My programme has been more or less confirmed for the London Worldcon this August. One interview, two panels and a speech, details subject to change if my fellow panellists get a better offer or end up trapped on the Docklands Light Railway.
Since the last UK Worldcon in 2005, I’ve published a novel, fifteen non-fiction books and a translation from classical Chinese, provided the voice of a cartoon professor and sold two TV options. But the thing that is most pertinent to this year’s event is the book’s worth of material I’ve written on Chinese and Japanese science fiction, buried away within the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, so that’s pretty much all I’m talking about.
Friday 15th August 15:00 – 16:30
Jonathan Clements interviews Guest of Honour John Clute. We’re like a double-act with two straight-men. I will prod the Clute and attempt to make it angry. Shouldn’t take long. Members of the audience can play sesquipedalian bingo as I attempt to get him to use words like “guyliner” and “tosswit.”
Friday 18:00 – 19:00
The SFE is 35 this year, and is now in its third edition. This panel will discuss how the SFE came about, and how it has changed with the times. What are the processes that go into creating an encyclopedia, and what are the pitfalls? How has the transition to an online format shaped the third edition? And in what ways does its increasing internationalisation reflect transformations in the field at large? Graham Sleight (M), Jonathan Clements, John Clute, Neal Tringham, now with added David Langford.
Saturday 18:00 – 19:00
We’re used to thinking about adaptation in terms of feature films, but increasingly Western SF and fantasy novels and novel series — from True Blood to Game of Thrones, The Expanse to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell — are being adapted for TV. What are the challenges of this process? Do viewers expect a longer running time to mean a more faithful adaptation? Are there lessons to be learned from, or similarities with, series adaptations in other countries, such as the transition from manga to anime? (Or Western comics to screen, as in the case of The Walking Dead?) And what happens when a series develops a life of its own? Tanya Brown (M), Debbie Lynn Smith, Jonathan Clements, Mike Carey, Steve Saffel
Sunday 12:00 – 13:30
In this talk, Jonathan Clements examines the boondoggles and delusions, booms and busts of Japan’s animation business as it thrashes around in search of a cure for piracy, an audience that will pay for stuff, and a foreign footprint bigger than some guy’s living room. Warning: contains charts, and possibly a little bit of exasperated swearing.