These programme items will take place in the second programme room (“Summit Suite”) which is located at the far end of the corridor that runs between the Art Show and Dealers rooms.
|09:50 – 09:55||Welcome – Cheryl Morgan|
|10:00 – 10:45||Call Me Rosetta
First Contact: As a probe sent out from Earth, what am I looking for, and what do I send back? If there’s life out there, when we meet the aliens, how do we say hello? How can we explain ourselves, and what should we keep back until the second date?
|10:50 – 10:55||Reading: Joanne Hall|
|11:00 – 11:45||The Regiment of Monsters?
Epic fantasy that is focused on warfare is often criticised for presenting ‘boy’s own’ adventures, or containing racial stereotypes codified into fantasy races. Is this perception justified? It’s often argued that fantasy can’t be more diverse because it ‘wouldn’t be accurate’ – if fantasy needs to be ‘accurate’, what happens when we look more deeply at historical armies such as the Romans, in which peoples from different countries were dedicated to specific roles in combat? What about the many female warriors overlooked by popular history?
|11:50- 11:55||Reading: Edward Cox|
|12:00 – 12:45||SF&F On the Margins
The pros and cons of small press, indie and self-publishing for writers have been well explored over the past decade, but what benefits, if any, does the increased ease of access to publishing hold for readers and for the culture of speculative fiction? What exciting projects or changes in SF&F have come about through these marginal routes to market?
|12:50 – 12:55||Reading: Stephanie Burgis|
|13:00 – 13:45||Uncanny Valleys of the Mind
We’ve been worried about sentient robots for a long time, but are we really worrying about what they might do to us, or what they might do to our understanding of ourselves? When we’re developing smart machines, how do we weigh up the benefits and the dangers, and given that a Twitter chatbot can become a fascist in 24 hours, when do we pull the plug?
|13:50 – 13:55||Reading: Pete Sutton|
|14:00 – 15:00||Break|
|15:00 – 15:45||Writing Through the Storm
Writing fiction can provide emotional catharsis and writers often draw on challenging life events in their work. How does writing support you through challenging life events and how do such events enrich or distract from people’s writing? How has reading fiction helped our panel to navigate through life’s dark places?
|15:50 – 15:55||Reading: Neil Beynon|
|16:00 – 16:45||Under the Covers
We all know how important covers are to books. Whether or not you judge a book by its cover, marketers assume you will, and cover art is a key part of how a book is marketed and received. Our panel reveals the process by which cover art is commissioned, from writers and publishers selecting artists to the challenges of rendering the writer’s vision artistically, with reference to examples of the good, the bad and the ugly of cover art.
|16:50 – 16:55||Reading: Patrick Samphire|
|17:00 – 17:45||Running the World / Cleaning the Toilets
One person’s utopia is another’s dystopia. How can we build believable and effective governments in SF&F, and how can we prevent our utopias becoming dystopias (and should we try)? And while we’re focussed on the action at the top, who’s cleaning the toilets?
|17:50 – 17:55||Reading: Janet Edwards|
|18:00 – 18:45||After the Heroes Have Gone
We all enjoy a big battle, especially on the big screen, but what happens afterwards? Who’s picking up the pieces of New York after the Avengers have smashed it up, who’s living in the wreckage of a Godzilla-stomped Tokyo and what are the Alderaanians who were off planet at the time supposed to do next? Wars have knock-on effects that aren’t always explored – we ask our panel to think about the fate of the ordinary folk, after the heroes have gone.
|18:50 – 18:55||Reading: R B Watkinson|
|19:00 – 19:45||The “F” Word
The late Graham Joyce believed in fairies. He wrote about fairies. He lit candles on his lawn for fairies. But he didn’t like to use the F word (not ‘f**k’. He said ‘f**k’ all the time). He said they didn’t like it, and Graham’s fairies were not people you’d want to cross. “…when the shadow steps out, not only is it sometimes not sweet, but sometimes it stays out…” The panel discusses the darkly numinous otherworld where fairytale meets nightmare.
|19:50 – 19:55||Reading: Lucy Hounsom|