejournal.com profile] sartorias)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase. ??? indicates something (usually a name) that I missed.

Panel Notes )
coraa: (flight)
First day of programming!

I woke up bright and early to get some coffee and go to the book discussion room and discuss faerie books. There were tables for War for the Oaks and Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer and Wildwood Dancing... and The Bones of Faerie, which is the one I sat at. We had a lively discussion of the fantastic apocalypse and its aftermath, the way that things first appear one way and then are revealed to be another (in this case, oddly enough, the mistaken impression is given not by the faeries but by the most militantly human of the humans), and of pragmatism in the magical world. (Also a brief digression onto the topic of [livejournal.com profile] janni's Dead Cat Theory: if the book is soul-crushingly depressing, the cat must live to counterbalance it lest your readers all fall into bitter despair; if the book is reasonably hopeful, you can kill the cat, because the counterbalance isn't necessary.) It was a wonderful discussion, and about right for a book discussion with the writer present: Janni was there for the first half, which gave us a chance to ask questions and hear interesting anecdotes, and then she excused herself for the second half, which gave us a chance to speak more freely as readers. (Not that Janni is a scary author type, but you know what I mean.)

From there, into the main panels of the day.

In the morning, I went first to "Faeries Come To Our Town," which was about the origins of urban fantasy and the way it's changed in the past 30 years. Then to Are There Faeries Outside Western Europe?, and then to Go On, Judge A Book By Its Cover.

Lunch gave us the second keynote: Marie Brennan's talk on why faerie is ruled by queens, about the association between women and faerie, the resonances with the mythology surrounding Elizabeth I, the association with the Other, and the continuing fascination with the pairing of faerie woman and mortal man. But you don't have to rely on my kludgy summary, because she's posted her talk: Why Is Faerie Ruled By Queens?

After lunch I attended Holy Barking Spiders!: Biology, Education and Feminism in YA Fantasy. I took a break to do some writing and then went to the Sirens Bootcamp presentation—something I'm definitely planning to do.

A group of us went to a lovely dinner (sushi!) at which we discussed everything from anime to embarrassing family stories, and then back to the hotel for Bedtime Stories, a set of readings by the Guests of Honor. Terri Windling did a wonderful piece on the meaning of home.

Unfortunately, by then I was beginning to be socialed out, so I retired to the hotel lobby bar, where I had a long talk with [livejournal.com profile] samhenderson, that lead to an idea for a project that we're thinking of working on!

And then to bed.

Tomorrow: the faerie ball, for which I have pictures (omg).
coraa: (matilda reads)
I confess: a big part of why I went to this presentation (which is about book covers, and how they function as advertisement, as hints to the tone and content of the book, and as genre indicators) was that the title was awesome. :D It was listed as a presentation in order that Faye could show slides, but it was held really as more of a roundtable, with lots of discussion.

Since so much audience discussion happened, by people whose names I didn't know or have forgotten, and since it went so fast, I'm just describing the content in prose rather than as a dialogue. Also, I apologize for the lack of images; finding and linking them all would have been so time-consuming that I wouldn't have probably ever gotten around to posting, so you get my descriptions instead.

Moderator: Faye Bi

Notes behind the cut. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Presentation/Discussion Notes )
coraa: (inspiration)
Last Wednesday, we got up at a leisurely hour and drove on to the petroglyphs at Sego Canyon, near Thompson Springs.

First, though, we drove through Thompson Springs. Thompson Springs is sort of a ghost town: it still has some current residents (distinguishable by their houses, which have intact windows and have not fallen down), but their residences are sprinkled in amidst dilapidated and falling-down houses from a variety of periods. I believe the history is that the town was originally a coal mining town, and had a series of revivals and then collapses: the coal mining ended, but the local highway remained; then the local highway was replaced by I-70 some miles away, but the Amtrak station remained; then the Amtrak station closed, and the town faded almost entirely—except for a handful of residents who continue to hang on, and a gas station nearer I-70. There was an old brick motel, with doors standing dark and open; the weathered railroad station, its white-painted paneling going gray from the bottom up; the old schoolhouse leaning over but not, quite, toppling. The house with sunbleached cattle pelvises hanging from the chainlink fence appeared to be inhabited still, though.

From there we drove on a bit to the petroglyphs. For which I have pictures!

Petroglyphs--image heavy )

From there, it was an easy drive the rest of the way to Vail. As we drove higher and higher, the brush gave way to pine and aspen. The aspen was in mid-turn: many of the trees already bare, some still green, and some a truly gorgeous deep gold. The landscape around the hotel was—as with last year—really gorgeous. Actually, here, have some pictures!

The view from our balcony )

Wednesday evening we had the Sirens Supper, the supper for the Sirens staff and anyone who wants to come a day early and attend. We discussed the books that had changed our lives, which lead into great conversations on such diverse topics as Cimmorene, archaeology, the influence of books you read at a very young age, and things that happen in real life that you'd never believe in fiction. It was a lovely way to start the conference.

