What better than to read a book in the summer sun, and with the announcement of the guest lineup of the Edinburgh International Book Festival is certainly enticement to prepare with a wide selection of events for readers of all genres, with the Festival for the first time expanding beyond the traditional site of Charlotte Square along George Street.
Running from Saturday 12th to Monday 2th August, we’ve gone through the programme and offer here a selection designed to appeal to fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror which start on the opening day with Paul Magrs hosting a reading workshop on Ray Bradbury’s classic collection of linked stories exploring the first colonists on Mars in The Martian Colonies.
Monday 14th brings Ned Beauman back to the city as he discusses his new novel Madness is Better than Defeat in which rival expeditions seek a Mayan temple, sharing the stage with Martin MacInnes who is also bound for South America in Infinite Ground.
The afternoon of Tuesday 15th brings Stephen Baxter hosting a reading workshop on H G Wells’ classic novel of alien invasion, The War of the Worlds, sure to sell out, while the evening sees Baxter in discussion with guest selector Ken MacLeod about The Massacre of Mankind, his official sequel as approved by the Wells estate, and later still former 2000AD editors David Bishop and Steve MacManus will be discussing that British science fiction institution.
Sticking with comic strips, Modesty Blaise will be discussed by Stef Penny on the afternoon of Wednesday 16th in a reading workshop while later on Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross and Jo Walton will consider the current tendency for world events to drift towards the dystopian aspects of speculative fiction before Ben Aaronovitch takes the stage to talk about his latest Peter Grant novel, The Hanging Tree.
On Thursday 17th Ken MacLeod will be discussing his own work in the form of his current artificial intelligence trilogy The Corporation Wars along with Charlie Fletcher who has just published Victorian fantasy The Remnant, and later MacLeod will host Adam Roberts and Jo Walton in a discussion entitled What Makes SF So Great?
Friday 18th sees the return of regular guest Matt Haig as he introduces How to Stop Time before Cathy MacPhail leads a reading workshop on The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde and later Ken MacLeod takes the stage once again in the company of Pippa Goldschmidt, Charles Stross, Ada Palmer and Nalo Hopkinson in the Rockets to Utopia event, hopefully imagining a more hopeful future through the lens of science fiction.
Pre-empting the new novel in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials sequence, on Saturday 18th Tricia Adams will lead a reading workshop on Northern Lights, while simultaneously Charlotte Rampling will discuss her new memoir, Who I Am. The same day sees Mathieu Burniat and Thibault Damour talk about their work bringing quantum physics to graphic novel form, John Gordon Sinclair introducing his third novel Walk in Silence and poet Roger McGough and illustrator Chris Riddell join forces to discuss their collaboration Summer with Monika.
Jeremy Paxman takes a break from University Challenge on the evening of Tuesday 22nd to discuss his memoir A Life in Questionswhile at the same time David Baillie takes Scottish mythology to modern Glasgow in his graphic novel Red Thorn, and on Wednesday 23rd Chris Brookmyre closes the current Jack Parlabane trilogy with the brilliant Want You Gone.
Jim Al-Khalili will be talking Aliens on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th sees Gill Arbuthnott leading a reading workshop on Brave New World, while Monday 28th has Joanna Harris bringing Norse myths to the city with Runelight.