Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Introducing the Second Annual Toronto SpecFic Colloquium

Speculative fiction forges, challenges, remakes, and disseminates the mythologies that explain and name who we are today and what we might be tomorrow. Whether by means of technoscience or the fantastic, speculative fiction investigates how the boundaries between the familiar and the mysterious dissolve and bleed into each other, its stories expressing the hopes and fears of modernity in distinct ways and from surprising perspectives.

The 2011 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium will focus on Modern Mythologies. In a series of talks and readings, leading speculative fiction writers will discuss, pose questions about, and encourage you to consider the importance and power of the stories that define humanity in the present age . . . from the aliens hiding among us to the gates of Hell ripping open in our backyards.

As part of this, the good folks at ChiZine Publications have agreed to run a series of blog posts tackling the theme of “Modern Mythologies.” A range of guest bloggers from the industry will give their own personal take on the 2011 Colloquium’s theme. Aliens among us, masquerading as humans. Vampires hunting in our alleys at night. The singularity evolving steadily within fibre optic cables and the code of the internet. Fey waging their eons-old feuds beside us in our cities. Vigilantes confronting sociopaths and psychopaths through claustrophobic streets and crowded skyscrapers. Ancient gods and goddesses hoping to regain power and status in a secular, skeptical world. Post human cyborgs thinking and acting faster than we can comprehend. Hell boiling up into our homes and suburban neighbourhoods.

And, of course, we encourage you to register for the main event, to check out the videos of the Aurora-nominated 2010 Colloquium, and to add your own thoughts and comments to the discussion!

--Helen Marshall, co-organizer of the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


The 2nd Toronto SpecFic Colloquium will take place on Saturday October 15, 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue). Registration opens on March 1, 2011 at


Aurora-nominated poet Helen Marshall ( is an author, editor, and self-proclaimed bibliophile. Her poetry has been published in ChiZine, NFG, Abyss & Apex and the long-running Tesseracts anthology series. "Mist and Shadows," published originally in Star*Line, appeared in The 2006 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2005. She recently released a collection of poems entitled Skeleton Leaves from Kelp Queen Press and her collection of short stories Hair Side, Flesh Side is forthcoming from ChiZine Publications in 2013.

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