I’m looking forward to getting together with a bunch of writer friends at Eastercon. I’ll be travelling down to Heathrow on Thursday and staying until Tuesday morning. Come and say hello. You’ll mostly find me in the bar or whatever social space the convention provides, though there are some programme items I’m very interested in attending.
The programme items I’m scheduled to participate in are:
Friday 9.15 – 10.15 pm in Johnson
Game of Thrones – Uncharted Territory
Talking about how the books and the TV series are diverging and what the future might hold. With Jacey Bedford, Sian Bradshaw, Ming and Smitty.
Sunday 16.15 to 17.30 in Endeavour
Putting the Fantasy into History or Putting the History into Fantasy. Talking about writing history with fantasy or fantasising history. With Kari Sperring (mod), Jacey Bedford, C E Murphy
Monday 10.00 to 11.15 a.m. in Endeavour
Milford SFF Writers Meet
Informal meet-session for writers who have been to Milford or who are thinking of coming any time in the future, or just for the mildly curious. With me and whoever I can round up at the time. Should be fun.
These are the programme items I’d particularly like to see. Of course, I always go to converntions with the best of intentions to get off my backside and attend panels and they I get engrossed in a fascinating conversation in the bar and…
The Things We Learned From Pratchett: An exploration of fantasy, storytelling
and ethics with Jim Butcher, Edward James, Seanan McGuire, Farah Mendlesohn, Jessica
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Human Spaceflight: Penfriend to the
astronauts, Kate Arkless Gray gives us a brief history of human spaceflight,
explores the current options for leaving the planet, and shares a few tales
about what it’s like to live in microgravity in the ISS.
Equal Rites? The use of Science Fiction and Fantasy literature and
television to promote diversity, from the uber-multicultural Discworld to the
bridge of the original Enterprise. How far have we come and are we pulling
the mainstream along with us?
Farah Mendlesohn, Fiona Moore, Sarah Shemilt.
Asymmetric Warfare: Despite massive military superiority, armies still lose
out to insurgent forces who use asymmetric warfare techniques, some of
which might be called terrorism, to pursue their goals away from the
conventional battlefield. How does this work, how does it win, and is there
any way to fight against it? What is the future of global conflict? How will this
influence genre writing about the future, both on and off the battlefield? How
does it affect characters entangled in global conflicts, be they warriors,
politicians, refugees or victims? This panel will use asymmetric warfare as a
jumping off point to discuss fiction, worldbuilding, and character
development in the face of this dramatic contemporary phenomenon.
Dev Agarwal, Roger Bell-West, Sean McLachlan, Ashley Pollard.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky revisited: Our best bet for a real starship, based
on what we know now is reaction propulsion using a nuclear fission or,
better, fusion reactor. Some of our best hard SF writers have noticed this
and have used fusion rockets in their fiction. I f you like Alastair Reynolds’
Poseidon’s Children series or James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series then you
will have noticed them. Any form of reaction propulsion, from November 5th
rockets up to a fairly large percentage of light speed, conforms to Newton’s
laws, and you can “do the math”, as our American friends put it, with a
spreadsheet. This session will show you how – and celebrate how an Arab, a
Brit and Russian taught us how to work this out and guided all those
Germans, Americans and Russians who got us into space.
The Psychology of Dr Who: We know that the Doctor has two hearts, but
what is going on in his head? Can we really understand the Doctor’s moods
and motivations? How does regeneration affect him? Why does he strive to
save the human race? And what impact does traveling in time and space
have on the Doctor’s long suffering companions? Find out the answers to
these questions as life-long Dr Who fan Dr Sarita Robinson explores both
human and alien psychology.
Imagineering Starships – How SF Starships work, or don’t! Presented
by The Initiative for Interstellar Studies. This session will take starship ideas
from Science Fiction, do some basic physics and engineering, and produce
some pre-concept designs. You will only need about GCSE level maths
and/or physics or rough equivalent to join in and we will have i4is experts
available to help. John Davies, Kelvin Long, Rob Swinney.
Fencing for Writers: Swashbucklers and Bravoes: The term
swashbuckler entered the English language in the 1 500s during the
Renaissance, a word for a young, boastful man likely to get himself into
trouble. The name comes from the striking (swashing) of the bucklers with
their sideswords – either in fights or the build up to them. I taly, of course, got
there first. They’d seen their Renaissance start a couple of centuries earlier
and their styles in clothes and swords were a lot different by the 1 6th
century. Their restless young men were called bravoes and typically carried
rapiers and daggers. Despite their influence on historical and fantasy
genres, neither group was known for being especially courageous or
adventurous – they were just young men who dressed up, got into scrapes
and may have crossed the law a time or two. We’d like to show you a little of
how they fought – and explore how this can be used in creative writing.
Not For The Squeamish: Where SF becomes a medical reality
V. Anne Arden, Tim Kirk, Seanan McGuire, Joan Paterson.