TARDISes and time-turners at the ready, folks - it's coming up to the Nine Worlds London Geekfest again! Running from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August, the convention, now in its fourth year, is surely the highlight of any UK-based geek's calendar. And once again, a host of Tor authors will be attending! Join Genevieve Cogman, Paul Cornell, Lucy Hounsom, Liz de Jager and Adrian Tchaikovsky as they discuss everything from fight scenes to fairytales to the laws of physics in SFF fiction.

img_435 Intrepid con-goers set off in search of food in the barren wastelands around Heathrow, Nine Worlds 2015 img_436

The con will take place at a new hotel this year, the Novotel London West in Hammersmith. This is a less isolated spot than in previous years, so will hopefully prove easier to reach for many attendees. Plus, it has the added bonus of not being in the middle of nowhere - no more post-apocalyptic scenes as vitamin-starved con-goers scavenge for food at the one lonely petrol station down the road!

Anyway, there's a huge amount going on, as always, so you should check out the full schedule here. But in the meantime, for your convenience (aren't we nice?), here's the full list of Tor author events so you can plan your weekend!

Friday 12th August


World-building: No One Sells Happy Life Day Cards
10:00am - 11:00am
Economics, geography, infrastructure - it's the background stuff that, like concrete breeze blocks, comes off as the dull, uninteresting graft of world creation. But what makes it come alive and make sense for the reader? What makes people care, and what makes a fictional culture viable?
Panel: Genevieve Cogman, Chris Wooding, Stephanie Saulter, Edward Cox, Al Robertson, James Barclay


Getting Fighting Wrong
11:45am - 12:45pm
Meaningful exchanges of blows: how to lose pace and focus in every action scene! A lot of things go into a good action sequence - sharp things, explodey things, possibly an angry person waving a mildly threatening stick - but what does it actually take to make a fight scene work? How does writing a battle differ from running one, if at all? Here are some authors to spill their guts! Hopefully not literally. PLEASE not literally.
PanelLucy HounsomLiz de Jager, Danie Ware, Sebastien de Castell, Oliver Langmead, James Barcley


Science Fiction and Science Fact
1:30am - 2:30pm
Normally bending the rules is a bit of a dangerous act, but in fiction the laws of science are bent to breaking point all the time - so what's going on behind all that? What famous popular concepts work, and which are entirely unreasonable? What are we close to making happen, and - really! - does scientific accuracy even matter for the sake of a good time? I mean, how far can you get on science alone*, I mean, haha, honestly. * Probably, like, quite far. The distant edge of the solar system, probably.
PanelAdrian Tchaikovsky, Ian Hocking, Jamie Sawyer, Anne Charnock, Stephanie Saulter, James Smythe


Doctor Who's Return to Comics
1:30pm - 2:30pm
The Doctor has returned to comics in a big way in 2016. A panel of writers and fans will discuss what works so well about the character in comics, the Doctor's previous history in the field and the best places to start reading
PanelPaul Cornell, Nicole Olmsted, Rachael Stott, Cavan Scott


SIGNING: Lucy Hounsom
2:00pm - 2:45pm
Visit the Forbidden Planet stall in the Nine Worlds Geekfayre for signings with Lucy Hounsom, author of Starborn!


Societal structure in fiction
3:15pm - 4:15pm
From high school hierarchies to dining with royalty, there's all sorts of societal structures reflected in fiction, but how true are they, and how widespread? From the One True King to the hidden illegitimate royal child to the shining towers of BUSINESS MEN?, how accurate is the class structure in fiction, and does it reflect reality as it is? What could be done to improve this - if it even needs improving?
PanelLucy Hounsom, Alex Lamb, Tom Toner, Bex Levene, Rob Boffard


SIGNING: Genevieve Cogman
4:00pm - 4:45pm
Visit the Forbidden Planet stall in the Nine Worlds Geekfayre for signings with Genevieve Cogman, author of the fabulous Invisible Library series!


