Nine Worlds London Geekfest 2015: The Tor Edition

It’s a big year for Tor at Nine Worlds Geekfest 2015!

Not only are three (THREE!) of our books shortlisted for the David Gemmell Awards, but you'd need a TARDIS (A TORdis? …sorry) to make it to the dozens of panels and events our authors are attending. They'll be discussing life, death, gender, genre, formative heroes, fantasy monsters and everything in between. And they may occasionally be fighting to the death...

 Here’s the full list of Tor author events, so you can plan your weekend!


Friday 7th August

Architecture of a great character
10:00am - 11:00am
Room 38
A good character can be timeless but what does it take to build this character and what jigsaw pieces make up the things that make our characters live on?
Panel: Lucy Hounsom, Danie Ware, Al Robertson, Leila Abu el Hawa, Liesel Schwarz, Sebastien de Castell

"IT’S ALIVE!" - Creating a Monster
1:30pm - 2:45pm
Commonwealth West
A good monster should scare you but leave you wanting more but with everything from Dr Who to Halo giving us new and exciting beasts, what does it take to create a truly memorable monster?
Panel: Adrian Tchaikovsky, Tom Fletcher, Jen Williams, David Monteith, Stark Holborn, Rebecca Levene

Beyond the Binary - Gender and sexuality in YA
1:30pm - 2:45pm
Room 38
More and more non-traditional characters enter the YA stage. Characters who defy gender norms and gender binaries. Characters who fall somewhere along the LGBTQIA* spectrum. Characters who kick ass and take names. How does YA explore these new stories, who are the characters we should be paying attention to, and what is there still to come?
Panel: Laura Lam, Sarah Benwell, Tom Pollock, Marieke Nijkamp, James Dawson, Lauren E James, Emma Trevayne

"Waiter, you spilt some sci-fi in my fantasy!"
3:15pm - 4:30pm
Commonwealth West
It feels like every other week there’s a new sub-genre to better define fantasy, sci-fi or horror but are those genres still specific and how much do they bleed into each other? This panel will explore the crossing of genre boundaries.
Panel: Zen Cho, Adrian Tchaikovsky, James Smythe, James Oswald, Gaie Sebold

Childhood Influences - I want to be a Wild Thing when I grow up
5:00pm - 6:15pm 
Room 38
From the fantasy worlds of Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree to whizz-poppers and marvellous medicines of Roald Dahl, how important are childrens stories on us as adults and do they shape what authors write when they grow up?
Panel: Laura Lam, Frances Hardinge, Ed Cox, Alex Lamb, Taran Matharu, Kim Curran

The Midnight Society - Are you afraid of the dark?
8:30pm - 9:45
Room 38
Haunted houses. Ghastly murders. Horror is making a comeback in YA. Are you afraid of the dark? Join our storytellers as they talk about the tricks of the trade and try to out-scare each other telling spooky ghost stories.
Panel: Sarah Lotz, Frances Hardinge, Savannah Lotz, James Dawson

New Voices
10:15pm - 11:30pm
Royal C&D
Join shiny new authors Zen Cho, Lucy Hounsom, Al Robertson, Francesca Haig, Stark Holborn and Tom Toner, who will be reading excerpts from their books!


Saturday 8th August

What makes Fantasy fantastic?
9:00am - 9:45am
Country C&D
Why is it that even people who don’t claim to like genre still love fantasy? They can’t get on board with magicians and dragons but they love LOTR, Harry Potter and Twilight. So what is it that makes fantasy so fantastic?
Panel: Lucy Hounsom, Susan Murray, Tom Lloyd, Sebastien de Castell,  Anne Lyle, Stephen Deas

What Makes A Fandom? - Is this a fandom, or a text I like?
9:00am - 9:45am
Room 12
Come and help us explore the important question of why we make certain texts into fanworks fandoms, while other texts we like remain strictly out of bounds. Do bring your own explanations to put to the panel.
Panel: Liz de Jager, Kate Keen, Pip Janssen, Sarah Groenewegen

Signing - Paul Cornell
12:45pm - 1:15pm
Commonwealth East 
Paul Cornell will be signing books at the Forbidden Planet table, in Commonwealth East.

The Peter Capaldi Era - New kidneys, and a Scottish accent
1:30pm - 2:45pm
Royal C&D
The last season of Doctor Who brought a new Doctor to our screens in the form of Peter Capaldi. He's older, crankier, and - for some fans - better looking than any other New Who Doctor. He also has one of the most complicated relationships with his companion. How has this past year of Doctor Who worked out for our panellists? Do they love Capaldi, and his smashing hair? Do we miss the plot arc, or is stronger, more nuanced characterisation the way to go?
Panel: Adrian Tchaikovsky, Una McCormack, LM Myles, Alasdair Stuart, Duncan Lawie

Signing – Sarah Lotz
2:15pm - 2:45pm
Commonwealth East 
Sarah Lotz (one half of S. L. Grey) will be signing books at the Forbidden Planet table, in Commonwealth East.

