The 58th British National Science Fiction Convention
6--9 April 2007, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chester
Originally, the 2007 Eastercon was to have been Convoy, at the Adelphi, Liverpool. But unfortunately it had to be cancelled. (Officialpages.)
Then, at Novacon 2006 a rescue bid was put in place, for Contemplation, in Chester. So, organised in four months, rather than the usual 2+ years, it was necessarily smaller and quieter, with few official "big" evens such as GoHs, masquerade, etc. But it was still good fun, with great panels and talks, and a good hotel. And great weather!
What can we do as a community to reduce our carbon footprint? Should we consider offsetting funds to match air travel for the fan funds, for example? Or are we just kowtowing to the latest puritan fad?
Do you read book reviews? Do you take any notice of them? Do writers and publishers take notice of them? Do they serve the reader, the industry, or no one at all? Do you give a flying squid?
M John Harrison sparked debate with his statement that "Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over worldbuilding", that "... worldbuilding is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn't there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there."
Questions about continuity of identity have long intrigued philosophers and psychologists, but they have a habit of cropping up in SF too. Is the Doctor still the same Doctor after a regeneration? Is an uploaded mind the same person as its flesh-and-blood predecessor, of just a really good copy? And is a Star Fleet transporter room more like a bus depot -- or an execution chamber?
Can we design our living environment to reduce the effects of climate change? and should we try?
What we take for "reality" is an illusion constructed by our brain, a mental representation that can be deceived and distorted.
Other genres -- fantasy, technothriller, historical -- have been recently reinvigorated by taking a science-fictional approach. Authors identified with SF have 'bled' towards the mainstream or other genres. Science fiction has become the default multimedia landscape. Is SF making a blood donation -- or bleeding to death?
The art of spending time in abandoned buildings, be they industrial, commercial, medical, military, educational -- in fact, any building that isn't being used any longer.
"I hear that a number of women writers have felt that the atmosphere in the UK is very hard science, hard men at present --not that all the editors are male or whatever, but that the culture seems to be for quite macho type books." True?
"Glorifying Terrorism" is a recently published anthology of sf short stories written in protest of the Terrorism Act.
What's SF really? What's not SF that we think we should claim?
Digicams and email bring modern soldiers' views of war right onto our computer screens. How do their experiences compare with sf's depictions of future conflict?
A discussion of the 2006 Clarke shortlist.
[ Nova Swing won the ACC award]
Social and scientific predictors have been warning us of a coming catastrophe for all of history -- in the late nineteenth century it was gridlock and and nine metres of horseshit in the streets, and not so long ago it was the coming Ice Age. Why should we believe them this time round?
The human side of space exploration, from spaceship design to the practical issues surrounding sex in space.
What would the world be like if Shakespeare had not existed?.