Saturday, 16 August 2014

The PEN of HG wells

Audrey Niffenegger spoke at Loncon3, for the inaugural PEN /  HG Wells lecture. PEN is an international association of writers, and it works to promote friendship and cooperation,  as well as freedom of expression. Their HG Wells lecture will showcase visionary and independent thinking in the tradition of Well's own work.
Ms Niffenegger chose as her inspiration the short story The Door in the wall to explore the tensions between (freedom of) thought, solitude and action/public life and activity. It is hoped that a transcript will be available soon, either from a national newspaper or the PEN website.

One specific idea of note was that:
Science fiction  can predict, but it is most powerful when it tells the truth

This has been reflected in a number of the discussions at Loncon3,  positing the idea of science/speculative fiction as transformational/ having the capacity to challenge the status quo. It has been a thought provoking and full programme so far.

Does this potential for transformation in science and.speculative fiction reflect your experience of it, as writer or reader, or does the need to make a living wage diminish this potential?

Image sourced from morguefile