09 July 2009

Ain't No Stopping Us Now

Hard on the heels of the news that a short story collection by science fiction writer Chris Beckett has won the prestigious Edge Hill Short Story Prize, beating collections by Anne Enright, Shena Mackay, Ali Smith and Gerard Donovan, comes the slightly less big - but still welcome - news that Radio New Zealand (National Radio) is holding a panel discussion this coming Sunday afternoon (the 11th) on writing science fiction and fantasy. Here's the official announcement:

2:30 Chapter and Verse

A panel of New Zealand Sci-Fi writers and publishers, on the on-going fascination with the future, and what the future holds for our Sci-Fi. On the panel are writers Tim Jones, Helen Lowe and Russell Kirkpatrick, and publisher Lorain Day from Harper Collins.

(Ooh, I do dislike that term "Sci-Fi"! It always sounds patronising to me - but I'll learn to cope...)

Two of the panelists, Helen Lowe and Russell Kirkpatrick, are best known for their fantasy novels (though Helen is also an excellent short story writer and poet), so I expect to be holding the fort for science fiction and for short fiction.

If you live in Wellington, keep your eyes peeled for another writing event in September featuring Helen Lowe and myself - more details to follow!

Details of how to access Radio New Zealand broadcasts are available on their site (see "Ways to Listen" on the bottom left of the home page) and, if a podcast is made of the panel, I will put the link up here as soon as it's available.


Harvey Molloy said...

Good news, Tim. How do you feel about "SF"? I like "SF" the best. Keep us posted. Of course, there's also the term 'speculative fiction' which I like as it embraces fantasy/horror and literary experimentation (such as Delany's work).

HelenL said...

Oi, Tim! As a long time lover of sci-fi and one who writes straight out science fiction short stories as well as Fantasy, I'm not sure I can let your "I expect to be holding the fort for science fiction and for short fiction" pass! :-)

See you on Sunday, on the panel!

HelenL said...

Writers like 'speculative fiction' for the reason you say, Harvey, but I find I still have to explain the term to many people--and then they just say: "Why didn't you say Sci-Fi in the first place?" So I am not sure that it is going to catch on in a widespread way ...

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Harvey. I prefer "SF" too, but it probasbly is a bit baffling to people unfamiliar with the genre - maybe they think "San Francisco".

Helen, having just said that you wrote excellent short fiction, I certainly shouldn't have said directly afterwards that I would be holding the fort for short fiction! My apologies - I banged out this post very quickly and didn't check it carefully enough.

I didn't know that you wrote SF, though - now I'm looking forward to reading some of that as well!

HelenL said...

Hi Tim,

No apology required! :-) And my few science fiction publications don't really compare with your long track record, as collected in Transported. But I would definitely put Red Earth, published last year in Borderlands 10, in the speculative fiction camp: it is also a story after your own heart being a 'what if' dystopia based around climate change.

Tim Jones said...

Climate change - bad for humanity, but good for authors! (In a story-generating sense, that is.)