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Saratoga Springs
Getting There
The City
The Saratoga Hilton
Overflow Hotels
Saratoga City Center
Guests of Honor
Steven Erikson
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Paul Di Filippo
Special Guests
Glen Cook
David Drake
Lloyd Currey
Rick Lieder
Kathe Koja
In Tribute
Graham Joyce
Waiting List
Supporting Membership
Registered Members
World Fantasy Awards
Life Achievement
2015 Nominees
Dealers' Room
Art Show
Richard Powers Exhibit
Publisher Liaison
Code of Conduct
Photo © Hilton Hotels


The details of the panels and the readings are posted below effective November 1, 2015. The schedule and the content are final as of this date.

If you think that you need to contact those doing the program, please email program@wfc2015.org.

Thursday          Friday          Saturday          Sunday

1:30City Center 2A Opening Ceremonies
2:00City Center 2A What is 'Epic' about Epic Fantasy?
We all know what we mean by Epic Fantasy, but definitions are slippery things. Scale, length, story type, setting and more figure in the various definitions. Our panel of experts will discuss the quintessential elements of Epic Fantasy in a quest to settle the matter once and for all.
David G. Hartwell (mod.), Susan Forest, Mary Soon Lee, David Mack, Robert Redick
City Center 2B Magic is the essential ingredient of Epic Fantasy… except when it isn't.
Can a story be Epic Fantasy if there isn't a spell hurling mage? Do all quests need a wizard? The panel will discuss how magic is used in Epic Fantasy and some of the texts that do things a little differently.
Paul Di Filippo (mod.), Max Gladstone, Kate Laity, Amal El-Mohtar, Karl Schroeder
Broadway 1
 • 2:00 L.F. Patten
 • 2:30 Sarah Avery
Broadway 2
 • 2:00 Mattie Brahen
 • 2:30 Lawrence M. Schoen
3:00City Center 2A Real World Nomenclature, Taboos, and Cultural Meaning
The panel discusses the thorny issue of real world terms that often bear loaded meanings and concepts being transported wholesale into Fantasy worlds. Swearing, cursing, and racial epithets can cause controversy and out-cry. Commonly accepted terms change meaning over time and become taboo. As the politics of the real world change, is there a concurrent transposition into Fantasy worlds?
A.M. Dellamonica (mod.), Didi Chanoch, Steve Erikson, Don Pizarro, Mark van Name
City Center 2B Postmodern Fantasy: Experiments in Fantasy Literature
It is not all about quests, magic rings and dragons, the panel will discuss some of the less well known texts that stretch the limits of Fantasy as an experimental form of storytelling. John Barth's The Sotweed Factor, Octavia Butler's Kindred, Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus and Beloved by Toni Morrison come to mind.
Delia Sherman (mod.), Siobhan Carroll, Carrie Cuinn, Jeffrey Ford, Charles E. Gannon, Howard Waldrop
Broadway 1
 • 3:00 Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings
 • 3:30 Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings
Broadway 2
 • 3:00 Sherry Peters
 • 3:30 Chuck Rothman
4:00City Center 2A The Rogue
Assassins, thieves, rogues of all stripes, it seems that no quest party™ is complete without a wisecracking roguish sidekick. But is there more to the Rogue than that?
Ellen Kushner (mod.), Alistair Kimble, Cinda Williams Chima, James Alan Gardner, Ryk E. Spoor
City Center 2B Monsters as Devourers
Our cherished monsters, be they vampire, werewolf, or zombie, are driven by an insatiable appetite to devour what they once were, namely us. Is there a sacrificial/sacramental aspect to this hunger or is it firmly rooted in a psycho-sexual fixation. Perhaps it is simply the yearning to recover a lost humanity?
Nina Kiriki Hoffman (mod.), Frederic Durbin, Nancy Kilpatrick, Angela Slatter, John Wiswell
Broadway 1
 • 4:00 Michael Libling
 • 4:30 Daniel Braum
Broadway 2
 • 4:00 Tex Thompson
 • 4:30 Caro Soles
5:00City Center 2A When Magic Meets Science
Fantasy, and the Epic in particular, have a tendency to ignore the progress of the sciences, but there are some great stories out there which tackle the issue of technological advancement in a Fantasy world. Our panel will discuss the tension between science, technology and magic, and some of the narratives that play with our notions of technological progress in a Fantasy world, from the Discworld to Malazan and to Flintlock Fantasies.
