Ooh, I’m getting excited about LonCon 3 — the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention to you civilians. I’ll be launching two books while I’m there: We Are All Completely Fine, and the UK edition of Afterparty, by Titan Books. As well as, you know, drinking beer and eating curry and sweeping chimneys and whatever else you do in London.
The full schedule isn’t out, but here are the two panels I know I’ll be on:
Sympathy for the Zombie Friday 12:00 – 13:30
Me, with Deborah Christie, David Towsey, Laurie Penny, Claudia Kern
According to M John Harrison, “The zombie is the ultimate other in a neoliberal society … they will never embarrass you by revealing their humanity.” To what extent does this reading explain the popularity of zombie franchises? And what are we to make of works such as Warm Blood, The Returned and In The Flesh, that start to rehumanise the zombie?
Imaginative Resistance Saturday 11:00 – 12:00
Me, with Jeff VanderMeer, Robert Jackson Bennett, Pat Cadigan, Sarita Robinson
Hume in his essay ‘Of The Standard of Taste’ asked why we are willing to suspend disbelief when authors make all sorts of wild claims but draw the line when the author makes moral claims contrary to our own. This might be less true today than it was in Hume’s time but we have our own moral rubicons. From sexual taboos to the role of government, what are the sort of things that readers tend to reject regardless of how skillfully the author makes the case? In other words, what sort of stories provoke imaginative resistance? How can this feeling be used to deliberate effect, for example within the horror genre?