The organisers were
Sessions throughout the convention from 2pm Thursday, with public briefings
at 6pm each night.
The Great Silence
Where are the Extraterrestrials? Why haven't we been contacted? A
goldmine for SF ideas, the academic study of this problem has come a
long way in the last 10 years. Are we victims of a galactic
conspiracy, or is the forrest full of wolves?
Dave Clements (moderating),
You might also like to look at the Seti League and the SETI Institute.
HG Wells Room, 1pm Saturday.
This talk by
will explore evidence for
a universe teeming with life and discuss strategies for SETI. A new
cooperative effort between several thousand radio amateurs will be
introduced, and it will be shown that the hardware and software which would
make our own planet visible from across the galaxy is today within our
grasp. OHP, audio cassette player.
Dan Dare Room, 11am Friday.
A talk by
Greg Barr on the work of the
organisation, who promote discussion on SETI and xenobiology.
CONTACT Japan will also present their clubs activities in worldbuilding
Takashi Nakamura, and
Tetsuya Ochiai. See also
a talk on
SETI and a panel on the
Great Silence. SP.
Argyll 1, 5pm Sunday.
2 hours of talks and panels on the Epona Project, the most detailed
to design an alien planet and ecology ever done. Organised by
Greg Barr, with
OHP, SP, VCR.
Science Room, 2-4pm Sunday
Terraforming - the Science of Green
Martyn Fogg introduces the
subject. See also a panel on the
ethics of the subject. OHP & SP.
HG Wells Room, 2pm Thursday
Terraforming Mars - Can We? Should
A panel discussion hosted by
Martyn Fogg, with
Kevin J Anderson,
Dave Hardy, and
See also the introduction to
HG Wells Room, 5pm Friday
Alternate Technological Histories
Alternate Histories generally the decisions of individuals or the outcome
of wars as their turning points. But history could equally well have been
altered through differences in the way technology has developed. What
would the outcome of WW2 have been of radar had been invented sooner, or
not at all? Would we have had ICBMs if the V2 hadn't been developed when
Simon Bradshaw moderates
Evelyn Leeper, and
Argyll 2/3, 1pm Friday
British Space - What was and what could
A talk by
on Britain's space programme in the 1950s and 1960s, together with
cancelled projects, future concepts and some 'what might have been' ideas.
HG Wells Room, 11am Sunday
Geography of Space
2 talks by
looking at the Useful Bits of the Solar System. OHP
Legend Room, 3pm Thursday and HG Wells Room, 4pm Friday
3 hours of panels/workshops to design an Intersection starship. Even
if you can't make the workshops, come along to the final session to
hear what was devised. Moderated by
Gerald Nordley, with
Carol Botteron and
Stephen Davis. OHP
You might also want to look at a starship design homepage.
Workshop sessions in Science Room 2-4pm Saturday, 12pm Sunday. Report
in Legend Room, 12pm Monday.
Asteroid Deflection: The Threat,
the Technology and the Politics
An asteroid has been discovered on a collision course with Earth. How could
we stop it? How much notice would we need? Is the technology available?
explains how to Save the World before the issue is discussed by a
HG Wells Room, 6pm Friday.
Asteroid Deflection: The Panel
Assuming we can move asteroids, should we? Some people, eg Carl Sagan,
feel that such an ability would be too dangerous as a potential weapon.
Others are sure that if we can develop the required technology, we should
do so in good time. The panel following up the
talk, moderated by
Bill Higgins with
Jordin Kare and
Jonnathan Vos Post
considers the pros and cons.
HG Wells Room, 3pm Saturday.
Negative Matter Supported
How to Find Them
Greg Benford and
discuss their recent joint physics paper on
natural wormholes and how to find them. The basic idea is
that due to mass flow and back reaction, one end of a natural
wormhole will become a negative-mass GNACHO (Gravitationally
Negative Anomalous Compact Halo Object) and produce a distinct
signature as a gravitational lens. The panelists will discuss
the applications and implications of their GNACHO concept.
OHP and pointer.
Argyll 2/3, 11am Friday.
Piloted by Puppets: Gerry Anderson's Extraordinary Vehicles
Futuristic aircraft, rockets, and submarines figured prominently in
such technophilic TV series as Thunderbirds, Stingray, and
Fireball XL5. Take a tour of these marvelous machines, and
compare them with real-world designs. SP.
