They wield swords, courageous. They battle monsters and are, themselves, monsters. They conjure love and hate and glory. Their intrigues are legion; their military campaigns tactically brilliant; their rule incomparably powerful. These women inhabit worlds different from our own because women authors have given them extraordinary opportunities: to grow, to love, to fight, to fail, and, sometimes, to save the world.
Similarly, Sirens is revolutionary: a conference dedicated to the remarkable, diverse women of fantasy literature. A community that invites all attendees—readers, certainly, but just as importantly, scholars, librarians, educators, authors, publishing professionals—to converse as peers. A place where a woman can, without shame or irony, declare herself a queen, a dragonmaster, a general. A conversation where women aren’t constrained by what real-world society demands. A light against a world that frequently expects too much and offers too little.
In 2018, our tenth year, Sirens’s theme is reunion, which provides an opportunity both to celebrate the extraordinary Sirens community and to reexamine the themes of our last four years: hauntings, revolutionaries, lovers, and women who work magic. Joining us as guests of honor are Zen Cho for hauntings, Kameron Hurley for revolutionaries, Anna-Marie McLemore for lovers, and Leigh Bardugo for women who work magic. We think that you’ll find both our guests and their work, especially in their respective themes, critical to any discussion of women’s representations in fantasy literature.