Wednesday 25 August 2010

Worldcon schedule

Here are the items I'm down to participate in during the forthcoming Aussiecon.

What can the mystery teach science fiction?

Mysteries and crime novels remain overwhelmingly popular, and boast a
literary history at least as rich as that of science fiction. What can
the mystery genre teach writers of speculative fiction? How can the
two genres intersect? In an imagined world of high technology or
powerful magic, are the conventional narrative tricks and twists of
the mystery story even possible?

Don A. Timm, Alastair Reynolds, Sean Williams, Peter M. Ball, Jack Bell
Friday 1700 Room 204

Fred Hoyle: Scientists and science fiction

 Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) was a noted astronomer and scientist who also
embarked on a long and successful career as a science fiction author.
Using Hoyle as a springboard and example, what is the result when
scientists turn their hands to writing science fiction - what are the
implications for the science in their books, and for the
representation of scientists and scientific process within them?

Cristina Lasaitis, Greg Benford, Jeff Harris, Alastair Reynolds
Saturday 1200 Room 204

The Fermi Paradox

 The great physicist Enrico Fermi asked “Where are the aliens? Why
didn’t they get here long ago?” This is a huge puzzle since the
universe is so old that it is difficult to understand why they have
not already visited Earth, or at least made their presence known out
in space. This is the Fermi Paradox. Have we made any progress
untangling it?

James Benford, Gord Sellar, Dirk Flinthart, Alastair Reynolds
Saturday 1700 Room 219

Far future: Where fantasy meets SF?

Clarke’s Law famously states that any sufficiently advanced technology
is indistinguishable from magic. When writing about the distant
future, where do we draw this distinction? Can we? And, perhaps most
importantly, should we?

Rani Graff, Bob Kuhn, Alastair Reynolds
Sunday 1100 Room 211

Objects in space: The giant artefact in science fiction

Science fiction regularly deals with the ‘big dumb object’, the
strange alien monolith that is discovered on a distant planet, or
which floats ominously into our solar system. What is the appeal of
the giant alien object, and why does it inspire it so many science
fiction stories and novels?

Sean Williams, Alastair Reynolds, Alan Stewart, Mark Olson
Sunday 1700 Room P3

Hand-waving, rule-bending and other dirty tricks of hard SF

Hard-science SF isn’t always scientific. Authors who work in this
field use a wide variety of methods to duck and weave around the
facts, allowing their fiction to be unscientifically scientific while
remaining close to what science is needed to make the stories and
novels work. When you speculate beyond what is known and believed by
contemporary scientists, how do you go about making things up?

Greg Benford, Charles Stross, Alastair Reynolds
Monday 1400 Room P3


  1. Seriously are you going to be Australia? This is so exciting!

  2. Al,

    If by any chance at all there is a recording or typescript of the Fred Hoyle panel please do post a link.
    Met him many years ago- wondeful character, ye genuine Yorkshire man- and his SF was pretty damn good as well. Still got my signed copy of Ossian's Ride.

    And thanks for the link to the Trigan Empire- Look and Learn, my goodness that brought back memories.

    Jim Braiden