Bill Higgins moderates
Mitchell Burnside Clapp
The Space Treasure Trail
Andy Nimmo talks about a
the Millenium Fund to launch a solar sailing project.
With Gregory Beckman,
and Gordon Ross.
Wizard's Cave, 3pm Thursday.
International Co-operation in Space
Are international projects a good idea? What happens when one
pulls out (as happened with the US half of the Ulysses mission)?
if the main partner moves the goalposts and other participants can't
keep up? With the International Space Station soon to be built, our
panel will discuss the pros and cons of such endeavours.
The panellists discuss why can't we all get along in Space. Moderated by Andy Nimmo, with Dale Amon, Jordin Kare, Janet Johnston, and someone.
Argyll 1, 2pm Monday.
Brewing and Distilling in
A panel on the problems/advantages of making hooch in
Mark Olsen (mod),
Chris Cooper and
Arran, 9pm Sunday.
Soviet Space Programme
A talk by Hugh
Gregory, on the until-recently hidden darker days of the Soviet
Space Programme. VCR.
Science Room, 5pm Sunday.
talks about his plans to bootstrap space colonies using
private funds. 2 hours including Q and A session.
You might also like to look at The Oceania Homepage and at Marshall's homepage. SP.
Argyll 2/3, 5.30pm Thursday.
Space Warps and Time Machines
How to make a time machine?
Robert L Forward tells us how. SP NTSC VCR
Hall 1, 10am Monday.
How do you drive spaceships without rockets?
Robert L Forward gives a talk
possibilities. SP NTSC VCR.
Hall 1, 12pm Saturday.
Comsats - Wireless World to Wired
Intersectionwill mark the 50th anniversary of Arthur C
paper in Wireless World on geostationary communications
Simon Bradshaw reviews
the conception and development of comsats and looks forward to the
new developments coming in the next few years. OHP
A1 2pm Thursday.
A talk on Scotland's own spaceplane by
Duncan Lunan. VCR, SP,
Video rooms sometime.
Economics of Space Tourism
Lots of science fiction is set in space - but you and I are no nearer
getting there than we were 30 years ago. To get cheap launch we need a BIG
commercial launch market, and there's ONLY ONE - people. Just like
In Japan they've been doing market research on space tourism, and they're now designing a reusable launch vehicle to cut the cost of a few days in orbit to around 10,000 pounds. At this price they expect millions of passengers a year. Service to start in 2006.
Can you believe this? Come and watch the video animation of the Shimizu space hotel with Patrick Collins. SP, OHP, VCR.
Science Room, 5pm Friday.
Space Access 1: DC-X
30 min talk by
Clapp, Aleta Jackson
and Henry Spencer. NTSC VCR.
Legend Room, 2pm Sunday.
Space Access 2: Black Horse
30 min talk on the USAF's Black Horse air-refuelled aerospaceplane
by Capt Mitchell
Clapp, who's project manager for it. OHP NTSC VCR.
Legend Room, 2.30pm Sunday.
Space Access 3: Fast and Cheap
30 min talk by
Legend Room, 3pm Sunday.
Space Access 4: Artemis
30 min on the
lunar base design project by
Geoffrey Landis. OHP
Legend Room, 3.30pm Sunday.
Space Access 5: Summary
1 hr 'wash-up' panel with all participants from the Space Access
short talks, plus Patrick
Argyll 2/3, 11am Monday.
A talk by
Hal Clement on the planet
closest to the Sun.
Wizard's Cave, 6pm Saturday.
A talk on the results from last year's DoD lunar mapper by
Jordin Kare. OHP NTSC VCR.
Science Room, 1pm Thursday.
On-Line Martian Atlas
A talk by
Bob Kanefsky on his
on-line atlas of Mars, plus work he's been doing on
enhancing space images. SP.
Dan Dare Room, 11am Saturday.
The Green Children of Woolpit
Duncan Lunan investigates a
story and comes up with some very surprising answers.
Shuna/Staffa, 1pm Friday.
The (Ab)Uses of
An enquiry into the uses and abuses of popular science moderated by
Caroline Mullan, with
Dan Dare Room, 12pm Sunday.
