Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Call for Papers: Current Research in Speculative Fiction (CRSF) Conference

Call for Papers

Current Research in Speculative Fiction (CRSF) Conference

Friday 20th June 2014 in the University of Liverpool

With Keynote Lectures from: Dr. Mark Bould (University of the West of England) and Prof. Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck University London)

Now in its fourth year, CRSF is a one day postgraduate conference designed to promote the research of speculative fictions, including SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY and HORROR; showcasing some of the latest developments in these dynamic and evolving fields. CRSF attracts an international selection of delegates and provides a platform for postgraduate students to present their current research, encourages discussion with scholars in related subjects and the construction of crucial networks with fellow researchers. The University of Liverpool, a leading centre for the study of speculative fiction and home to the Science Fiction Foundation Collection, will host the conference.

We are seeking abstracts
relating to speculative fiction, including, but not limited to, papers on the following topics:

- Alternate History - Alternative Culture - Anime - Apocalypse - Body Horror - Consciousness - Cyber Culture - Drama - Eco-criticism - Fan Culture - Gaming - (Geo)Politics - Genre - Gender - Graphic Novels - The Grotesque - The Heroic Tradition - Liminal Fantasy - Magic - Meta-Franchises - Morality - Monstrosity - Music - Non-Anglo-American SF - Otherness - Pastoral - Poetry - Politics - Post-Colonialism and Empire - Proto-SF - Psychology - Quests - Realism - Sexuality - Slipstream - Spiritualism - Steampunk - Supernatural - Technology - Time - TV and Film - Urban Fantasy - Utopia/Dystopia - (Virtual) Spaces and Environments - Weird Fiction - World Building - Young Adult Fiction.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words for a 20 minute English language paper and a 100 word biography to CRSF.team@gmail.com by Monday 10th March 2014.

For further information email the conference team at CRSF.team@gmail.com or visit our website:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New issue of Eaton Journal of Archive Research in Science Fiction is now available at


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


. . . includes includes awards given to Leslie Flood (nice Cthulhu in the centre!) and a hand-made Valentine's day card from John Wyndham to his partner, Grace Wilson.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Recent donations mean that the Science Fiction Foundation is holding yet another sale – sf, fantasy, comics, graphic novels – of duplicate stock.

Surplus copies of classic/contemporary novels, magazines, and anthologies – sf,  fantasy, comics, graphic novels  ­– are  available at knock-down prices: often 50p or less!

All money raised will support the work of the Science Fiction Foundation and its research collection administered by the University of Liverpool Library.

Books available to view

Monday 4 November – Tues 5 November from 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m: Teaching Room, Special Collections and Archives, Sydney Jones Library

Or contact Andy Sawyer on  asawyer@liv.ac.uk for further information.

Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013

We are delighted to announce the programme for the FSN2013 symposium, taking place at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, on Saturday 30th November 2013. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet other scholars in the field.
Registration is open until Monday November 18th 2013. You can find out more information and register on the symposium website: http://www.uea.ac.uk/politics-international-media/events/fan-studies-network-symposium


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Lightbox in Woking is exhibiting an alien invasion from 15th October - 19th January:


On show will be some items from the Science Fiction Foundation Collection.

Deletion, the open access online forum in science fiction studies


A new venture in sf studies from Deakin University, Melbourne: (text below taken from their website)

Deletion, the open access online forum in science fiction studies, publishes written think pieces, videos, and artwork in bimonthly “Episodes,” with each Episode featuring between 6 and 8 contributions from scholars, authors, artists, filmmakers, gamers, and creative researchers involved in all aspects of science fiction studies.
Committed to exploring science fiction in all its forms and modes of operation, Deletion invites contributions from those writing about science fiction from a literary, philosophical, artistic, scientific, aural, televisual, games and play, and cinematic context. Deletion also accepts and encourages non-standard submissions such as creative pieces, or think pieces taking the form of 2-3 minute podcasts or video blogs. All readers and contributors are encouraged to join the conversation on Deletion via the comment threads and social media links.
Taking an inter- and cross-disciplinary perspective, Deletion is framed around the key questions; what is science fiction today; what are its social, cultural and political functions; how does it move us and make us think; what forms does it take and what are the relationships within and between those forms?
Deletion is led by scholars from the Science Fiction Research Group at Deakin University, Melbourne, who will form its inner editorial board, alongside an international advisory board comprising of leading scholars in the field.
The first edition of Deletion features invited papers from the leading scholars in science fiction studies addressing the theme “the pleasures of science fiction.”
If you are interested in contributing to Deletion, or have any inquiries, suggestions, or feedback, we would love to hear from you at deletion@deakin.edu.au