The next day there was nothing really going on until evening, so I spent the day reading and writing (always a good thing). Then there was the official start of the conference: the dessert reception and the first Guest of Honor keynote, in which Holly Black talked about growing up in a creepy old Victorian house with a mother who, e.g., warned her not to astral project lest something else get inside her body while she was 'gone;' living in Jersey and how that inspired her to begin her Modern Faerie Tale series; urban legends and how they come about; and a hilarious retelling the fairy tale "The White Cat," on which her newest series is based.

The next day was the start of programming, but I'll save that for tomorrow.
coraa: (sirens)
This was a fascinating presentation, partly on biology in fantasy literature and partly on pedagogy. As someone who feels that science and fantasy don't have to be mutually exclusive from a literary point of view, I really enjoyed it.

Since it's a presentation rather than a panel, I've written it up in sort of a prose format rather than as a dialogue.

Presenter: Christina Blake

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own (particularly, in this case, science errors are almost certainly errors of transcription rather than the presenter's errors), assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Presentation notes )
coraa: (sirens)
Another set of panel notes! (These are out of order, because some of these need more editing than others.) This was a fun one: I personally happen to think the golden age of YA, inasmuch as there is one, is right now; there were certainly great YA books when I was a teenager, but frankly most of the new and interesting things I see in fantasy these days is coming out in YA, and I quite cheerfully read mostly YA as an adult myself. (This is not meant as a zinger against my friends who write books for adults, nor is it universally true! It's just a trend I've noticed.)

Moderator: Rachel Manija Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija)
Panel: Janni Lee Simner ([livejournal.com profile] janni), Malinda Lo (http://www.malindalo.com/), Sarah Rees Brennan ([livejournal.com profile] sarahtales)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Panel notes )
coraa: (sirens)
This was one of the panels I was looking forward to the most, because I really think that non-Western European fantasy is a topic and inspiration that has not been much tapped (in the Western market, anyway). Also, I was curious how the panelists were going to define "faerie" in a non-Western context. I wasn't disappointed: the panel was fascinating.

Moderator: Shveta Thakrar ([livejournal.com profile] shvetufae)
Panelists: Cindy Pon (http://cindypon.com/blog/), Andrea Horbinski ([personal profile] ahorbinski), Valerie Frankel (http://frankelassociates.com/calithwain/author.htm)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase. ??? indicates a name I missed; if someone else can fill that in, I would be forever obliged!

Note: As Shveta disclaimed at the beginning of the panel, the terms "mythology" and "folklore" are used in the technical sense of "sacred stories" and "knowledge of the people," and not in the colloquial sense of "untruths." Use of the terms is not intended to cast any aspersions on the credence or truth of the ideas and beliefs. Some of the things being discussed are still part of a living religious tradition, and are respected as such. That being the case, I've preserved the terminology used in the panel itself.

Panel Notes )

EDIT: A link to the presentation handout.
coraa: (sunhawk)
I am currently sitting in the hotel bar of the Vail Cascade resort, the day before Sirens begins properly (there's a dessert reception tonight, programming starts tomorrow), enjoying the comfortable chairs and enormous windows that look out over the mountains. (The bar isn't open right now, so it's also nice and peaceful.) I can see aspen—some green, some deep gold-yellow, as they're mid-turn—and some kind of pine or fir, and a creek, and the clouds passing overhead. It's quite pleasant! Right now we're at 8000 feet, but I'm keeping hydrated and resting a lot, so it isn't bothering me too much.

I road-tripped the distance from Los Angeles to Vail with [personal profile] sartorias and [personal profile] rachelmanija, which was a lot of fun. It's apparently either two long days or three short, easy ones, so we went with three. We passed through Nevada (straight through Vegas, in fact), the upper corner of Arizona, Utah, and then Colorado.

On the way, we saw a lot of beautiful views: the weird twisted shape of Joshua trees, deep rusty-red cliffs, spires in layers of gold and brown and red and black, swift dark rivers, bluegray volcanic rock that drips and pools as if it were poured (because it was). Rocks in shapes like hands and fortresses and towers and elephant toes and trees and, um, unmentionable things.

I'll post more about our stop at Cove Fort and the petroglyphs once I get the pictures off my camera and uploaded.

Last night was the Sirens Supper, at which I got to see several people I met last year and meet several more new ones, during varied discussions including books that changed your life, historical figures and events that nobody would believe if they were in fiction, and the Ig Nobels. I also got to see [livejournal.com profile] rhinemouse again—the four of us are rooming together—which was awesome; we're planning on being NaNoWriMo buddies this year, which is good because I can always use the added kick in the pants!

Anyway, we're here, and I'm very much looking forward to the start of Sirens tonight! I'm going to try to take notes/liveblog the panels I go to, since they sound really cool.

Profile

coraa: (Default)
coraa

April 2013

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829 30    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 26th, 2017 12:08 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios