Despite its youth (this is only the second year!), Nine Worlds already has a well-deserved reputation as one of the UK’s best SF/F conventions. This is a testament to con’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, multimedia approach and rampant enthusiasm.
All of which is pretty awesome. And most important of all? Nine Worlds is a ridiculous amount of fun. Whatever you’re into - be it reading, writing, gaming, crafting, learning, arguing or eating - Nine Worlds has something for you.
Here are nine of the hundreds of ways to have silly amounts of fun at Nine Worlds:
Cheese & Cheese (Thursday, 6.45 pm). Is there anything as intrinsically wonderful as cheese? (Otters, I suppose.) The opening event at Nine Worlds is a three hour meet-and-greet that focuses on discussing cheesy literature and nibbling cheesy cheese.
Time Travel (Friday, 11.45 am). Paul Cornell, Lauren Beukes, Claire North, Fabio Fernandes and Simon Guerrier have will discuss the nature and fiction of traveling through time. This panel has will already happened and was will be brilliant.
Archaelogical Worldbuilding (Friday, 3.15 pm). If I remember my history correctly, the development of civilisation goes something like this: Now, the Spice Girls, the 1980s, our parents, wars, Steampunk, France, the Dark Ages, Westeros, more Dark Ages, Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome and mummies, mummies, Anasazi, mummies, mummies, David and Goliath, Ice Age 3, Ice Age 2, Ice Age (the only funny one), Dinosaurs, Grandpa. If you’d like to get a more accurate picture - especially for writers seeking inspiration - try this Monsterclass session with the Petrie Museum’s Debbie Challis.
Punk Your Nerf (Saturday, 1.30 pm). In which you convert your favourite Nerf weapon into Lord Feathergelder’s Patented Aethero-Ballistic Travelling Field Artillery (Mark 2) (We don’t talk about Mark 1).
Food in Fantasy (Saturday, 1.30 pm). Mark Charan Newton, Gail Carriger, Esther Saxey and Ed Cox talk about the important of food in fantasy. How do you use food to bring a culture to life? What would a dragon taste like? Why does Mark Charan Newton blog about his vegetable garden so much? These mysteries and more... (At the same time as the workshop above, so choose wisely.)
Zombies, Run! (Saturday, 6.45 pm). The creators of the immensely cool fitness app gather to talk about how they converted a Kickstarter into the world’s most popular post-apocalyptic training regime.
SMUT SLAM (Saturday, 10.15 pm).
I’ve heard of a late night event
For those of a prurient bent
To hear five minute tales
That spared no details
So naturally everyone went
[18+ only, please.]
CAKES IN SPACE! (Sunday, 11.45 am). Some events have to be in caps, and if you’ve ever spent time with Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve, you’ll understand why. This session promises killer cupcakes, space suits and singalongs. All in the guise of a creative writing workshop.
Water Dancing Masterclass (Sunday, 1.30). Easily Nine Worlds’ most famous course - Miltos Yerolemou - also known as Syrio Forel - will be teaching the noble art of Water Dancing (aka how to poke people with pointy objects). Tickets are required in advance (see the website for details). We’ll be releasing two dozen feral cats in the hotel as part of the preparations. I hope they’re all found this year...
And that’s just nine of the convention’s 300+ workshops, debates, signings, parties, concerts, readings, classes, games and so much more. Whatever wonderful and geeky thing you’re into, there’s a way to indulge yourself at Nine Worlds.
Come have fun with us!
And do check out our UK Tor authors at Nine Worlds at the events below!
Friday 8th August
Urban Fantasy: Cities of Angels & Demons & Bug-Monsters
10.00am - 11.15am
The lure of cities - wherever they are in time and space. Why are urban environments the best places for adventure? What's the secret of their appeal?
Panel: Ed Cox, Laure Eve, Paul Cornell, Benedict Jacka
Time Travel: where, why, how and when?
11.45am - 1.00pm
This is a message from your future self: go to this panel!
Panel: Paul Cornell, Lauren Beukes, Kate Griffin, Fabio Fernandes, Simon Guerrier
Writing the Inhuman: more yeti than human...
1.30pm - 2.45pm
From Frankenstein's creation to Lady Stoneheart, literature is constantly probing the the boundaries between the human and the inhuman to ask: who is the true monster?
Panel: Pete Sutton, Adrian Tchaikovsky, David Mumford, Laure Eve, Jennifer Williams
5.00pm - 6.15pm
What does the future hold? And how will it influence the books we read? A panel with all the answers. (No pressure.)
Panel: Nick Harkaway, Fabio Fernandes, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz
Love and Sex: an intimate exploration
6.45 - 8.00pm
From shipping to sex scenes, and from erotica to WTFtica.
Panel: E. Saxey, Rebecca Levene, Tiffani Angus, Sarah Lotz, Laurie Penny
Dis/Continuity: long-running characters, change, evolution and disruption
1.30pm - 2.45pm
The challenges, joys, disappointments and outright confusion of writing, following and redesigning characters with 60+ years of sometimes-not-entirely-straightforward back story.
Panel: Paul Cornell, Kieron Gillen, Nat Wilkinson, Misha Sumra
Food In Fantasy
So: you've made a world. You've designed people (or other beings) to inhabit it and you've given them art, culture and history, maybe even a language. But what about the food? Food is an central part of most cultures: societies are structured by the need to grow and distribute it, and families are structured by cooking and eating it. The rich feast on the extravagant and exotic, while the poor struggle to find enough of it. How will your food reflect the cultures which you have created? Our panel discuss the role of food in fantasy writing: both their own, and their favourites.
Panel: Esther Saxey, Ed Cox, Mark Charan Newton and Gail Carriger
The Bards Speak: Authors views of the World of Ice and Fire
3.15pm - 5.00pm
A panel of fantasy authors and experts from the publishing industry give their opinions on the world created by George RR Martin, talking about worldbuilding, foreshadowing, points of view and killing off your beloved characters.
Panel: with Susan Bartholomew, Cristina Macía, Anne Perry and Adrian Tchaikovsky.
"Strong Female Protagonists" in YA
5.00pm - 6.15pm
The term "Strong Female Protagonist" in Young Adult fiction seems to be gaining popularity following the success of The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen, who shoots arrows with pinpoint accuracy while defying the corrupt system. But what does the term mean? Why do we use it? And do we need it at all? Is it a promising trend in exciting new female role models for young people? Or just a way of praising masculine traits in fictional heroines? A panel of writers and reviewers will invite a discussion on the ins and outs of this emerging attitude towards female characters in YA fiction, and where the future of the genre lies.
Panel: Rowan Williams-Fletcher, Juliet Mushens, Laura Lam, Tom Pollock, Anna Caltabiano