Panels / Paneli

Beyond A Song of Ice and Fire: using history as a jumping point for fantasy

George R.R. Martin famously used the War of the Roses as his inspiration for his epic Song of Ice and Fire. What does history give us when we look to fantasy worlds, and what other novels have taken historical inspiration?

Check our social networks and website after the panel for reading, watching and listening recommendations from our panelists!

Claire Bartlett grew up in Colorado. She studied history and archaeology and spent time in Switzerland and Wales before settling in Denmark for good. Her debut novel, WE RULE THE NIGHT, received four starred reviews and was called one of the best YA novels of 2019 by Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of WE RULE THE NIGHT and THE WINTER DUKE. When not at her computer telling mostly fictional stories, she works as a tour guide in Copenhagen, telling stories that are (mostly) true.

Ivana Delač (born in 1983 in Zagreb, Croatia) graduated psychology in 2008 and she works as a psychology teacher and school psychologist in III. gimnazija (Third Grammar School) in Zagreb. She is also a cognitive-behavioral therapy trainee, currently in supervision, and the president of Expert group for school psychology in Croatian Psychological Chamber.

She is an accomplished writer of speculative fiction who entered the Croatian SF scene in 2006, when her first story was published. Since then, her bibliography includes around forty published short stories and three novels – fantasy novel for children “Pegazari” (“Pegasars”, 2009), urban fantasy YA novel “Izgnani” (“The Exiled”, 2016) and feminist steampunk “Japodinine muke” (“Japodina’s troubles”, 2018).

Srebrenka Peregrin is a clasically trained storyteller, a journey she embarked on when her kids were small, which means for over ten years. She started honing her theoretical knowledge back in college, where she defended her graduate thesis on the subject of the contemporary functions of fairy tale characters. Since then she has attended and held many storytelling and writing seminars. She performs at libraries, schools, kindergartens, various cultural and tourist events and SF conventions. She is also a writer and has published several stories in domestic and foreign publications.

Non-Anglophone Fantastic

Since Futuricon is held in Croatia it could be a great opportunity to hold a panel about the various non-Anglophone SFF and horror. How they differ from Anglophone SFF or each other, and what are the similarities.

Lars G. Backstrom works as an IT consultant at a company that only hires people on the autism spectrum. He has advanced degrees in Geophysics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in War Studies from King’s College London. Lars has numerous non-fiction publications in different disciplines and his Cthulhu Mythos short story The Passion of the Son of Man won a literary award in 2007.

Ivana Delač (born in 1983 in Zagreb, Croatia) graduated psychology in 2008 and she works as a psychology teacher and school psychologist in III. gimnazija (Third Grammar School) in Zagreb. She is also a cognitive-behavioral therapy trainee, currently in supervision, and the president of Expert group for school psychology in Croatian Psychological Chamber.

She is an accomplished writer of speculative fiction who entered the Croatian SF scene in 2006, when her first story was published. Since then, her bibliography includes around forty published short stories and three novels – fantasy novel for children “Pegazari” (“Pegasars”, 2009), urban fantasy YA novel “Izgnani” (“The Exiled”, 2016) and feminist steampunk “Japodinine muke” (“Japodina’s troubles”, 2018).

Francesco Verso is a multiple-award Italian Science Fiction writer and editor. He has published: e-Doll, Livido, Bloodbusters and I camminatori (made of The Pulldogs and No/Mad/Land). Livido and Bloodbusters – translated in English by Sally McCorry – have been published in the USA, UK and soon in China. He also works as editor and publisher of Future Fiction, a multicultural project, publishing the best SF in translation from 20 countries and 9 languages with authors like James P. Kelly, Ian McDonald, Han Song, Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, Vandana Singh, Chen Qiufan and others. He may be found at www.futurefiction.org.

Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf has read Science Fiction and Fantasy all her life, and got involved in the Swedish fandom 1985 when she went to her first convention. Since then she has organised or helped organise many conventions both in Sweden and abroad. She is the current chair of the European Science Fiction Society and has attended Eurocons for many years. She works in Stockholm as a patent examiner at the Swedish Patent Office.

Speculative Biology

Not all monsters are created equal. The best ones don’t look like they were created at all, but evolved like real animals. We’ll talk about the ecology, bio-mechanics, and phylogeny of creature-creation.

Daniel M. Bensen is an American author and educator living in Bulgaria. He is the author of the Sidewise Award-winning “Rout to Mecca” (Tales from Alternate Earths anthology), Junction and its forthcoming sequel Interchange, and First Knife (with Simon Roy).

