So I ran an article earlier pointing out the diversity of choice of programming and panels at Nine World Geekfest tomorrow in Hammersmith, London (see you there, tickets still available) by pointing out ten competing panels all at 11:45am on Friday morning, and the dilemma of choice this presented me.
And the bigger issue, that this is a dilemma that will be present throughout the show. Nevertheless I will try and also choose 22 panels of the hundreds that are not all happening at 11:45am tomorrow morning…
Education at Hogwarts, Friday 10am
The Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was extremely biased and self-serving, but did they accidentally come to the right conclusion? Does Hogwarts need more oversight to properly educate the next generation of witches and wizards?Claire Rousseau, Freya Crawford, Lizzie Charlton.
Rodents in children’s fantasy fiction Friday 1:30PM
From Redwall to Ratatouille, from Maurice and his Educated Rodents to The Tale of Despereaux, fantasy for children has a history of mice, rats, rabbits and other rodents going adventuring, escaping peril and saving the day. The panel will explore why rodents, features that make these stories work (and when they don’t) and why they are still so popular. Ms Ali Baker, Jenny Williamson, Dr Sasha Garwood
Nine At Nine Worlds: ‘I did it for the fic’ Friday 3:15 PM
Some people watch a film or read a book, then go and write an epic fic based on their experience of that canon, or read everything written in that fandom, or join an online community to discuss their new fandom. Others … well, others go to New Zealand (for that genuine LoTRips ambience), or learn to fence, or spend all their money on Age of Sail history books, or buy a travel pass because it’s branded Eames. Nine people will each spend five minutes or so telling us about the maddest, saddest, funniest, daftest or most life-enhancing thing they’ve done for fandom. Warning: may contain Powerpoint, glove puppets and / or interpretive dance. Tanya Brown, Tlanti, Dr Nina Lubbren, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Reiff, Ms Misha Anker, Dr Tony Keen
Assimilation and Identity in Star Trek Friday 5PM
In most of Star Trek, the Federation is presented as a Utopian ideal, but what is the cost of a universe wide alliance on the individual working within the Federation system? Focusing on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and using both Worf and Nog as examples, we’ll talk about the emotional toll of assimilation, and more generally about cultural superiority in the Federation’s dealings with other cultures. Jaime
Policy and Administration – celebrating the back room in genre Friday 6:45 PM
First, follow the correct procurement procedure for your spaceship: Administration and governance in other worlds.
Does the Unseen University have research output targets?
Does the wizarding world have a pre-Hogwarts curriculum?
What kind of risk assessment should be carried out before transporting dragon eggs in a conflict situation?
How can chain of custody and evidentiary laws be followed when policing the undead?
What’s the Net Present Value of Barrayar’s space programme?
If you have asked yourself these kinds of questions, then this panel is for you! Come and listen to us talk about finance, education, justice and armed forces administration in fantasy worlds. Ms Ali Baker, Caroline Mersey, Kate Towner, virginia preston
Knightmare Live Friday 8:30 PM
Knightmare Live is the critically acclaimed stage show version of the 90’s Kids TV classic. Returning to Nineworlds for 2018, Knightmare promises to be a fun evening, with all the thrills and spills of the beloved TV show. For more details, visit www.knightmarelive.com Ms Misha Anker
From A/B/O to Dubious Consentacles Friday 10:15 PM
A/B/O, consentacles, and more! – This roundtable will aim to be a shame-free exploration of our favourite ‘out there’ tropes in fic. We want to talk about the stuff that you say ‘I hope this doesn’t awaken something in me’ before you click anyway (and it does). Jaime, Januarium
Nine Worlds does Disco! Friday 10:15 PM
Join some familiar faces on the dance floor, as they step away from their usual roles and behind the decks to bring you disco tunes, all the way to bedtime. Kieron Gillen
The Real House Lives of Westeros Saturday 10AM
If there’s one parallel between Game of Thrones characters and people in the entirety of world history, it’s that most of them are dead. EK McAlpine is here to point out a few other likenesses between George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, HBO’s Game of Thrones, and the real people who lived (and died) in similar circumstances. (Spoiler alert: it’s not just the Wars of the Roses.) How can we understand and interrogate the use of history in the series? Is it useful to draw historical comparisons at all? And how many dragons did Queen Elizabeth I really have? A talk looking at the real life (and occasionally mythical) comparisons, parallels and analogies to be found in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. (Note: this session may briefly discuss some violent and bloody people and events from fiction and history. Please use your discretion.) Ms EK McAlpine
TOP OF THE SFF COPS Saturday 11:45 AM
They’re back. The panel that talked about how their real law enforcement lives intersected with the fictional cops from Ben Aaronovitch’s and Paul Cornell’s books. This time Caroline, Laura and Sarah will discuss the best copper-like cops in SFF. Caroline Mersey, Miss Laura Manuel, SJ Groenewegen