Death in Genre - "Death isn’t cruel, merely terribly, terribly good at his job."
3:14pm - 4:30pm
Commonwealth West
The personification of Death has taken every form, from pure horror in a robe, to a small woman with great make-up, to something in between who likes cats, curry and rides a horse called Binky. Why do we love reading about Death, and what makes Death in genre so compelling?
Panel: Sarah Lotz, Liz de Jager, Paul Cornell, Richard Ford, Jenni Hill, Joe Abercrombie

“The dead will rise again” - Resurgence of Gothic Literature
5:00pm - 6:15pm
Room 38
Some of the greatest monsters just can’t stay dead. Here, we explore the pull of Gothic literature.
Panel: Zen Cho, Sarah Lotz, Charlie Fletcher, Laurell K Hamilton, Lavie Tidhar, John J Johnston

Doctor Who and Transhumanism - What are we so afraid of?
5:00pm - 6:15pm
Royal C&D
The Cybermen, the Daleks, the Fish People, the Wirrn, Cassandra… these Doctor Who antagonists have one thing in common: they portray humanity changing from its humanoid state as something horrifying, something that we should be afraid of and reject. Why do the villains of Doctor Who so often plot to destroy us by taking away our human bodies? Why do we see this concept explored in only a negative way? What are we afraid of, and should Doctor Who be able to look beyond that fear?
Panel: Adrian Tchaikovsky, Paul Cornell, Sarah Groenewegen, Una McCormack,  

Monsterclass - Writing for Teens
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Room 30
Join Liz de Jager as she talks you through the creation of creatures that are more likely to eat your face off than kiss you in the shadows. She’ll also touch on the importance of knowing your characters and monsters and how to ensure they resonate with your readers. 

The Fantasy Of White History - Race and racism in historically based fiction
6:45pm - 8:00pm
Connaught B
Breaking down the myth of "historical accuracy" meaning no PoC, and un-whitewashing history.
Panel: Zen Cho, Meg Jayanth, Jade Fernandez, Georgiana Jackson-Callen

***The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy***
7:30pm - 9:30pm
County
The David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy began in 2009, with the aim of celebrating the best in fantasy fiction and commemorating one of its most legendary authors. We are very proud that three Tor authors have been shortlisted this year: John Gwynne’s VALOUR is up for the Legend Award for best fantasy novel and Ben Peek’s THE GODLESS and Brian Staveley’s THE EMPEROR'S BLADES are both up for the Morningstar Award for best debut!

The F-Word in Fantasy - Sex in Fantasy
8:30pm - 9:45pm
Room 38
We’ve all read an awful and unnecessary sex scene in a book, but why is sex in literature so notoriously bad? Can sex in genre be a good thing? And what are the best words to use if you want to write your own sex scenes? Raunchy and raucous… and that’s just the panellists. (Adult content - will contain crude humour.)
Panel: Sarah Lotz, Lizzie Barrett, Jared Shurin, Snorri Kristjansson, Den Patrick, Laurell K Hamilton, Anne Perry

From MPDG to SFC: the girls of YA
8:30pm - 9:45pm
Royal B
Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Strong Female Characters. Girls in YA literature are often labeled and boxed in. But who are the girl characters behind and beyond the tropes? And what are the characteristics of the modern YA heroine?
Panel: Laura Lam, Liz de Jager, Mel Salisbury, Amy Alward, Tom Pollock

Only A Moment
10:00pm - 11:30pm
County
Hosted by Paul Cornell, the popular quiz inspired by another popular quiz returns: Paul will guide his panellists through a myriad of subjects where they have to speak for a minute without deviation, repetition or hesitation.
Panel: Paul Cornell, Zen Cho, Marcus Gipps, Joe Abercrombie, Emma Vieceli, 


Sunday 9th August

Once Upon a YA - Lore and legends in YA literature
10:00am - 11:00am
Room 38
In many YA books, especially the speculative ones, storytelling plays an important role. Whether real or fictional, legends, folklore, mythology all give meaning and depth to a world and to characters. But how are legends born? What role do stories play within stories?
Panel: Liz de Jager, Frances Hardinge, Tom Pollock, Marieke Nijkamp, Mel Salisbury, 

The Books of Doctor Who - Just how many are there anyway?
10:45am - 11:00am
Royal C&D
Over the past fifty years there've been a truly terrifying number of Doctor Who books published. From the Target novelisations of the classic series stories to the New Adventures of the nineties, the record-breaking Eighth Doctor Adventures, and the tie-ins of the New Series. What great stories can be found in Doctor Who books? How have the books influenced your views of Doctor Who?
Panel: Paul Cornell, Sarah Groenewegen, Simon Guerrier, Adam Christopher

TV vs Books vs Comics vs Games: FIGHT!
11:45am - 1:00pm
Commonwealth West
It’s a fight to the death and only one medium can be crowned the ultimate genre. Toasty!
Panel: Paul Cornell, Rebecca Levene, Jenni Hill, Jonathan Green, Peter Newman

The Many Roads Into Comics - Four creators discuss their way into graphic
1:30pm - 2:45pm
Connaught A
Adam Christopher; Paul Cornell, Emma Vieceli and Maki Yamazaki talk about how they got to where they are and why they made the choices they did in shaping their careers. How much of it is luck? How much can you influence the process?
Panel: Paul Cornell, Adam Christopher, Maki Yamazaki, Emma Vieceli

Signing – Liz de Jager
2:00pm - 2:30pm
Commonwealth East
Liz de Jager will be signing books at the Forbidden Planet table, in Commonwealth East.

Book Launch: "A Better Way to Die" - The launch party for Paul Cornell’s first collection of short stories
3:15pm - 4:30pm
Commonwealth West
Dr Who and Marvel writer Paul Cornell launches his first collection of short stories, A Better Way To Die. Join us for a glass of wine and an opportunity to buy a signed copy featuring hardback-exclusive content.