In case you might have missed the news, the World Science Fiction Convention begins next week in London. And I’m so excited (and not just because I’ll be debuting a new hall costume inspired by Brave’s Merida).
My official programming appearances are on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (see below) but I am also planning on attending the events on Thursday to open the academic conference.
Come and find me and we’ll chat about….well, I’m sure if you follow me on social media and are at WorldCon, we’ll have plenty of topics.
Hope to see you there!
I’ll also be in Dublin the next weekend for Shamrokon (the Dublin Eurocon 2014) and hope to have that schedule finalized soon.
Thursday, August 14
“Diversity in Speculative Fiction”: Welcome to the Academic Conference
Capital Suite 6 (Level 3), 10:30am – 11am
A chance to find out what the academic programme is and to meet (other) academics at the event before the first session. Please bring your own drinks along.
Diversity in Speculative Fiction Conference Reception
South Gallery 21/22, 10pm – 11:30pm
A reception primarily aimed at participants in the academic programme “Diversity in Speculative Fiction” but open to those who are interested in meeting the academics and discussing the programme with them. It is sponsored by the Science Fiction Foundation, who will be publishing selected papers drawn from the programme in the journal Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction.
Saturday, August 16
Place and Time: Capital Suite 6 (Level 3), 9:30am – 11am
Panel Title: Mediated Boundaries
Panelists: Jo Lindsay Walton, Pawel Frelik, Colin Harvey, Heather Urbanski
Three academics each give a 15 minute presentation. These are followed by a jointly held 30 minute discussion with the audience.
- Heather Urbanski, “Narratology of Science Fiction and Fantasy Franchises”**
- Colin B Harvey, “Tink Talks! Transmedia Memory and Neverland”
- Pawel Frelik, “Subversive Moddernity—Fantastic Game Modification and Politics”
**I’ll be presenting the latest version of my analysis of Agents of SHIELD, Hunger Games, and Once Upon a Time as narratively disruptive franchises.
Sunday, August 17
Place and Time: Capital Suite 1 (Level 3), 10am – 11am
Panel Title: Working for a Living
Panelists: Martin McGrath, Donna Scott, Susan Connolly, Alison Page, Heather Urbanski
Most SF TV focuses on (and is written by!) professional/white collar/middle class individuals. But a few recent examples — such as The Walking Dead, True Blood, Orphan Black and Misfits — have included a greater focus on working class/blue collar experiences. How does this affect the stories such shows tell, the range of characters and identities they include, and how they use their fantastic elements?
Place and Time: Capital Suite 15 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm
Panel Title: Secrecy in Science
Panelists: David L Clements, Katie Mack, Heather Urbanski, Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf, Sunil Patel, Leah-Nani Alconcel
What role does secrecy have in science? Should drug companies be allowed to hide trial data from their competitors? Should scientists be allowed to publish papers and not the data they are based on? Is there a place for commercial confidentiality in space missions? But if everything is open, how will anybody get commercial benefit from new inventions and discoveries? And do we really want DNA sequences for super-flu, and the designs for dirty bombs and plutonium refineries to be available to all?
Monday, August 18
Place and Time: Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm
Panel Title: Brave Young World
Panelists: Cory Doctorow, Gillian Redfearn, Heather Urbanski, David Farnell
How is the nature of young people’s reading changing, and how should it change the ways we write and publish? Are new forms of storytelling emerging along with new technologies?