LonCon 3 – Cherry Potts on Panels

Thursday 14th to Monday 18th August, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention – LonCon 3 at ExCel London Docklands.

Arachne Press founder and author Cherry Potts is on two panels,

Liechester Square: Getting London Wrong
Thursday 14th August 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)
If there’s one thing you can guarantee about the reaction to any piece of SF set in London, it’s that British fans will delight in nit-picking the details: you can’t get there on the Piccadilly Line! So who are the worst offenders? Whose commodified Londons do we forgive for the sake of other virtues in their writing? Do we complain as much about cultural errors as geographic ones, and if not, why not? And given London’s status as a global city, is it even fair to claim ownership of its literary representation?
Alison Scott (Moderator), Leah-Nani Alconcel, Cherry Potts, Mike Shevdon, Russell Smith

We Can Rebuild You
Sunday 17th August 10:00 – 11:00, London Suite 2 (ExCeL)
SF medicine regularly comes up with “cures” for disabled bodies — from Geordi LaForge’s visor to the transfer of Jake Sully’s consciousness in Avatar — but the implications of such interventions are not always thought through as fully as we might hope. How does a rhetoric of medical breakthroughs and scientific progress shape these stories, and shape SF’s representation of lived physical difference? In what ways can SF narratives address dis/ability without either minimising or exaggerating such difference?
Cherry Potts (Moderator), Neil Clarke, Tore Høie, Helen McCarthy, Marieke Nijkamp

Ealing Library CityRead Panel

So, as part of CityRead, which starts on April 2nd,  I’m going to be on a panel at Ealing Library, together with Sarah Parker of Cityread London, Amma Poku Community Services & Volunteer Co-ordinator at Ealing Libraries, and Hazel Talbot of Ealing Arts Saturday 27th April at 2.30, talking about books set in London.

In preparation, I’m reading the keynote book, A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks, and thinking about reading other books of literary and London-based merit. Apart from a couple of favourites I had a bit of a blank out, so I asked our lovely authors for recommendations, and this is what they came up with:

– the last bit on each line is where the book is set. Those in bold got multiple recommendations. I’ve already read quite a few of these – marked with an * (and some I’d never heard of) and I certainly don’t have time to read them all! Anything you think is missing? Any you would particularly recommend?

Cityread London (1)Alexander Baron  –  Rosie Hogarth  –  Islington

Anthony Cronin – The Life Of Riley – Camden

Arthur Ransome  – Bohemia In London – Chelsea

*Barbara Vine – King Solomon’s Carpet – West

Bobbie Darbyshire – Truth Games – Camden Town, Finchley Road, Highgate, Hackney, Fulham and Balham

Colin Mcinnes – Absolute Beginners –  Notting Hill

Diana Evans – 26a – Neasden

Dorothy Richardson – The Tunnel – Bloomsbury

*Elizabeth Bowen – The Heat Of The Day – Regents Park

Gautam Malkani – Londonstani – Hounslow

*Geoff Ryman – 253 – Lambeth North, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle

George Gissing  – The Nether World – Clerkenwell

Gerald Kersh – Fowlers End – Teddington

*Grossmith – Diary Of A Nobody – Holloway

Iris Murdoch – Under The Net – Hammersmith

J G Ballard – Crash – West

*Jeremy Gavron – An Acre Of Barren Ground – Brick Lane

John Lanchester – Capital – Telegraph Hill

Lloyd Shepherd  – The English Monster  – Wapping

Maggie O’Farrell – The Hand That Once Held Mine – Hampstead/Soho

Martin Amis  – London Fields  – Hackney

*Monica Ali – Brick Lane – East

*Muriel Spark  – The Girls Of Slender Means – Kensington

*Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere – London Below

*Nick Hornby – A Long Way Down – North

*Nick Hornby – High Fidelity – North

Norman Collins – London Belongs To Me – Kenington

Patrick Hamilton – Hangover Square – Earl’s Court

Patrick Hamilton – 100 Streets Under The Sky – Soho

Penelope Fitzgerald – Off Shore – Chelsea

Penny Rudge – Foolish Lessons In Love And Life – South

Peter Ackroyd – Hawksmoor – East

Ruth Rendell – A Demon In My View – West

Ruth Rendell – Going Wrong – West

*Sarah Waters – Night Watch – East/City

Shena Mackay  – Heligoland – Crystal Palace And Norwood

Tim Parks  – Tongues Of Flame –  Finchley

Tony White – Foxy T – East

*Wilkie Collins  – The Woman In White – St John’s Wood, Hampstead

Yvette Edwards – A Cupboard Full Of Coats – East

*Zadie Smith – White Teeth – North West

Zadie Smith – NW – North West

And, of course, our own London Lies and Stations!

I do have to say I have read piles of London books I wouldn’t recommend, some because they don’t get the geography right ( a bit of a bugbear – as can be attested by authors and would be authors for Stations – ignore the street layout or depth of the railway cutting at your peril!) some because I just didn’t like them. I will restrain myself from the lengthy list of books thrown across the room in rage!