Stoke Newington Literary Festival is 5!

The Stoke Newington Literary Festival is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a great line up including some intriguing science fiction and fantasy features. Headline guests include Ben Aaronovitch and Stephen Hunt!

The headline events for genre fans are a scientific discussion of the Star Wars Universe, while four local genre authors discuss the blurring of boundaries between science fiction and fantasy.

So, we have The Science of Star Wars (£4, Sat 7 June) where in a galaxy far, far away ‘two scientists will probe the fantastic frontier between movie magic and cutting-edge science’. Author of Futureworld: Where Science Fiction Becomes Science (2008) Mark Brake and TV science presenter Jon Chase will explain how one of the most successful epics in entertainment history may actually anticipate real-life future science, right here on Earth. Expect thoughts on planet-destroying weapons and hyper-drive spaceships.

Meanwhile, there is the intriguing Living and Loving in London (£6, Sat 7 June) with Oscar Zarate and ILYA. “Oscar Zarate’s The Park, which is set in North London, revolves around an incident of dog bites man; man kicks dog. The event is then blogged about, with some visceral reactions; a sporadic event becomes a sensation. Best known for his collaborations with Alan Moore and Alexi Sayle, Zarate’s watercolours bring London to life. A chance encounter in London is also central to ILYA’s Room For Love, which brings together a middle-class, middle-aged romance novelist with a teenage runaway making a living as a rent boy. Finding unexpected common ground, an unlikely friendship forms. Ilya’s most recent work was his debut novel The Clay Dreaming; he has contributed to The Mammouth Book Of Best New Manga.” Intriguing?

The Relationships in Science-Fiction and Fantasy (£5, Sun 8 June) event knocks it out of the park with Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London series), Stephen Hunt (Jackelian series), Mitch Benn (Terra, Radio 4’s The Now Show) and Jon Wallace (Barricade). They discuss what it means to be a genre writer and how they manage to haggle with the boundaries. What is science fiction? Fantasy? And does it matter what it’s called? Hosted by Gollancz Associate Publisher, Simon Spanton.

Other events of note include Mark Kermode and an Arts Emergency showcase, with Josie Long and friends, a late night Literary Salon (one of the free events on the programme), Feminism 4.0: Why are we still fighting sexism? Hip Hop Shakespeare, a Literary Death Match and more. There’s something for everyone’s taste.

The venues across Stoke Newington include the Public Library (always worth supporting), Abney Public Hall, The White Hart and the Stoke Newington Bookshop.

The festival runs from 6-8 June and tickets are either cheap or free! For full programme listings and details, see Enjoy!

Source: Stoke Newington Literary Festival 

GS Blogger: Ian Simpson

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