The extreme measures we take to remove responsible adults in order to empower children in stories – whether it’s J.K. Rowling starting poor Harry off an orphan, or C.S. Lewis exiling an entire family to the country, or Suzanne Collins forcing Katniss Everdeen to become the adult in her mother’s own house… Panelists will discuss the importance, or lack thereof, of parents in YA stories.
Some female warriors represent the norm in their fantasy or science fictional societies and are expected to train and fight alongside their men. Others are “exceptions”, who need to battle the prejudice of their colleagues just as much as their enemies. Panelists will discuss female fighters of every kind, taking examples both from real life and fiction. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the characters under discussion? How has representation of female warriors changed over time? How does the author’s treatment of these characters vary by genre if at all?
I attended my first WorldCon (14-18 Aug) over the weekend. In four days I went to 33 panels and saw countless authors and bloggers, including a few of my favourites. Exhausted, I decided to skip Monday’s events to come home earlier than planned, saddled with heavy bags on each shoulder like a mule.
We in the UK don’t have huge conventions like ComicCon so for years my being has turned green with envy whenever my fellow American readers mention them. This was likely my only chance to attend something with literally hundreds of authors making an appearance and where being an introverted reader is welcome and “normal”. For once I wasn’t the only one in the room. As August is my birthday month, I decided to spoil myself with a full 5-day ticket.