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PhD Position in European Space History

A fascinating phd possibility for anyone with the interests and language background

 PhD Position in European Space History

The DFG-funded Emmy Noether research group "The Future in the Stars: European Astroculture and Extraterrestrial Life in the Twentieth Century” at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut of Freie Universität Berlin invites applications for a two-year PhD position. Salary grade accords to E 13 TV-L (50%).

Candidates should have completed their post-graduate studies in History with a specialization in History of Science, History of Technology, Cultural History or Art History by the time the appointment begins. Applicants should be fluent in English. The ability to work in German would be an asset. Applicants without any knowledge of German are expected, if appointed, to acquire within one year a sufficient level of proficiency.

The successful candidate will be expected to conceptualize and compose a doctoral dissertation that is related to European Space History, c.1927-1975. Furthermore, she/he will be actively engaged in all activities relevant to the research group including the organization and realization of workshops and conferences as well as full participation in its operation and activities.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, copies of relevant academic certificates, a research proposal of no more than 3,000 words, and names and contact information for two academic references. Applications (marked 05-FMI-2013-Geppert) should be addressed to Dr. Alexander C.T. Geppert, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, Koserstrasse 20, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.

Application deadline is 20 August 2013. Interviews will be held in mid-September.

Women and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply. If equally qualified, persons with severe disabilities will be preferred. Since application files will not be returned to applicants, original documents must not be included. Electronic submissions will not be considered.

Queries about the position should be directed to Dr. Alexander Geppert, head of the research group, at alexander.geppert@fu-berlin.de. Prospective applicants are invited to consult www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/astrofuturism for further information.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hélice -- new issue

Vol 2 of the bilingual (English Spanish)  sf/f online journal Hélice
is now up. Contents include translations by Leimar Garcia-Siino of the University of Liverpool of two classic sf tales from 19th century Spain: " Teitan the Proud – Tale of Things to Come"
by Nilo María Fabra and "Future Time" by Leopoldo Alas ("Clarín"), and an essay on "Time Paradoxes in Science Fiction" by the Romanian sf critic Cornel Robu.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013



Roger Robinson: a publisher and bibliographer, the late Violet Williams: for many years Naomi Mitchison’s secretary, and Caroline Mullan: a reader and avid collector of Naomi Mitchison’s work have banded together, in association with Beccon Publications and The Science Fiction Foundation to produce a bibliography of the works of Naomi Mitchison, 1897-1999. Mitchison did many things in her long life: she was the only girl to attend the Dragon School, Oxford, a nurse during the Great War, active lifelong in left and feminist causes, and received a CBE in 1981; but she was, above all, a writer. The bibliography lists over 2,000 items: novels, articles, poetry, reviews, plays, autobiography, speeches, interviews and letters.


The earliest item listed is Saunes Bairos, the play Mitchison wrote in 1913 while still at school. The latest is the hitherto unpublished short story, On the Edge, published (with Mitchison’s kind permission) in the bibliography itself.

Emeritus Professor Isobel Murray, Editor in chief of the Naomi Mitchison Library, in progress from Kennedy and Boyd, said:

“No one has hitherto dared to attempt a Bibliography of Naomi Mitchison: her work is so various and voluminous that the task has scared the critics and biographers alike. This new undertaking will be of enormous value to people working in many disciplines. It is compiled with rigorous scholarship, and will continue to grow as items are traced and new studies appear. I welcome it whole-heartedly.”


Mitchison was the author of over 80 books, with a career extending over 80 years and 5 continents, and encompassing literature, journalism, politics, science, theatre, poetry, memoir and autobiography. Her novels include The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931); non-fiction includes The Moral Basis of Politics (1938), and Images of Africa (1980). Her autobiographical memoir, Mucking Around: Five Continents over Fifty Years, was published in 1981. Mitchison’s stories, articles and letters appeared in publications as diverse as The Times and The Guardian, The New Humanist and Trends in Biochemical Sciences, The Countryman and The Illustrated Weekly of India.

