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.
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