So, here’s my schedule at Loncon 3!

LONCON3_logoIn draft, at least. Loncon 3 is the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention and the first to be held in London since 1965. With Bryan among the Guests of Honour, we’re there for the whole shebang.

Here are the panels I’ll be participating in over the long weekend:


Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence

Thursday 12:00 – 13:00

It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World).

Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panelists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old?

What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?

Kate Laity (Moderator), Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot and Karrie Fransman

Rewriting Gender Defaults

Thursday 18:00 – 19:00

Several recent novels, including Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice”, Kim Stanley Robinson’s “2312”, Kim Westwood’s “The Courier’s New Bicycle”, Deb Taber’s “A Necessary Ill” and Kameron Hurley’s “God’s War”, have tried to imagine futures with increased gender diversity, or changed gender defaults. This panel will discuss how writers in English approach the technical aspects of challenging and disrupting gender binaries: how do issues such as narrative voice or structure affect our impressions of the worlds created? What are the strengths and weaknesses of different choices?

Roz J Kaveney (Moderator), Alex Dally MacFarlane, Julia Rios, Geoff Ryman and Mary Talbot

Revealing the Real World Through Comics

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00

It can be argued that cartoons have a long tradition of grappling with, and commenting on, poltical and domestic problems through editorial cartoons and illustrated satire.

Yet it’s generally considered that the rise of autobiographical comics came about in the 1960s, and has slowly become popular as an means of expression in the intervening decades – especially after Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Why have comic book journalism, graphic memoirs, and tackling social issues through the medium of comic books and cartoons become so popular? What can we reveal about the real through a medium that often uses abstract or surreal images combined with text to tell a story?

And why will they earn awards from the literary scene, when their fictional counterparts rarely get listed?

Maura McHugh (Moderator), June Madeley, Grá Linnaea and Mary Talbot

Grandville@Loncon3Writing and Pitching Comics

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00

A discussion about creating comic books from the writer’s perspective. Breaking into comic book writing can present a unique challenge for new writers, because the route in is usually different than for artists (there are no portfolio reviews for writers).

Then there are basic issues, such as formatting scripts, which aren’t even clearcut.

How do writers craft the pitches that get them jobs as comic book writers? How do they proceed once they get the gig? What’s it like to liaise with artists, colourists, letterers, and editors?

What are the joys and perils of collaborating with so many people?

Maura McHugh (Moderator), Paul Cornell, Mike Carey, Mary Talbot and Debbie Lynn Smith

Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality

Handbook coverAlso out this month is a rather different sort of publication that I’ve contributed to. It’s the second edition of an enormous reference tome for students and scholars of gender, sexuality and language. If it’s anything like the first edition, the contributions will all be highly readable scholarship with global reach and relevance. And it’s a snip at £120!

The book is The Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality and it’s edited by Susan Ehrlich, Miriam Meyerhoff and Janet Holmes.

My contribution is Chapter 31 Language, Gender and Popular Culture. It contains sections on Popular culture; Magazines, friendship and community; Broadcast talk, gendered styles and professional identities; Talking with the television; Creative engagement: putting gender on the agenda. The last section focuses on cartoons and comics and draws examples from Posy Simmonds and, briefly, from my own Dotter of her Father’s Eyes. Well, fancy that!