Weekend-long conference focuses on science fiction, horror and fantasy

NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz will host a weekend-long conference that will bring writers, editors and critics together to focus on science fiction, fantasy, horror and children’s literature, and how this genre plays an ever-increasing role in the life of our culture. The conference, which is titled “The Fantastic Genres,” is being held from April 30-May 2.

The conference’s two keynote speakers are John Clute and Elizabeth Hand. Clute, a noted novelist, has received three Hugo Awards for Best Nonfiction Work. The Hugo Award, also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award, is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS). He has also written many reviews and science fiction and fantasy encyclopedias.

Hand, a noted critic, is a regular book reviewer for Fantasy & Science Fiction, Washington Post Book World, and the Village Voice Literary Supplement, among others. She has just completed her seventh novel, “Mortal Love.” Hand’s previous novels include “Walking the Moon” and “Icarus Descending.”

The conference will feature more than 60 participants from universities ranging from North Dakota to London, including a number of professors and students from New Paltz. The conference is timed to coincide with this year’s English Department Graduate Symposium, whose theme, “Alien Genres,” it complements.

This conference is sponsored in part by a grant from Conversations in the Disciplines, the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center, and the English Department and the Dean of the Graduate School at SUNY New Paltz.

The conference is free and open to the public. To view the Fantastic Genres Web site, go to www.knotted-tree.com/fantasy. Call (845) 257-2736 for a complete schedule of events and their locations.