What would a fan event be without celebrities to get all giddy over? Here’s the lineup of guests of honour, primarily authors, for the upcoming Gaylaxicon weekend.
Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica and lived in Guyana, Trinidad and the US before settling in Toronto in 1977. It should come as no surprise that this queer polyamorous gal often includes homo heroes in her stories and novels.
“I was tickled when they asked me; I was going to attend one way or another,” says Hopkinson.
Hopkinson will be receiving the Gaylactic Network’s own Spectrum Award for her novel The Salt Roads, published in 2003. She says she’s also planning to attend a launch party for the anthology Lust For Life which includes her story A Raggy Day, A Shaggy Dog.
“Science fiction and fantasy by their nature talk about all kinds of expressions of social systems, relationships and change, so a convention like Gaylaxicon is a natural,” says Hopkinson.
Born in Ottawa and currently living in Toronto, Michael Rowe is the man when it comes to homo horror. When he created queer horror anthologies Queer Fear (2000) and Queer Fear 2 (2002), Rowe knew what he was after.
“I’ve always felt that gay people were not accurately or generally represented in horror fiction.”
To redress the situation, Rowe commissioned stories featuring gays with guts — no more stereotypically nancy fags who are the first to die! The anthology was a hit, garnering positive response from readers.
“A lot of gay men have had similar feelings,” says Rowe. “If we appeared at all we were either victims or villains…. We created a genre with these books.”
The short film based on Scott Treleaven’s story Bugcrush from Queer Fear 2 won first prize at the Sundance Film Festival last year. A film by Regent Entertainment based on two Queer Fear stories is also in the works; it is directed and written by Ron Oliver, who authored the original short stories. At Gaylaxicon, Rowe will read from his novella, In October, which will be included in novella triad Triptych Of Terror available, you guessed it, in October.
Born in Vancouver but currently residing in LA, Richard Arnold has been a lifelong fan of science fiction, with a particular passion for Star Trek. This hot homo may be a traitor for defecting to the US, but he couldn’t have become top dog among Trek fans if he hadn’t. It was LA where Arnold befriended the assistant to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, which led to him becoming a volunteer consultant for the series. Ten years later, the show finally hired him as a resident expert.
Arnold’s appearance follows on the Star Trek controversy from Gaylaxicon 2005, which honoured the cast and crew of Hidden Frontier, the fag-friendly, fan-produced TV-style series based in the Star Trek universe, available for download on the show’s website (Hiddenfrontier.org). Although Hidden Frontier is clearly in violation of Paramount’s trademark, they have produced seven seasons unscathed, in part because they are scrupulous about maintaining their nonprofit status. Arnold will likely be asked to speak to the Hidden Frontier phenomenon, and to the need for a positive, recurring queer characters on Star Trek.
Most of you will know hetero hottie Ellen Muth from the popular (but sadly cancelled) Showtime series Dead Like Me. The series tells the story of a young girl (played by Muth) who dies, and wakes up to the discovery that she has a new life as a death-dealing grim reaper. Some fans may be surprised to realize that this is right up science fiction fandom’s alley: it qualifies as a speculative fiction plotline.
But what’s Muth’s queer connection? In 2000 she played the lead in The Truth About Jane, a coming out movie originally aired on the Lifetime Network in which Jane, a popular teenager develops a relationship with another girl.
Attendees can also hope to see queer couple Tanya Huff and Fiona Patton, the authors who have been described as the darlings of local gay fandom. Cecilia Tan, widely published author and editor of the erotic speculative fiction anthology Sextopia, is also rumoured to be attending. Candas Jane Dorsey, a well-respected speculative fiction writer, has been confirmed.