WTF science fiction? An experimental new event

Tom Hunter, Director, the Arthur C. Clarke Award

Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award Tom Hunter announces an exciting new micro-conference that could change how you think about sci-fi – with a special discount for Literary Platform readers.

Is there such a thing as contemporary science fiction or is it now merely the literature of a long-lost future past? Redolent of absent jet-packs, flabby jumpsuits and outdated attitudes, transported to the far corners of the universe at the speed of light, but with little relevance back here on planet Earth?

As much as every generation of science fiction critic has strived to pinpoint that first elusive moment of “The Death of Science Fiction”, I suspect the moment must have occurred at such a deeply quantum level so quickly after (or even, this being quantum, before) the first popular recognition of the genre, that it will prove forever impossible to locate with any accuracy; if indeed it ever happened at all.

Meanwhile the corpse of science fiction literature is proving, like Frankenstein’s popular monster, both curiously animate and perplexingly hard to kill. Lurching its hybridized body of work across the rival domains of pulp and literary fiction, and reveling in a future-now boom of everyday technological innovation to the point where we’re no longer sure if it was Arthur C. Clarke or Steve Jobs who first suggested, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” science fiction is not just a literature of speculative ideas, but also of synchronous ones, and it was this thought that first inspired me to organise Write The Future.

Billed as an afternoon micro-conference on the themes of science, communication, technology and the human imagination (which is code for sci-fi by the way), Write The Future is an experimental new event inspired by the life and work of futurist, writer and inventor Sir Arthur C. Clarke and hosted in the prestigious surrounds of the Royal Society, London.

The event aims to bring together a series of creative short talks from a deliberately eclectic range of disciplines and backgrounds, including Royal Society Fellows, cutting edge technologists, senior publishing industry experts and award-winning science fiction authors, with each speaker seeking to encapsulate a single inspirational and innovative idea from their respective field of expertise.

While we’re leaving the actual serendipitous moment of insight up to the audience, there are a few ways we hope people will be inspired on the day: If you work in the creative industries, publishing, advertising or trend forecasting, this is the kind of event where we hope you’ll find a big new idea, whether it’s from new scientific research or unique spin on our current fascination with all things social media.

If you’re a science fiction writer this is definitely the place to get the jump on the innovations people will be gearing up to write about next year.

This is also definitely a public event, not a specialist one, so if you’re the kind of person who loves being inspired by author talks, research presentations, museum and gallery events, science fiction conventions, experimental conferences, listening to new ideas or talking to like-minded people, we think you’ll find much to enjoy at Write The Future.

We want this event to be as inclusive, inspirational and affordable as possible, which is why we’re keeping the price of tickets well below typical conference rates so it’s easily accessible to both innovative individuals and curious companies.

Special Offer: readers of The Literary Platform can Book Here and use the code whatthefuture to claim a discounted £35 ticket (a saving of £15 from the standard price).

Write The Future takes place on the afternoon of Wednesday 1st May at the Royal Society, London.

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