Panel: Wonder vs. Dread: Encountering the Gods in Fiction and Real life
From cave paintings to Clive Barker, Gilgamesh to Octavia Butler, humans have always told stories to explain the inexplicable. This panel examines how humans describe the mind-blowing experience of confronting beings and forces that put us in our place as specks of dust in the darkness. Panelists bring the varied perspectives of fandom, authors in the field, traditional monotheism, and some academic occultism as we wrestle with angels and other embodiments of order and chaos.
With Evan Peterson, Nadia Bulkin, Amanda Downum, Justin C. Key, Rose O'Keefe, Zin Rocklyn, Craig L. Gidney
Evan J. Peterson is the author of Drag Star! (Choice of Games), the world’s first drag RPG, as well as The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir (Lethe Press). He is a Clarion West alum and author of the horror poetry chapbooks Skin Job and The Midnight Channel as well as editor of the Lambda Literary finalist Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam: Gay City 5. His writing has also appeared in Weird Tales, Unspeakable Horror 2, Queers Destroy Horror, Boing Boing, and Best Gay Stories 2015. He is the founder of the now-concluded Seattle programs Minor Arcana Press and SHRIEK: Women of Horror Film. Evanjpeterson.com can tell you more.
Amanda Downum is the author of the Necromancer Chronicles, Dreams of Shreds & Tatters, and The Poison Court. Her short fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, and Weird Tales, and in the anthologies Lovecraft Unbound and Dreams From the Witch House. Unsatisfied with only writing about necromancy, she recently began a new career as a mortician. She lives in Austin, Texas for the time being.
Justin C. Key is a speculative fiction writer, psychiatrist, and a graduate of Clarion West 2015. His short stories have appeared and are forthcoming in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, and Crossed Genres. He is currently working on a near-future novel inspired by his medical training. When Justin isn't writing, working in the hospital, or exploring Los Angeles with his wife, he's chasing after his three young (and energetic!) sons. His latest novelette, The Perfection of Theresa Watkins, is available now from Tor.com. You can follow his journey at justinckey.com and @JustinKey_MD on Twitter.
Rose O'Keefe is the owner/ publisher of Eraserhead Press, the leading publishing house of Bizarro Fiction since 1999. Eraserhead Press is comprised of one main line of books and four imprints: Deadite Press, Fungasm Press, Lazy Fascist Press and The New Bizarro Author Series. Under O’Keefe’s direction, Eraserhead Press has released over three hundred titles and developed an international cult following for its cutting-edge weird fiction which has been praised by The Guardian, Chuck Palahniuk, Jack Ketchum, Boing Boing, and Cracked.com, among others. As a leader in the Bizarro Fiction community, she hosts monthly writer's gatherings, writer's retreats on the Oregon Coast, and the annual convention/art event, BizarroCon. In addition to being a full-time publisher and editor, she’s also an avid homebrewer and Argentine tango dancer. She lives in Portland, OR.
Zin E. Rocklyn is a contributor to Bram Stoker-nominated and This is Horror Award-winning Nox Pareidolia, Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters, Brigands: A Blackguards Anthology, and Forever Vacancy anthologies and Weird Luck Tales No. 7 zine. Their story "Summer Skin" in the Bram Stoker-nominated anthology Sycorax's Daughters received an honorable mention for Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year, Volume Ten. Zin contributed the nonfiction essay “My Genre Makes a Monster of Me” to Uncanny Magazine’s Hugo Award-winning Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction. Their short story "Night Sun" was published on Tor.com. Zin is a 2017 VONA and 2018 Viable Paradise graduate as well as a 2021 Clarion West candidate. You can find them on Twitter @intelligentwat.
Craig Laurance Gidney is the author of the collections Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories (Lethe Press, 2008), Skin Deep Magic (Rebel Satori Press, 2014), Bereft (Tiny Satchel Press, 2013) and A Spectral Hue (Word Horde, 2019) and the forthcoming collection The Nectar of the Nightmares and Other Stories (Underland, 2022). He writes in his native Washington, D.C.