The Satellite 6 programme will run from 3 pm on Friday 25th May until 6:30 pm on Sunday 27th May, followed by the Dead Laika (Dog!) Party. We’ll be running two programme streams on the ground floor in the Castle Suite, with a smaller room upstairs for workshops.
As always, the programme is jam-packed with lots of interesting science, as well as fun games and items covering the breadth of speculative fiction. Our featured planet for this year’s convention is Venus.
The fabulous Paul McAuley will give his main Guest of Honour talk on Saturday, and take part in Desert Island Books on Sunday. Come along and find out about his favourite titles. As usual we have some academic Day Guests who will give expert presentations. Astrobiologist Professor Charles Cockell (Edinburgh) will pose the question What will aliens look like? Dr Saskia Vermeylen (Strathclyde) discusses her research interests in Space Law and Science Fiction.
Two of our Satellite Guests Emeritus – Ken MacLeod and Charles Stross – plan to join us for at least part of the weekend. We also anticipate a visitation from our Apocrypha of Honour, His Maleficence Fluff the Plush Cthulhu.
Some of our Satellite Stalwarts will once again be giving presentations. Robert Law will tell us about space missions to Venus; Nik Whitehead will discuss options for terraforming the planet; and Ed Buckley will take us on a return trip from Venus to the worlds of the imagination and back.
Phil Wellings brings us the latest instalment of Inadvisable Rocket Science, whilst Colin McInnes explores engineering options for using space resources. We also have an introduction to anime, an exposition of Clanger cuisine, a journey through the cultural evolution of the zombie, and an exploration of some real-world science that really should be Steampunk.
Linked panels explore Venus in literary speculative fiction, in film and TV, and in the real world. Authors compare notes on balancing writing and a day job, whilst SFF soundtrack enthusiasts share their favourite music. We have panels discussing hot topics in science: biotechnology and big data.
We mark the 40th anniversaries of cult TV show Blake’s 7 and the wonderful Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and celebrate 40 years of Glasgow fandom with a retrospective look all the way back to the first Faircon in 1978. What Satellite convention could be complete without an All Apocrypha panel! This time our non-sentient (?) members explore the question of whether apocrypha represent a more viable option for the exploration of space than robots.
Games and Quizzes
Moving to a three-day format allows us to offer not one but two Radio 4-style quizzes, The Unbelievable Truth and I’m Satellite, I haven’t a clue. We also have some active games and quizzes in pub style format for everyone to take part in, culminating in the – now traditional – Dead Laika Party Pub Quiz on Sunday evening. Quark’s Bar opens its doors for another round of
vile interesting alcoholic beverages, proving that hoo-mons will drink almost anything if it’s free.
Workshops and Demonstrations
Join Julian for some Chaos Modelling. Try your hand at marbling with Ila. Or have a go at knitting with help and advice from Sha. There will a workshop on improvisation, and a limerick-writing session (where we eagerly await news of the latest exploits of the ‘Young lady from Venus’). There will also be a fencing demonstration, courtesy of Jo Thomas and friends involved in Historical European Martial Arts.
On Friday we have the Science Ceilidh Band (who also performed at Follycon, Eastercon 2018). They will be taking us through some science-themed dances along with traditional favourites. On Saturday we hand over the stage to our sponsors, Shoreline of Infinity, for an Event Horizon spectacular of music, poetry and prose. This is followed by a chat-show featuring fans involved in Glasgow conrunning over the years. We round off the evening with karaoke, hosted by forthcoming Worldcon, Dublin 2019.
We have three book launches over the weekend, from Shoreline of Infinity, Elsewhen Press and NewCon Press. There will be author readings, plus a chance to share your favourite poems with our poetry circle. David Dryden will again seek to convince us that The Internet is made of Cats (as if we needed any convincing). The topic of the Great Satellite 6 debate is Who Should Speak for Planet Earth? Vote early, vote often! Finally, Eleanor has created a LARP especially for the convention. This will be running on Saturday. Why not join her on the first manned mission to Venus!