Julie Czerneda (mod.), Donald Crankshaw, A.M. Dellamonica, James Alan Gardner, Chris Gerwell
City Center 2B The Vampire, Caught in Time
Too few vampires in fiction plausibly convey the burden of their years. Can a mortal writer truly see the passing world through an immortal's eyes, or truly feel that awful weight of time on their shoulders?
Christopher Golden (mod.), Ramsey Campbell, Jeanie Cavelos, Suzy McKee Charnas, Robert Eldridge
Broadway 1
 • 5:00 Steve Sawicki
 • 5:30 Scott Nicolay
Broadway 2
 • 5:00 Leah Bobet
 • 5:30 David Levine
7:30Galleria Ice Cream Social
The Open Book Theater Company presents
Three Plays by Dunsany:
"The Jest of Hahalaba," "Fame and the Poet," and "The Glittering Gate."
with Alice King, Miller Lide, Jonathan Smith, and Marvin Kaye
9:30Saratoga Robert Aickman: Author of Strange Tales
Written, directed and edited by R.B. Russell and Rosalie Parker
With contributions from Reggie Oliver, Jeremy Dyson, Heather and Graham Smith, and Jean Richardson.
Courtesy of Tartarus Books

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10:00Broadway 3&4 WF Board Meeting
City Center 2A Coode Street Podcast
Jonathan Strahan & Gary Wolfe with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro & Charlie Jane Anders
City Center 2B Ur-fantasies... It all started with...
What was the first Fantasy story? Is there a difference between myth, legend and Fantasy? Can we actually locate the first true examples of fantasy storytelling? The panel will discuss the fantasy tradition and what they think the first true examples of fantasy storytelling are, and how they relate to the modern genre.
Barbara Chepaitis (mod.), Michael Dirda, Robert Kilheffer, Tod McCoy, Rosemary C. Smith
Broadway 1
 • 10:00 Matt Kressel
 • 10:30 Susan Forest
Broadway 2
 • 10:00 Anya Martin
 • 10:30 Lorraine Schein
11:00City Center 2A Scale in Epic Fantasy — Tensions between the epic and the intimate.
Epics are all about grand sweeping adventures, world shaping events, and heroes larger than life... or are they? Don't good stories need intimate moments? The panel will discuss the tensions between the epic and the intimate, and those stories that do both.
Joshua Palmatier (mod.), Suzy McKee Charnas, Glen Cook, Chris Gerwell, Ilana C. Myer
City Center 2B Healing in Fantasy
Sometimes you just need a doctor, but in Fantasyland a healer has to do. Magical healing is a surprisingly common and yet complex issue. The panel will discuss the ramifications of magical healing and which texts they feel illustrate some of the more nuanced approaches to getting your heroes and heroines back on their feet.
James Alan Gardner (mod.), Anatoly Belilovsky, J.K. Cheney, Julie Czerneda, Sarah Goslee, Susan MacDonald
Broadway 1
 • 11:00 John Joseph Adams
 • 11:30 Kelly Robson
Broadway 2
 • 11:00 Carrie Cuinn
 • 11:30 Ramsey Campbell
12:00City Center 2A Inglourious Masters (sic)
Who are the lost masters of fantasy, their songs unsung and unheard save by the few, whose works cry out for recognition? Do M. P. Shiel, E.R. Eddison and James Branch Cabell make the cut?
Jo Fletcher (mod.), David Drake, Delia Sherman, Dena Taylor, Janeen Webb, George Zebrowski
City Center 2B The Fantastic Cities of Monstrous Magnitude
Epic Fantasy has created some of the most arresting and wondrous architecture ever dreamed of. The panel will discuss some of their favorite settings in Epic Fantasy and why those cities and buildings evoke such wonder.
