Occupy SF: Inequality on Screen
Thursday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL)
One of the defining political issues of our time, societal inequality is showing up on-screen in films like In Time, Elysium and The Dark Knight Rises, and TV shows such as Continuum and Arrow. How successfully do these works engage with the issues they raise? Is the imagery they use at odds with the narratives they follow? And what would radical anti-inequality SF look like?
The History of the Blockbuster
Thursday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)
How did blockbusters become the domineering cinematic genre they are today? How do the economics of blockbuster filmmaking shape the stories that they tell? When do blockbusters become (good) art? This panel will discuss the history and impact of the blockbuster, and in particular the role of SF and fantasy in driving the genre.
Rewriting Gender Defaults
Thursday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)
Several recent novels, including Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Justice”, Kim Stanley Robinson’s “2312”, Kim Westwood’s “The Courier’s New Bicycle”, Deb Taber’s “A Necessary Ill” and Kameron Hurley’s “God’s War”, have tried to imagine futures with increased gender diversity, or changed gender defaults. This panel will discuss how writers in English approach the technical aspects of challenging and disrupting gender binaries: how do issues such as narrative voice or structure affect our impressions of the worlds created? What are the strengths and weaknesses of different choices?
Coming out of the Coffin
Thursday 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL)
Over the course of its seven seasons, one of the most complex and controversial aspects of True Blood has been its exploration of sex and sexuality. Its vampires are often sexually ambiguous, and the vampire equality movement has been interpreted as allegorising the queer civil rights struggle. But does the show offer a radical and liberated vision of queerness, or negative stereotypes and titilation?
Friday 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL)
What are the challenges and constraints of reviewing different kinds of media? Reviewers of books, TV, film and games discuss. Is it possible or desirable to be “an SF critic” when SF is found in so many different forms?
The New Supers: How Superheroes and Superheroines are Changing in Comics
Saturday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
The superhero and superheroine have been with us since stories were told around the campfire, and were perhaps first depicted on cave walls long before the emergence of written language.
In comic books they appeared as important icons in the twentieth century, yet they have also been open to interpretation, and subversion, since they first began leaping over buildings and lassoing villains.
How have these super-powered fictional characters continued to change and develop at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first?
With people dressing up and acting as superhumans on the streets, has reality bled too far into fiction? Will the super-powered person remain with us forever, or will we evolve past it?
Poetry Cabaret 10.00 -10.40
Bandstand Fandom Village
Just me. so no pressure.
Reading: Roz J Kaveney
Sunday 18:00 – 18:30, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)