Back in Kent After a Short Christmas Reprieve

Yufang and I are back from a week long visit to see my family over Christmas. We had a great time in the South, but there was far too little time to do everything we would have liked to have done or see everyone who we would have liked to have seen. I have some pending updates on my reading and experiences while we were gone, which should follow in short order.

The picture above is of us on my Grandpa Ellis’ dock on the heavily polluted Turtle River. It’s pretty there, but you don’t want to eat anything that lives in or around the water. Industry along the river dumped a good deal of mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) into the water, which have obviously worked their way into the food chain.

There are only a couple of days left in 2009, so I would like to say to everyone: Happy New Year and Peace to All.

ICFA 2009, Wrap-Up

I wrote a lot on my experience at ICFA 2009 this year, and this post is a collection of the individual posts.  I hope that this record might help folks interested in the small slice of the conference that I experienced.  I’ve already talked with Ritch about organizing blogging coverage of SFRA in June–stay tuned.

ICFA 2009 Posts on organized reverse chronologically:

Science Fiction Research Association 2009 Award Winners

Lisa Yaszek, SFRA President, announced the 2009 winners of SFRA’s professional awards on Friday.  Congratulations to this year’s winners:

The Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions to SF and fantasy scholarship goes to Brian Attebery;

The Pioneer Award for the best critical essay-length work of the year goes to Neil Easterbrook for “Giving An Account of Oneself”: Ethics, Alterity, _Air_”;

The Clareson Award for for Distinguished Service to SF and fantasy scholarship goes to Hal Hall;

The Mary Kay Bray Award for the best essay, interview, or extended review to appear in the _SFRA Review_ in the past year goes to Sandor Klapcsik for his review of _Rewired_ (SFRAR #284); and

The Graduate Student Paper Award for the best essay presented at the 2008 SFRA conference:
Dave Higgins for “The Imperial Unconscious: Samuel R. Delany’s _The Fall of the Towers_.”

Join us in Atlanta, Georgia to congratulate the winners during the award presentations at the 40th annual SFRA Conference with the dual themes of Engineering the Future and Southern-Fried Science Fiction and Fantasy on June 11-14 2009.

SFRA 2009 in Atlanta Announcement

Lisa Yaszek and Doug Davis have announced the 2009 Science Fiction Research Association 40th annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  I’ll be there–will you?

See below for the details!

SFRA 2009: Engineering the Future and Southern-Fried Science Fiction and Fantasy
June 11-14, Atlanta, GA (Wyndham Midtown Hotel)
Guest of Honor: Michael Bishop
Special Guest Authors: F. Brett Cox, Paul di Filippo, Andy Duncan, Kathleen Ann Goonan, and Jack McDevitt
Hosted by: Lisa Yaszek and Doug Davis

SFRA is currently accepting individual abstracts and panel proposal for its 2009 conference. We welcome paper and panel submissions that explore any aspect of science fiction across history and media and are particularly interested in those that engage one or both of the conference themes, “Engineering the Future” and “Southern-Fried Science Fiction and Fantasy,” or the work of one or more of the conference’s guest authors.

The 2009 conference’s two themes and its selection of guest authors are inspired by the conference’s location in Atlanta and its co-sponsorship by Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. Atlanta, a storied locale in American history, is also in many ways an international city of the future, home to 21st century information, entertainment, technological and military industries, peopled with 21st century demographics, and prone to 21st century situations.

How is the future engineered in science fiction and how has science fiction already engineered our present? The American south has long been well known for its gothic fiction, but it has increasingly figured in works of science fiction and fantasy too. So it is equally fitting to ask, how has the south been an inspiration of science fiction and fantasy and what will its global future in speculative arts and letters be?

The deadline for proposals is April 1, 2009 at midnight EST. Please submit paper and panel proposals by email to . Include all text of the proposal in the body of the email (not as an attachment). Please be sure to include full contact information for all panel members and to make all AV requests within each proposal.

For more information, email And as of September 1, 2008, be sure to check out for more details!