Gemma Files (mod.), John Clute, Paul Di Filippo, David Levine, Karl Schroeder
Broadway 1
 • 12:00 Guy Gavriel Kay
 • 12:30 Guy Gavriel Kay
Broadway 2
 • 12:00 Kristine Smith
 • 12:30 Garth Nix
1:00City Center 2A What Does Epic Fantasy Owe The Literary Epic Tradition?
Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Aeneid, Beowulf... Is there really a straight lineage between epic poetry and the modern genre of Fantasy? The panel will discuss how the ancient Epics have shaped and influenced modern fantasy storytelling and how they haven’t. Not everything is as cut and dried as we think.
Stephen R. Donaldson (mod.), Sarah Avery, David G. Hartwell, Mari Ness, Darrell Schweitzer
City Center 2B Extracting Fantasy from the Pulp
The relationship between Fantasy and the Pulps is an interesting one. From Haggard and Hodgson through Smith and Howard to Unknown Magazine and de Camp et al., the panelists will discuss the impact and influence of the pulp magazines and authors on Fantasy writing and how this changed the genre.
Kevin Maroney (mod.), Steve Erikson, Ian C. Esslemont, Gillian Redfearn, Walter Jon Williams, F. Paul Wilson
Broadway 1
 • 1:00 Robert Boyczuk
 • 1:30 Gene Wolfe
Broadway 2
 • 1:00 Glen Cook
 • 1:30 Robert Redick
2:00City Center 2A Collections: Useful Tools, Private Archives, Grendel-like Gloat Hoards or Manifestations of Disease.
Is collecting, especially of genre material, still useful in a digital age?
Stuart Schiff (mod.), Lloyd Currey, Stephen Dedman, Fred Lerner, Pamela Sargent, Robert Wiener
City Center 2B Darkened Rooms, Newly Tenanted
Over the past decade or so, the ghost novel has returned to the literary mainstream with a vigor not seen in nearly a century. Consider such fine works as Dennis McFarland's A Face at the Window, Helen Oyeyemi's The Icarus Girl, and Arthur Phillips' Angelica, to name but a few. Is this a passing shadow, or a renewed presence?
Sandra Kasturi (mod.), Ramsey Campbell, Stephanie Feldman, Helen Marshall, Kit Reed, Angela Slatter
Broadway 1
 • 2:00 L.E. Modessit
 • 2:30 Gwenda Bond
Broadway 2
 • 2:00 Craig Shaw Gardner
 • 2:30 Mary Rickert
Suite 458 Hilton
The Intoxication of Fantasy
"This book made me drunk," Cory Doctorow wrote about Under the Poppy. What books or stories do the same for you — send you reeling, knock you out with their wordplay or invention? Kathe Koja will read from a selection of such intoxicating books — bring your own favorite! Intoxicants will be both read and served.
Kathe Koja
City Center 2A But it is historically accurate...?
Fantasy authors often borrow from history to create their secondary worlds, but is historical accuracy ever a defense to criticisms of problematic content in Epic Fantasy? The thorny issues of authorial intent, historical context, cultural appropriation and the freedoms of creation often rear their ugly heads. The panel will discuss the various approaches taken to incorporate historical context, cultures and world views into secondary world Fantasy, and the pitfalls that might appear.
Jen Gunnels (mod.), Marie Brennan, David Drake, Lisa L. Hannett, Ellen Klages, Gene Wolfe
City Center 2B Politics, Economics and Power in Fantasy worlds
Some fantasy authors give little thought to the underlying notions of power and politics that underpin the nations of their Fantasy realms, while others are only too aware of what they borrow from the world. The panel discusses the issues of politics and power dynamics in works of Fantasy that explore, explode, or subvert the norms.
Paul Park (mod.), A.M. Dellamonica, Mark van Name, Rick Wilber, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Broadway 1
 • 3:00 Rio Youers
 • 3:30 Janeen Webb
Broadway 2
 • 3:00 Cindy Williams Chima
 • 3:30 Christopher Rowe
4:00City Center 2A Steve R. Lundin and Steven Erikson
in conversation with Stephen R. Donaldson.
