Friday, June 01, 2007

Fantasy Matters! It really does...

Or so I think. I'm not the only one, though, which I'm glad to hear. I've been invited to attend an academic event on the subject this fall. The Fantasy Matters Conference at the University of Minnesota will take place November 16-18 . It's meant to be a scholarly conference that just happens to have fantasy as its subject, with the premise in there that fantasy is worthy of study and potentially literature in its own right. I'm all for that - for discussing the possibilites at least, for putting imaginative works through the same scrunity as literary texts and giving respect to them when respect is due.

I'm also just chuffed about the company I'll be keeping. The keynote speakers are none other than Neil Gaiman and Professor Jack Zipes. Other announced readers are Patrick Rothfuss, whose The Name of the Wind is the hottest fantasy debut so far this year, and Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, whose first novel, Zahrah the Windseeker, brings some much-needed diversity to the YA fantasy universe. Pretty good for a graduate-organized conference without much of a budget! Go figure.

I'm looking forward to it already. Might be a bit chilly, of course, but I can take that for a few days.

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