Space, Time, Machine and Monster

Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror Conference for the Valleys

One hundred and twenty people from all over Wales and beyond attended Academi’s Space, Time, Machine and Monster Conference on Saturday 21 June 2008 at the University of Glamorgan, Treforest. The event was part of the new South Wales Valleys Literature Development Initiative.

Professor Mark Brake, originator of the ‘Science, Fiction and Culture Course’ at the University introduced an exciting day including workshops, discussion panels and presentations from a wealth of talented authors, scriptwriters and creative artists including; Jasper Fforde, Philip Gross, Tim Lebbon, Steve Lockley, Stephen Volk, Catherine Fisher, Rhys Hughes, Louis Savy, Terry Cooper, Dr Dimitra Fimi, Andrew Cartmel and Rev Neil Hook.

The conference was a showcase for a particular genre of literature which is celebrating a revival of popularity and interest. The history of fantastical Welsh tales, dates back to the Mabinogion with stories of heroes, magic and the supernatural. The Bishop of Llandaff, Francis Godwin wrote the first story about alien contact in 1638 The Man on the Moone. Many more have followed including Peter GeorgeTerry Nationand more recently Russell T Davies with Dr Who and Torchwood. All of these celebrated authors have paved the way for a distinctive Welsh contribution to Science Fiction writing which continue to the present day.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror book publishers Screaming Dreams, Pendragon Press and Seren used the event to launch new titles in the genre. They were joined by comic book producers Monkeys with Machine Guns, a new company dedicated to printing the weird and wonderful.

The continuing support for such genres in Wales was summed up by Rev Neil Hook, who said: “Let’s hope that science fiction can grow and live long and prosper in this land of Wales.”