The Early Days of a Better Nation

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Impending Manifestations

I have a number of public events coming up, starting tomorrow!

Friday 13 April, 5.30 pm: Human 2.0, a panel on transhumanism/posthumanism with bioethicist Andy Miah, SF writer Justina Robson and sociologist Professor Steve Fuller at the National Museum of Scotland, as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
What does it means to be human, past, present and future? As we re-engineer the human body, and even the human genome – through technology, drugs and genetic manipulations – how do we define and value our humanity? What are the social, political and cultural challenges inherent in our enhanced future? As part of our Future Human mini festival, sociologist and author Professor Steve Fuller, and sci-fi writers Ken MacLeod and Justina Robson, join ethicist Andy Miah to mull over these compelling questions. Are we facing a re(evolution) of the species?
The following morning, I expect to bounce out of bed, shower, get dressed, pack, grab some toast and rush to the station to travel to Leicester, to arrive mid-afternoon for:

Saturday 14 to Sunday 15 April: I'm one of the Guests of Honour heading up a guest list that most SF/F cons would kill for at the lively and highly commendable annual 'fantastic weekend for readers and writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror', now in its sixth year, Alt.Fiction, Phoenix Digital Arts Centre, Leicester.

And that's not all! Later this month, I have another two events one night apart:

Genetic Fictions: Genes and Genre, Tue 24 Apr 2012, 18.30 - 20.00, at the Conference Centre, British Library, London, Price: £7.50 / £5 concessions.
Join leading Social Scientists from the ESRC Genomics Network, including Dr Joan Haran (Cesagen, Cardiff University) author of the forthcoming book 'Genetic Fictions: Genes, Gender and Genre', along with award-winning playwright Peter Arnott and Science Fiction author Ken MacLeod as they consider how genes and genetics are represented in literature and theatre. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. The evening will be chaired by Jude England, Head of Social Sciences at the British Library. [Further details here.]
Another day, another sci/lit event:

Wednesday 25th April 9:30am to 5pm in Zochonis TH A (B5), University of Manchester: a day-long workshop 'Putting the Science in Fiction' Interfaculty Symposium on Science and Entertainment.
Many people look suspiciously at science in fictional media and may ask themselves: Why don't the creators of fiction ever talk to real scientists? In fact, those who write novels, craft television scripts, create movies, and produce stage plays do speak with scientists on a regular basis. This workshop explores how science provides challenges and opportunities for the creators of fiction. By bringing together leading entertainment professionals, novelists, arts scholars, and scientists the workshop will forge new relationships between the scientific community and the arts/entertainment community. One goal of the workshop is to begin discussions about creating a "Science and Entertainment" collaboration programme in the UK equivalent to the Science and Entertainment Exchange run by the National Academy of Sciences in the US.
This event is free but spaces are limited - you can see how to book a place by clicking on the link.

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Friday 27th April 7:30pm to 9pm at the Town Hall, Seattle, WA, USA: reading from, and discussion of new novel, Intrusion, and its anticipated reception by audiences west of the Atlantic.

Shoot... there I go again, allowing my own little fantasies to spill over into the real world blogosphere.

Well ... at least you got your copies signed!

- which was fun, and slightly weird in its trans-Atlantic connectedness.

Hopefully participating in a three-person pub seminar this Summer. The topic is a discussion of "The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction," by Istvan Csicery-Ronay. It modifies and extends ideas in Darko Suvin's classic "Metamorphoses of Science Fiction," to accomodate today's SF. Location is The Pipes of Scotland, in Uppsala.

Hope you're having a good time in Leicester, Ken. In a weird reversal of usual locations, I've just left Glasgow, where i've spent a few days hanging round the university, haunted by the ghosts of Jon, Annette, Dave and Myra (and Clovis) I even detoured to check out the Queen Margaret Union - by some margin the ugliest building to which I've made a literary pilgrimage. I also had an intense conversation about genes and their expression, beneath a bust of Calvin set in a mural painted by Alastair Gray - a highly sfnal experience.

Chris Williams

I'm delighted! And grateful to both you and Ann at the bookstore -- gracious enablers of my book dependency problem.

Thanks, ilorien!

Chris - I did indeed have a good time in Leicester - Alt.Fiction is a fine event. Sorry I missed you, but such is the state of my brain that when I stepped out of the station I looked around and wondered why everything looked so oddly familiar ...

I have not posted a comment here in a while but would like to say im very eager to read Intrusion ,your work only gets better and better Ken. Also I've always considered Scotland to be one of the most beuatiful places ive never been to ,despite living in Europe for most my youth,but after seeing the link you posted on your twitter(,
I have to say the Wallace Monument is the most impressive and surreal building ive seen to date.

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