City Center 2B Richard Powers and the Modern Fantastic: a Presentation and a Discussion
Vincent di Fate (mod.), Rick Lieder, John Davis, Naomi Fisher, David G. Hartwell, Jim Paradis
Broadway 1
 • 4:00 Gemma Files
 • 4:30 Anne Bishop
Broadway 2
 • 4:00 Michael Underwood
 • 4:30 Daryl Gregory
5:00City Center 2A Children's Fantasy as Parent to Adult Fantasy
There has been at least a hundred year long tradition great Children's Fantasy. Works such as those by Lewis Carroll and later by Joan Aiken, Alan Garner, and Susan Cooper have inspired so many of the subsequent writers of what is now considered Adult Fantasy. Our panel will discuss what makes for great Children's Fantasy.
Gili Bar-Hillel (mod.), Gwenda Bond, Lee Harris, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Tamara Vardomskaya
Broadway 1
 • 5:00 Elaine Isaak
 • 5:30 Ryk E. Spoor
Broadway 2
 • 5:00 Kathleen Goonan
 • 5:30 Mari Ness
Broadway 1
 • 6:00 John Chu
 • 6:30 Max Gladstone
Broadway 2
 • 6:00 Brenda Carre
 • 6:30 Charles E. Gannon
City Center 2A and City Center 2B
Open to signers at 8:00
Open to all at 8:30

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10:00City Center 2A Epic Fantasies: Trilogies, Series… Stand-alones?
Epic Fantasy has become almost synonymous with Door Stop novels, trilogies and series. Can Epic Fantasy be done as a short story, a novella, or even a slim stand alone? Our intrepid panel will discuss the often overlooked stories and texts that are Epic in every way but size.
Peter V. Brett (mod.), Scott Andrews, David Drake, Gemma Files, L.E. Modessit
City Center 2B A Tribute to Graham Joyce
Gillian Redfearn (mod.), Jeffrey Ford, Christopher Golden, Gary Wolfe, Rio Youers
Broadway 1
 • 10:00 Caroline M. Yoachim
 • 10:30 Amelia Beamer
Broadway 2
 • 10:00 Terri Bruce
 • 10:30 Scott Lynch
11:00City Center 2A The Quest is Dead, Long Live the Quest?
Sometimes there are narrative arcs and techniques that just fall out of favour, but is the quest one of them? The panel will discuss the great quest narrative and how new stories are finding ways to make quests interesting again.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (mod.), Leah Bobet, Stephen R. Donaldson, Sarah Beth Durst, Janeen Webb
City Center 2B Fantasy Landscapes and the Limits of Imagination
From gloomy Gothic woods, to empty Gothic Mountain fastnesses… is there more to fantasy-scapes than the Gothic, or are we stuck in a haunted Gothic rut?
Paul Park (mod.), J.K. Cheney, John Clute, Mary Soon Lee, Darrell Schweitzer
Broadway 1
 • 11:00 Michael Dirda
 • 11:30 S.C. Butler
Broadway 2
 • 11:00 Delia Sherman
 • 11:30 Helen Marshall
12:00City Center 2A Crossing Over, Looking Back
After-life fantasies have been a genre staple for well over a century, whether the religious sentiment of Phelps and Oliphant, or Bangsian whimsies, or the old/new cliché of the murdered seeking posthumous justice, culminating in Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. The form continues to visit mansions as diverse as Disch's The Businessman, Matheson's What Dreams May Come, and Eagleman's Sum. Whence the eternal appeal?
Bernadette Bosky (mod.), Gordon Van Gelder, Daryl Gregory, Louise Herring-Jones, Robert Knowlton, Scott Nicolay
City Center 2B Going on a Quest? You will need …
In every Fantasy world the main characters always seem to have what they need to survive. What are the travel essentials necessary to survive a heroic quest?
Jeanne Cavelos (mod.), Carol Berg, Betsy Dornbusch, Laurel Anne Hill, Catherine Montrose, Elisabeth Waters
Broadway 1
 • 12:00 Stephanie Feldman
 • 12:30 Stephen Dedman
Broadway 2
 • 12:00 A. M. Dellamonica
 • 12:30 Joe Haldeman
1:00City Center 2A Visionary Horror
Some of the greatest tales of supernatural horror reach for awe. As Arthur Machen once put it, "I dream in fire and work in clay." His masterpiece "The White People" is one such tale, along with Blackwood's "The Willows", Lovecraft's "The Colour out of Space", Hodgson's The House on the Borderland and others. Is awe the finest aspiration of the field? What do such tales achieve that is special to the genre? Our panel celebrates examples of the mode and considers whether it is still vital.
