BBC Radio 4: Babies In Bags

This month I took part in the BBC Radio 4 programme Babies In Bags, in which I discussed the issues raised in Dreams Before the Start of Time, as part of a half-hour programme on human reproductive technologies. The show’s host, Dr Jen Gupta and Alice Fraser, were absolutely brilliant at bringing together both the fiction around this subject and the actual science!

This was the first of six episodes in Stranger Than Sci-Fi and here are the details from the BBC website:

Astro-physicist Dr Jen Gupta and comedian Alice Fraser travel the parallel worlds of science and sci-fi.

Starting with the latest books and films, they discover real life science that sounds too strange to be true – from babies grown in bags, via black hole Jacuzzis, to flowers that behave like our ears.

Each programme starts with imagined futures and ends with today’s latest scientific research, exploring along the way how each impacts the other. This episode dives into the science behind Anne Charnock’s book, Dreams Before The Start Of Time, which imagines a future where babies can be grown in artificial wombs. How close is modern technology to making this a reality?

Jen and Alice talk to Anne Charnock, Science Fiction historian Lisa Yaszek, research scientist Matt Kemp and investigative journalist Jenny Kleeman.

So tune in at 9pm on Wednesdays or catch the episodes on BBC Sounds.

It’s been an exciting summer all round, catching up with readers and writers at events up and down the UK: Cymera in Edinburgh, Edge-Lit in Derby and the Arthur C Clarke Awards ceremony at Foyles in London. I had the great pleasure and honour of announcing the winner of this year’s award—Rosewater by Tade Thompson. A totally deserved win! Congratulations again, Tade!

Next month, I’m attending WorldCon in Dublin where I’ll be joining panel discussions and doing a reading. I haven’t decided what I’ll read just yet. Maybe the opening pages of Bridge 108, which will be published in February of next year.

And this summer marked the beginning of a quest to visit all the Scottish islands that I haven’t as yet explored. Orkney was a delight with its Neolithic sites and astonishing coastal walks. Number 1 highlight: spotting four orcas!

Happy reading, everyone!

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