This morning saw a session on “sexualities” that had two trans-related papers, both of which were actually about gender bending and gender acquisition rather than about actual trans people. This was kind of disappointing because one of them was given by an expert on Brazilian SF.
The next session was the traditional panel run by Robin Reid and her Secret Slash Cabal, and it produced three superb papers. Vera Cuntz (my room mate for the con) provided an insightful and amusing paper about twins and incest in Harry Potter which actually made me want to go and read Rowling. Barbara Lucas entertained us all with stories about a goth-based perfume company, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and the associated fan community. And Eden Lee Lacker provided a masterly critique of the hideously inept FanLib.com project. I suggested that they go off and write a paper about “World Enough and Time” and associated controversies, and I’m looking forward to the result next year.
The Guest Scholar this year is Roger Luckhurst and his splendid speech introduced me to the idea of science fictional photography. This year’s conference is supposedly about “the sublime”, which is a posh was of saying “sensawunda”, and yes of course it is possible to attempt to photograph the sublime. Also these days we have photoshop. If you think this is nonsense, go check out the work of Andreas Gursky.
There are far more sessions available than any one person can attend, so please switch now to Karen Burnham who has an entirely different set of panels to talk about.