Cuban science fiction writers Angel Arango and Michel Encinosa will be at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa for the university's Alabama-Cuba Week conference, Nov. 17-20, 2003, and everyone's invited.
Arango and Encinosa will join Juan Carlos Toledano and James Stevens-Arce on a panel devoted to Cuban science fiction at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20. Andy Duncan will moderate. (Biographical information on all the panelists is below.)
All four guests also will speak to the members of the Tuscaloosa Science Fiction Society at the society's monthly meeting, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19. The meeting is open to the public. Also in the works are a public reading and a party in the science fiction visitors' honor at the home of Andy and Sydney Duncan, details TBA.
Dozens of Cuban artists, scientists and scholars, as well as a number of their U.S. collaborators and counterparts, have been invited to the Alabama-Cuba Week conference. Three days of panels will be devoted to all things Cuban, from poetry and photography to wastewater treatment and baseball. The conference officially begins with an evening reception Monday, Nov. 17, at the university President's Mansion, and concludes with a dinner Thursday, Nov. 20.
The registration fee for the whole conference is only $25, though meals are extra. Details and registration forms should be online in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, questions and suggestions regarding the science fiction events may be directed to Andy Duncan (email@example.com, 205-348-9298); questions about the overall conference may be directed to Carmen Taylor, associate dean of UA's College of Arts and Sciences (firstname.lastname@example.org, 205-348-7007).
About the Panelists
Angel Arango was arguably the first Cuban science fiction writer, publishing his first stories soon after the 1959 Castro revolution, and he remains perhaps the most widely published and widely respected. His story collections include Where Do the Caphalhoms Go? (1964), The Black Planet (1966), Robotomachy (1967), The Monkey's Rainbow (1980), Transparency (1982) and Juncture (1984).
Michel Encinosa leads a weekly Havana writer's workshop that is a spiritual center of the "new wave" of Cuban science fiction. He is the author of two best-selling story collections, Black Sun and Neon Children (both 2001). "I write for those interested in a change of point of view," he says, and he describes science fiction as "a controlled way to think and to dream about the past and the future and to throw light on the present."
Juan Carlos Toledano is assistant professor of Hispanic studies at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. He reports on science fiction in Cuba and Spain for Locus magazine and is active in the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.
James Stevens-Arce won Europe's UPC Award for his novel Soulsaver (2000), and his stories have appeared in Asimov's, Amazing Stories and the New Legends anthology. A Miami native, he has lived for more than 40 years in Puerto Rico, where he is a free-lance writer, producer and director for film and television.
Andy Duncan (moderator) has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and two World Fantasy Awards, including one for his collection Beluthahatchie and Other Stories (2000). Recent stories are in Conjunctions:39 (2002) and Mojo: Conjure Stories (2003). He teaches at the University of Alabama, where he is assistant director of student media.
NOTE: U.S.-Cuban politics and the issuance of visas on both sides being subject to unexpected disruptions, the final conference lineup is subject to change at the last minute.
Assistant Director of Student Media,
University of Alabama Director,
Alabama Scholastic Press Association