Iain Banks and Kim Stanley Robinson British Library Event

According to a press release from Forbidden Planet, Iain Banks and Kim Stanley Robinson will be in Conversation at the British Library, on Saturday 9th June from 3PM:

Forbidden Planet and Orbit Books, in association with the British Library, are delighted to present a unique opportunity to hear two giants of the genre in conversation about 2012, the end of the world, and the future of science fiction. This event will take place in the Auditorium at the British Library, doors open 3PM, with a subsequent signing 5-6PM.

Iain Banks was born in Fife and educated at Stirling University where he read English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology. He gained widespread and controversial public notice in 1984 with his first novel, The Wasp Factory and went on to create one of SF’s best-loved fictional settings—the “Culture” in novels such as Consider Phlebas and Player of Games. He’s almost unique in achieving success in two genres: mainstream, literary fiction, and science fiction.

With a list of academic laurels and industry awards to his name, Kim Stanley Robinson is a writer of true “hard” science fiction—a spiritual descendant of Jules Verne and closely aligned with Isaac Asimov; he’s known to use proven scientific fact and technology in his highly acclaimed work. He became familiar to SF readers with his Orange County series of books in the mid 1980s—but is perhaps best-known for the Mars trilogy, Red MarsGreen Mars and Blue Mars, the last of which was published in 1996.

Forbidden Planet is the largest store of its kind in the world. Some of the biggest names in SF, Fantasy and Cult Entertainment have come to our London Megastore for events, including Jonathan Ross, Kevin Smith, Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, Terry Gilliam, Christopher Lee, Simon Pegg, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Stephen King.

Tickets are £7.50 or £5 for concessions. Click for more details. 

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Putting the Science in Fiction – a free workshop

With several of the biggest names in UK Science Fiction speaking, this free event looks unmissable for anyone seriously interested in the science in fiction. Here’s a press release from the University of Manchester:

“Putting the Science in Fiction” Interfaculty Symposium on Science and Entertainment will be an interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Manchester on Wednesday 25th April, from 9:30AM to 5PM in Zochonis TH A (B5), organised by Geoff Ryman (EAS/Centre for New Writing) and David Kirby (CHSTM).

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, produce television shows, and create movies 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, communication 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.

Confirmed speakers include:
* Stephen Baxter, author of the Manifold trilogy and the Xeelee Sequence
* Ken MacLeod, University of Edinburgh, scholar and author of the Fall Revolution series and the Engines of Light trilogy
* Alastair Reynolds, scientist and author of the Revelation Space series, Pushing Ice and House of Suns
* Geoff Ryman, University of Manchester, scholar and author of Air, The Children’s Garden, and The King’s Last Song
* Ra Page, Founder & Editorial Manager of Comma Press
* David A. Kirby, University of Manchester, author of Lab Coats in Hollywood
* Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, University of Oxford, author of Science on Stage
* Phil Manning, University of Manchester, paleontologist, Science Consultant for Bizarre Dinosaurs and Fossil Detectives
* Justina Robson, author of Silver Screen, Natural History and the Quantum Gravity series
* Simon Ings, author and editor of New Scientist‘s fiction magazine Arc
* Matthew Cobb, University of Manchester, Professor of Zoology
* Tim O’Brien, Jodrell Bank, Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics

“Putting the Science in Fiction” is sponsored by the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM), Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, Faculty of Life Sciences, and Centre for New Writing.

There is no cost for the workshop, but spaces are limited so you will need to book a place by contacting scienceinfiction [dot] manchester [at] gmail [dot] com

JG Ballard British Library Event

Press release: J G Ballard: Further Reflections

Fri 23 Sep 2011, 18.30 – 20.30

£7.50 / £5 concessions

J G Ballard: Further Reflections Event

Book now for 23 Sep 2011, 18.30 – 20.00

Famous for his provocative, dystopian visions, J G Ballard was a writer so spectacularly imaginative and distinctive that his name has become an adjective in its own right. His fiction, often shocking, predicted the rise of terrorism against tourists, the alienation of a society obsessed by new technology and ecological disasters such as the melting of the ice caps. It ranges from science fiction and psychological fables (such as Crash) that uncover the weirdness of normality, to the iconic autobiographical work Empire of the Sun. His archive was acquired by the British Library in 2010.

This event will feature contributions by some of J G Ballard’s associates and fellow authors. Speakers include writers John Gray and Toby Litt; the producer of the film of Crash Jeremy Thomas; Bea and Fay Ballard and Claire Walsh. Chaired by Philip Dodd

Imaginings Anthology Series

This just in from Ian Whates at NewCon Press…

 NewCon Press is proud to announce an exciting new venture, Imaginings.  A series of short story collections (approximately 50,000 words); each volume will feature the work of a single selected author, bringing together the very best of that author’s previously published but uncollected short fiction, as chosen by the author themselves, plus original stories. Imaginings will be published at three or four month intervals. The first volume will appear January 2012. There will be a signed and numbered hardback edition limited to 100 or 125 copies, plus an e-book & kindle version.  No paperback edition. Each volume of Imaginings will feature generically similar cover design and layout (though with individual cover art), so that the books build into a credible series. The signed hardback editions of Imaginings will be available to buy via the NewCon Press website, priced at £19.99 (plus shipping, currently £2.50 per book within the UK). Or… Imaginings can be purchased via subscriptionThe advantages? Reduced price.  Two volumes: £38.00, three volumes: £55.00, four volumes: £72.00.

  • Shipping within the UK will be free (and discounted for overseas subscribers).
  • Subscribers will ‘buy’ a number within the limited edition run.  Every volume you receive will feature that number, which remains yours exclusively until the subscription lapses, at which point it will become available to others.
  • In addition to the hardback volume, subscribers will receive a free copy of the e-book.
  • Subscribers are guaranteed a copy of a high quality, very limited book which is likely to sell out rapidly and become highly collectable.

The first six authors to feature in Imaginings have already been selected.  The precise order of publication has yet to be determined, depending on a number of factors; not least the authors’ individual schedules and commitments.  Alphabetically, then, the first six authors to grace Imaginings with their finest work will be: Nina Allan Stephen Baxter Pat Cadigan Jon Courtenay Grimwood Tanith Lee Adam Roberts To subscribe and ensure you don’t miss out, contact Ian Whates at: finiang@aol.com