LIMESTONE GENRE 2016 was this conference’s second year, and was held July 23 &24 in downtown Kingston Ontario (my favourite Canadian city) at Kingston Frontenac Public Library. I’m late in posting about this conference since summer was insanely busy with family affairs, but better late than never!
This year I focussed on the panels all weekend, but there were a lot of great Readings and Workshops available too. The Author list was extensive and the dealer room was impressive and consistently packed with buyers and minglers.
There was a nice mix of all Spec-Fic Genre topics – Fantasy, Mystery, the world of Comics, Science Fiction, Comedy, Thriller, Horror and Romance etc.. and the Cross Genre discussion to round it all up.
In Fantasy, I enjoyed listening to Tanya Huff speak about her career, providing insights for up-and-comers and Violette Malan ‘ s publications as well as her beautiful dresses and classy hats.
In mystery, with my love of history, specifically Canadian history – I was quite interested in Janet Kellough ‘s Thaddeus Lewis series set in historical Eastern Ontario. And there was Y.S. Lee ‘s Agency series set in Victorian London.
Derek Newman-Stille interviewed Jay Odjick on the topic of Comic creation and Jay’s KAGAGI: The Raven project. They discussed everything from the details of Comic artistry and publication to the Kagagi television series production and Jay’s background and success as a First Nations artist and businessman – which for him is important as a role model to his Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community. It was a great interview -Derek always has insightful questions and commentary to every discussion he attends, while Jay’s charisma and energy make 2hrs fly by.
Another panel I always find interesting is the Horror discussion which aside from great book lists, also leads to reflections on human nature through fear. Some of this panel’s attendees included David Nickle , Alyssa Cooper and Matt Moore .
Through all of the discussions I listened to over the course of the weekend, the underlying theme in many topics was acceptance and change in diversity in the publishing world. Panels about Feminism, LGBTQ2 Identities and Disability representations in fiction. These topics have been growing at every convention with open discussions amongst authors reflecting diversity and promoting them. It’s great to see the social changes being made through art and the frank dialogue over what has changed and how to navigate what still needs to be improved.
Thanks to Liz Strange and her crew for all the work put into organizing this event!