Ready, Steady, FLASH!
6:45pm - 7:45pm
Everyone loves a good story. But sometimes, inspiration doesn’t strike. Join host Lee Harris and his victims... *ahem* motley crew of professional authors as they attempt to write four pieces of flash fiction. The catch? They don’t know the theme of their stories until a second before they have to start writing them, and they only have five minutes in which to write each one! You, the audience, get to decide the winner!
PanelPaul Cornell, Laurie Penny, Cassandra Khaw, Stark Holborn, Lee Harris


Fear in a Handful of Pages
8:30pm - 9:30pm
Horror comics have been a mainstay of the industry since the start. Here, we invite four luminaries to talk about horror, Fortean phenomena, the supernatural and why that makes for great comics.
PanelPaul Cornell, Laurie Penny


Building Better Dreams & Nightmares
8:30pm - 9:30pm
New planets, new realities, new people, new monsters - beyond tentacles, orcs and elves. Where can we look for inspiration for new beings in sci fi and fantasy without retreading old ground? Where do the classics come from, and what makes a creation a classic? Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
PanelAdrian Tchaikovsky, Jamie Sawyer, Angela Slatter, Mark de Jager, Maria Lewis, Alex Lamb


Saturday 13th August

Where does mythology end and urban fantasy begin?
3:15pm - 4:15pm
Everything from the content to the characters often feel like they're drawn from the same source: is this a repackaging of concepts old as time, or something more? Werewolves, fairies, handsome princes and strong female characters saving their friends and families, or just straight up doing their thing - and yet not a forest in sight. Is it updating the setting for the modern age, or is there something more behind this?
PanelLiz de Jager, Lisa Tuttle, Maria Lewis, Emma Newman, Tom Pollock, Daniel Godfrey


Breaking the Glass Slipper: podcast recording (TICKETED EVENT)
6:45pm - 7:45pm
Overcoming barriers for women in SFF Publishing - Science fiction, fantasy and horror writing seem to still be very much a boys club. Men are consistently reviewed more often in genre-related publications while also dominating 'best of' and 'most anticipated' lists. Is this because there are fewer women writers? Are agents receiving fewer pitches from women? Are publishers publishing fewer women? What about the marketing? We know that there are brilliant female genre writers out there, so why aren't more people reading their books, talking about their work, and including them in their lists of favourite writers? Geek feminist podcast hosts Megan Leigh, Charlotte Bond, Lucy Hounsom will be recording a live episode of Breaking The Glass Slipper.
PanelLucy Hounsom, Megan Leigh, Charlotte Bond, Lydia Gittens, Gillian Redfearn



Re-envisioning History as Genre
6:45pm - 7:45pm
Mouton Cadet
HISTORY. We can't escape it and we can't go back and fiddle with it, or not yet anyway - so how do we use it to reshape our understanding of the world, other worlds, and completely strange and different places? How has it affected plots, characters, visions of the future? Or are we in fact changing it?
PanelGenevieve Cogman, Tom Lloyd, Aliya Whiteley, Angus Watson, Daniel Godfrey


Sunday 14th August

Tricking the reader
11:45am - 12:45am
Autolycus. Locke Lamora. The Magicians of The Prestige. Wade Wilson. Unreliable narrators are everywhere in genre fiction and the one question we always ask is why? What's the appeal of listening to stories narrated by liars? What's the difference between authorial mischief and shaggy dog stories? Why do we love the twist in the tale?
PanelGenevieve Cogman, Jason Arnopp, Mark de Jager, James Smythe, Catriona Ward, Emma Trevayne


What's the teenage version of "get off my lawn"?
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Teenagers, adults, and the appeal of YA to a grown up audience. To what extent are teenagers in control of their genre and its content, and how much control do teenagers have over their reading in general?
PanelGenevieve Cogman, Liz de Jager, Leila Abu el Hawa, Sebastien de Castell, Den Patrick


Writing Humour
3:15pm - 4:15pm
Humour - it's as much a reflection of the audience as the teller, a fickle, tricky, brilliant thing that looks so easy when done well. How difficult is it actually? How does it work? How does it affect readers, plots, characters - and authors? Does a funny author sell a book more than a serious one, even if their books are darker in tone? Why do jokes work at all? And can someone explain the obsession with puns?
PanelLiz de Jager, Tom Pollock, Den Patrick, Maria Lewis, Emma Trevayne