You Can’t Keep the Undead Down: Both Vampires AND Zombies Now Scheduled for Chicon7

Another missive arrived today from Chicon7, a.k.a. the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention, noting that zombies will be represented on the list of panels after all despite earlier beliefs (see comments on “Gripey Vampire,” just below).  And not only will I be on it too, I may be moderator.  So I’m listed for three panels for those who might be in Chicago as well, to wit:

The Best Vampire Novel of the Century
The Horror Writers Association on the 100-year anniversary of Bram Stoker’s death in 1912 has overseen the nomination of six finalists from which will be selected the one novel they believe has had the greatest impact on the horror genre since the 1897 publication of Dracula. This panel discusses the finalists and the reasons for their selection as well as the (yet to be decided) winner.

The Walking Dead: Zombies in Folklore, Science, and Popular Culture
Contrasting the original Haitian Vodoun concept of zombieism with scientific explanations involving poisons that mimic suspended animation (e.g. Wade Davis ‘The Serpent and the Rainbow’) and with current George Romero and post-Romero depictions in fiction and film.

Dark Fairy Tales
Move away from the general discussions of the Disney-ization of fairy tales and talk about how to reinvent fairy tales into dark fiction. The themes of metamorphosis and transition are prevalent in fairy tales, and sometimes where one story ends, another begins. What are some ways to reinvent fairy tales without retelling the same story?

Readers may note an error in the description on the Vampire panel in that the special Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award(TM) has already been presented at World Horror Con this spring (see April 2 and 3) and I’ve already contacted Chicon’s programming chair suggesting an appropriate change of verb tense.  The six books in question are still well worth discussing, of course, and were at least in five fairly knowledgeable people’s opinions the six most important vampire novels of the past century, plus, for those who don’t know the winner, you can find out there.  Also find out if I’m moderator of not just one but all three of these panels (I’ve also suggested that if someone else might have had their heart set on moderating the Fairy Tale one, I would not weep were I asked to defer) — in the case of the zombies and the vampires I should mention though that the topics came from suggestions I’d made myself some months ago.

My panels aside, Chicon7 looks like it’s shaping up to be a real ball.  If interested, but not yet a member, more information can be found here.


  1. Wowsies! That’s great! Jim, if you’re in touch with the folks, can you please tell them to use the TM (trademark) when mentioning Bram Stoker award? This would be for their programme book.

    I sure hope you are the panel moderator for that Vampire of the Century one! Wish I could be a fly on the wall. With a little tiny vampire costume on, mind you. -Marge

  2. That’s fantastic! Enjoy the con.

  3. Marge and Christine, thank you both! I do hope to have a great time (just reminded the cat-sitter-to-be today, so the home front will be covered, not to mention that cave cat Wednesday will continue to get her dinners on time)! Re. Marge, my suggested rewording to Chicon is simply a rewording of the text they used that I quoted above which doesn’t mention the actual name of the award.

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