Preview: Hopeful Futures

After the couple of years we’ve all had, Octocon has decided to look to the future and think about what a good one might look like for all of us. Join us for the following panels and fan chat.
(All times in Irish Summer Time / UTC+1.)

Not Your Grimdark Dystopia: Optimism in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Can we use our optimism and empathy to make our world better and learn to fight for what we believe in as well as against social and environmental injustice and inequality? Hopepunk and solarpunk look at how things can go right rather than just how they can go wrong. Our panellists discuss the kinds of ideas and futures explored in these subgenres.
Paul Carroll (moderator), Kalin Nenov, Francesco Verso, Fabio Fernandes, S.L. Dove Cooper
Friday 1st October 21:00 – watch on Twitch Channel One

Global Optimistic Futures

We all come from different places, but we’re united by one human trait: hope. But what are we actually hoping for? What are the building blocks of a better future and how are they shaped by their local environment? And what does science fiction across the world have to say about them?
Vanessa MacLaren-Wray (moderator), Oisín McGann, Janet O’Sullivan, Francesco Verso, Fabio Fernandes
Saturday 2nd October 20:00 – watch on Twitch Channel Two

A Solar Panel: Building a Hopeful Future

We all want to live in a future where massive solar panels in space use microwaves to beam down free sustainable power to our luxurious floating cities. Our panellists discuss the science and activism that can help move us on from our gas-guzzling oil-extracting unsustainable past and present.
Máire Brophy (moderator), Oisín McGann, Noelle Jenda, Harun Šiljak, Vanessa MacLaren-Wray
Sunday 3rd October 17:00 – watch on Twitch Channel One

Fan Chat: Where Can We Start to Help Our Environment?

What can one person do to stand against a tidal wave? If all we can control in a chaotic environmental situation are our own responses, where are our efforts best spent to organise for a better future for each other and our environment? Come share your stories of local initiatives and personal changes in our discussion of how we can fight the fear of not knowing what to do.
Host: Jane Routley
Saturday 2nd October 12:00register for Octocon to get the link (via our Discord server)

See our full programme
and find out more about our participants

Who’s coming to Octocon? (part 3)

Octocon loves to celebrate our home-grown Irish creators, and we have a very fantastic bunch to show off, many of them regular Octocon panellists and guests.

Ruth Frances Long / Jessica Thorne

Ruth Frances Long / Jessica Thorne

Ruth Frances Long writes young adult fantasy, often about scary fairies. She works in a specialized library of rare & occasionally crazy books.

In 2015 she won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy for A Crack in Everything.

As Jessica Thorne she writes Fantasy, Space Opera and other fantastic tales, including The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall, The Queen’s Wing, Mageborn and Nightborn. The Stone’s Heart was nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Fantasy novel of the year in 2020. Her latest novel, The Bookbinder’s Daughter will be available on the 20th September from Bookouture.

Web: | Twitter: @RFLong and @JessThorneBooks | Facebook: R. F. Long and Jessica Thorne Author | Instagram: @RuthFrancesLong and @JessThorneBooks

Peadar Ó Guilín

Peadar Ó Guilín

Irish writer Peadar Ó Guilín is the author of the YA novel, The Call, inspired by the beautiful northwest of Ireland where he grew up. The Invasion, a sequel to The Call and the end of the duology, was published in March 2018 and was a finallist for the 2019 Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, awarded at Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon.
In September 2007, Peadar published his first novel, The Inferior, which the Times Educational Supplement called ‘a stark, dark tale, written with great energy and confidence and some arresting reflections on human nature.’ Foreign editors liked it too, and over the coming year it is to be translated into eight languages, including Japanese and Korean.
His fantasy and SF short stories have appeared in numerous venues, including Black Gate magazine and an anthology celebrating the best of the iconic Weird Tales.

Twitter: @TheCallYA

Oisín McGann

Oisín McGann was born in Dublin and spent his childhood there and in Drogheda, County Louth. He studied at Ballyfermot Senior College and Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design, and went on to work in illustration, design and film animation, later moving to London to work as an art director and copy writer in advertising.
He has since become one of Ireland’s most prolific and best-known writer-illustrators, and has produced dozens of books for all levels of reader, including twelve novels. He is the author of the Mad Grandad books, Headbomz: Wreckin’ Your Head (in association with the ISPCC), and novels such as Race the Atlantic Wind, The Gods and Their Machines and The Wildenstern Saga. His latest books are We Want Our Park Back, a picture book for Green-Schools, and A Short, Hopeful Guide to Climate Change, a non-fiction book in association with Friends of the Earth, released in May 2021. He is the illustrator of Jason Byrne’s Onion O’Brien series, the latest of which is The Secret Scientist.
He is a winner of the European Science Fiction Society Award, CBI’s Children’s Choice Award and has been shortlisted for numerous other awards, including the Waterstones Childrens’ Book Prize in the UK, le Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in France and Locus Magazine’s Best First Novel Award in the US. He is married with three children, two dogs and a cat, and lives somewhere in the Irish countryside, where he won’t be heard shouting at his computer.

Twitter: @OisinMcGann | Instagram: @oisinmcgann

Jack Fennell

Jack Fennell is a writer, anthologist and editor from Limerick. He has published academic studies on Irish science fiction and horror fiction, and he is the editor of the science fiction anthology A Brilliant Void (2018) and the fantasy anthology It Rose Up (2021). He also publishes short fiction, as himself and also under the name Jack Deel. He teaches at the University of Limerick.

Twitter: @JFennellAuthor

Tríona Farrell

Tríona Farrell

Tríona is an Irish comic book colourist who has worked on titles such as Crowed, Black Widow, Spider-Man and Terminator and currently lives in Dublin with her partner and her cats.

Twitter: @treestumped

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