Blog – September/October 2014

This past month has been a busy month with some great SF Conventions having come and gone, viz. Nine Worlds and the WorldCon in London, LonCon3. So, without further ado, a brief report back. I was called on at the last minute to join the African SF panel at Nine Worlds as a panelist Tade Thompson had been injured in a car accident en route (he is thankfully well now). It was an interesting panel discussion to be had, and I think we made a decent fist of it, although I named the elephant in the room at the start – i.e. all the panelists were white, with varying degrees of African ties. (My own is born, raised, worked and lived for the first 35 years of my life there – and it’s where I aim to end up.) We did come up with a list of recommended reading for African SF, which I will post in SF in SA (23), although I believe 9Worlds may also host this eventually.

Even before the SF Cons, there was the ‘Africa Writes‘ literary festival, which included a panel on ‘Imaging Future Africa’. I have put a link to the podcast here for what was an extremely interesting discussion, with panel participants Tade Thompson, Geoff Ryman and Ivor Hartmann, well marshalled by Chair Emma Dabiri

LonCon3 showcased an increasingly diverse and ‘relevant’ range of panels and activities, sometimes overwhelming in choice options. I moderated a panel on ‘Reading the Other‘ with vibrant panelists Tori Truslow, Wesley Chu, Ben Peek and Leslie Ann Moore. Two recommendations (apart from their own work) from the panel were: Ken Liu’sThe Grace of Kings‘ and Benjanun Sriduangkaew’sScale Bright‘. 

I also participated in a panel excellently moderated by Amal El-Mohtar and summarised by Kate Nepveu – fantastic fellow panelists Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Aliette de Bodard and JY Yang kept the discussion flowing and interesting, investigating alternatives in form with non-Western modes of SF.

Finally, I have written about Disability and encouraging support of the ‘Accessing the Future’ anthology in (Not) SF in SA 22: ‘It’s All About Pianos’: Writing through Pain/Disability (Sep 2014).

Onwards and upwards!

Nick Wood (Sep/Oct 2014)