Ramsey Campbell (mod.), Gemma Files, Robert Knowlton, Kathe Koja, Darrel Schweitzer
City Center 2B Anthropology and Archeology
Great strides have been made in these fields over the last half century. Has all this new knowledge and speculation about our dim and distant past affected written Fantasy?
Meg Turville-Heitz (mod.), Mari Ness, Shauna Roberts, Kelly Robson, Rosemary Smith
Broadway 1
 • 1:00 Charles de Lint
 • 1:30 Angela Slatter
Broadway 2
 • 1:00 Kit Reed
 • 1:30 Andy Duncan
2:00City Center 2A Fantasy and Detective Fiction — A Natural Fit?
The explosion of Urban Fantasy with its plethora of wizard-ing detectives seems to prove that Fantasy and Mystery go together like swords and scabbards. But what is the allure? Why do they work so well together? The panel will discuss what makes paranormal investigators so popular.
Rodger Turner (mod.), Glen Cook, Derek Kunsken, Kristine Smith, Caro Soles
City Center 2B An Hour With Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Amanuensis to le Comte de Saint-Germain
Suzy McKee Charnas in conversation with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Broadway 1
 • 2:00 Esther Friesner
 • 2:30 Tina Connolly
Broadway 2
 • 2:00 Julie Czerneda
 • 2:30 Walter Jon Williams
3:00City Center 2A Epic Fantasy is all about the European Middle Ages... Except when it isn’t
A certain TV adaptation of a very popular Epic Fantasy series has captured the public imagination, but we know that Epic Fantasy has greater scope than this. Fantasies such as Wu Cheng En's Journey to the West, Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven and River of Stars as well as Ernest Bramah's oriental tales all amply demonstrate. Our panelists will discuss great Fantasy Epics that go further afield than Agincourt-like battlegrounds.
Joshua Palmatier (mod.), Bradley Beaulieu, Anatoly Belilovsky, Kevin Maroney, Gregory A. Wilson
City Center 2B Old Weird, New Weird, or Just Plain Weird
When, and where, do they converge, and converse?
Thomas Monteleone (mod.), Ellen Datlow, Michael Kelly, Anya Martin, Maura McHugh
Broadway 1
 • 3:00 Ilana C. Myer
 • 3:30 Fran Wilde
Broadway 2
 • 3:00 Lisa L. Hannet
 • 3:30Paul Park
4:00City Center 2A Dark Carnivals
From Finney and Gresham, through Bradbury and Beagle, to Geek Love and The Night Circus the funhouse as a place of illusions, and revelations, is an enduring theme of 20th Century fiction. Behind the tent-flap, a shabby glamor beckons; behind the sideshow, the real tinsel glitters ominously.
Stephen Dedman (mod.), Mattie Brahen, Tina Connolly, Ellen Datlow, F. Paul Wilson
City Center 2B Faerie Courts and Fairy Courts
Faeries, the fey, the Sidhe, Seelie and Unseelie courts… the list of fairy variants in fantasy is both extensive and fascinating. The panel will discuss the various fairy traditions and how they have been used, and sometimes abused, in modern Fantasy writing.
Hildy Silverman (mod.), Marie Bilodeau, Bernadette Bosky, Gillian Chan, Robert Levy
Broadway 1
 • 4:00 Howard Waldrop
 • 4:30 Scott Edelman
Broadway 2
 • 4:00 Nina Kiriki Hoffman
 • 4:30 Jedediah Berry
5:00City Center 2A Bibliofantasies
Unaccountably, there is no entry for Bibliofantasies in the Encyclopedia of Fantasy by John Clute and John Grant [Orbit 1997]. Your intrepid panel will attempt to remedy that lacuna by discussing bibliofantasies with a view to creating an entry.
