Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Loncon 3: The Worldcon in London

 I will be attending the upcoming World SF Convention in London in August. This will be my 4th Worldcon -- the first was in Glasgow in 2005. I also went to the one in Melbourne and another in Denver.

I've received my tentative programming, but please be aware that things may change between now and then, and attendees should always check on the day. If there are changes I know about in the meantime, I will adjust here.

I have been scheduled as a panellist on the following 5 panels:

1. Recentering the World Storm: 
John Clute's "Fantastika" and the World

Thursday 16:30 - 18:00, Capital Suite 6 (ExCeL)

In recent years John Clute has argued that fantastika is "the planetary form of story", originating after 1750, "the point when Western Civilization begins to understand that we do not inhabit a world but a planet." But where does this leave fantastika written in non-Western, non-Anglophone traditions? Is Clute's formulation adequate as an understanding of Western fantastika, or is a more explicit accounting of (for example) the relationship between the colonial imagination and the fantastic imagination required? Can readers and critics from multiple traditions identify common ground for the discussion of truly "planetary" fantastika, and what would that ground look like?

Geoff Ryman, John Clute, Glenda Larke, JY Yang, Gili Bar-Hillel

This should be a fabulous panel. John Clute is one of the convention's guests, a Renaissance man if ever there was one. Geoff Ryman is the author of some brilliant novels, including "Air" (a favourite of mine); he's a multiple award winner. Gili Bar-Hillel is a very well-known Hebrew translator, a multi-talented professor. J.Y. Yang lives in Singapore and writes SF; she is a Clarion survivor.

2. I Like My Secondary World Fantasy a Little on the Techy Side

Friday 10:00 - 11:00, Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL)

Some secondary world fantasies, like Brandon Sanderson's "Alloy of Law", Francis Knight's "Fade to Black", and Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Shadows of the Apt", have ventured into industrialisation. To what extent can the kinds of narratives common in secondary world and epic fantasies find a home in these kinds of settings? Is technological development less "believable" in a world with magic?

Django Wexler, Robert Jackson Bennett, Floris M. Kleijne, Glenda Larke, Adrian Tchaikovsky

I actually first read the topic as "on the tetchy side", and envisaged a quite different slant to the discussion ... Belligerent characters? Bellicose nations? No, wait: tech-y. Right.

3. SF/F Across Borders

Sunday 16:30 - 18:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)

Genre writers such as Vandana Singh, Geoff Ryman, Tricia Sullivan, and Zen Cho are already travellers to other worlds. Many authors write as resident outsiders, and want to write their new homes as well as their old. How does the experience of moving between countries affect the writing of fiction? How can or should writers respond to the varying power dynamics of race, language and culture involved in such migrations? And how should readers approach the stories that result?

Stephanie Saulter, Jesús Cañadas, Glenda Larke, Yen Ooi, Suzanne van Rooyen

4. All the Traps of Earth

Monday 10:00 - 11:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)

Thinking about the long-term existence of humanity requires us to examine the relationship between our culture(s) and the physical world we inhabit. How have SF and fantasy explored this relationship -- not just in terms of technology and stewardship, but by looking at the grain of daily life and work? What is the place of the "natural" world in SF and fantasy, and how is it linked to, or contrasted with, the human world?

Sam Scheiner, Anne Charnock, Glenda Larke, Amy Thomson, Patrick Nielsen Hayden

5. Amateurs talk tactics; professionals talk logistics

Monday 15:00 - 16:30, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)

How are wars and other conflicts won? It doesn't matter how good your troops and generals are if they don't get the resources they need, so the logistics of warfare, and the economics that drive them, play a far larger role than usually appears in fiction. What is the real story from history and how can science fiction get it right?

Phil Dyson, Nigel Furlong, Glenda Larke, Juliet E McKenna

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 I am also scheduled for a Kaffeeklatch:
That's a discussion over coffee where readers can book a place at the table to meet writers they'd like to grill chat with about their work, etc.

Friday 13:00 - 14:00, London Suite 5 (ExCeL)

Glenda Larke, James Patrick Kelly

This sounds as though there are two of us sharing. I've never had a Kaffeeklatsch with another writer before, so this should be interesting, especially as Jim Kelly is more a SF writer. He is a Nebula and a Hugo winner, so I will be in distinguished company!

Anyway, if any of you are at Loncon 3, do feel free to hunt me down...

2 comments:

Jo said...

If only. Mind you some of those discussions sound a bit beyond me.

Tsana Dolichva said...

The way the kaffeeklatsches are listed on the fancy interactive programme make them look like they are completely separate, so you probably won't have to share!

I will definitely try to chase you down during the con, so beware... ;-p