The restaurant was still an Italian though, some things never change. Other things that didn't change: the quality and variety of the papers was once again very high. We heard brilliant papers on zombies, Portal, Stargate Universe, chaos theory and epic fantasy, Philip K. Dick, and Fernando Spiner. Plus so much more. As ever I must repeat my mantra that a conference is nothing without its delegates and our delegates are the friendliest, best natured, most passionate and interesting people you could hope to find. CRSF is consistently praised for its atmosphere and as organisers we try to set the tone but it means nothing without these wonderful people, some of whom travel great distances to be with us. Thank you one and all....
|The 2014 Conference Photo. As ever, sadly, some people had to depart before the day ended but most who attended are here.|
We had thirty-four papers presented in thirteen panels across four streams.1 Delegates once again represented institutions all over the UK, as well as Finland, Germany, Ireland, the USA, and Venezuela. Overall there were fifty-four attendees, a CRSF record.
Gratitude is never a strong enough word for what I feel towards our keynote speakers. Each year we've been blessed by wonderful speakers and Dr. Mark Bould and Prof. Roger Luckhurst were no exception. Mark opened the day with his keynote "It Ain't No Jive, Trying to Stay Alive: Insurgency and Epidermality in Blaxploitation Sf", a talk which showed us a brave new world of sf cinema and ensured that I was humming the soundtracks to Shaft and Superfly for the rest of the day. The conference resumed after lunch with Roger's talk entitled "Corridor Horror", it represented the very newest of Roger's research (which after all is the remit of Current Research in Speculative Fiction), and took us on a tour of corridors in speculative fiction from The Shining to Star Wars and beyond, considering their role as liminal spaces and provoking a very healthy Q+A session.
Thanks also go to the Gateway Centre's Building Manager, Nigel, for being amazingly accommodating, making sure everything went smoothly, and providing us with a comfortable and modern venue, tasty food, and even for taking our conference photo (see above). Once again, thanks to Andy Sawyer, academic librarian for the Science Fiction Foundation collection at the University of Liverpool's Sydney Jones Library (and keynote speaker at CRSF 2011), for once more arranging for all delegates to receive free copies of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. And to Prof. David Seed for kindly donating a book for us to raffle off as a bonus for our delegates.
As ever we would appreciate feedback for CRSF 2014 and suggestions on how we could improve for the future (or just blanket praise, who doesn't like fan mail?), please leave comments on this post or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're also interested in any photos you may have taken of the conference or any of the affiliated social events, if you've got anything you'd be willing to share then please email it to us, or post it on our facebook page. I'm a big fan of having a twitter back-channel at conferences and so it was nice to see that CRSF 2014 was also our most tweeted conference. Not just from the conference official @CRSFteam account but also from our delegates. I've done my best to compile most of the tweets on this storify page so if you're not on twitter (or are worried you missed something) then take a look.
All that's left to say is that CRSF will return in 2015.
See you there!
- Glyn Morgan,
On behalf of fellow team members Molly Cobb, Leimar Garcia-Siino, Chris Pak, and Michelle Yost
1 One paper less than the record. Although it's probably worth noting that this year was the first time that, because of personal time constraints, none of the organisers contributed papers meaning that this year is actually the most papers by "regular attendees".