Penn Arts & Sciences Logo
KWH: The Significance of Speculative Fiction
Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program
Monday, November 13, 2017 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Kelly Writers House

RSVP: wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215-746-7636

In contemporary literature, "realism" is often used as shorthand for "literary." The implication  is that serious writing happens only within a faithful representation of reality. But this is a strictly modern idea—and a false one. Literature is historically filled with ghosts, gods, magic, talking animals, and the walking dead. Some of the most powerful  and popular storytelling of our time has examined the nuances of the human condition in our own future, in alternate realities, and on other worlds. In this panel, four award-winning genre authors—Sam J. Miller (author of The Art of Starving), Lara Donnelly  (author of Amberlough), Maria Dahvana Headley (author of Magonia), and Alice Sola Kim (winner of the Whiting Award)—will discuss how they use science fiction, fantasy, and horror to explore and examine fiction's emotional questions.

Lara Elena Donnelly is the author of glam spy thriller Amberlough. Her other work has appeared  in or is forthcoming from venues including Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Nightmare, and Uncanny. Lara is a graduate of the Alpha and Clarion workshops. You can find her online at laradonnelly.com

Alice Sola Kim is a writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's, Tin House,  BuzzFeed Reader, Lightspeed, The Village Voice, Lenny, and other publications. She is a winner of the 2016 Whiting Award.

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His debut novel The Art of Starving (YA/SF)  was published by HarperCollins in 2017, and will be followed by Blackfish City from Ecco Press in 2018. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and have appeared in over a dozen "year's best" anthologies.  He's a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at www.samjmiller.com

Maria Dahvana Headley is a #1 New York Times-bestselling author & editor, most recently of the  novels Magonia, Aerie, Queen of Kings, and the internationally-bestselling memoir The Year of Yes. With Kat Howard she is the author of The End of the Sentence, and with Neil Gaiman, she is co-editor of Unnatural Creatures. Her short stories have been included  in many year's best anthologies, including Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams, and have been finalists for the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards. Upcoming are The Mere Wife, a contemporary novel adaption  of Beowulf from Farrar, Straus & Giroux; a short story collection from same; and The Combustible, a queer superhero novel from HarperCollins. Find her at @MARIADAHVANA on Twitter, or www.mariadahvanaheadley.com.