Nanotechnology and the Politics of
What would the world be like if molecular technology proved feasible?
Would it become a dystopia far worse than anything imagined by Huxley or
Orwell, as dictators used machines to spy on their people and regulate
their behaviour? Would it become a libertarian paradise with every
individual becoming, in effect, a sovereign nation, complete with nuclear
capability? Would it become a socialist idyll, of people living free from
the fear of poverty, death or pollution, in a land with more than enough
material goods for everyone? Or perhaps a combination of all three?
technology is likely to impact on our lives in the twenty-first century
in ways far more profound than the technology of the twentieth century.
But what ways do we want our lives to be changed? And in what ways to we
not want it to be changed? And do we have any choice?
Paul Cray (moderating), with
Kathleen Ann Goonan
and Jonathan Vos Post.
For more on technology, take a look at nanotechnology in SF.
Dan Dare Room, 12pm Saturday.
The Internet, Virtual Reality and Cyberspace :
Games, Science Fiction and Work
The talk examines these three issues and their interrelationships; the
spread of interest in virtual reality, the ever-growing Internet linking
computers and users across the globe and how these two areas are coming
together to provide the real world with the science fictional concept of
Cyberspace : an information terrain populated by co-operating users across
the world, interacting with three-dimensional representations of data
within databases. The talk will draw on example systems developed
internationally and on those produced by the European COMIC project.
SP, VCR? OHP.
Dan Dare Room, 10am Saturday.
The perils and pitfalls of relying too heavily on machines to do your
thinking for you. From piloting aircraft to running missile defences,
there are problems we usually avoid thinking about...
Daniel Dern moderates, with
Howard Davidson, and
The newsgroup comp.risks is a superb source of more information.
Dan Dare Room, 6pm Sunday
Lagging Laws - Computers,
and Legal Metaphor
Legal systems tend to rely heavily on precedent. When a new
comes along, the law looks for ways in which it is similar to things
which have come before, and trys to apply the appropriate rules from
the past. Can appropriate metaphors and analogs for the legal
with computers and cyber-communications be
found, or do we need entirely new models to deal with "virtual
Sarah Goodman (mod), with
and others discuss.
Wizard's Cave, 2pm Saturday.
Lagging Laws - Copyright
Technically, the laws of copyright are clear and apply no matter how a
work is published, but what constitutes "publication" in the world of
computers disks, networks and the World Wide Web. A discussion of where
the laws stand, what is unclear and what might need to change to meet the
changes brought about by the information revolution.
Sarah Goodman, with
Malcolm Campbell and
Laura Majerus (mod).
Legend Room, 2pm Friday.
Privacy: Is there a future in it?
New technologies like digital telephony and strong encryption are
fighting it out against governments who want to make tapping easy;
smart cards with your ID and medical records may soon be introduced
that can be interrogated from a distance without their owner
knowing. Will the future have closed doors or open windows? A panel
discussion on the technological future of privacy and an
to the debate.
Henry Balen moderates
Jack Nimersheim, and
Legend Room, 1pm Sunday.
Intersection has bought a lottery ticket. It will win the jackpot. How will
we use this money to better scientific and technological research? The
panel of experts discusses grant proposals from the audience.
Dave Clements moderates
Paul Shuch, and
Jura, 4pm Saturday.
Post Nuclear Family
SF has suggest numerous alternatives to the husband-wife-and-2.4 kids that
became the supposed norm in the fifties. Many people are now living these
alternatives for real. Does the Nuclear family have a
future? Can alternatives work? And what is serial monogamy anyway?
Sarah Goodman (mod).
Science Room, 5pm Saturday.
Redesigning the Human Body
for Fun and Fornication
A talk by
Jack Cohen. SP (speaker control) OHP.
Hall 5, 12pm Friday.
The Collapse of Chaos
Mike Scott interviews
about his book (written with Ian Stewart), The Collapse of Chaos,
which describes a new approach to complex chaotic systems, simple laws of
nature, and why the real world is understandable. The book was released
in paperback in June 1995.
Hall 1, 1pm Monday.
What are the limits to
Are there things man was not meant to know? Are there things we
find out? Are there questions we can't ask? Does science have any
limits? Scientists and SF authors discuss. With
and Janet Johnston.
