WHAT TO DO AND SEE AT LONCON - SUNDAY, DAY FOUR

17 August 2014

By Sam Eades

loncon3

Here are my highlights for day four at LonCon3 (Sunday 17th August).

First up, I’d stop off for a cheeky fry-up at the Fox Bar at the Excel to start the day, it has to be the Full Monty right? Bacon, eggs, tomatoes, baked beans, sausage, hash browns, black pudding,& mushrooms with toast & butter. NOM NOM NOM.

But make sure you leave enough room to fit into your lycra, as Day Four at LonCon3 is Hall Costume Day in the Exhibits Hall. Take a camera and a sketchbook to capture the best cosplay around!  Sunday evening is also the 2014 Hugo Awards Ceremony. Make sure to practise your "losing gracefully" and "winning!" faces.

Here are my picks of the panels, you will need a Time Turner to fit everything in.  Highlights include GRRM, live scorpions, a ton of Tor authors and intriguingly an event entitled The World of Poo. Enjoy! And share in the comments what you are going to see!

Now onto some Sunday highlights...

10am - 11am
On The Blogs: Bloggers Discuss their Roles in the World of YA
Capital Suite 16 (Level 3)
Panellists: Foz Meadows, Patricia Ash, Shaun Duke, Liz de Jager, Erin M. Underwood
Bloggers have become an integral part of YA book promotion. How do authors find these bloggers? Why should readers trust their opinions? What are the best book blogs out there right now and what makes them so useful?

10am - 12pmscorpion
Wiggly Wild Show
Exhibits Hall Flexible Space (Level 1)
See the animals inspiring aliens over the ages. Tailess whip scorpion, UV-glowing-Emperor scorpion, beetles in varying life stages, giant millipedes, praying mantis, snails, stick insects & more! What are you brave enough to hold?
 
10am - 12pm
Quidditch UK Demonstration
The Green (Level 0)
Players from Quidditch UK will be demonstrating their sport, and then, if you're lucky, giving you a chance to try it out for yourself.  This item will be located on "The Green" in the middle of the Fan Village.


11am - 12pm
Writing and Pitching Comics
Capital Suite 9 (Level 3)
Maura McHugh, Paul Cornell, Mike Carey, Mary Talbot, Debbie Lynn Smith
A discussion about creating comic books from the writer's perspective. Breaking into comic book writing can present a unique challenge for new writers, because the route in is usually different than for artists (there are no portfolio reviews for writers).

 Then there are basic issues, such as formatting scripts, which aren't even clear-cut.

 How do writers craft the pitches that get them jobs as comic book writers? How do they proceed once they get the gig? What's it like to liaise with artists, colourists, letterers, and editors?

 What are the joys and perils of collaborating with so many people?

11am - 12pm
Kaffeeklatsch
London Suite 4 (Level 0)
With Adrian Tchaikovsky, Charles E. Gannon

11am - 12pm
Mythbusters: UK SF/F by the numbers
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3)
Panellists: Jo Fletcher, Bella Pagan, Jonathan Oliver, Darren Nash, Tom Hunter
Did Iain M Banks' 'popular' SF subsidise his 'worthy' literary output, or vice versa? Who is the biggest genre author in the UK? What does a "best-seller" mean? Which sub-genres sell better than others, have ebook ventures like the SF Gateway and HodderSilver met expectations (and what is the overall market share of ebooks these days)?

11am - 12pm
Signing: Rjurik Davidson
Exhibits Hall Signing Space (Level 1)
 
12pm - 1pm
Game of Thrones
Second Stage (Level 1)
George R R Martin talks with friends about Game of Thrones. HELL YEAH
 
12pm - 1:30pm
Should We Trash the Planet on the Way to the Stars
Capital Suite 5 (Level 3)
Panellists: Hayden Trenholm, Gregory Benford, Mark Charan Newton, David D Levine, Paul Abell
The development and deployment of technologies that would allow mass migration to other planets and stars can pose major threats to the ecology of the Earth - launching nuclear pulse rockets from the ground for example. If this is the only way to expand into space, should we do it? And to what extent do these arguments apply to other technological developments?

1:30pm - 2pm
I4IS: Starships Inspired by Arthur C Clarke's Fiction
Capital Suite 14 (Level 3)
Kelvin Long, Rob Swinney
Science Fiction is an inspiration driver for imagining future technologies and modes of transportation, to the extent that they can lead to the realisation of those visions by a self- fulfilling prophesy. Arthur C Clarke was a master in this and throughout his many novels he describes various kinds of spacecraft and starship propulsion systems. In this talk we go on a journey through his literature as case studies in space propulsion. We discuss these innovative ideas and consider real world efforts to bring these ideas into reality so that interstellar right may one day be achieved. Kelvin F Long is a physicist, aerospace engineer, author and entrepreneur and is the Executive Director of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS).

