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Science Fiction Masterclass 2011

augusti 14, 2010

I realise that some of you may wonder if I’m still alive, and I can assure you that I am; but I spend eight to ten hours per day, six days a week, working on my thesis at the moment (a moment which has been stretching from June and will keep stretching like a mutant bubbelgum into early September). Adding extra keyboard time (or thinking time) has simply not been an option. However, I found this in my mailbox this morning. Since I have taken part in two of these Masterclasses, and had a great time, I thought I’d better give you a chance as well.

Be warned, however, that there is a fair amount of reading involved, and it is better done before the Masterclass – during it, you will have too much to do being social and having fun. (Outside class, that is.) The theoretical level of the discussions vary between the three teachers – they do two half-days each – but has occasionally been quite high (I recall both Derrida and Spivak from the 2009 reading list).

But if you are in any way interested in sf (there has been occasional fantasy discussions as well, buf the focus is clearly science fiction) on a theoretical level, this is a great opportunity, and, if my two experiences are anything to go by, with a nicely international crowd. I might even see you there …


Science Fiction Foundation announces
SF Criticism Masterclass for 2011

    Class Leaders:

  • Paul McAuley
  • Claire Brialey
  • Mark Bould

The Science Fiction Foundation (SFF) will be holding the fifth annual Masterclass in sf criticism in 2011.

Paul McAuley is the author of eighteen novels, many of which have been nominated for the Campbell, BSFA and Clarke Awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award winning Fairyland. His most recent books such as The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun.

Claire Brialey is co-editor of the Nova award-winning and Hugo-nominated Banana Wings, has been a Clarke judge, and contributed critical articles to Vector and other fanzines.

Mark Bould is the co-editor of Science Fiction Film and Television and author of The Cinema of John Sayles: Lone Star and Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City. He has co-edited The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction and Red Planets: Marxists and Science Fiction among other projects, including several issues of Science Fiction Studies.

Dates: 1st to 3rd July 2011

Location: Middlesex University, London (the Hendon Campus, nearest underground, Hendon Central).

Delegate costs will be £180 per person, excluding accommodation.

Accommodation: students are asked to find their own accommodation, but help is Golders Green Hotel, and the King Solomon Hotel, both in Golders Green, a short bus ride from the University.

Applicants should write to Farah Mendlesohn at farah.sf@gmail.com. Applicants will be asked to provide a CV and writing sample; these will be assessed by an Applications Committee consisting of Farah Mendlesohn, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. and Andy Sawyer.

Completed applications must be received by 28th February 2011.


The Science Fiction Foundation (Registered Charity No. 1041052) was founded in 1970 by the writer/social activist George Hay and others as a semi-autonomous association of writers, academics, critics and others with an active interest in science fiction. Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman and Professor David Southwood are our patrons. Our aim 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. We also want to support science fiction, at conventions, at conferences and at other events which bring those interested in science fiction together.

Our main activities include publication of the journal Foundation: the international review of science fiction, and supporting the research library The Science Fiction Foundation Collection at the University of Liverpool. We have recently run successful conferences such as A Commonwealth of Science Fiction and the 2002 SFRA Conference, and published critical works on Ken MacLeod, Terry Pratchett, M. John Harrison, Christopher Priest and Babylon 5.

The four main objectives of the SFF are: to provide research facilities for anyone wishing to study science fiction; to investigate and promote the usefulness of science fiction in education; to disseminate information about science fiction; and to promote a discriminating understanding of the nature of science fiction.

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