back from ICFA

It pleases me that I already have twenty-three comments on this weekend’s rant, without me having had a chance to answer any of them yet. For those who have contributed to the discussion so far, I will respond, but probably not until tomorrow. For those who haven’t read it: go see me compare SF elitists to nineteenth-century anthropologists. As I said to ninja_turbo, the post lacks swearing only if you think “warmed-over nineteenth century unilinear cultural evolutionary theory” isn’t me swearing.

ICFA? ICFA was good. It’s moving to Orlando next year, and from the sound of it that’s going to be all-round a positive change, but I confess I will miss the familiarity of that hotel. (And I’ve only been going for five years; what of the people who have known it for twenty?) I would still love to see someone kidnap the Con Cat and bring him to Orlando, even if he does have fleas. Because I will miss having a kitty to pet.

My paper seems to have gone over well, despite being ten pounds of idea shoved in a five-pound sack. I will probably expand it a bitsy and then try to sell it to Strange Horizons, for those who wanted to read it. The expansion will be a Good Thing, though it will necessitate another round of prioritizing information, since I still won’t be able to get remotely everything in there. (What, you mean trying to cover twenty-eight novels, three and a half editions of D&D, and thirty years of textual history in five thousand words isn’t a manageable idea?)

Every paper and discussion I attended was good. This is unique in my conferencing experience so far. Either ICFA’s getting better, or I had good karma this year.

I have a head full of thoughts, not all of them fully baked. Look out in the near future, though, for a manifesto on Anthropological Fantasy, coming to an LJ near you.

I have reached the point where I have a Manifesto.

This is an interesting place to be.

0 Responses to “back from ICFA”

  1. cheshyre

    Up-too-late moronic question, but what’s ICFA?

    I tried googling the acronym, but most of the results don’t sound like the kind of place you’d be presenting.Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Association,
    Insulating Concrete Form Association,
    International Committee for Future Accelerators,
    International Coalition of Fisheries Associations,
    International Custody and Fund Administration…

    • Marie Brennan

      I was very bad and didn’t post about where I was going before, y’know, I went. Bad author self-promoter; no biscuit.

      ICFA is the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, hosted by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts ( is the website to look at) — an academic conference on spec fic that also features regular attendence by working writers (and editors and artists, though fewer of them). I went for the first time five years ago because I won the undergraduate writing award that’s presented there, got hooked, and have gone back ever since.

  2. mastergode

    Woo, glad you made it back safely. 😉

    I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to hear your paper, though perhaps I may end up reading it at some point.

    I, too, enjoyed the majority of the panels that I attended. Unfortunately, some of them seemed to be a bit sparse on actual analysis, and heavy on reiteration. Alas, such is life.

    • Marie Brennan

      It was good to meet you!

      What you say about the papers is what I’ve generally found wrong with them, but most of the things I saw this year were pretty solid, and those that weren’t still managed to interest me. None of them left me regretting my decision to leave the poolside, in other words. 🙂

    • prosewitch

      Yes, the heavy summarizing and oft-lacking analysis bothered me too. Though there are often good reasons to sit through such papers–learning about things you haven’t read (and may then want to read, or not, depending), or getting to geek about things you already like, or getting to say smugly that the author should refer to your forthcoming article on the work in question. 😉

      • mastergode

        Hee hee… I’m terribly excited about reaching such a point, where I can be smug in the scholarly sense. 😉

        I’m so, so, SO definitely going to write a paper for next year. I just wonder how far out of bounds for ‘the sublime’ I can go, before they deny me. *grins*

        • prosewitch

          Ha, well, if they’re gonna be strict about it, I wish them luck cracking down on “the sublime” next year, then, ’cause somehow I think “the sublime” may not like being pigeonholed. It just might push back!

          I’m thinking of doing a paper along the lines of “Dancing the Sublime,” though what exactly that means, I couldn’t tell you yet…

  3. kniedzw

    I will probably expand it a bitsy and then try to sell it to Strange Horizons, for those who wanted to read it.Something that everyone who goes to ICFA should try to do.

  4. nconstruct

    well that leaves something new to read prior to sleep. thank you for the heads up. Oh, and congrats on the relocation.

    • Marie Brennan

      What, my rant? Well, I guess for other people it may not induce the kind of high blood pressure that makes it hard to sleep. I posted it when I did in part to try and get the froth out of my head so I could go to bed already.

  5. moonandserpent

    What? No 60 minute rambling rants about why you an author is your friend? *feh* What is this world coming to?

  6. diatryma

    The move will probably be good; last year, people were upset with the hotel. I heard rumors of Arizona, but only rumors– it adds another day of travel to the overseas crowd, and that is on the edge of unreasonable.
    I cannot wait to read your Manifesto.

    • Marie Brennan

      They’ve done repeated polls about whether people would rather save boatloads of money on hotel rooms and be somewhere other than Florida, and the answer has persistently been a resounding NO.

      And “upset with the hotel” is only the tip of the iceberg. The new management just doesn’t want our business anymore. Period. So we’re going somewhere else.

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