Let The Past Die: Sacrificing Sacred Cows in Star Wars The Last Jedi Saturday 1:30 PM
The Last Jedi divided Star Wars fans with its alleged deviation from the values and character of its established franchise – but what message can be interpreted from those willing sacrifices? Avery Delany, Mr Michael Duxbury, Gabriel Petersen, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, Jeannette Ng
Writing in Circular Gallifreyan Saturday 1:30 PM
A workshop on writing in Circular Galifreyan – based on the fictional language in the BBC’s Doctor Who. Please note, while this workshop is child-friendly, we will be using compasses which are not suitable for younger children. Imogen Rush
Sex at Hogwarts Saturday 10:15 PM
Have you ever been curious about which teachers are doing it in Harry Potter? What are they getting up to behind closed doors in Hogwarts? What has Peeves seen, that even he would be too discrete to mention? What are the portraits doing when they visit each other in their frames? And what about the Hogwarts ghosts? “Sex at Hogwarts” explores the books, films and quotes from JK Rowling herself to identify where the teachers are spending their nights, what happens with the other inhabitants of Hogwarts, how the school deals with sex education, and how the students cope with adolescence and the growing sexual attraction through the teenage years. Harriet Ellis
Where next for Afrofuturism? Discussing the legacy of Black Panther. Saturday 3:15 PM
With the huge success of Marvel’s Black Panther film, mainstream audiences have been introduced to Afrofuturism. This panel discusses the impact of Black Panther, Marvel’s first black, African hero. It also looks at the ongoing renaissance of Afrofuturism and asks what’s next, discussing creators in art and tech, as well as different media, including video games. Chella Ramanan, Mr Adam Campbell, Mr Patrick Vernon
The Politics of Activism in Marvel Comics Saturday 5 PM
The quest for justice is a perpetual feature in Marvel comics, with the Avengers and X-Men seeking to set the world to rights on a grand scale. But what happens when they fall short, or when seemingly benevolent activism crosses the line into fascism? We’ll be talking about direct action groups like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Champions, and individual “Friendly Neighbourhood” heroes taking care of the little guy in their corner when the big teams won’t step up (or down) to meet those challenges. Jaime
The Female Gaze Saturday 5PM
How are bodies sexualised on film and TV for the female viewer? In the era of #metoo, what are the lines between pleasurable spectatorship and voyeurism? We tackle these difficult questions and more! Fiona Moore, Ms Olwen Lachowicz, Ms Ginger Lee Thomason, Ms Alex (AJ) Campbell
Bifröst Cabaret Saturday 6:45 PM
The Bifröst Cabaret returns with more fun, frolics and mayhem than ever before Mr Alex Watts, Emily January, Vanessa Thompsett, Dr Suzie Gray, CL Gamble, Master Jackson Griffiths, Jo Pedrick, Ms Alice Nicholls, Ms Donna Williams, mr robin deb, Jesse Panic
When Geopolitics Gets Three-Dimensional: The Politics of Space Saturday 8:30 PM
What will the sources of tension be, as more and more satellites of various types are launched into orbit by more and more nations and organisations? Mr Lars Backstrom
Fat Representation in Geek Culture, Part Two (second breakfast) Sunday 11:45 AM
Following on from Gillian Brown’s excellent 2016 talk on representation of fat women in geek culture, Hel Gibbons and I were discussing the fact that in 2018 (especially within the context of a) the #MeToo movement b) women’s marches in the wake of Trumps election and c) centenary celebration of women getting the vote), specifically, asking the question: has there been any progress in representation of fat women in the last two years? Zarich Catlin-Hallett, Hel Gibbons, Will Catlin-Hallett
Capitalism and the depiction of labour in musical theatre. Sunday Aug 12 1:30 PM
Discussed through examples such as Les Miserables, In the Heights, Annie, Pajama Game, Waitress. Nicole Chen, Alix Penn, Mark Gerrits, Gin Whitston
An Audience with No Face Sunday 3:15 PM
No Face has been attending Nine Worlds since he showed up in a lift at the Novotel Hammersmith in 2016. Prior to this he has worked as a bridge spirit, gold merchant, Olympic level long distance swimmer, and also did time as a bath house terrorist. In the early Naughties he started a worldwide renaissance of knitting and spinning, including the “Stitch & Bitch” movement that still flourishes today. He is a big fan of cake. Harriet Ellis had no idea he was living in a black bin liner in her hotel room at Nine Worlds 2016, but they have become firm friends since that time. Given the high level of curiosity about No Face, they thought it was time to show the public the real No Face. His life, his loves, his darkest fears. Harriet Ellis, No Face
The boundaries of humanity in Black Mirror Sunday 3:15 PM
Black Mirror has, to put it mildly, an unusual take on the potential of the ever-developing technology that surrounds us. The series often explores what makes a person human – is it having a human body, or a human mind, or a soul? – and demonstrates how easily people can be pushed to acts of utter inhumanity, constantly raising the question: how is tech affecting us as a species, and what are the risks we’re taking? This panel will look at the various states of the human condition as portrayed in Black Mirror, and discuss what lessons should be learned. Helen Gould, Tara Brown, Phil Dyson, Rachelle Hunt