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Dublin 2019 – An Irish WorldCon

Article by Colin Weldon © 15 July 2019.
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Dublin 2019 gives details of flight plan with one month to liftoff 

Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will have more than 700 separate programme events over five days from 15 to 19 August, making it one of the summer’s largest arts gatherings of any kind.

More than 60 authors will give readings, including Elizabeth Bear, Marie Brennan, Pat Cadigan, Zen Cho, Aliette de Bodard, Guest of Honour Diane Duane, Joe Haldeman, Roz Kaveney, Mary Robinette Kowal, Peadar Ó Guilín, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Ada Palmer, Rebecca Roanhorse, V.E. Schwab, Catherynne Valente, John Scalzi, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Jo Walton.

These writers and others will appear in more than 400 panel discussions whose topics range from Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman to the women of Marvel Comics. There will be sessions introducing Irish science fiction and fantasy (SFF), Northern Irish SFF, Afrofuturism, Japanese SF, steampunk, and grimdark (as in Game of Thrones), as well as works from emerging movements like hopepunk, silkpunk, solarpunk and dieselpunk.

Aspiring authors can learn about worldbuilding, writing and pitching their work from talks by Editor Guest of Honour Ginjer Buchanan and other editors and writers, including a panel discussion on working as a writer in Ireland. As would be expected for an event in Ireland, there will also be Irish language events.

“It’s impossible to list more than a small selection of the riches we will be offering,” said Chair James Bacon. “If anything here interests you, don’t hesitate to join because there is much more where they came from.”

Online sales will close August 1. More than 6600 people have already signed up as members, including more than 5200 attending members. More than 830 people will be attending Worldcon for the first time.

Space science 50 years after the first moon landing will discussed by programme participants including NASA astronaut Dr Jeanette Epps, Irish astronaut candidate Dr Norah Patten, and NASA physicist (and SF writer) Dr Geoffrey Landis. Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell will discuss pulsars, which she first observed in 1967. Professor Bell Burnell will also explore the roles of empiricism and faith in conducting science with Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory. A panel on lunar depictions in science fiction will feature Guest of Honor Ian McDonald, author of the Luna series.

Programming for children includes Irish myths and legends, a singalong session, a live role-playing game led by author Dave Rudden, and a space flight workshop with Dr Norah Patten. Adults who want to stretch their study muscles will find an academic track with five fully packed days including papers on colonialism and decolonisation, visions of Ireland, YA literature, fandom studies, mythic heroes, Westeros, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Approximately 40 musical performances will take place, including concerts from the Library Bards, Sassafras, the Doubleclicks, the Irish Video Game Orchestra, and Another Castle, as well as more than a dozen open singing circles and karaoke parties. Theatre will be represented by 14 performances involving 11 plays from playwrights including Rosaleen McDonagh.

Con-goers will be encouraged to live long and prosper through exercises for body and mind including yoga, a parkrun, morning “strolls with the stars,” Pokémon hunting, and gaming sessions with Guest of Honour Steve Jackson (Melee, Chaos Machine, Munchkin). Author John Scalzi will break out his Generation-X DJ skills to host a late-night ‘70s-‘80s-‘90s dance party on Saturday.

More events will be continuously announced through the @dublin2019Facebook, @dublin 2019 Twitter and @dublin2019worldcon Instagram accounts up until the convention. Further information about the convention is available on the Dublin 2019 programme pages.

Dublin 2019 will be the 77th annual World Science Fiction Convention, the first to be held in Ireland and the eleventh in Europe. Regular Worldcon activities at Dublin 2019 include the 2019 Hugo Awards, the world’s leading awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, on Sunday night; the Retro Hugos honouring fiction published in 1944, on Thursday night; as well as the spectacular Masquerade costume display and competition on Saturday night.

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Colin Weldon lives in Dublin and writes science fiction novels. He has self-published four to date, three in a space opera trilogy called The Agathon and a stand-alone science fiction thriller called Hunting Nora Stone. The Agathon series has received a BRAG medallion for outstanding self-published. Colin has a BA in Journalism and an MA in Screenwriting which he completed in 2017. As an avid lover of all things sci-fi including movies, books and artwork this blog is dedicated to all the speculative fiction that gets his imagination going. He is currently working on a new series of space opera novels so can be found in the dark corners of Dublin's coffee shops in the early hours of the morning. Come say hi :) Website: www.colinweldon.com Goodreads Profile : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14769995.Colin_Weldon Facebook : @colinweldonwriter Twitter: @Colinweldon Instagram : Colinweldon