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From Sci-Fi to Speculative Fiction: Jane Alexander & Nina Allan

Friday 22nd September, 3.30-4.30pm BST
Main Hall King's Pavilion, King's College Campus University of Aberdeen  

Are the frightening effects of virtual reality already here? Are aliens speaking to a young man through Bach’s Goldberg Variations? There’s only one way to find out. Join writers Jane Alexander and Nina Allan to discuss their latest work, set in an almost recognisable Scotland, England and elsewhere (other planets are available).

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Jane Alexander is a novelist, short story writer, and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her most recent book, The Flicker Against the Light, is a collection of uncanny short stories about science and technology. Her second novel A User’s Guide To Make-Believe is a dystopian thriller about virtual realities, and her first novel The Last Treasure Hunt was selected as a Waterstones debut of the year in 2015. Jane is also offering a Creative Writing Workshop at WayWORD – budding Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction Writers, or anyone wanting to ‘Be inspired by science’ in their writing, do sign up. In 2018, she completed a PhD in creative writing, exploring the contemporary uncanny in short fiction. Originally from Aberdeen, Jane has previously worked as an illustrator, designer and arts marketer, and has lived in Edinburgh – the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature – for 20 years.


Described as an ‘elegant, beautiful, subtly scary book’, Nina Allan’s latest novel, Conquest, centres on the disappearance of young coder, Frank, who sees patterns in the work of J.S. Bach and has been in online conversations with those who are convinced he has a special role to play in interpreting these alien messages. Other novels include Good Neighbours and The Dollmaker. Her stories have featured in numerous magazines and anthologies including The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Best Horror of the Year and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime. She has a lifelong love of speculative fiction, including science fiction, the gothic, weird fiction and good old fashioned ghost stories, and enjoys testing the boundaries of genre, savouring language and playing with philosophical ideas. Landscape and sense of place, memory and personal identity form important strands in all her novels and stories. She has won the British Science Fiction Award, the Novella Award, the Kitschies Red Tentacle and France’s Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire. In May 2018 Nina Allan was named as one of The Guardian’s Fresh Voices: 50 writers you should read now. She lives and works on Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute.

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