Days of Future Past, Present and Coming Soon: LonCon and Beyond

Posted: August 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’m sorry to have misled some of you. This post has absolutely nothing to do with the X-Men. Though I did rather like that film.

Those of you on my Facebook page probably spotted a shorter version of my list of panels for LonCon3 next week. And that I promised to put up a more complete version. So here it is:

Liechester Square: Getting London Wrong

 Thursday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)

If there’s one thing you can guarantee about the reaction to any piece of SF set in London, it’s that British fans will delight in nit-picking the details: you can’t get there on the Piccadilly Line! So who are the worst offenders? Whose commodified Londons do we forgive for the sake of other virtues in their writing? Do we complain as much about cultural errors as geographic ones, and if not, why not? And given London’s status as a global city, is it even fair to claim ownership of its literary representation?

Developing LARPs – World vs Character

Friday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)

We’ll be talking about how to make really great characters in LARP, and how to make them fit in with the worlds they live in. Increasingly, LARP in the UK has become a much bigger hobby, with it’s own desires and needs. How do we create and realise our characters within these worlds, and what is most important when we do this? We’ll be talking about some of the differences between big and small systems, and ways in which to constructively overcome some of the recent issues that larp is dealing with on the field.

Urban Fantasy: London

Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)

The early twenty-first century commercial explosion of urban fantasy — first person, coexisting supernatural creatures, often noirish — was, at least initially, driven by the American market and American writers. Increasingly, however, writers such as Kate Griffin, Ben Aaronovitch and Paul Cornell are writing contemporary urban fantasy set in the UK and, in particular, in London. How has crossing the Atlantic changed this subgenre? How is it similar to or different from older forms of British urban fantasy?

Race and British SF

Saturday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL)

Four years ago, Tricia Sullivan threw a spotlight on the gender balance of SF authors published in the UK, leading to a continuing conversation that is — perhaps — finally having an effect. However, although other aspects of representation have been mentioned in the course of this conversation, they have rarely been the focus, and in particular it can be argued that UK fandom and publishing have not talked enough about race. To use the same barometer as Sullivan, only one writer of colour has ever won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and so far this century only three have been shortlisted. Yet the success of diversity-led events such as Nine Worlds suggests the audience is there. So what else should publishers and fannish institutions in the UK be doing to support writers of colour? Whose work should Loncon attendees rush to buy in the dealer’s room? And whose novels and stories are we eagerly anticipating?

LARP Safe. Building inclusive worlds in LARP

Saturday 20:00 – 21:00, London Suite 3 (ExCeL)

Recently, UK LARP has been extremely pre-occupied with finding ways to create worlds that celebrate diversity, in particular through the actions of players towards each other. It seems that live action role-play has reached a point where a new maturity and even cohesiveness is needed when welcoming players into their worlds. This panel discusses ways in which LARP can develop – through narratives, characters and worldbuilding, in ways that make this possible.

Autographing 5 – Russell Smith

 Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Autographing Space (ExCeL)

Representation, Whitewashing, and Internationalism in Fandom

Sunday 12:00 – 13:00

Fandoms can provide positive spaces for engagement with and education about representing people of color, for example the negative impact of “whitewashing” (see In recent years, there’s been a more visible push by fandom for representation that more accurately reflects the community as a whole. But the issue itself is a complex one: How can the SF/F community challenge their perceptions of representation while also taking into account how concepts including “race” and “people of colour” vary in an international context? How can fandom avoid stereotyping and exclusion? What sort of models work in a general sense, but should not be applied to non-Western nations? Join our panelists in a challenging and lively conversation about these issues.

If anyone has any suggestions for anything I should possibly look at for any of these (baring in mind an extremely limited timeframe!) then feel free to get in touch. I’m certainly looking forward to being involved in these, and as for the penultimate mention there, I will have copies of Oblivion Storm and Primal Storm on sale, and would be delighted to think of something witty to scrawl in your copies if you can’t wait and have ordered through the links provided!

In September, I also have plans to attend the Labyrinth Literary Festival up in Stockton. I shall have to think of a choice passage or two to read aloud, so will of course take any suggestions there too! 

Oh, and I’m ready for these guys now. Wigan Comic Con,  December 7. At last I will have my revenge. Oh, and have some books on sale, along with fellow Xchyler Publishing author Joanne Kershaw.


  1. Joanne Kershaw says:

    Thanks for the plug, and have a great time at your other events. Hoping to be able to tag along at the Labyrinth festival as well.

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