My World Science Fiction Convention Schedule

Yes, like everyone else in the entire sf world, I will be jetting over to Glasgow to partake of science fictiony thingies for several days at the World Science Fiction Convention. I’ll hang out with me mates, meet new people, and spend a lot of time in the bar watching England being destroyed by Australia in the second test at Edgbaston. Can’t wait. (I’m just sad that it won’t be in an English bar. Fortunately there’ll be enough English sf fans around that my gloating enjoyment of their team’s destruction will have an audience. In fact I’m going to greet every new person by asking if they’re English or not. And if they are, I’ll say, “Cricket. Ashes. Ha ha ha!”)

Friday 2:30pm Reading

I’ll read some stuff. Maybe from Magic or Madness, or Magic Lessons (the sequel to Magic or Madness—the reading will contain no spoilers), or I could read from my brand new novel which no one knows nuthink about and I’ve never read out loud to anyone but me spousal. Dunno. I’ve got half an hour, but that’s ridiculously long. I don’t like to read for more than 15 minutes, that way me and me audience (both of us) can go to the bar and watch England being destroyed in the second test.

Saturday 12:00 noon Feminism as Setting

Trudi Canavan
Anne K. Gay (M)
Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Mari Kotani
Justine Larbalestier
Ruth Nestvold

Description: Feminism is no longer the story, instead it’s the setting—what has this meant for feminist writers?

My take: Huh? I don’t agree with the premise. Feminism can be both setting and story, these are not contradictory terms. Plus it will be tricky to work a discussion of the cricket in.

Sunday 11:00am The 1950s, 50 Years On

Gail Dana
Irma HirsjSrvi
Justine Larbalestier
Greg Pickersgill
Mark Rich (M)

Description: The 1950s saw the Golden Era of Science Fiction film and the blossoming of writers such as Asimov, Sturgeon, Dick, Farmer, Walter M. Miller and Poul Anderson. What do we think of them now?

My Take: How could you list the best of the 1950s sf writers and not include Alfred Bester? Or Theodore Sturgeon? Or Margaret St. Clair? I’ll argue that sf writing in the 1950s was indeed a golden age, the period when sf turned its attention to the social sciences and examined social issues more than ever before. It’s often argued that that didn’t start happening until the 1960s which is crap. Also the 1950s saw some of Keith Miller‘s finest batting and bowling.

See you in Glasgow.


  1. mely on #

    I think that when they said “Asimov, Sturgeon, Dick, Farmer, Walter M. Miller and Poul Anderson”, they meant Theodore Sturgeon. Unless they meant some guy I’ve never heard of named Sturgeon who played some lame sport like cricket or something like that.

    I think next year’s Wiscon should have a panel on forgotten women writers. Or maybe just one on Margaret St. Clair.

  2. Justine on #

    Oh I missed that. Hard to read when I’m cranky. Though I’m still appalled by the forgetting of Bester who writes the pants off everyone else on that list. The complete absence of female names I have sadly come to expect.

    Yes, let’s do a panel on St Clair next year. I adore her.

  3. mely on #

    i don’t know if i should do any panels next year. but. maybe. you, me, yoon?

    i prefer sturgeon to bester, but it’s surprising they forgot him, yeah.

    who else was still writing in the 50s? (does a quick web check) moore & kuttner published a couple of stories, although the bulk was earlier. mildred clingerman. leigh brackett? andre norton.

  4. mely on #

    also, you must be tired, because your reply didn’t mention cricket.

  5. Maureen Kincaid Speller on #

    Well, I’d be up for Margaret St. Clair as well, and I’m aiming to get to Wiscon next year whatever happens.

    I’ve just downloaded the programme for the Worldcon from the website today, and am faintly despair of some of the premises operating.

  6. Josh on #

    Klass, Kornbluth, Pohl, Sheckley. The best heinlein novels. cordwainer smith. the best judith merril stories. damon knight. davidson. budrys. Zenna Henderson. fritz leiber. chad oliver. jack finney. richard matheson. fredric brown. charles beaumont. edgar pangborn. mark clifton. idris seab . . . no, you’ve got her covered already!

    My question is, does “what do we think of them now?” imply that they were particularly hot back then? ’cause, although he wrote many groovy short stories in the fifties, no way was dick a big name like the others. on thost grounds, the slot occupied by dick’s name should include bester, leiber, or bradbury.

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