If you’re going to Mancunicon next week, you’ll be able to catch me on the following panels.
1). That Which We Call Reality, By Any Other Name …
Saturday 20:30 – 21:30, Presidential Suite (Hilton Deansgate)
In many speculative stories, reality is stubbornly stable: a lot of readers love their worldbuilding to be consistent. But in an important strand of the field, which includes the work of writers such as Carol Emshwiller, Philip K. Dick, and Kelly Link, reality is something more subjective, contested, arguable. What is the appeal of such stories, for readers and writers, and how do they achieve their effects? Do they contain distinctive types of characters or narratives? And can we identify differences of approach or effect depending on whether a given writer’s starting point is literary experimentation, philosophical enquiry, or scientific exploration?
With: Andrew M Butler, Gareth L. Powell, Christopher Priest, Justina Robson, Tricia Sullivan
2). How High is Your Brow?
Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Room 8&9 (Hilton Deansgate)
Science fiction and fantasy have long had a tumultuous relationship with the world of “highbrow” art. There are divides in funding, attention, and prestige between artforms deemed (by some) to be “serious” and those deemed to be “popular”, and it sometimes seems that never the twain shall meet. What would science-fictional high culture look like? (SF opera?) How are discussions about “high” art shaped by social class and background? How do we, as science fiction readers and writers, challenge the divide? In what ways do we find ourselves reinforcing it? Can we just ignore it — and why, or why not?
With: Peter Harrow, Trevor Hoyle, Pauline Morgan, Gareth L. Powell, Simon Morden