Fantasy in London and Bristol

A major exhibition on Fantasy will be opening at the British Library next week (Friday 27th) and will run until Sunday, February 25th, 2024. The curation team included Neil Gaiman, Aliette de Bodard and Roz Kaveney, so you can tell it will be very good. There are a whole bunch of events planned around it as well. Full details are available here. Many of them are online. I’m particularly keen to see Natalie Haynes interviewing Susan Cooper, and the Black to the Future event. I might also try to get to London for the full day of events on December 9th (or not, it is sold out, but online is available).

For those of us out west, I am delighted to see that Bristol Central Library is joining the fun. They have a bunch of events of their own. That includes co-hosting the Neil Gaiman livestream on November 20th, but also a bunch of events of their own. The following are part of their Lunchtime Lectures series.

Thu, Nov 9, 12:30 – Fantasy and the Cotswolds – a talk by the wonderful Cathy Butler. Who knows, it might feature Juliet McKenna, given that she lives in that part of the world.

Thu, Nov 30, 12:30 – Dianna Wynne Jones – I don’t know Henrietta and Lydia Wilson, but any talk on Dianna is likley to be a lot of fun.

Thu, Nov 16, 12:30 – What is Fantasy Anyway? – Oh, that’s me. Here’s the blurb:

Literary critics and booksellers are fond of dividing books into smaller and smaller categories. Is this book epic fantasy or sword & sorcery? Urban or rural? Historical, folklore or mythological? How can we tell? Authors, however, are much more slippery than those who seek to categorise their work would like. Books tend to slip and slide between genres, not just within fantasy, but outside of it as well.

In this talk, Cheryl Morgan, will look at how books at categorized and, with the help of some fine example works, make the argument that pretty much all fiction is fantasy of a sort.

For those of you who can’t get to Bristol, this talk will be getting turned into an essay, for publication in a venue I can’t tell you about yet.

There are also a couple of events at Bedminster Library. The full list is available here.