Daily Archives: August 20, 2014

Commuting, comfortable? Are you mad?

Claire Perry, UK rail minister

‘What we have got to do is to make sure rail passengers – who could be forgiven for saying: “What on earth am I getting for these rises that I’ve seen over the last decade?” – start to realise they are paying fair fares for comfortable commuting.’ – Claire Perry, UK rail minister

A shocking statement from an obviously privileged person. Commuting is not comfortable in the UK unless you travel in the First Class train carriages. I paid for First Class tickets for the first time ever for my trip to LonCon3 and I was staggered by the difference in service.

Continue reading Commuting, comfortable? Are you mad?

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LonCon3 #4: English PEN lecture on H.G. Wells by Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger & H.G. Wells

This lecture is the first in a series of annual lectures held in honour of former PEN President, the author, visionary and human rights campaigner, H.G. Wells. H.G. Wells foresaw the creation of the worldwide web, most particularly in a series of talks and essays which he first published in 1936 under the title ‘World Brain’. The PEN/H.G. Wells lecture will showcase visionary writing and new thinking that embodies the spirit of the pioneering writing and activism of H.G. Wells. The inaugural lecture will be given by Audrey Niffenegger.

Continue reading LonCon3 #4: English PEN lecture on H.G. Wells by Audrey Niffenegger

LonCon3 #3: Attendee Demographics – Are there no black sci-fi fans?

Octavia Butler8,000 people attended LonCon3 hailing from 64 countries, some as far away as Australia. Roughly 2,000 from the U.K. and 2,000 from the U.S. What the LonCon3 site doesn’t show is something I noticed as soon as I walked through the doors of the ExCeL building: the age, gender, disability and racial demographics.

70% or more of the attendees were over 40 – though over 60 is probably more accurate – and during the four days I was there I only saw two black faces. There were a few Middle Eastern and south and east Asians, but no black people.

Why?

Continue reading LonCon3 #3: Attendee Demographics – Are there no black sci-fi fans?