review

Tranquilize the Mind with a Steady Purpose (ICFA 2018)

I attended ICFA (the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, operated by the IAFA) for the first time last month. This academic conference is pretty special; I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Eclectic is a good way to describe the vibe, as the attendees come from varying fields of study. There were undergrads and postgrads, professors and independent scholars, writers and editors, all specializing in topics like Indian science fiction, the portrayal of robots in Japanese pop culture, or monsters in Victorian literature (the theme for this year’s conference was the 200-year anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, after all). I’ll admit that it was overwhelming at times, and yes, exhausting too. I would have never survived without those revitalizing coffee breaks! The overall experience was so exhilarating and intellectually stimulating, however, that losing a few hours of sleep was well worth it. I walked away (or rather, flew away) from Orlando equipped with new approaches to literature and some inspiration for future projects. (more…)

You Can Fly (World Fantasy 2017)

Last week I traveled to San Antonio, Texas to attend my very first World Fantasy Convention. It’s a huge gathering of writers, editors, artists, publishers, and fans of all things fantasy. This convention has been on my wish list for years, and with San Antonio being relatively close to Los Angeles, I finally decided to take the plunge. And boy, did I. This con left me gasping for air but wanting to continuously dive deeper into the fantasy genre and all its iterations at every opportunity. It was an overwhelming, enchanting, intriguing, and overall, fantastic (see what I did there?) experience. Let me attempt to summarize all the cool things during my three days at the convention. (more…)

Let’s Break It Down (Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con 2017)

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The banner hanging over the main entrance of the LA Convention Center

On Saturday, I attended Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con for the first time. The con is still relatively new, this being their fifth show, but it’s been steadily growing in attendance and popularity. I normally check out a con’s programming and special guests a few days prior to going, but I’ve been so busy the past couple of weeks (prepping for conferences, editing, writing, etc.) that I showed up essentially unprepared and didn’t realize I’d be in for a couple of fun surprises. I’m currently obsessed with the video game “Overwatch” and discovered that there would be a panel dedicated to it and featuring some of the voice cast. Additionally, I saw that actor/pro-wrestler/future president Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was one of the big names appearing on that day, too. I was pretty stoked.  (more…)

Last Year’s Words

The end of 2016 is just a few days away. I think many people will be happy to have this year over and done with. For me, 2016 has been like skipping through a wooded meadow, bending over to pick some wild blueberries, then being cracked across the skull by an angry Sasquatch who happened to be doing his business behind those bushes. We’ve lost some incredible people whose contributions to society will always be remembered: Prince, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, John Glenn, and Harper Lee, just to name a few. We’ve also witnessed some of the most shocking votes throughout the world: the passing of Brexit in the United Kingdom; the voter rejection of a peace deal between FARC and the Colombian government; and Duterte and Trump’s election victories in the Philippines and the U.S., respectively. There are problems at home (gun violence; Standing Rock; Flint, MI; hate crimes) and all around the globe, such as terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis, which will carry into the new year and beyond. (more…)

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction (AWP Conference Report)

Last weekend, I attended the AWP Conference.  It was my first time going to a writer centric convention.  I had some odd run-ins at the end of the day (more on that later), but the conference itself was a fantastic experience.  The event ran from Thursday to Saturday, but I was only able to attend the final day’s festivities.  I have to save my vacation time for two more future trips to Maine.  At the very least.  🙂

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