This coming weekend is 4th St. Fantasy convention–it’s not too late! you can still get at-the-door memberships!–and I cannot wait. I love 4th St. so much. It’s the people, and the passionate focus on story, and all the conversation. (I also like music parties. But music parties do tend to come with at least a little conversation too.) I’m hoping to finish the story I’m working on now so that I can have the newish novel stuff at the top of my head while thinking 4th St. thoughts.
Here’s what I’m doing formally this year:
Friday 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM: Short Fiction. Michael Merriam (Moderating), David Levine, Marissa Lingen, Michael D. Thomas. It can be challenging to bring worlds to life at novel length, much less in a handful of pages. What are the specific challenges of writing fantastic fiction at short lengths, and what are some ways in which short fiction’s effects and goals differ from those of novels? What strategies can be used to overcome these challenges, and how much grounding in genre protocols does a reader need to be able to unpack short- form fantasies?
Saturday 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Tell, Don’t Show. Emma Bull (Moderating), Steven Brust, David Levine, Marissa Lingen, Skyler White. Let’s talk about exposition! Authors like James Michener, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Francis Spufford have written novels that break all the “rules” about people hating exposition, and sometimes it’s better to just come out and tell readers things (c.f. Douglas Adams). What’s going on here, and what techniques and insights can we glean from it?
I am also hosting a lunch for people who are new to Fourth Street and want to meet people and hang out and like that. That’ll be Sunday. I have been trying to reach out to new people each 4th St., because it’s my con, and I want it to be friendly and welcoming, so when Cathy started arranging somewhat more formal stuff for welcoming new people this year, I figured I should sign up. I’ll be interested to see how it goes.