Monday, 21 July 2014

Speculative Biology at Loncon3; you know, Greenworld, Snaiad, Furaha, that kind of thing...

Well, I may not be back from being away in the sense that I will immediately take up churning out posts every two weeks again, but there is something I definitely would like to share with you.

Over half a year ago I thought that it was time to introduce Speculative Biology at this year's World Science Fiction Conference: 'Loncon3', held in London: Thursday to Monday August 2014. The original plan had to be modified quickly as the costs of flying people in from long distances was prohibitive. And then there were some other changes that meant that the program remained uncertain until a sort time ago; last night, to be precise!

But I can now officially tell you that Speculative Biology will definitely be there, in two sessions of 90 minutes each, On Thursday and Friday afternoon. The following five people will take part. The illustrations were largely taken from the folder I had sent to Loncon3.

Copyright Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology research fellow at the University of Leicester where he studies the effects of cosmic radiation on the survival of Martian micro-organisms and persistence of biosignatures of their past existence. He is very active in science outreach and has published a popular science book on astrobiology; 'Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide'.
  Lewis has appeared on the Furaha blog in the past on several occasions: he wrote an article called 'Alien Safari' and even appeared in a video in another post on exoplanets.

Copyright Darren Naish ; that's him on the left...
Darren Naish is a paleontologist working on dinosaurs, but with a very wide range of interests. He is famous as the author of 'Tet Zoo', or 'Tetrapod Zoology', a Scientific American blog discussing animals, mostly, but with an occasional fictional one thrown in for good measure. Actually, he recently did discuss Speculative biology there. He and I both discussed the Brussels' 'future animal' exposition in our respective blogs (mine is here, with a link to his in the post).
   He is also one of the authors of 'All Yesterdays', a delightful book full of creative ideas on reconstructing animal; not just dinosaurs, but also today's animals, reconstructed by no doubt puzzled palaeontologists millions of years from now.

Copyright Dougal Dixon
Dougal Dixon needs no introduction here I think! His books basically created Speculative Biology. He will talk about Greenworld at Loncon3, an unknown project of his I introduced in my blog, first here, later here.

Copyright CM Kösemen
C.M. Kösemen is a name you might be less familiar with his alter ego Nemo Ramjet. Nemo's Snaiad is still one of the best known projects on 'exolife', even though his website has long sice disappeared into that void into which deleted websites go. Mind you, he did part of the illustrations of 'All Yesterdays' discussed above.

Copyright Gert van Dijk
 Gert van Dijk; well, that would be me, and I will bring lots of images and videos of Furaha with me to London.

I hope you like the programme; if you can, come and say hello! 



Anonymous said...

The Snaiad site is back online!

Andrew Broeker said...


I was going to ask you to shout at Mehmet for me but now I want you to give him a hug for me, assuming he did this.

Andrew Broeker said...

I'm also very glad to hear from you again, Gert. Wish I could see you there.

Anonymous said...

Mister Nastrazzurro,

I am very pleased to see you decided to get back on your blog and write this article. Although childcare is available on the conference, our family is not going to make Loncon this year. The line up for the conference is just flabbergasting though.

I'll email you.

Take care!
Bob van der Kamp

Spugpow said...

That is a truly awesome lineup; a shame I can't go. Hopefully the talks get posted online!

It would be interesting to see all these different speculative biology projects integrated into one metaproject somehow, perhaps something like Orion's Arm. I suppose that would conflict with Nemo's All Yesterdays timeline though.

Love the new incarnation of the chase painting.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Anonymous: great! That is good news!

Andrew: I do not know whether it was Mehmet himself who put the Snaiad website up again, but I will certainly ask him in London.

Hi Bob: I sent you an email already...

Spugpow: I agree that a degree of connection between all these worlds is interesting and fun (hence the New hades book store). But which one do you mean by the 'chase painting'?

Aborine said...

I am so excited about these two talks you wouldn't even believe, looking forward to attending a great deal.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Spugpow: how silly of me; you must have meant the image whare I introduced myself. I had seen it so often that I no longer realised that it was indeed the reworked version of the image at the top of the blog.

Aborine: I am pleased to hear that, but there are THREE, not two talks on speculative biology, so that should increase the fun. There is one introductory one with all of us (90 minutes), one dealing specifically with Snaiad and Furaha (90 minutes), and one devoted to Dougal Dixon (60 minutes).

Petr said...

I was just about to post a link to the revived snaiad, but it's all here already! :D