Michael Dirda (mod.), John Clute, Robert Eldridge, Paul Di Filippo, Don Pizarro, Gary Wolfe
City Center 2B Out of the Ballpark or Over the Cornfield
This close to Cooperstown, let's take a stroll across the field of dreams, a field including such classics as The Natural and Shoeless Joe,and Brittle Innings off into such delightful oddities as Henry Garfield's Tartabull's Throw and Frank King's Southpaw. That's right, baseball's not just for the preternaturally gifted or revenants, werewolves get to play ball, too.
Rick Wilber (mod.), S.C. Butler, Gordon Van Gelder, Jacob Weisman
Broadway 1
 • 5:00 Thomas Monteleone
 • 5:30 Jeffrey Ford
Broadway 2
 • 5:00 The Winnipeg Wildlings:
Steve Erikson, Ian C. Esslemont, David Keck
 • 5:30 The Winnipeg Wildlings:
Steve Erikson, Ian C. Esslemont, David Keck
6:00City Center 2A Violence and the Epic
There has been great debate about the rise of Grimdark and of gratuitous violence in Fantasy writing, but let's face it, epic fantasy has always been violent. So what has changed? Our panelists will discuss violence in fantasy writing, and the issues of depicting certain types of violence on the page.
Robert Redick (mod.), Marie Brennan, Glen Cook, Steve Erikson, Charles E. Gannon
City Center 2B Creating the Fantasy Canon
There are some books we all agree on as fundamental to the genre, but can we agree on a canon of twenty stories? Our panelists will discuss which twenty books are essential reading for understanding the genre and how this list has changed over time.
Jonathan Strahan (mod.), John Clute, Michael Dirda, Yanni Kuznia, Gary Wolfe, Ron Yaniv
Broadway 1
 • 6:00 Ellen Kushner
 • 6:30 Barbara Chepaitis
Broadway 2
 • 6:00 James Alan Gardner
 • 6:30 Desirina Boskovich
9:00City Center 1 & Lobby Art Show Reception

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10:00Broadway 3&4 WF Board Meeting
CCA Tropes that will not die!!!
Our distinguished panel of experts will discuss those elements of fantasy so over-used that they need to be consigned to the deepest, darkest pit we can find to never see the light of a publishing house again Each panelist will be given the opportunity to nominate a trope or cliché of fantasy, argue for its demise, and put it to the rest of the panel for sentencing.
Craig Shaw Gardner (mod.), Gwenda Bond, Gordon Van Gelder, Sandra Kasturi, Thomas Monteleone
CCB Epic Fantasy and the Roleplaying Game
Readers of Epic Fantasy have known for a long time that roleplaying games in general and D&D in particular have played a large part in shaping what and how we read. Gaming is no longer a dirty word and our panelists will discuss the impact of Roleplaying Games, Computer Games and other gaming narratives on Epic Fantasy.
Christopher Rowe (mod.), Donald Crankshaw, Alyc Helms, Steve Saffel, Alex Shvartsman
Broadway 1
 • 10:00 K.M. Szpara
 • 10:30 Marie Bilodeau
Broadway 2
 • 10:00 Carol Berg
 • 10:30 Deborah Blake
11:00CCA Food Fantasy
Beyond the seemingly ubiquitous quest stew, food plays a major role in fantasy. Our panel discusses food in fantasy, and fantasies that revolve around food. Foodies, in fact epicures of all kinds, are welcome.
Kelly Robson (mod.), Esther Friesner, Sarah Goslee, Paul Park, Fran Wilde
CCB Epic Fantasy and the Uses of Weapons
If you had to pick one item that was truly ubiquitous to Epic Fantasy the humble sword probably fits the bill. But there is much more to weaponry in history and Fantasy than the sword. The panel will discuss the use of weapons in Fantasy writing and how they shape the perceptions of warfare and combat.
Elaine Isaak (mod.), Ian C. Esslemont, Charles E. Gannon, Summer Hanford, Yanni Kuznia
Broadway 1
 • 11:00 Ellen Klages
 • 11:30 Amal El-Mohtar
Broadway 2
 • 11:00 Karl Schroeder
 • 11:30 Christopher Cevasco
1:00Saratoga WFA Awards Banquet & Presentations
4:00 Broadway 1 WFA Judges Panel
The 2015 World Fantasy judges discuss the highlights of the past year.
Ellen Datlow, Gemma Files, Nina Kiriki Hoffman

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