BSFA Lecture 2016: “Crafting the Future: Ruskin, Textiles and Visions of Futures Past”

Ruskin lectureThe 2016 BSFA Lecture will be delivered by Rachel Dickinson (Manchester Metropolitan University) at Mancunicon, the 2016 Eastercon. She will speak on “Crafting the Future: Ruskin, Textiles and Visions of Futures Past”. It will take place on Saturday 26 March, at 11:30 am in Deansgate 3 at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester. It is open to any member of Mancunicon. (Please note that Mancunicon is no longer selling memberships, and if you are not a member you may not attend the Lecture.)

The Victorian cultural critic John Ruskin was deeply concerned that unchecked industrialisation and unfettered capitalism would lead to environmental destruction and widespread dehumanisation of individuals. He looked at problems stemming from technological advances going on around him in the Nineteenth Century, then looked to the medieval past in order to speculate alternative paths forward from his present, that might lead to a better, more sustainable future. This lecture focuses on how Ruskin uses the making and wearing of textiles to discuss political economy and to inspire change. It pays particular attention to craft and making, and the way we make and define ourselves through the clothing we wear.

Rachel Dickinson is Principal Lecturer in Research & Knowledge Exchange in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, at their Cheshire Campus. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Lancaster, and her M.A. at the University of Western Ontario. She is an expert in the work of John Ruskin, and has edited John Ruskin’s Correspondence with Joan Severn: Sense and Nonsense Letters (2009). She is also a fan of manga and anime such as Ghost in the Shell.

The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science.  The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want!  This is the ninth BSFA Lecture.

2015 BSFA Lecture

The 2015 BSFA Lecture at Dysprosium (the 2015 Eastercon) will be given by Dr Simon Trafford (Institute of Historical Research), and is entitled ‘“Runar munt þu finna”: why sing pop in dead languages?’ The lecture will be given at 5.30 pm on Saturday April 4th, in the Discovery room of the Park Inn, Heathrow. The lecture is open to any member of Dysprosium.

Simon Trafford is Lecturer in Medieval History and Research Training Officer at the University of London’s Institute of Historical Research. He specialises in the history and archaeology of the later Anglo-Saxon period in the north-east of England. He completed his undergraduate studies and his D.Phil. at the University of York, where his supervisor was Professor Edward James, who sf fans know as current Chair of the Science Fiction Foundation. Simon has a particular interest in the depiction of Vikings in popular culture. His talk for us develops this, with a special focus upon the use of dead ancient and medieval languages in pop and rock songs.

The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science.  The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want!  This is the eighth BSFA Lecture.

BSFA Lecture at Loncon 3

paula-jamesA special BSFA Lecture will be given at Loncon 3 by Dr Paula James (Open Unversity), and is entitled ‘Pygmalion’s Statue and her Synthetic Sisters: The Perfect Woman on Screen′. The lecture will be given at 20.00 on Saturday August 16th, the ExCel Centre, London Docklands. The lecture is open to any member of Loncon 3.

Paula James is a familiar face and voice to anyone who has studied the Open University’s Arts Foundation courses over the past fifteen years or so, or any of their courses in Classical Studies. Paula is Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies and Staff Tutor in Arts at the OU. She began her academic career after raising her family, and joined the Open University in the 1990s. She is an expert in Latin Literature, particularly the Metamorphoses of Ovid and Apuleius. She also writes on the reception of Latin texts in modern cinema. She has written an excellent introduction to Ancient Rome, Understand Roman Civilization, now in its second edition, and has jointly edited works on the imagery of Trade Union banners and the parrot in literature. Her most recent book is Ovid’s Myth of Pygmalion on Screen: In Pursuit of the Perfect Woman (2013), and it is from this work that her talk to us is derived.

