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PSA: Fourth Street Fantasy is Next Week!

So after the intensity of BEA last week, this week I’d just like to offer a brief PSA: next week is Fourth Street Fantasy, and this will be my first year there.

I first learned about Fourth Street Fantasy, Minneapolis’ premier fantasy conference, last year at Viable Paradise (BTW, if you haven’t applied to VP after reading about my experiences, you’ve got until Friday to do so!).

Here are the important details on Fourth Street Fantasy:

What: Fourth Street Fantasy
When: June 22nd – 24th, 2012
Where: Minneapolis, MN
(at the Spring Hill Suites Marriott, 5901 Wayzata Blvd, St. Louis Park, Minnesota)
Program: (link)
Web Site:

I’m very excited about going (with panels covering everything from POV, to politics in fantasy, or the use of teen labor in secondary worlds, it is shaping up to be a weekend of fascinating conversation.). This is also going to be the first con where I’m on a couple of panels. I’ve pasted their write-ups and times below, but suffice to say I’m both kid-in-a-candy-shop excited and noob-intimidated by the folks I’m going to be panelling with. I’ll try not to embarass myself too badly.

Here are the program write-ups for the two panels I’ll be on:

Saturday, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Accessibility, Genre, and Depth
Making fantasy accessible to new readers without making it seem simple or “dumbed down” to a more experienced audience can be challenging. What can we learn from the burgeoning YA genre? What are some techniques for ensuring new readers won’t feel like they’ve been thrown in the deep end, and to what extent can these techniques be reconciled with the intertextual complexity and deconstruction of genre tropes that experienced readers often desire?

  • Michael Merriam (moderating)
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Chris Modzelewski (that’s me!)
  • John Scalzi

Sunday, 9:30am – 10:30am
Science, Technology, and Fantasy
There is a tendency for fantasy to depict worlds mired in technological stasis, or to imagine magic and technology as polar opposites. Even when authors combine the two, as in more fantastic end of steampunk, they often choose to reproduce a subset of ideas from our world and prior art. What are some of the sources of this approach toward technology in fantasy? What sorts of narrative opportunities open up when you introduce disruptive technologies, magical or otherwise, into a fantasy story?

  • Ellen Klages (moderating)
  • Marissa Lingen
  • Chris Modzelewski (that’s me again!)
  • Sarah Monette
  • Catherine Schaffer

If you’re anywhere in the vicinity, or if you find yourself looking for some great discussions, please join us! If you can’t make it, don’t worry: I’ll be posting a detailed write-up of the event on Tuesday, June 26th. But for those of you who will already be attending Fourth Street Fantasy, I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Omg pain… I a. live in the Twin Cities b. have my own fantasy/sci-fi book blog and so would so want to go to this but c. am going to be going to a conference at Google that weekend and can’t go D: D: D:

    June 15, 2012
    • Aww, man! That’s really unfortunate. 😦 Nevertheless, have fun at the Google conference, and with any luck you’ll be able to go to 4th Street next year!

      June 15, 2012

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  1. Fourth Street Fantasy 2012: Thoughts After the Con | The King of Elfland's Second Cousin

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