The world today increasingly resembles the realm of science fiction. From satellites which map our every movement to robots in the workplace, the stuff of fantasy is becoming reality. And beneath the surface of modern life, winds of change are coursing through every part of society, politics and beyond.
In uncertain times, how can the imagination give us access to other worlds which cast light back on our own? And what role can writers play in showing us better worlds to come?
At London Literature Festival this year, we gather together world-renowned writers, futurologists and transhumanists to face the fast-approaching future, and celebrate the power of the imagination to take us beyond our expectations as a species.
Opening with acclaimed actor Christopher Eccleston in a performed reading of HG Wells’ The Time Machine, a gripping adventure which gave rise to time travellers from Doctor Who’s TARDIS to countless tin-foil creations, London Literature Festival delves into the power of science fiction to show us our shared humanity across time. The festival features many of the brightest stars in the literary firmament including Margaret Atwood, Lauren Beukes, Naomi Alderman, Michel Faber, Teju Cole and Etgar Keret. They join a broad range of emerging international authors including China’s most celebrated science fiction author, Cixin Liu, and award-winning Iraqi author Hassan Blasim who imagines his homeland one hundred years in the future, to make a line-up of intergalactic proportions.
Richard Dawkins explores evolution and the future of ideas in a keynote address, while Marcus du Sautoy discusses the boundaries of human understanding and asks what comes next for our comprehension of the world as we know it.
With a range of talks, performances, family events and poetry readings, London Literature Festival has a galaxy of events for curious explorers of all kinds to enjoy.