Simon Roy is a Canadian comic book writer and artist. His work includes Prophet (with Brandon Graham), Tiger Lung, Habitat, and First Knife (with Daniel M. Bensen).

C. M. Kösemen (aka Cevdet Mehmet Kosemen, and Nemo Ramjet) is a Turkish researcher, artist, photographer, and author. His work includes Osman Hasan and the Tombstone Photographs of the Dönmes (winner of the 2016 Eduard-Duckesz History Prize), All Yesterdays, the Cryptozoologion (with Darren Naish and John Conway) and the “Snaiad” project.

Darren Naish is a British vertebrate palaeontologist and science writer. He has published research on sauropod dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and other fossil vertebrates. His popular books include Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved (with Paul Barrett), BBC Walking with Dinosaurs: The Evidence (with David Martill), The Great Dinosaur Discoveries, and Hunting Monsters. He is the founder of the blog Tetrapod Zoology.

“Strange New Things”: Writing in a Foreign Tongue

Is it possible – and wise – to write in your non-native tongue? Does it have any advantages, or does it only come with pitfalls such as less internalized grammar or weaker word power? Is it usually better to write in a foreign tongue, translate yourself or have your work translated? And finally, how can you find your way on a foreign – especially the Anglophone – publishing market?

Julie Nováková, Lucie Lukačovičová and Jan Kotouč, all of them experienced in writing in English as their second language and with translations, discuss these questions and more: stories that simply couldn’t have been written in their native language; navigating the vast landscape of Angloamerican magazines and querying; the cycle of submissions and rejections; comparing originals and translations, and translating one’s own story into one’s native language…

The new myth, faith and fake news

We live in times where propaganda and disinformation masquerade as “real news” and actual news are dismissed as “fake news”. Conspiracy theories, superstitions, and urban myths flourish. People seem to be searching for things to put their faith in, both spiritually and politically, often in lieu of hard facts and science. The Thomas Theorem, which states that “If humans define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”, is more relevant than ever. Why has this come to be? How do societal changes, the development of the global public sphere and social media interact and enable this? What part does fiction play in these developments? Are works of speculative fiction a way for readers to escape the real world or a way for writers to interrogate, analyse and change that world?

Lars G. Backstrom works as an IT consultant at a company that only hires people on the autism spectrum. He has advanced degrees in Geophysics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in War Studies from King’s College London. Lars has numerous non-fiction publications in different disciplines and his Cthulhu Mythos short story The Passion of the Son of Man won a literary award in 2007.

Claudia Rapp is a seeker: of inspiration, good music, the greener grass, new places and old myths. Grew up in Germany, M.A. in German & English Literature, PhD on contemporary Literature from Hawaii, lived in Portland, Oregon & Honolulu, worked as a university lecturer, then went self-employed as writer (3 published novels) and translator (over 40 novels, lots of nonfiction), currently brooding over a novel that combines mythological creatures with an eco-thriller plot.

Ivica Puljak is a famous Croatian scientist, lecturer, promoter of science among people of all ages and researcher at CERN, among the team that discovered the Higgs boson.

The panel will be moderated by Futuricon chair Vladivoj Lisica Fox.

Witches and Bitches

Panel discussion about women, power and the way women with power are portrayed in stories and media.

Antonija Mežnarić loves reading, writing, cosplaying and procrastinating. She’s living and breathing speculative fiction but if she had to point out favorites it would be urban fantasy, horror and fairy tale retellings. From time to time you can listen to her lectures on various topics at conventions.

Vesna Kurilić is a cosplayer, librarian, writer, amateur ukulele player and lover of all things romance. If she were to pick a color, it would be blue; chord – G major; historical era – interbellum. She has received several SFERA and one Artefakt award for her work, most notably the werewolf novel Izazov krvi (The Challenge of Blood, 2017). Find out more about her upcoming release Johnny’s Girls (2020), a queer dieselpunk murder mystery, at her site Skirts’n’Wolves, or stalk her jigsaw puzzle loving cat at IG @vesnakurilic.

Srebrenka Peregrin is a clasically trained storyteller, a journey she embarked on when her kids were small, which means for over ten years. She started honing her theoretical knowledge back in college, where she defended her graduate thesis on the subject of the contemporary functions of fairy tale characters. Since then she has attended and held many storytelling and writing seminars. She performs at libraries, schools, kindergartens, various cultural and tourist events and SF conventions. She is also a writer and has published several stories in domestic and foreign publications.

Mojca Brenko-Puzak wouldst like to live deliciously. A second generation geek with a special love for all things historic, horrific, and romantic; preferably at the same time. Enjoys connecting the dots between fiction and reality and analysing their influence on each other.