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My LonCon 3 and Nine Worlds Convention Panels

It’s a busy August ahead! I’m delighted to be taking part on panels at two science fiction conventions in London:

LonCon 3—The 72nd World SF Convention—is being held at ExCel.

Nine Worlds GeekFest, in its second year, takes place at Heathrow.

So here are my panels and events. Please come along and say “Hello!’ It’s always great to meet readers of A Calculated Life.

Nine Worlds Geek Fest 2014

8th-10th August 2014 at The Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow.

Cyberpunk: exploring society in the corporate machine age (.net)
Saturday 9th August, 10.00am – 11.15am Room: County C&D
Anne Charnock (moderator), Fabio Fernandes, Laurie Penny, Paul McAuley Read more

Nine Worlds GeekFest #2: Why Is The Future So Binary?

Nine Worlds GeekFest explored sexuality and gender in science fiction in a fascinating range of debates including Why Is The Future So Binary? This super-packed-out event witnessed a lively exchange between the author-panelists and the attendees, who shouted out examples of gender diversity in SF literature. The event successfully drew together a list of fictional worlds featuring gender non-conformity as opposed to the usual girl-meets-boy scenarios. (More books for the To Read list!)

Alex Dally MacFarlane pointed to the classic example – Ursula K Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness, set in a world without gender. ‘Le Guin pokes at gender binary,’ said MacFarlane. And chairing the discussion panel, Tori Truslow told the audience, ‘We need more! SF writers seem to think, “Le Guin did that so we don’t need to do it.”’ Read more

Utopia

Nine Worlds GeekFest #1: Is Our Future Utopian Or Dystopian?

Science fiction writers are getting ‘carried away with fear,’ according to author Tricia Sullivan. ‘There’s a failure to imagine a positive future. As a writer it’s harder to build things up than blow things up… Finding an element of hope really does mean disabling all my instincts as a science fiction writer.’

Sullivan was part of a four-author panel debating the question Is Our Future Utopian Or Dystopian? at Nine Worlds GeekFest 2013 in London last weekend. Her remark came in response to a challenge from Tom Hunter, director of The Clarke Awards, who chaired the event. He asked: ‘How do we find an element of hope?’ Sullivan quoted from Oscar Wilde: ‘The basis of optimism is sheer terror.’ (From The Picture of Dorian Gray). Read more