For once, I'm not sitting in front of my laptop in my office. I'm sitting in front of my laptop in a Mancunian lecture theatre, eager for this Putting the Science in Fiction conference to start (hashtag #scificmanc). It is, quite frankly, my idea of heaven. Scientists from all fields, film and TV authors and theorists, literary critics and several of my favourite SF/speculative fiction authors. Amongst them, Paul J. McAuley, who amongst others wrote Fairyland, Ken MacLeod, former scientist and author of Scottish Trotskyist science fiction (what's not to like?) and Alastair Reynolds, whose Revelation Space trilogy I really enjoyed. I really need to get MacLeod on to my curriculum. I'm toying with adding some of his work, plus Shopping and Fucking and Jerusalem to my literature and class module. What do you reckon?
Who would I have invited in addition? Jeff Noon, obviously (local, brilliant) and Gwyneth Jones, who for my money is still the best speculative fiction author out there - try Kairos for a bit of creative destabilisation.
Good job there's nothing else going on in the world… apart from Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry. Which I won't surreptitiously be following at all. Oh no.
What I won't be doing is any marking whatsoever.
Wow. I'm the least geeky person in the room. Apart from the surprisingly numerous female contingent