Argyll 2/3, 5pm Friday.
An informal panel composed of members of the Klingon Language Institute
from Scotland, England, Australia and the US. Panelists will discuss
their own involvement with the galaxy's fasted growing language, some of
the KLI's projects such as translating the works of Shakespeare *back*
into Klingon, provide some tips on how to produce some of the stranger and
more difficult sounds of Klingon, and answer questions from the audience
about the language and the KLI. With
Niall Hosking and
See the KLI homepage.
Legend Room, 10am Friday.
Headlong into the
A talk by Julian Headlong on the
biology and biochemistry of why you get drunk, why it can hurt so much
afterwards, and perhaps how to stop hangovers. No tech required.
HG Wells Room, 11am Saturday.
How Green is SF? The Science and the
A talk by
SP OHP 2 screens.
HG Wells Room, 10am Saturday.
Technology and Genocide of Native
Does technological growth mean genocide for native peoples? This has
been the rule for the last century, but are there other better ways?
A debate moderated by
Wizard's Cave, 3pm Saturday.
Bugs Bite Back
Strep throat turns into a flesh eating killer; Ebola comes out of the
jungle and melts its victims; resistant TB on the rise in New York; a
mysterious agent turns cows' brains to mush. Is the age of medical miracles
over? What was life without antibiotics like? Is this what we have to
face? How does disease resistance come about and how can it be stopped?
Why are new diseases appearing and killing dozens of people? What is
happening on the medical front line, and what it means for our future.
Gary Strattman and
moderated by Dave
You might like to look here for the worrying background to some of the issues we'll be covering, and here for a disturbing description of what the Ebola virus does. Not for the weak stomached!
CDC's Ebola page is here for the latest and most accurate information, and there is also an Ebola Homepage with links to most other Ebola related Web resources.
Wizard's Cave, 4pm Sunday.
The Day Job
Many SF writers and SF fans are scientists in real life. How do they
combine the two? What is doing science for a living really like? Are
we all really mad scientists who want to rule the world? 'Pass me
brain Igor, I must build a panel member'
Wil McCarthy (mod) and
Legend Room, 10am Sunday.
will describe his Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics,
published in Reviews of Modern Physics and recently featured in John
Gribbin's new book Schroedinger's Kittens. The TI is an
interpretation of the standard formalism of quantum mechanics that
explains the origins of quantum nonlocality, the collapse of wave
functions, and other paradoxical aspects of quantum mechanics in terms of
an advanced-retarded wave function "handshake" across space-time.
OHP and pointer.
HG Wells Room, 3pm Friday.
A talk on the science of forensics by Patricia McEwan.
A1 4pm Friday.
Yes - but is it Science?
A panel on the scientific accuracy, or not, of cover artwork in science
Roger MacBride Allen.SP
Art Show sometime.
Dinosaurs as Aliens
A panel discussing the
differences and similarities in the evolutionary solutions adopted
prehistoric creatures, and how this might give a handle on the
alien creatures that could exist.
M.K. Brett-Surman moderates
Robert J. Sawyer,
Gardner Dozois, and
Argyll 1, 1pm Sunday
Women Scientists from Marie Curie to
What impact have women had on science; and science on women;
and how accurately is this portrayed in SF?
Amanda Baker moderates
and Marianne Dyson.
Dan Dare Room, 6pm Saturday.
Planet Colonisation Simulation
Planet Bartley needs YOU!
Colonisation - the chance to settle a new planet, and do it right this time. Working together in committees you will make all the decisions that affect the future of the new colony. How will your colonists cope with an alien environment? Can you keep them happy and thriving? Will you even survive? Find out in a series of workshops over the four days of the convention. With alien ecology designed with the help of Jack Cohen, and a globe sculpted by David Angus.
Ken and Jo Walton run another of their extremely popular planetary colonisation simulations, joint with the Games programme.
All held in the Science Room. Different teams will start off at 11am-1pm or
2-4pm Friday, and meet up at 11am Saturday, 4pm Sunday with a finale 11am-1pm
Tall Technical Tales
This will be a late-evening, carry-on-in-the-bar-afterwards session
of anecdotes and stories regarding hairy experiences in science,
engineering, spaceflight, military tech and the like...