1:30pm - 3pm
The Wrong Apocalypse
Capital Suite 5 (Level 3)
Panellists: Nina Allan, Jeff VanderMeer, Tiffani Angus, Ivaylo Shmilev, Ramez Naam
Zombies, aliens, and monsters from the deep are all very well, but -- unlike climate change and other ongoing environmental damage -- they're not actually likely to cause the downfall of industrial civilisation. Are contemporary TV and film neglecting the apocalypse-in-progress? Where can ecological perspectives be found in SF and fantasy on screen, and how are they portrayed? What are the strengths and weaknesses of visual climate narratives, compared to their prose counterparts?
 
3pm - 3:30pm
Reading: Charles Stross
London Suite 1 (Level 0) 
 
4pm - 5pm
Kaffeeklatsch: Rjurik Davidson
London Suite 5 (Level 0)
 
4:30pm - 6pm
Detectives in SF
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3)
Panellists: Erin Hunter, Peter F Hamilton, Jan Siegel, Heidi Lyshol, Adam Christopher
The detective character has always been with us, but more and more we're seeing new narrative shapes creeping into the genre as part of a noir movement. What is noir in a literary sense? How is it differentiated from hard boiled? How has the detective had to adapt to survive in a science fictional world? Why such an increase in the prevalence of crime oriented science fiction?

4:30pm - 6pm
The World at Worldcon: SF/F in Australia and New Zealand
Capital Suite 3 (Level 3)
Panellists: Amanda Bridgeman, Tsana Dolichva, Ian Nichols, Ben Peek, Janice Gelb
From afar, Australian SF publishing seems to be in good health, with books such as Nike Sulway's Rupetta (winner of this year's Tiptree Award) and publishers such as Twelfth Planet Press attracting international attention, and writers such as Ben Peek and Rjurik Davidson scoring international publishing deals -- not to mention already high-profile exports such as Greg Egan, Margo Lanagan, and Shaun Tan. To what can the current depth and breadth of the Australian scene be attributed? Which other writers should we be looking out for?

4:30pm - 6pm
Book Covers: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Capital Suite 4 (Level 3)
Panellists: John Picacio, Joe Abercrombie, Irene Gallo, Greg Manchess, Maurizio Manzieri
A panel of artists, art directors, editors, and writers present some of their favourite (and not-so favourite) cover artwork, and discuss why the pictures succeed - or don't!

4:30pm - 6pm
The Darkening Garden
Capital Suite 8+11 (Level 3)
Panellists:Jeff VanderMeer, Lisa Tuttle, Paul March-Russell, Paul Kincaid, Nina Allan
John Clute's The Darkening Garden (2007) argues for horror as a core mode of twenty-first century fiction. It proposes a narrative "grammar" for horror stories that progresses from SIGHTING through THICKENING to the REVEL and then AFTERMATH. What implications does this structure have for our understanding of horror, as a commercial genre and as a literary form? What works escape its grasp, and why?
 
6pm - 7pm
The Seriousness Business
Capital Suite 16 (Level 3)
Panellists: Juliet E McKenna, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Saxon Bullock, Emma England, Karen Miller
Perhaps the two most critically acclaimed SF series of the last decade are Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones, and in each case the most common reason for that acclaim is their supposed seriousness: here are SF and fantasy with depth and darkness. Why is this the kind of genre material that the mainstream has embraced? Does the presumed "realism" of this approach hold up to scrutiny? Has seriousness become a cliche? And to what extent do these shows, and their imitators, tell original stories, and to what extent do they reinscribe a normative straight white heroism?
 
7pm - 8pm
There Are No New Stories, But...
Capital Suite 16 (Level 3)
Panellists:John Hornor Jacobs, Laura Lam, Pierre Pevel, Jon Wallace, Kari Sperring
What are some of the characters and narratives we've seen enough of? Is it time for the assassin with the heart of gold to take a break? Should the farmer keep farming and stop exchanging his rake for a broadsword? Could the squabbling will-they-won't-they couple just get a room already? More generally, why are tropes used, and what are their structural, stylistic and political implications?

8pm - 11pm
The 2014 Hugo Awards Ceremony
Auditorium (Level 0)
The 2014 Hugo Awards Ceremony is the "do not miss" event of Worldcon.  Our attendees have voted, the votes have been counted, and it is now time to find out who are the winners.  Join our hosts Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman for a gala celebration of the best of the genre.

9pm - 10pm
The Bottom Up: The Fantastical World of Human Waste
Capital Suite 6 (Level 3)
Rachel Erickson
“What we eat and subsequently excrete plays a major role in human society and especially in what we are pleased to call civilized society.”-Miss Felicity Beedle’s The World of Poo

Ever wondered where the toilets are on the Starship Enterprise? Thought Terry Pratchett’s Harry King was an entirely fictional character? Wanted to make a Tardis Toilet? (Sorry… that’s been done and the BBC weren’t happy about it!) This talk, by toilet guide and expert Rachel Erickson, explores the underside of science fiction and fantasy, moving away from the traditional future technologies and space travel to look at one of the most basic and un-mentioned aspects of human existence. Come plunge in and explore the wonderful (and often fantastical) world of human waste.

Check out the rest of the LonCon3 programme here
Top Ten Tips for Attending Your First Convention here