10:00 SFF speaker Welcome
10:05 BSFA Panel – Launch of the British Science Fiction and Fantasy Survey 2009: chaired by Niall Harrison, and featuring Nick Harkaway, Paul Kincaid, Juliet McKenna, Kit Whitfield, and Paul McAuley
11:00 SFF Guest – Paul Kincaid
12:00 BSFA AGM
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 SFF AGM
14:00 BSFA Guest – Nick Harkaway
15:00 SFF Closing Panel – tba
16:00 BSFA speaker Closes'
The BSFA panel will be discussing 'writerly identity — how writers perceive their work; how others perceive it; how that changes, or doesn’t, over time and from place to place.' Something to do with being a British science fiction or fantasy writer, apparently. I have no idea what I'm going to say about that, yet. But I'm listening to this, to get in the mood.
EDIT: Ask four writers about whether they feel they're British writers, and what that means to them, and you get four different answers. My answer for what it's worth, was that there aren't really any 'British' writers - there are English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish writers, all with fairly distinct identities. And obviously I've inherited a mess of cultural and historical stuff to do with being 'English', but as a science-fiction writer, I also have to get past my mammalian preconceptions (and those of a carbon-based lifeform too, as Nick Harkaway pointed out). And then, as you do, when discussing 'British' SF and fantasy, we ended up talking about American SF and fantasy, and how our stuff is different from theirs. Not something American writers tend to worry about - but then American SF is the dominant form of modern SF (even if it was invented by an immigrant from Luxembourg).