The Durham Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lit-Fest: A Preview

The Festival takes place on Saturday the 5th March at the DSU

Durham University is preparing for its first ever literary convention focused on works of genre fiction. The Durham Sci-Fi and Fantasy Lit-Fest will be held on Saturday, March 5 with Guests of Honour Richard Morgan and Lauren Owen. Doors open at 13:00 in the Kingsgate Room of the Students’ Union for what promises to be an exciting and unique event.

The programme will consist of talks by the two authors, including readings from their novels, as well as a joint panel session. The authors will talk about the changing face of the publishing world, the future of genre literature and the relationship between creators and their fans. They will also take questions from the floor in a Q&A session.

Inspired by other small university genre conventions, this will be a friendly, informal event open to both members of the university and the general public. Attendees will have the chance to meet like-minded people and to see their favourite authors. This is the perfect opportunity for fans of the speakers and for budding writers looking for tips on how to get started on their own literary careers. In addition to the scheduled events, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and speak to the Guests of Honour throughout the event, and in the bar afterwards.

Richard Morgan is well known on the convention circuit for his sociable disposition. He came to fame in the early 2000s with his Takeshi Kovacs series of cyberpunk novels. His début work, Altered Carbon, has recently been voted the fifth best sci-fi novel of the 21st century (so far) by readers of Locus magazine and has been picked up for a ten episode miniseries by Netflix. He has since shown himself to also be skilled at working with other formats and genres.

His dark fantasy trilogy, A Land Fit for Heroes, has won both the Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell awards. Last year, it was adapted into a successful video game. His other literary achievements include being credited as the writer for the game Crysis 2 and for the 2012 remake of Syndicate, not to mention writing for Marvel Comics’ Black Widow series.

Lauren Owen is currently finishing a PhD in English Literature at Durham, with her research focusing on Dracula. Her studies explore how writers impart a sense of unique authorship on their works and how they employ the flow of narrative. In her spare time she has managed to write the acclaimed novel The Quick, described by The Independent as “a gothic blockbuster”. A passionate researcher and a skilled writer, she is keen to talk about both sides of her career. This is a great chance to meet a rising star in the world of literature.

The event’s organisers, the Durham University Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, are hoping to make this an annual occurrence and so are keen to make this as large and successful event as possible. Attendees of all backgrounds and ages are encouraged and the committee wants everyone to feel welcome at the convention.

Entry is only £1.50 per person and tickets should be purchased ahead of time at http://www.durhamsu.com/events/durham-sci-fi-fantasy-lit-fest.

Queries can be directed to sf-f.society@durham.ac.uk.

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