If anyone had any residual doubts about science fiction’s being a serious subject, they would have been dispelled by the slick professionalism of the event and the quality of the speakers. Held at Hong Kong’s Conrad Hotel, the packed audience speakers included academics, scientists, editors, film makers and, of course, authors. Topics ranged from a history of science fiction to challenges faced in publication, from the search for alien life to genetic engineering and, of course, included a number of authors talking about their work and their writing process as well as editors and film makers. Interestingly, there were also sessions on the financial aspects of science fiction, including sessions lead by investors.
Highlights included author Allen Steele’s talk on the history of science fiction, providing an important understanding of science fiction’s journey from the fringes to the mainstream, MIT Media Lab’s Lisa Nip presentation about inorganic human augmentation as a means of adapting the human for long distance space travel and life on alien planets and the SETI institute’s Seth Shostak’s lively talk on the search for extra-terrestrial life.
A fantastic event for Sci-Fi readers, writers and the merely curious and one that has a firm place in Hong Kong’s literary scene. I’ll be back for next year’s event.
Check out our podcast about melon on YouTube, through I Tunes or direct download.
Samuel Ferrer introduces his novel The Last Gods of Indochine, and gives a masterclass on editing a novel for publication.
Come along on 29 January at Culture Club (15 Elgin Street)
This month, join your fellow Writers Circle members to discuss where we've been and decide where we're heading.
The AGM is a great opportunity to share any ideas you might have on the future of the HKWC, or if you would like to get more involved in socials, critique groups, the anthology or simply the Writers Circle in general.
Following that, there will be a chance to have a drink and break in the New Year with fellow writing friends. Things will get going from 7pm, and if you are planning to attend do let us know on MeetUp below We hope to see you there!
Meetup Link: https://www.meetup.com/Hong-Kong-Writers-Social-Meetup/events/246743809/
YouTube directions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjwLcuvf_I4
HKWC chairman SCC Overton interviewed Rukhsana Yasmin of Wasafiri magazine at the British Council. Check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL1Ruvq4dEs
HOW DO HOURS DEFINE US? Our finest hour, our hour of need, an eleventh hour decision.... Moments of pride and desolation are defined by this unit of time, which in itself is just sixty minutes – one of which is enough time to miss that bus, and fifteen of which will be our lifetime’s allowance of fame.... But when collected in bundles of twenty-four, these hours grow to mark the passing of a day: a rainy day, a red-letter day, or a cold one in hell. For a city like Hong Kong, renowned for its unrelenting pace and fleeting interactions, an hour seems like a fitting unit of time from which to start a collection of stories. Each hour is different, as market traders give way to commuters and school children, who give way to shoppers, diners, clubbers, and – of course – denizens of the night. Behind every narrow sub-divided window, on the first and last MTR departures of the day, below underpasses in Causeway Bay, lives are being lived. Twenty-four hours give twenty-four points of entry into the stories, characters and themes that define our city.
13 July - Xu Xi presents her latest book in Penguin's Hong Kong Series Dear Hong Kong: An Elegy For A City at The Asia Society. Reception at 6:30 pm. Talk & reading at 7 pm.
19-25 July - Hong Kong Book Fair 2017 - lots of events, including events the HKWC is helping to promote with the British Council (via the podcast). See this link for details.
25 July - A poetry night with Sophie Hannah - co-organised by the British Council and the HKWC, and hosted by our very own SCC Overton. Info and registration here.
1 June - Our friends at Blacksmith Books are holding a book talk with Syd Goldsmith, hosted by our friends at Bookazine!
2 June - Deadline for applications to take part in the Authors At Large retreats with Xu Xi.
28 June - Hong Kong International Literary Festival presents Neville Sarony’s Devlin’s Chakra:
Book Launch. 7.00pm - 8.30pm Visual Arts Centre Lecture Theatre, 4/F 7a Kennedy Road Tickets: $125. https://www.ticketflap.com/neville-sarony
On 2 May, poetry and prose met haiku at the Culture Club for a night of verse and a little alcohol.
In a convivial event, four writers read poems in very different styles. Mathura is from Estonia and writes in English. I am impressed enough by those who write in a second language, but quite blown away by those who write poetry in their non-native tongue, and Mathura impressed with a lyric poem.
This was followed by Gili Haimovich, who read a piece she described as "a work in progress", but which sounded as finished as anything I've ever written (poetry or otherwise) - I guess it shows that poets set a higher standard.
We were then treated to an "introduction" by Sam (Suraj Samtani), a lovely device in which the poem was the poet's own introduction, and although not comic verse, very funny.
The last piece was commissioned by TEDEX for their recent Tedifying in Hong Kong, and you can listen to it here, which emphasised that poetry of all the written arts, is the one most intimately tied to actual performance.
We wrapped the evening up with a haiku competition. Haiku is a Japanese style of poetry (there's a good explanation here), and we all threw a few ideas into the pot. The winners shared in common that they were all surprised to have won, and the champagne was duly shared amongst all to wrap up the evening.
-- Chris Maden, Beta Readers Group Secretary
23 May - "One Moment, Please: Before Writing a Memoir" HKWC workshop by Reena Bhojwani.
29 May - Liar's League at the Social Room, Central.