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Novacon 44 Programme

Here is the current programme for Novacon, please remember that timing and personel are subject to change in the event of circustances beyond our control.


19:30: Opening Ceremony
Your opportunity to get acquainted with our guest of honour, Kari Sperring, and our special science guest, John Gribbin, as well as the rabble who organised this event. There’ll be a few twists this year, so why not drag yourself away from the bar (with a refilled glass, of course) and join us as we launch the good ship Novacon 44?

20:30: Room 101
Our guest of honour, Kari Sperring, names and shames those objects, individuals and social trends she desires hurled into the Cosmic Abyss. Provided he’s back from rehab in time, Steve Green gets to act as Judge Judy and executioner. Let’s hope Kari doesn’t make a convincing case for Novacon’s annihilation, else this will be a very brief weekend indeed.

22:00: Congoing On a Shoestring
It’s been a busy year for British and Irish fans: a Worldcon in London, a Eurocon in Dublin, a clearly unmissable weekend in Nottingham. But in a time of austerity, how can we stretch our purses, wallets and credit cards accordingly? Theatrically swerving their backs upon payday loans, Bellis, Theresa Derwin (moderator), Jaine Fenn and Mark Plummer offer their experienced advice (but please do us a favour and don’t act upon most of it until well after you get home).



10:30: Big, Really Big
Space opera has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as readers once again enjoy dramas only a cosmic stage can contain. Janet Edwards, Jaine Fenn (moderator) and Andy Sawyer explore the joys of galactic empire-building.

12:00: Computing With Quantum Cats in the Multiverse
Can our special science guest, journalist and author John Gribbin, create a cat’s cradle using string theory? We have a feline he might.

13:30: Meanwhile, in a Room Overlooking Historical Accuracy…
From Pavane to steampunk, science fiction has often looked backwards as well as forwards, offering its own spin on history as it might have been. But just how much notice of the facts does fantasy need to take? Our guest of honour, Kari Sperring (aka historian Dr Kari Maund), is joined in discussion by Jacey Bedford, Linzi Cooke and Theresa Derwin (moderator).

15:00: Guest of Honour Interview
Kari Sperring, author and long-time Novacon enthusiast, discusses her work and inspirations with Kate Keen. (Followed by a Q&A.)

17:00: Eurofandom
Novacon has always enjoyed a strong presence from fans outside the UK (this year’s committee even includes residents of both France and Greece), but how does ‘their’ fandom differ from our own? Bellis (moderator), Stamatis Stamatopolous and Wolf von Witting discuss their experiences in Germany, Sweden, Greece and Italy.

18:30: Group Therapy
The life of a writer is said to be a lonely one, which might in part explain the growing popularity of writers’ groups, from Milford to Tindall Street. But do they drive participants to strive for artistic heights, or stifle them under a duvet of well-meaning support? Our guest of honour Kari Sperring swaps her own experiences with Jacey Bedford, Linzi Cooke, Jaine Fenn and Caroline Mullan (moderator).

20:00 Book Launches (downstairs bar)
Whilst the main programme suite is set up for our musical guests, Crimson Clocks, why not wander downstairs and check out some of the newest science fiction and fantasy releases?

21:30: Novacon Presents… Crimson Clocks
Steampunk rockers Crimson Clocks spring into action, led by vocalist Linzi (aka author LM Cooke), who’s joined by Colin (bass), Jo (violin/oboe) and Steve (drums). Be warned: “Prepare for a Penny Dreadful, set to music.”

22:45: Book Auction
There are some books you’ll never forget, hard as you try. We’ll sell them to you.



11:00: Getting an Agent
Jacey Bedford offers an insider’s guide to a few tricks of the trade.

12:30: Girly SciFi
The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Host -- all examples of the boom in ‘young adult’ sf featuring strong female characters struggling for survival in a hostile future? But is this sub-genre really as feminist as it might at first appear? And does The Maze Runner represent a traditionalist backlash? Our guest of honour, Kari Sperring, joins Janet Edwards, Jaine Fenn and Caroline Mullan (moderator).

12:30: Art Auction (downstairs bar)
You’ve had all weekend to peruse our art show, hosted by Serena Culfeather. Why not top it off by buying one (or two) of your favourite exhibits?

14:00: Invasion of the POD People
The explosion in self-publishing and print-on-demand small press releases has been variously described as the death of the traditional industry and the birth of a new platform in which creators have seized the methods of production? Perhaps the truth is a mix of both. Featuring Alex Davis (Elsewhen Books), Theresa Derwin (KnightWatch Press) and Terry Jackman (moderator).

15:30: The Road to the Stars
Renowned astronomical and science fiction artist Dave Hardy (y’know, the chap whose art graces the cover of your limited-edition souvenir chapbook) presents an audiovisual tribute to visionary Russian author and film director Pavel Klushantsev.

17:00: Awards Ceremony
As well as the presentation of this year’s Nova Awards for excellence in UK and Irish fanzines (ensure you get your votes in before midnight on Saturday!) and the official announcement of Novacon 45, we’ll also have some excellent prizes in the Novacon raffle (all proceeds to Talking Books for the Blind).

And then it’s farewell for another year, although we do hope some of you will stay with us a little longer, for Sunday evening’s banquet and beer tasting. The post-convention bacchanalia begins at 19:00.