September 10, 2011
|ACCSFF '11 was the largest
conference of the entire series, with not one but two sets of concurrent
sessions and a total of 17 papers. Most exciting of all, our Guest
Author was Charles de Lint; instead of a keynote address, his appearance
featured an interview and Q&A session with the audience. Despite
the early hour, the exchange was very lively! Allan Weiss asked that
his wife, MaryAnn Harris, join them "on stage," so to speak, as she played
a key role in Mr. de Lint's career, especially his move from secondary-world
to urban fantasy.
The papers covered a remarkable range of material, and dealt with various media as well as literary modes of expression. Literary papers focused on the work of Peter Watts, Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Nalo Hopkinson, Tanya Huff, Julie Czerneda, and recent Quebecois SF, among others; George Vanderburgh talked about the little-known E. A. Apple, who created a Canadian version of Fu Manchu. On the media side, we heard papers on such films as Splice and the Resident Evil series, as well as on music and internet fandom. Scholars also discussed the image of Natives in Canadian SF and children's/YA SF. The variety of subjects made the conference particularly fascinating.
As always, the staff of the Merril Collection contributed their time and expertise and essentially made the conference possible. Thanks must once more go to Collection Head Lorna Toolis and librarian Annette Mocek. David Cheater not only presented a paper--his first conference paper ever--but agreed to return as our refreshments committee. Working the registration table were Emily Mocek and volunteers from the Friends of the Merril Collection, notably Arlene Morlidge and Barbara Kwasniewski, while Barbara Weiss acted once more as our official photographer. Financial aid came again from the English Department of York University and the Friends of the Merril Collection. Thanks to everybody who made ACCSFF '11 possible!