I spent this weekend at Nineworlds. For those of you who don’t know, Nineworlds is a brand new, three-day ‘geekfest’. This was the first year of the event, which was funded via kickstarter with the aim of creating a multi-genre science fiction convention in London.
Appropriately for a kickstarted convention, the twenty five different tracks included a focus on inclusivity, for example hosting panel discussions on female gaming and LGBTQ+ characters in fiction and genre TV.
Tor authors were in full force, talking about everything from cake to utopia vs. dystopia and the challenges of writing for a Young Adult audience.
Here’s a big long list of some of the places they could be found:
Adrian Tchaikovsky (@aptshadow), he of Shadows of the Apt series fame, has blogged about his experience of Nineworlds here, and he was a panelist on 'Just a Minute', and at 'Heroes vs. Villains', 'What Game of Thrones means for Fantasy' and 'What Makes a Fandom'.
Charles Stross (@cstross) could be seen at 'Cake or Death? Plot, pacing and character death. With Cake', 'Is the future Utopian vs. Dystopian?', 'Cyberpunk: The Dystopian Prism/Prison' and 'Science Fiction and Space Travel.'
Liz de Jager (@LizUK), whose debut young adult novel, Banished, will be published by Tor in early 2014, could also be found at 'Cake or Death', as well as the 'New Voices Slam Session' and 'Teenage Kicks: Writing for Young Adult Audiences.'
Aside from chairing the classic 'Just a Minute', London Falling author Paul Cornell (@Paul_Cornell) was on 'Cake or Death?, Comic Books Heroes on the Small Screen', 'Inclusiveness in Geek Spaces', and at the 'New Voices Slam Session.'
I managed, between copious amounts of coffee and general chin-wagging, to make it to Paul Cornell’s 'Just a Minute', the 'Is the future utopian or dystopian?' debate with Charles Stross and Liz de Jager’s 'Teenage Kicks: Writing for YA' panel.
What did I learn? Liz de Jager has read a lot of cowboy novels, but didn’t read a young adult novel until she arrived in London. Everyone thinks the future is neither utopian or dystopian, but they generally agree it might be easier to write a dystopia. And I would like Adrian Tchaikovsky to be my lawyer, because his attention to detail is fearsome, if only dispatched against hesitation in 'Just a Minute'.
One of the best things about Nineworlds for me was the sheer variety of programming. I particularly enjoyed some of the science and gaming events. I found out about the problems with solar powering spacecraft and tidal forces on the moons of Saturn and got to listen to cyberpunk computer game designers explain their creative processes.
I even found out about some of the legal challenges to do with 3D printing (if you don’t know what a 3D printer is, get yourself to Google now - it’s the future! While you’re there, check out programmable LED lightbulbs!), and why it isn’t yet illegal in the UK to 3D print a car.
I’m really excited about Nineworlds 2014 – and you can buy early bird tickets at a discounted rate until the end of August here!