The College is preparing to host top SF and fantasy writers at its annual convention, Picocon. This year award winning authors Sarah Pinborough and Charles Stross will also be joined by Imperial’s Professor David Southwood – Chair of the Royal Astronomical Society and patron of the SF Foundation. Organised by the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Gothic Horror Society and currently in its thirty first year, the theme of the convention this time round will be ‘Survival’. Planned activities include a quiz, silly games, tabletop role-playing games and the ‘Destruction of Dodgy Merchandise’. The latter is a long held tradition Picocon and often involves liquid nitrogen and large sledgehammers. Guests are encouraged to bring their own contributions to destroy. In addition, there will be stalls selling books and official Picocon T-shirt as well as all day LAN gaming featuring Unreal Tournament 2003 and DEFCON, a game produced by Introversion – a company set up by former Imperial students. The highlight of the day, however, look set to be the three guests of honour, who will be giving individual talks as well as participating in a group panel. Sarah Pinborough is a successful horror and fantasy writer best known for her Dog Faced Gods fantastical crime trilogy. Her work has been compared to that of Bentley Little, Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz. She has also been credited as a screenwriter for TV show New Tricks and the upcoming horror film Cracked. Charles Stross is a hugely popular author whose work often includes speculation on humanity’s relationship with computers and technology. He is probably best known for Lovcraftian spy thriller series The Laundry Files and was awarded the 2006 Locus Award for his novel Accelerando. As well as his work with the Royal Astronomical Society Professor David Southwood is well known for his collaboration with the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. He is the former Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency and often speaks about the relationship between science and speculative fiction. All are welcome to attend with entry £8 for students, £5 for society members and £10 for others. Doors open at 10am, with registration in Beit Quad, for what promises to be an exciting event, and not just for fans of fantasy and SF. More information can be found at icsf.org/picocon.
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