Caroline Mullan said:


"We hope this comprehensive bibliography of her works will be valuable to scholars of literature, and of the history of the 20th Century."

The bibliography is a work in progress, and its authors intend to maintain and extend it over the coming years. It is available for use on the Beccon Publications website at: www.beccon.org

For more information about the Bibliography and its authors, please visit www.beccon.org or contact Roger Robinson at 01708 342304.


Notes to the Editor:

1.     Naomi May Margaret Mitchison, CBE (née Haldane; 1 November 1897 – 11 January 1999) was a Scottish writer. She was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1981. Naomi Mitchison’s science fiction includes the ground-breaking novel, Memoirs of a Spacewoman, published by Gollancz in 1962, as well as other novels and short stories.

2.     The Science Fiction Foundation is a registered charity. The aim of the Science Fiction Foundation is to promote science fiction, and bring together those who read, write, study, teach, research or archive science fiction in Britain and the rest of the world. Contact the Science Fiction Foundation via its website: www.sf-foundation.org or by emailing Secretary Shana Worthen at secretary@sf-foundation.org.

3.     Beccon Publications is a British small-press publisher specialising in science fiction, and does not produce "print-on-demand" editions, preferring to print one or two "real" books each year. The first Beccon publication - a bibliography of Barrington J Bayley - was issued in August 1981. Since then more than 50 booklets and books have been produced, including a number of titles nominated for prestigious Hugo and BSFA Awards.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Midwich Dayout at Letchmore Heath  on Sunday 19th May celebrating Village of the Damned (where many of the film's exterior scenes were shot) was a good, er, day out. Among the guests were Barbara Shelley, who played Anthea Zellaby in the film, and Martin Stephens, Teri Scoble, Lesley Scoble, and Peter Preidel, who were among the blond, staring-eyed "cuckoo" children.

My talk about Village of the Damned, and John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos and its unfinished "sequel" Midwich Main was well received. A highlight of the day was a guided tour around Letchmore Heath, seeing buildings and locations which featured in the film.

Journalist Darrel Buxton (far left) interviewing (l-r) Lesley Scoble, Barbara Shelley, and Peter Preidel.

Four of the Midwich "Cuckoos": l-r Martin Stephens, Teri Scoble, Lesley Scoble, Peter Preidel.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stapledon's STAR MAKER on Radio 4

Moshsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, chose Wirral-born Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker to talk about on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on Wednesday 24th April as part of its "Cultural Exchange series" . Front Row's website illustrates the discussion with a photograph of Stapledon and this image of Stapledon's "Timeline" showing the billions of years covered by the book. Images were supplied by Special Collections and Archives from the Olaf Stapledon Archive.

Images for Mohsin Hamid's Cultural Exchange

Monday, April 15, 2013


Alex Cox, director of REPO MAN, SID AND NANCY, and the extraordinary sf version of THE REVENGER'S TRAGEDY has launched a Kickstarter appeal to raise funds (US$ 100,000)  for the film of Harry Harrison's BILL THE GALACTIC HERO  to be made by students at the University of Colorado film studies programme. Alex was working on a script for the film with Harry Harrison before Harry's death. Alex Cox will direct the film.

If anyone wants to become a media "angel" this looks like a worthy project to support.

Details are on http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexcoxfilms/alex-cox-directs-bill-the-galactic-hero

Midwich Dayout

MIDWICH DAYOUT is a one-day event celebrating the 1960 film "THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED" based on the novel by John Wyndham, THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS (1957).

Appearing will be several members of the original cast and crew of the film  including BARBARA SHELLEY (Anthea Zellaby) and MARTIN STEPHENS (David). There will be a talk on VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED  and Wyndham's abandoned "sequel" MIDWICH MAIN by Andy Sawyer of the University of Liverpool.  The "Dayout" will take place on Sunday, 19th May in LETCHMORE HEATH, Hertfordshire - the village where much of the location shooting was done for the film.  Tickets are £25.00. More details on hthttp://www.midwich-village.co.uk/index.html

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction

The first issue, containing pieces by Farah Mendlesohn, Rob Latham, Lisa Yasek, Veronica Hollinger, Brian Attebery and Chris Pak is now online at http://eatonjournal.ucr.edu/.

