Checking in from Follycon (Eastercon 2018: Harrogate). The first day was, as always, slow, but not dull. Registration, getting the lay of the land, checking out what’s on in the Art Show and Dealers’ Room (shout out to York’s own Stairwell Books).

After the opening ceremonies, I saw two interesting panel discussions. The first, moderated by an architectural design tutor from Newcastle University, was on The Future of Cities and gave a lot of food for thought regarding my novel No More Tomorrows. A highlight was seeing two well-known authors Paul McAuley and Kim Stanley Robinson. The second was on near future AI. The panel largely agreed this meant no artificial general intelligence, but was largely restricted to expert learning systems, advanced heuristics, etc. that they felt would be feasible in the next 10-20 years. This was an often heated discussion dominated by the debate between the three female panelists with saw Lilian Edwards (IT lawyer) set against Fiona Moore (business professor and SF author) and Renee Sieber (professor of geography) who often talked through the moderator, while the male authors sat quietly and watched. Regardless, many good points were raised and, if I hadn’t already known, it would be clear that this was a topic that could easily spawn conventions of it’s own (and has).

Looking forward to another interesting session tomorrow, with the young one in tow for part of the day.

Insight and longevity.

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