The BSFA Lecture is intended as a companion to the George Hay Lecture, which is presented at the Eastercon by the Science Fiction Foundation. Where the Hay Lecture invites scientists, the BSFA Lecture invites academics from the arts and humanities, because we recognise that science fiction fans aren’t only interested in science. The lecturers are given a remit to speak “on a subject that is likely to be of interest to science fiction fans” – i.e. on whatever they want! This is a special lecture for Worldcon, and is the seventh BSFA Lecture.

Frances Hardinge interview and panel now online

0330519735.02.LZZZZZZZEarlier this month Frances Hardinge was the BSFA’s guest at the AGM/Minicon jointly held with the Science Fiction Foundation. Transcripts of her interview with Tom Pollock and a panel item with Frances, Niall Harrison, Farah Mendlesohn and Virginia Preston are now online at Strange Horizons. Thanks to Niall and his SH team for arranging the transcription and hosting these, and thanks of course to Frances for being an excellent guest.

BSFA Awards: the Shortlist

It’s finally here!

The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) is delighted to announce the shortlist for its annual BSFA Awards for works first published in 2013. The BSFA has been running the awards since 1970, awarding the first Best Novel award to John Brunner’s 1969 novel Stand on Zanzibar.

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The 2012 BSFA Award Winners

The BSFA Awards draw on nominations from their membership, and in the case of the Best Novel Award are open to UK publications only.

Best Novel

God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Del Rey)

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)

Evening’s Empires by Paul McAuley (Gollancz)

Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris)

The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

Best Short Fiction

Spin by Nina Allan (TTA Press)

“Selkie Stories are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons)

“Saga’s Children” by E. J. Swift (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium)

“Boat in Shadows, Crossing” by Tori Truslow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Best Artwork

Cover for Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London by Joey Hi-fi (Solaris)

Poster for Metropolis by Kevin Tong (tragicsunshine.com)

“The Angel at the Heart of the Rain” by Richard Wagner (Interzone #246)

Best Non-Fiction

Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (Abrams Image)

“Going Forth by Night” by John J. Johnston (Unearthed, Jurassic)

“Sleeps with Monsters” by Liz Bourke (Tor.com)

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Satellite4 Eastercon convention the Crown Plaza Hotel, Glasgow Sunday 20th April 2014. BSFA Prize-winners will receive a coveted BSFA trophy. Also in the ceremony will be the annual James White Award announcing its short story competition winner.

August BSFA London Meeting: Ian Stewart Interviewed by Stephen Baxter

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Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms*, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND

*Please note that this is a NEW venue for London meetings!

On Wednesday 28th of August 2013, Ian Stewart (Mathematician, author of The Science of Discworld Series and popular science books) will be interviewed by Stephen Baxter (author of Flood, The Time Ships, The Long Earth (with Terry Pratchett) etc.).

 

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

Map is here.

FUTURE EVENTS:

25th September 2013- Gareth Powell, interviewed by Jon Oliver

30th October 2013- Mary Robinette Kowal , interviewed by Virginia Preston *

27th November 2013- Dr. Who Magazine, interviewed by Graham Sleight

*Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the last Wed. of the month.

May BSFA London Meeting: Janet Edwards interviewed by Ian Drury

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Location: The Cellar Bar, The Argyle Public House, 1 Greville Street (off Leather Lane), London EC1N 8PQ

On Wednesday 22nd May 2013, Janet Edwards (author of the Earth Girl trilogy) will be interviewed by Ian Drury.

ALL WELCOME – FREE ENTRY (Non-members welcome)

The interview will start at 7 pm. We have the room from 6 pm (and if early, fans are in the ground floor bar from 5ish).

There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.

Map is here. Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane (Central Line).

FUTURE EVENTS:
26th June 2013**James Smythe, interviewed by TBC
24th July 2013*  – Cory Doctorow, interviewed by Tom Hunter

28th August 2013- Ian Stewart, interviewed by Stephen Baxter

* Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the fourth, not the last, Wednesday of the month.

** Due to personal reasons, Catheyrnne Valente is no longer able to attend.

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