Favourite Quotes from Write the Future Micro-Conference

I’ve deciphered my scribbly notes from last week’s Arthur C Clarke Award and Write the Future micro-conference, organized by Tom Hunter,  and I thought I’d share my favourite quotes from the day:

Lauren Beukes, author of Zoo City (winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2011) and The Shining Girls, quoted Muriel Rukeyser:

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

Ben North of HarperCollins quoted Ludwig Wittgenstein:

“If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.”

Jane Rogers, author of The Testament of Jessie Lamb (winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2012) quoted Gustave Flaubert:

“There is no truth. There is only perception.”

And Lauren Beukes in her own words:

“Those who can’t imagine the future are bound to fuck it up.”

If you’re thinking of buying one the novels shortlisted for the prize, Niall Harrison on the Strange Horizons website has compiled a bunch of reviews and, to my surprise, has included all mine.

There’s tremendous range of opinion on the novels so I’m afraid you’ll be confused if you’re trying to choose just one.

Next: Hay Festival looms!

I’ve already read Elif Shafak’s Honour in readiness but I’m trying to read several more, time permitting:

Ma Jian’s The Dark Road and/or

Yan Lianke’s Lenin’s Kisses

Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

(I detect a theme developing!)

Will Self’s Umbrella. (Sadly, the Will Self and Lionel Shriver events clash on the programme).

Apart from the novelists (a bias to male writers though I haven’t scrutinized the programme line-by-line), I’m looking forward to the following science/technology talks:

Aarathi Prasad : How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex

Martin Rees: A Post-Human Future (a subject Nick Harkaway is also talking on).

Mark Welland: The Future is Nano

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