Nine Worlds

Chris and Robert to appear at London "Geek Fest"

9 August, 2013

You can't move for Geek-friendly events at the moment. It was Geek Week last week, and now it's Geek Fest this week. The Nine Worlds Geek Fest - to give it its full name - is a convention taking place at the Radison and Renaissance Hotels near Heathrow, London, this weekend of 9th-11th August.

Nine Worlds

A brand new, unique event - not least by virtue of having been originally funded by a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign - Nine Worlds seeks to unite geeks of all stripes in a gathering that's as wide-ranging and inclusive as can possibly be. As the organisers explain:

The idea behind Nine Worlds is to create a large fan-run multi-genre geek event in London. For years we've been going to huge US sci-fi cons like Dragon*Con and GenCon and SDCC, and we got to wondering why nothing like that exists in the UK. France can drum up over 20,000 sci-fi fans for Utopiales, even Finland can find 15,000 fans for FinnCon. But when it comes to large fan-driven residential multi-genre sci-fi cons in the UK, pickings are pretty slim.

That said, we're not really a sci-fi con either; we're more than that. We started off self-defining as a sci-fi con because there aren't really any other models (or words) for what we're trying to create. But we always intended to be inclusive of all kinds of things from board games to costumes to Doctor Who fandom to skeptics. As we're been developing the project, the label Sci-Fi Con has been fitting less and less well, and eventually, we decided that GeekFest is a better description. And while there'll be lots of sci-fi/fantasy TV/film & lit stuff going on at Nine Worlds, there'll be even more other stuff like science and creative writing and film making, that have no direct link to sci-fi (other than a degree of overlap in fan bases).

Unsurprisingly, there's a strong Red Dwarf presence at the event. Both Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn will be appearing at the York Cinema in conversation with former Smegazine writer Jane Killick - Chris at 1.30pm on Saturday, and Robert at both 3.45pm and 6.45pm on Friday. Which is, er, today. We know. Sorry. Chris will also be doing an autograph session immediately after his talk.

But that's not all. Also taking place in the York Cinema on Saturday at 6.45pm is a rather fascinating-sounding talk/workshop entitled "We're all alone (more or less): What the philosophy of Red Dwarf can tell us about living well". We'll leave this one to its blurb to explain:

Red Dwarf is iconic not only for its Emmy award winning comedy, but also for the way it explores deeply human issues through the medium of a group of people trapped together in circumstances beyond their control. Using Sci-Fi tropes and sometimes lowbrow, sometimes highbrow, comedy it considers issues which have troubled philosophers down the ages. These include the will to power (Nietzsche) though the medium of a marooned android (Kryten II-1); The self in the gaze of the other (Sartre) through the medium of a mind-controlled terrain-morphing planet (Terrorform V-3); The Demon's curse (Nietzsche) through the medium of a time-travelling robot-judge (The Inquisitor V-2) and time altering photo-ink (Timeslides III-5); The nature of fate and selfhood, whether with or without a guiding hand, (Kierkegaard) through the medium of a emotion sucking alien (and Duane Dibbley) (Polymorph III-3 and Emohawk: Polymorph II VI-4). And of course the overall idea of being (trapped) with others and what we do about it weaving throughout the seasons can be found in Sartre's work in No Exit, Heidegger's being thrown in a world-with-others, and Buber's I and Thou.

In this workshop the presenters, who are both existential psychotherapists and academics (we're hoping for a place on-board The Enlightenment but are not, quite, smug enough) will run though some of the philosophical topics in the show, and then invite participants to consider how these might help to inform the way we all live and view the world. So if it's ever struck you that there might that there might be something more...
...something greater.
...something unimaginably more splendid than heating bread.
- then this is the workshop for you.

Crikey. Despite the short notice, if you can nevertheless get to Heathrow in time for any of these events, tickets are still available from the Nine Worlds website. It's £95 for the entire weekend, or £47.50 for either of the weekend days and £23.75 for Friday. These prices go up by a few quid if you turn up and pay on the door, however.

Still, if the event goes well, it hopefully won't be the last - and we'll hopefully be able to let you know about it a bit sooner next time...

Find out more about Nine Worlds Geek Fest and book tickets at the convention website!

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