My small, local book-oriented convention.
Among many other qualities, Shakespeare was a master of using plays within his plays to amplify his themes and plot arcs. This technique of self-reference has been used for dramatic and comedic effect in many works. Orson Scott Card had Ender Wiggin playing through a story game that ultimately tied into and reflected his "real life" story; P.C. Hodgell has traditional stories in her novels that shadow the main action; Stephen King pulled the ultimate coup and wrote himself into his Dark Tower series as a character, incorporating his struggles with substance abuse into the decay of the universe; Michael Ende's novel The Neverending Story famously loops in on itself. Is this an effective tool for writers to use? What makes it work and when does it fall flat? Let's analyze the phenomena!
Have you found yourself depressed lately, and wanting to read a book where you were guaranteed that the protagonist and their allies would survive the book in good cheer and all the villains would get their comeuppance? You might be surprised to learn that there's a genre for that--the misguidedly scorned (contemporary) romance novel. But what are romance novels really like? Why should you start reading them if you're not already? What does toxic masculinity have to do with the perception of romance novels and their enthusiasts? All, from extant romance enthusiasts to the newly curious, are encouraged to come discuss what romance novels offer for today's discerning feminists.
In works like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Thomas M. Disch's Camp Concentration, and Michael Swanwick's Jack Faust, we see modern reflections of the old Faust myth -- a tale that has a lot of resonance for SF and F, where knowledge is generally considered a virtue, or a noble goal, rather than something to be pursued only with great care. What other examples of the Faust myth do we have in the SFnal world, and how does our treatment of it over time change, and what does that tell us about who we are, and who we want to be?