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Science Fiction and International Orders

Department of International Relations Literary Festival event

The study of popular culture has always been a feature of the social sciences as well as of the humanities – indeed, the social sciences have often been in advance of the humanities in this area, more willing to recognise the importance of genres that are frowned upon by the arts establishment. Scholars of International Relations have been particularly interested in science fiction and similar genres. Sci-Fi authors have speculated in very interesting ways about the kind of political and social arrangements that might emerge in interstellar, post-human civilisations, or via alternative histories; freed from the necessity of remaining true to the facts of contemporary international orders, utopian and dystopian futures can be explored – but always with a view to understanding our world and our natures. This event will bring together a number of writers of imaginative fiction and academics who have written in this field.

Jon Courtney Grimwood is an award-winning author, recently novels include Felaheen, which won the BSFA Award for Best Novel, End of the World Blues, which also won the BSFA award and The Fallen Blade, the first of three novels set in an alternate 15th-century Venice.

Ken MacLeod is a Scottish science fiction writer, whose award-winning books include the Engines of Light trilogy and most recently The Restoration Game.

Paul McAuley won the Philip K. Dick Award for his first novel and has gone on to win the Arthur C. Clarke, British Fantasy, Sidewise and John W. Campbell Awards. He gave up his position as a research biologist to write full-time. His novels include Fairyland, The Quiet War, and Gardens of the Sun. He lives in London. You can find his blog at: http://www.unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com.

This event will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the uses- and limitations- of imaginative fiction in the study of International Relations, Science Fiction and International Orders Roundtable, entry for which will be on a first come, first served basis.


Jon Courtenay Grimwood | talks
Paul McAuley | talks
Ken McLeod | talks
Chair: Professor Chris Brown | talks


Date and Time:

17 February 2011 at 1:15 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Sheikh Zayed Theatre
New Academic Building
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




Available from:

All events in the Literary Festival programme are free and open to all, but a ticket is required. Tickets will be available to request online from Monday 31 January. Please visit the event weblisting from 10am on Monday 31 January for full details of how to request a ticket.

Event weblisting: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110217t1315vSZT.aspx

Additional Information:

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check the listing for this event on the LSE events website on the day of the event.For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

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