"The Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal hosted by the University of California at Riverside, affiliated with the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Utopian Studies. The journal is run by graduate student editors, with scholarly review provided by an interdisciplinary executive board made up of SF scholars, research librarians, and archivists. This diverse editorial pool reflects the Journal’s mission of fostering an interdisciplinary conversation, bringing literary scholars together with the archivists whose work assembles, curates, and makes meaning within archives. Putting these disciplinary voices into discussion within the pages of the journal fosters innovative research and incisive scholarship in the field of SF studies." The Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction  is edited by Jeff Hicks and Josh Pearson.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A new phd possibility:

Interdisciplinary Scholarship

Deadline April 18th 2013

Topic: The Human Face in Contemporary Anglo-American Culture.

Principal Supervisor(s): 
Name: Adam Piette (Professor of Modern Literature) and Fabienne Collignon (Lecturer in American Literature)

Name: Paul Hatton (Professor of Bioengineering & Health Technologies), School of Clinical Dentistry

This project is directed at exploring the portrayal of the human face in Anglo-American culture, with a specific focus directed at science fiction film and fiction from H.G. Wells on to the present day. Of particular interest are man-machine amalgamations; the editors of the Cyborg Handbook (1995) identify a wide range of cyborg technologies as, for example, restorative, normalizing, reconfiguring, enhancing, degrading. Rather than focus on the whole (cybernetic) organism, what this project seeks to do is to home in on the face as locus of expression and affect, and to trace its modifications at hand of such cybernetic technologies, often concerned with facial sensory extensions like eye enhancements; the development of aural capabilities. The project is, however, further interested in exploring related technologies—genetic engineering, cross-species experimentation, plastic surgery, grafting and implants, teeth interventions—in order to address the politics of these processes. In their search for body utopia, the development of man into superman, these procedures are haunted by the spectres of fascism: what biopower is at work in bio-engineering? A further premise of the study is the erasure of distinctions between science fiction and the present moment: contemporary culture is science fiction. Hence any investigation into the human face as impact zone of techno-fantasies will be alert to the overlapping narratives of perfection and plasticity between science, science fiction/horror, and utopia. By investigating the portrayal of the human face in contemporary film and media, this also explores the societal use of medical, dental, and cosmetic interventions in the development of a “perfect” face, demonstrating some of the more unusual or worrying aspects of the human obsession with beauty (and at the same time relating this to what the media portrays as beautiful and— more challenging—how and why the current model was arrived at and where it is going). There is a potential translational aspect of this research in the areas of sales & marketing, cosmetics, and the media industries, providing future opportunities for knowledge exchange, collaboration and consultancy. This project is interested in exploring the power relations at work in the portrayal of the technologized and plastic human face in contemporary Anglo-American culture. What cultural codes exist in the fluid ‘text’ of the face in the 20th and 21st Centuries and how are they challenged in or perpetuated by contemporary culture? A considerable amount of work has been done on the cyborg body, but a study remains to be conducted to focus exclusively on facial technologies of enhancement and modification. In the process, it will investigate the cultural norms that dictate ‘beauty’, the desire for self-modification through technology, and the mechanisms expected to be constitutive of an elusive ideal: the ‘perfect’ face.

Expressions of interest are welcome from candidates from a variety of disciplines – we are looking for enthusiastic, lively and committed students with projects focussing on any of the aspects covered in the above. If you have any queries about your project idea or suitability, please contact Fabienne Collignon (f.collignon@sheffield.ac.uk).

How to apply

Interdisciplinary Scholarships provide an annual bursary of c. £13,590, Home/EU tuition fees and a contribution to research expenses. application.

Applicants should apply through the University's online application system. Applications should contain a research proposal that fits with the above project as well as a 500 word statement as to why you are interested in undertaking a PhD in this area.

Any queries about this Scholarship please contact Harriet Godfrey (h.godfrey@sheffield.ac.uk)