The Fantasy Feast
Release Date: 07/11/2020
A panel to discuss how we continue to create art—and why it’s as or more important than ever—without burning ourselves out or failing to engage in the world at all.info_outline Systems of Communication
Our frameworks for communication filter into almost every aspect of human experience, from how we share information to how we form social bonds to how we interact with and understand our world at all. How are fantasy stories uniquely suited to play with the limitations and possibilities of communication systems?info_outline The Role of Hospitality in Stories
Why is commitment to hospitality so ingrained, and transgressions against it so reprehensible? This panel will discuss what, in our current era, fantasy stories can do with the concept of what it means to welcome, and why that matters.info_outline The Fantasy Feast
Discussion of meals and meal-related customs in fantasy storiesinfo_outline
Meal gatherings are a prominent feature in fantasy. It’s not just the geographical availability of the food that details our worlds, but how characters interact with food and what it says about them. Whether characters’ staple foods are rice or bread, for instance, or if they have access to both, there’s still a choice of what to serve. A character who has more difficulty acquiring meat but nevertheless serves it to guests—or doesn’t—tells us something; likewise a character who can barely afford their own rice but still shares it.
A meal gathering is about the food, but it’s also about more than that: narratively, we can use meals to manipulate tension, build atmosphere, and create social frameworks that underpin our stories. Familiar mealtime customs and ways of interacting with food can work as anchors for the reader, while unfamiliar ones can make an experience as universal as sharing a meal feel alien. Fantasy has a particular reputation for devoting time to depicting not just food, but meals: let’s tease out why.
4th Street At a Distance panel podcast 1 of 4
Recorded: June 6, 2020
Moderator: Elizabeth Bear
Panelists: Casey Blair, Ruthanna Emrys, Fonda Lee, DongWon Song