June 6, 2009
|ACCSFF '09 was the first conference
of the series to feature concurrent sessions; we received so many fine proposals
it was impossible to resist adding an extra session. Our Author Guest
Speaker was Karl Schroeder, novelist and futurist, who spoke about the role
of cognitive science in his work and contemporary science fiction in general.
Our Scholar Guest Speaker was Elizabeth Miller, internationally renowned
Dracula expert, who spoke about some of Dracula's Canadian connections.
The conference papers were extremely diverse, with subjects ranging from Margaret Atwood to science-fiction poetry to young adult SF and dark fantasy. Sessions dealt with postcolonialism in writers like Nalo Hopkinson and Phyllis Gotlieb, and the fantastic in the media--radio, television, and film. The final session offered fascinating papers on religion and philosophy in Canadian science fiction and fantasy, focusing on Robert Charles Wilson and Rikki Ducornet.
ACCSFF '09 ended with a special ceremony. Dominick M. Grace has attended and given papers at almost every ACCSFF; in appreciation, Allan Weiss presented Professor Grace with a certificate thanking him for his ongoing support of the conference.
Again, the staff of the Merril Collection, led by Collection Head Lorna Toolis and librarian Annette Mocek, provided their space and time. David Cheater was our refreshments committee once more, and other members of the staff and the Friends of the Merril Collection, notably Arlene Morlidge, offered their time and assistance. Barbara Weiss acted as our official photographer. As in the past, the English Department of York University and the Friends of the Merril Collection contributed financially to the event. We're very grateful to everyone who helped us out!