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Programme 2017

Here is the Draft Programme for Bristolcon 2017

Programme Room 1 (Back to Top)

Time Description
09:50 Welcome : MEG
10:00 Gender Flipping & Fluidity – Recent years have seen discussion of gender become an established part of the SF&F conversation. The panel will celebrate this rise, discuss how it has come to pass and look to where it may go in the future, with a nod backwards to LeGuin and Woolf (amongst others).:

Joanne Hall (M), Virginia Bergin, Joel Cornah, Tej Turner, Lucy Hounsom

10:50 Reading: Lucy Hounsom
11:00 Guest of Honour Interview – Jen Williams

Interviewed by Peter Newman

11:50 Reading: Steve McHugh
12:00 A Masters Degree in Exobiology – Our literature wouldn’t be complete without a bestiary of fantastic creatures, from space whales to drop bears to piercers. What are the panel’s favourite brilliant, intriguing or just plain bonkers critters from SF&F?:

David Gullen (M), Jen Williams, Steve McHugh, Graham Austin-King, Jessica Rydill

12:50 Reading: Graham Austin-King
13:00 Guest of Honour Interview – Sarah Anne Langton

By Joanne Hall

13:50 Setup
14:00 Paul Cornell’s Long Day In Lychford, followed by a mass signing
14:50 Break
15:00 Mapping SF & F – Most of us love a good map. The panellists look at the role of maps in speculative fiction and discuss the process of collaboration between writers and artists that ultimately lays out the fictional landscape before us.:

Sophie E Tallis (M), Anna Stephens, Juliet E McKenna, Andy Bigwood, Joel Cornah

15:50 Reading: Joel Cornah
16:00 Guest of Honour Interview – Jonathan L Howard

Interviewed by Gareth L Powell

16:50 Reading: Jonathan L Howard
17:00 Out Of This World Trip Advisor – The panel reviews a variety of famous places in SF&F, and decides if there are any fantasy worlds or alien planets that would make good holiday destinations.:

Danie Ware (M), Jen Williams, Dolly Garland, Gareth L Powell, Paul McAuley

17:50 Reading: Gareth L Powell
18:00 I Don’t Know Which Shelf To Put This Book On – Clarke’s Law says that at first inspection, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Does it then follow that any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from science? Our panellists discuss where SF meets F. What makes a book one or the other, and what goes on when the two meet, and maybe even have babies?:

Jo Lindsay Walton (M), Elizabeth Jones, Danie Ware, Jason Whittle, Nick Hembery

18:50 Reading: Dominic Dulley
19:00 Thinking Outside The Dyson Sphere – If sense of wonder is the heart of speculative fiction, this is where to find it. The panel discuss the most plausible, and implausible, habitats in SF&F, from alien megastructures to weird solar systems and fantastic worlds. :

Jaine Fenn (M), Dominic Dulley, Justina Robson, Janet Edwards, Nik Whitehead

19:50 Reading: Justin Newland
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Programme Room 2 (Back to Top)

Time Description
09:30 My First Con: If you’re new to conventions this is for you. Theo Graham and Peter Newman will run an informal session where you can learn what to expect and how to get the best out of Bristolcon. (THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE BRICKOUT ROOM)
09:50 Welcome: Dan Pawley
10:00 You Are The Product – It’s long been said that if something on the Internet is free, then it’s you that’s being sold. In an increasingly social media obsessed world, where every click you make feeds into an algorithm somewhere, maybe we should be concerned about just what companies do with our information. Is this just tinfoil hat paranoia, or could your online life genuinely affect your “real” life, from the billboards you see to your chances of getting insurance? What will this look like in another decade? Another century?

Kevlin Henney (M), Gaie Sebold, Adrian Selby, Kate Coe, David Gullen

10:50 Reading: Gaie Sebold
11:00 A Fistful Of Genres – How has the Western influenced SFF and do interesting things happen where genres intersect? Westerns and SF are both literatures concerned with taming new frontiers and the effects of new technologies, be it a six shot revolver or an FTL drive. Are tales of the great nineteenth century expansion into the American West a forerunner of adventures on space colonies? How many Western tropes have carried over into heroic fantasy?

Peter Sutton (M), Jonathan L Howard, Stark Holborn, Ian Millsted, Terry Jackman

11:50 Reading: Terry Jackman
12:00 She Infodumped Me – Tabletop roleplayers complain about games which have pages and pages of lore and history, aka: several centuries of stuff happened, which you and the other characters weren’t involved with. How do authors and game designers balance creating a complex realistic world with the need to avoid information overload in the reader?

Juliet E McKenna (M), Jacey Bedford, Peter Newman, Ellen Crosháin, Dyrk Ashton

12:50 Reading: Ellen Crosháin
13:00 Gert Lush Science 2017 – Science is always on the march. In the first few months of 2017 alone, we’ve seen new exoplanets, companies laying off workers to replace them with AIs, flowers pollinated by robot bees, and maybe even an actual Dyson sphere. What do these discoveries mean for the future, and for SF?

