My schedule at the World Science Fiction Convention
From 14 to 18 August, I’ll be attending Loncon 3, the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention, which is in the UK this year. I’m looking forward to the convention as a whole… especially, as usual, to catching up with friends an colleagues whom I don’t see often enough.
The program is still subject to change, but provisionally I’ll be appearing on the following panels (acting as moderator for a couple of them):
The Girls Who Waited
Friday, 15 August, 19:00 – 20:00
Last year, in an essay for The Guardian, Anna Smith highlighted the lack of on-screen time-travel stories with female protagonists. In works as varied as Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, The Time-Traveller’s Wife, About Time, The Terminator, and Back to the Future, women are either companions or observers. Is this simply a question of men being given an agency denied to women, or is there something more complex going on? What stories is time travel being used to tell? Which films and TV shows do feature time travelling women, and what do they have in common?
Russell Blackford (Moderator), L. M. Myles, Sarah Ash , MaryAnn Johanson, Andy Duncan
A Singularity for the Rest of Us
Friday, 15 August, 20:00 – 21:00
Is posthumanism really as straight, white and Western as it often seems? How can science fiction talk about post-body identities without diminishing or dismissing embodied identity and experience? This panel will discuss the stories out there that complicate the uploaded experience.
Russell Blackford (Moderator) Ibrahim Abbas, Lettie Prell, Hannu Rajaniemi, M. Darusha Wehm
What is I?
Saturday, 16 August, 16:30 – 18:00
What is consciousness? What is it that we think we are? What does science, religion, mysticism say about this, and are we any closer to working out what ‘I’ is?
Ken MacLeod (Moderator), Russell Blackford, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Lawrence M. Schoen, Tim Armstrong
From Embryo Screening to Embryo Engineering
Sunday, 17 August, 18:00 – 19:00
Intervantions at early stages of embryo development are becoming more and more common. How far can this work go, in prctical, scientific and ethical terms? Will future offspring be designed to order and grown in artificial wombs, and if so, what happens when there are mistakes? Is it better to just let nature take its course?
Heidi Lyshol (Moderator), Elizabeth Sourbut, Lucy Smithers, Russell Blackford, Richard Ashcroft, Joan Paterson