4th Street Fantasy…
continues June 26–28, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN

Thursday, June 25, 2015
8 PMEarly Arrival open gaming
Friday, June 26, 2015
9:00 AMSeminar and Workshop
4:30 PMWelcome
Does the Arc of Fantasy Bend Toward Justice?
Arkady Martine,
Alex Haist,
Fade Manley,
Paul Weimer,
Django Wexler
Recent years have given us a spate of fairly high-profile SF/F novels deeply concerned with ethics and the balance of power between the state and the individual. The Goblin Emperor, Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, and The Just City are a few obvious examples. Is the deconstruction of empire here to stay, or is it just another passing current in the river of our dreams? How did we get here from a seemingly interminable preoccupation with concepts such as right-of-arms and divine right? Are we evolving or merely reacting?
6:00 PMDinner
8:00 PMMisdirection, Dirty Tricks, and False Fumbles
Scott Lynch,
Alec Austin,
Dana Baird,
Lynne Thomas
The use of shock, upset, disorientation, and fake-out, all in the service of eventually delivering some manner of the goods the reader more or less expects. The conundrum of keeping things fresh and seemingly risky while staying thematically and atmospherically tied to existing work. How to secure and maintain reader tolerance for deviation from expectations… how long does a writer have before a deliberate twist is mistaken for a meta-fictional mistake, and vice versa?
9:00 PMIntermediate Writers discussion
Location: Upper Atrium (downstairs on the first floor next to the pool).
If you are looking for discussion beyond the usual beginner-level advice but you've been chasing that elusive publication street-cred, this might be the place for you! For more information on what the idea was in 2014, head over to this LiveJournal post. This year will be similar.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
9:30 AMThe Romance of the Breakdown
Elizabeth Bear,
Emma Bull,
Marissa Lingen,
Max Gladstone,
Sarah Olsen
What’s up with our perpetual fascination with breaking society and dramatizing the apocalypse as well as the post-apocalypse... how do our cultural myths and societal images intersect with this phenomenon and fuel it (the manor house cozy catastrophe of British fiction, the American narrative of rugged survivalists gunning their way across the ungoverned wastes, etc.)? We've seen that national powers can remain in control and national identities remain concrete even when bombs are literally falling from the sky. So why do we seem so convinced that if our society hits the rocks we'll never get it off again?
11:00 AMSurviving Yourself: Self-Care for Creative Types
Abra Staffin‑Wiebe,
Blair MacGregor,
Caroline Stevermer,
Tom Whitmore,
John Wiswell
Sometimes it seems like the drive for artistic satisfaction is a race to sprain joints, bend spines, wreck eyes, and seal ourselves off from the rest of the human race. So we’ll discuss, in as non-strident and non-prescriptive a fashion as possible, assorted tricks and life hacks that can be used to ease the physical, mental, and social strain of just being our usual selves.
2:00 PMLento, Allegro, Chapter Break: Understanding Plot and Pacing Through Music
Steven Brust,
John Chu,
Russell Letson,
Arkady Martine
Talking about the structures of our stories using the elements of musical composition, and vice versa. How and when is this sort of artistic cross-mapping beneficial as opposed to merely interestingly coincidental? *SL Note: Given how many musicians we have in the audience, I thought a panel explicitly bridging the disciplines of making words and making sounds would be a cool experiment.
3:30 PMThe Phantasmagorical Cross-Cultural Sexual Cogitation Panel
Gaea Dill‑D’Ascoli,
Leslie Hall,
Tam MacNeil,
Michael Thomas
Treatments of sex in fantasy with comparative notes from the real world. What we’ve done right, what we’ve ignored, and most importantly, what we might never have seen before.
5:00 PMHoisting the Lightning Rod Twice
Emma Bull,
Alyc Helms,
Beth Meacham,
Will Shetterly
Once in every generation, the reboot shall fall among them. The X-Files is scheduled to return some 20+ years after it began, Mad Max rides again, Tad Williams is taking readers back to Osten Ard after a quarter-century, and not that long ago John Scalzi wrote what was essentially a literary cover version of H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy. It seems an apt time to talk about what happens when once-formative pop culture returns to the very landscape that it helped to change. What keeps this sort of endeavor truly alive and elevates it above wading in the nostalgia pool? (Hopefully also featuring some discussion about ongoing resonance between Shadow Unit and its real-world ancestor). *SL Note: Don’t worry, we’re not turning into Convergence… I think we have to discuss certain televisual items as touchstones for the discussion of literature, but guiding us toward the latter will be an important part of structuring this panel.
8:00 PMHow Do You Play the Cards You Ain’t Been Dealt?
Kelly McCullough,
Elizabeth Bear,
Steve Brust,
Pamela Dean,
Skyler White
We’ve often talked about the concept that each author gets some cards from the skill-set deck ("dialog,” “voice,” “plot,” “cooking scenes,” etc.) but sadly nobody gets them all. So how do you work with (or around) the cards you're missing?
Sunday, June 28, 2015
10:00 PMCrossing the Genre Streams
Marissa Lingen,
Max Gladstone,
Doug Hulick,
Kelly McCullough,
Patricia C. Wrede
The challenges, structural concerns, and tricks of crossing two or more established genres in one book. How the beats fall differently, how to manage different sets of expectations, etc.
11:30 PMThe Consequences of Communication
Alec Austin,
John Chu,
Arun Jiwa,
Devin Singer
SF/F has offered many visions of new and improved communications over the years, but hasn’t always fully explored the second-order effects and the social consequences of these developments. Let’s dig deep and explore the realistic side-effects and possible societal changes of what we can see headed our way, extrapolating from the very real changes that have washed over us like waves in our own lifetimes. “Future radio will go farther and sound better” ain’t enough… let’s talk about what these developments do to us.
12:30 PMLunch
2:30 PMBut that's a different panel...
Topic and panelists to be determined by mystical processes
3:30 PMThanks! And what about 2016?