Dev Agarwal (M), Justina Robson, Paul McAuley, Rosie Oliver, GR Matthews

13:50 Reading: Paul McAuley
14:00 Break
14:50 Break
15:00 Klaatu Barada Nikto – Our panel talks (mainly in English) about languages in SF&F, from simple neologisms to fully fledged conlangs (constructed languages), and about how language has been used to build worlds in film and literature. Will we all eventually speak the same language, or will the urge to distinguish our tribe from others always drive difference?

Jessica Rydill (M), Anna Smith Spark, Deane Saunders-Stowe, Piotr Swietlik, Jaine Fenn

15:50 Reading: Anna Smith Spark
16:00 Space Sick, Space Healthy – Health has been a primary human concern for ever. As we increasingly build our own environments and begin to move into new ones inimical to humanity, will we encounter new problems? Will an inability to adapt to new technologies be viewed as a handicap? How will you get on in the Martian colony if you’re claustrophobic? Could things currently viewed as problems be seen as advantages in the right place, and what might be lost in years to come?

Rosie Oliver (M), Janet Edwards, Dr Bob, Dev Agarwal, DJ Cockburn

16:50 Reading: Janet Edwards
17:00 They Hacked My Lightbulb, Now I’m Sat In The Dark – The Internet of Things is coming. The connected house sounds like a tech dream, but what happens when your fridge suffers a ransomware attack and refuses to open when you need to get the milk to finish that cup of tea? The panel will aim to celebrate the possibilities, but probably spend more time discussing just what could go wrong in this brave new world.

David Gullen (M), John Hawkes-Reed, Jo Lindsay Walton, Anna Stephens, Jaine Fenn

17:50 Reading: Anna Stephens
18:00 Aw Ma, Not Soylent Green For Tea Again! – Years ago, we were told that in the future we’d be eating our meals in pill form. Why didn’t this happen? What is the future of food? The panel discuss what we could and should (or maybe shouldn’t) try to grow, manufacture and cook on a space station, or a voyage to the stars, or just in an increasingly overcrowded world where climate change will limit traditional agriculture.

Roz Clarke (M), Joanne Hall, RB Watkinson, Kevlin Henney, Peter Sutton

18:50 Reading: RB Watkinson
19:00 Health & Safety In Space – The H&S Inspectors are visiting your genre to check for dangerous breaches of protocol. From Jurassic Park to Skynet, we ask – how did they get that past Health and Safety?!:

Nik Whitehead (M), Jonathan L Howard, Anna Stephens, Katya Bozukova, Nick Walters

19:50 Reading: Nick Walters
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Snug (Back to Top)

Time Host Description
10:00 Gareth L Powell A session for aspiring authors, in which they can ask anything about the business and craft of writing, securing an agent, and getting published.
11:00 Justina Robson Kaffeklatsch
12:00 Virginia Bergin A pep talk for unpublished writers!’ – presentation and Q&A advice session for writers who have yet to be published from Macmillan author Virginia Bergin
13:00 Stephanie Burgis & Patrick Samphire Writing middle grade fantasy and science fiction
14:00 Nick Hembery Get Edited: bring your story ideas along to get them workshoped into solid plots. A led discussion with no bad ideas, constructive criticism and tons of encouragement.
15:00 Peter Newman Getting Unstuck: A workshop for any writers who are stuck with a project. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or an established writer, at chapter 1 or 100: as long as you have a project you can bring to the group, Peter will try to help you move forward with it.
16:00 Juliet E McKenna Someone goes on a journey; a stranger comes to town: A group story-brainstorming session to explore what writers can learn from testing out their ideas and planning their plot before they reach for the pen or keyboard.
17:00 Jessica Rydill Writing and mental health: Do mental health problems help or hinder creativity and writing; how do writers cope? What about writers’ block? How does it interfere or interact with the day job? What about Philip K. Dick, L. Ron Hubbard, and so on?
18:00 Dev Agarwal How to stage manage and craft violence in fiction. This will be an interactive session drawing on audience ideas and participation.
19:00 Piotr Swietlik Dialogue writing advice. A workshop helping to develop techniques of writing good dialogue, with tips and cake.
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Art Room (Back to Top)

Time Host Description
10:00 Elizabeth Jones BookTube! – get involved with the huge community of reviewers and book-related channels on YouTube
12:00 Andy Bigwood 3D Printing – A Beginner’s Guide
15:00 Sarah Ash Stray Gods, Spirits & Shinki Noragami
16:00 The Theremin – Charlie Draper The Iconic sound of the Theremin has been heard in many different sci-fi and fantasy films and television programs. Join Charlie for a talk including music
17:00 Val Jones of JoValJo Crafts The Thing About Dragons
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