Brandon O’Brien’s Worldcon 2019 Schedule

Hey, all! Have I mentioned that I’m heading to Dublin?

The 77th World Science Fiction Convention is in Dublin, Ireland, from the 15th to the 19th of August, and I’ve just received my complete programme schedule. It includes yet another Speculative Open Mic (!!!), some poetry readings and discussions, discourse around postcolonial and Afrofuturist work in the genre, and more!


Speculative open mic

Format: Group reading
15 Aug 2019, Thursday 18:00 – 18:50, Liffey Room-2 (CCD)

Speculative poetry is a creative space with a lot of lyrical potential and vibrancy, but many people don’t get enough chances to hear their work read aloud before an audience as often as writers in other styles of poetry do. Poets and fans gather together in an intimate and encouraging space to share and listen. Poetry, flash fic, and filk are all welcome!

Brandon O’Brien (M)


Grappling with the post-colonial in SFF

Format: Panel
16 Aug 2019, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)

Over the last 500 years, cultures and histories have been forever altered by colonial expansion. Although many former colonies have gained independence, their peoples still grapple with the effects of colonisation. Can post-colonial SFF help to heal the past? How do post-colonial SFF authors reconcile the many facets of their identities in their work, and what do they want their audiences to know?

Professor Fiona Moore (Royal Holloway University of London) (M), Kat Tanaka Okopnik, Brandon O’Brien, Likhain


Group Reading: Speculative Performance Poetry

Format: Group reading
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 16:00 – 16:50, Liffey Room-3 (Readings) (CCD)

Speculative poetry encompasses themes from science fiction, fantasy, and horror as well as all of the subgenres in between. Dublin 2019 presents a special showcase of poets who have come together to perform a selection of speculative poetry and to share the magic of this exciting medium. This reading will feature new and classic works from speculative poetry’s mainstays, rising starts, and trend-setters.

C. S. E. Cooney (M), Jenny Blackford, Sandra Kasturi (ChiZine Publications), Geoffrey A. Landis, Mary Soon Lee, Nigel Quinlan, Dr Anatoly Belilovsky, Sazib Bhuiyan (Can With Candle), Brandon O’Brien


Introduction to Afrofuturism

Format: Panel
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 18:00 – 18:50, Wicklow Hall 2B (CCD)

Afrofuturism blends the African diaspora with science, technology and philosophy. The term was coined in 1994 by Mark Dery but discussions surrounding the validity of a term not created by the community it references have led to other names for the sub-genre, including: the Black Fantastic, African futurism, CyberFunk, and Sword and Soul. Probably the most well known recent example is Black Panther, but the sub-genre includes a wide range of art, music and literature. Our panel will give an introduction to the topic and offer recommendations.

Afua Richardson, Brandon O’Brien, Maquel A. Jacob (MAJart Works) (M), Rivers Solomon


Panel show: ‘That was unexpected!’

Format: Quiz/Gameshow
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 21:00 – 21:50, Wicklow Hall 2B (CCD)

Ever wanted to know what your favourite fantasy novelist would do if they were suddenly turned into a witch’s familiar? Or how a popular sci-fi writer would communicate with an alien race that only speaks in bad puns? Watch a team of esteemed writers talk their way out of the kinds of problems they’re accustomed to writing their characters out of, and some that they would never have imagined.

Brandon O’Brien (M), Catherynne Valente, Charlie Jane Anders, Rafeeat Aliyu, Joe Abercrombie


Rossetti to Rhee: the speculative and the poetic

Format: Panel
19 Aug 2019, Monday 14:00 – 14:50, Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)

A panel where SFF poets will talk about SFF poetry and its unique challenges and freedoms, the traditions of the genre, where they see speculative poetry going in the future, and the connections between speculative poetry and speculative prose.

Eleanna Castroianni, Marina Berlin (M), Hester J. Rook, Brandon O’Brien


So that’s what I’ll be up to – not including the Hugo Awards (!!!!!), attending some of the other rad content that will be taking place, and spending time with cool people throughout the con. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

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