ICSF The History Book

Picocon 18

Saturday 10th February, 2001

From the Sofa

Hello, and welcome to Picocon, ICSF's annual convention. This year it has finally come of age, with our eighteenth gathering. If you've been here before, then you probably know what to expect. If you're new, then here's a brief rundown of what's on offer.

Firstly, we have four guests of honur this year, covering a range of genres and experience. Geoff Ryman and Christopher Priest have both been writing for several years on a range of topics. Juliet McKenna is slightly newer and writes fantasy novels, while Jane Killick has written several guides to sf film and tv.

The "destruction of dodgy merchandise" event is on at 1pm, so you can come along and watch Anakin being dipped in liquid nitrogen. We have other diversions available throughout the day too. There's a network of computers running multi-player games, a selection of stalls and an Easter Egg hunt. Wrapping up the afternoon, we have a pub quiz at 5pm, so you can win fame and fortune for your encyclopaedic knowledge. Well, either that or a bar of chocolate. In the evening, we're showing The Matrix. In case you haven't heard of it, it's a science-fiction film, with ground-breaking special effects.

If you get lost or confused, just grab one of the committee. There will be someone at the front desk all day, and other people wandering around in dark t-shirts with dragons on the back.

So, enough talk from me. Mingle, and enjoy!
John Kirk - Picocon Sofa

Guests of Honour - Christopher Priest author of Inverted World
Geoff Ryman author of 253
Juliet E. McKenna author of The Einarinn Tales
Jane Killick writer of The Babylon 5 Season by Season Guides

Time Events Location
10am Registration 1st Floor landing
11am Geoff Ryman UCH
12am Jane Killick UCH
1pm Lunch
Destruction of Dodgy Merchandise - dunking of naff stuff in liquid nitrogen

2pm Christopher Priest UCH
3pm Panel UCH
4pm Juliet McKenna UCH
5pm Pub Quiz UDH
6pm The Matrix UCH

Other events include Dalek Racing, an Easter Egg Hunt, about a dozen networked pcs running Unreal Tournament, Starcraft and Worms Armagedon The day is rounded off with The Matrix (starting at 6pm) shown in the IC Cinema.

Registration starts at 10am and costs are:
Standard Entry - £8
Students - £5
icsf members - £2

The Matrix will be free for those registered for the convention (last admission 5pm)and £3 for anyone else who wants to come along.

The event takes place in the Imperial College Union, Beit Quad, Prince Consort Road, South Kensington.
Nearest Tube - South Kensington
Follow signs for Imperial College in Pedestrian Tunnel, continue north to junction and turn left into Prince Consort Road. IC Union is approximately half way along the road, underneath green and blue scaffolding.

Christopher Priest began publishing SF in 1966 with "The Run" for Impulse. His first novel was Indoctinaire (1970; rev 1979) and was followed by others such as Fugue for a Darkening Island (1972) and Inverted World (1974). His latest book is The Dream Archipelago, a collection of stories dealing with war and versions of reality. He was also associate editor of Foundation 1974-7 and ha produced several anthologies including Stars of Albion with Robert Holdstock.
Chris Priest attended Picocon 13 in 1996 and you can find his website here.

Geoff Ryman's first publication was "The Diary of the Translator" for NW in 1976. His magazine version of The Unconquered Country: A Life of History (1984, Interzone) won the British Science Fiction Award and the World Fantasy Award. His first full length novel was The Warrior Who Carried Life (1985) a fantasy quest and his second, The Child Garden: A Low Comedy (1987 Interzone) won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He has two new books published this year Lust on the 5th of February, and an as yet untitled hardback released in June. He has also created an internet book - 253, about the people on a tube journey.

Juliet E. McKenna is a relatively new author with three books out set in the land of Einarinn, The Thief's Gamble, The Swordsman's Oath and the recently published Gambler's Fortune. The stories are fantasy based but with a large amount of witty observation which means the books appeal even to those who don't generally enjoy fantasy. Juliet's website makes a much better job of describing her work than I could.
Juliet attended last year's Picocon and has also spoken at a Freshers' event about world building and publishing.

Jane Killick began her writing career with articles for the Red Dwarf Smegazine. She later moved on to write the authorised companion for the Judge Dredd film, and is perhaps best known for the Babylon 5 Season-by-Season guides. She is currently working on a novel.