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Today at Confluence:
Where To Next? Trends in Science Fiction

July 30th, 2022

Writing horror in the days of covid is a bit like living in a science fiction novel. Not the Michael Crichton variety, where things pretty much go back to normal after humankind deals with the inciting incident, but the Richard Matheson kind (think I am Legend) where things change and those of us who get through it learn to adjust. (I addressed the same topic in an earlier post. You can read it here.)

Such changes were at the center of yesterday’s discussion of The Pandemic’s Impact on Horror Fiction on the opening day of Confluence, Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction convention. You can read my preview of that panel here, and I’m going to try posting a summary of the conversation soon. For now, it’s on to today’s discussion: Where To Next? Trends in Recent Science Fiction and Fantasy.

To address that topic, I’ll be joined by Neil Clarke, Marie Vibbert, and Michael Mammay.

Here’s a little more about them:

Neil Clarke is the editor of the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. He has been a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Editor (Short Form) ten times, won the Chesley Award for Best Art Director three times, and received the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award from SFWA in 2019.

Marie Vibbert is the author of numerous short stories, poems and comics. Her novel Galactic Hellcats, “about a female biker gang in outer space rescuing a gay prince” was released in 2021. Fortcoming works include The Gods Awoke, coming this September from Journey Press. Her novelette “We Built This City” is available in the June issue of Clarkesworld.

Michael Mammy’s books include the military sf mystery Planetside and its sequels Spaceside and Colonyside. His latest, The Weight of Command, has just been released as an Audible Original, with print and e-book editions to follow in early 2023.

And here’s the description of our panel from the Confluence program book:

In every period, SF has had trends — key ideas, concepts, or styles that a number of authors used. What are the current trends, and where do we see this going?

Along the way, I’m hoping today’s panel might touch on things mentioned in yesterday’s pandemic discussion. In particular, I’ll be interested in hearing if events of the past three years have significantly affected what and how people are writing.

If you’re planning to attend Confluence today, consider joining our discussion at 5:00. Either way, be sure to check back here soon, as I hope to post a panel recap in the days ahead.