This idea grew out of a 'There I was... / A mate of mine once...' session late in the evening at WinCon III a few months back. The random set of fans present had such a good collection of stories that we felt sure that a prepared panel would do wonderfully!
Aleta Jackson, Bill Higgins (mod), Geoffrey Landis, Dermot Dobson, Jordin Kare plus anyone else who turns up.
Arran, 9pm Saturday.
SF Myths - Physics
Geoffrey Landis (subject to
Del Cotter (mod),
and Hal Clement
look at scientific misconceptions that authors have inadvertently promoted
to the extent that they have become 'common knowledge' amongst readers.
We're not talking about *obvious* scientific errors, but rather the more
subtle mistakes that slip by both author and reader. Examples include:
Arran, 9pm Thursday.
SF Myths - Biology
Del Cotter moderates
David Stein, and
Amy Thomson to
look at misconceptions in biology and medicine spread by SF.
Arran, 8pm Saturday.
Just what sort of high-tech super-secret military hardware is being
cooked up these days?
and others discuss.
Arran, 9pm Monday.
The items in Horizons are as follows:
Horizon 10 - United States of
Is the European Union heading inevitably towards federalism? If it
does, what will be its benefits and its problems? Do we want this
A panel dedicated to all the Europhiles and Europskeptics out there.
CH organising, with
Ian Watson, Juergen Marzi, Johannes Berg, Alexandru Mironov.
Dan Dare Room, 2pm Saturday.
Horizon 10 - Real and Virtual
What changes are coming in the nature of communities as we approach
the era of virtual communities on the internet and the encroaching
privatisation of the public space used by real communities?
CH organising, with
Rene Sieber moderating,
HG Wells Room, 5pm Thursday.
Horizon 10 - Asia Rising
What challenges will the Young Tigers bring to the democratise West
with their new breed of entrepaneurial capitalism? Will the next
century be dominated by Korea, Japan and China the way this has been
dominated by USA, Britain and Germany? What will happen to the
Greg Benford (mod), Gould, Charles Adachi,
HG Wells Room, 1pm Friday.
Horizon 10 - American Futures
Wither America - to isolationism and religious fundamentalism? To
leading the New World Order? To post-modern corporate feudalism? We
examine the possibilities for a country that has so often set the
trends for the rest of the world.
Jim Young, Tad Williams,
Joe Haldeman, Allen Steele.
Argyll 2/3, 3pm Thursday
Horizon 10 - The Information
Email, Ecash, and E-economics - the world is getting wired, and pretty
soon information will be the main source of wealth in the West. What will
this mean? Will there be an information Underclass? Will we have bountious
leisure time producing a flowering of the old and new arts? Will a small
elite run everything whilst the rest of us slave at the electronic
Michael Ward moderates
Dan Dare Room, 5pm Saturday.
Horizon 10 - The Future is Armed and
Nerve gas on the Tokyo Underground, homemade bombs kill hundreds in
Oklahoma. The world is getting a dangerous place where technology
gives even individuals the capacity for making weapons of mass
destruction. What does this imply for the future? Will it be freer
more paranoid? Will governments enact more oppressive laws aimed at
controlling extremist elements? And what about the free flow of
Hugh Mascetti moderates
Allen Steele, and
Wizard's Cave, 10am Sunday.
Horizon 100 - Hopes and Dooms of
the Next Century
The world faces great problems of our own creation, but there is much to
be hopeful about as well. We examine the hopeful prospects as well as some
of the problems.
With Gregory Benford,
Peter F Hamilton,
Stan Schmidt, and
HG Wells Room, 2pm Sunday.
Horizon 1000 - To Last a Thousand
What can mankind realistically achieve in the next millenium?
Colonising planets, trips to the stars, and what else?
Walter Jon Williams,
Ben Best, and
Hall 1, 11am Monday.
Freeman Dyson thinks life can survive in the universe for ever. Frank
Tipler agrees, but also claims that life will create god and resurrect
everyone who has ever lived in the process. Are these scientists mad or are
they onto something? What are the realistic prospects for life as the
universe grows old?
Roger MacBride Allen,
Dave Clements moderates,
Stephen Baxter and
Hall 1, 4pm Monday.