From the Sublime

The theme of this year’s conference is, “The Sublime in the Fantastic”. Accordingly the opening panel set out to explore just what we might mean by that. We are now all thoroughly sublimated (not to mention purified and exalted, if you happen to have a Thesaurus or John Clute to hand).

Roger Luckhurst, this year’s Guest Scholar, kicked things off by exhorting us to create a list of those genre writers who, despite the shrieking, gibbous insanity of their eldritch prose, somehow manage to forge a connection to the unnameable and unknowable.

Mr. Clute, sharp as ever, talked about the movie technique of “selling the shot” and how it is all about never showing the whole monster.

And Brian Aldiss, unwilling to trade erudition with the rest of the panel, chose instead to read a brief fragment written by someone he knew:

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.

So now, without being shown the whole monster, you should have a good idea of what we are trying to talk about.