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Browsing the programme for this year's Cheltenham festival of literature...

28  Michael Ignatieff: What Is Britain For?
Sat 11 Oct 2003 2:00pm  -  3:00pm
Everyman Theatre
£6     (£5 concessions)     Reservable Seating
As a philosopher, novelist, broadcaster, biographer of Isaiah Berlin and leading chronicler of modern conflict, Michael Ignatieff is one of our most versatile and perceptive writers. Charlie Johnson in the Flames is his new novel set in war-torn Bosnia, and in a compelling and provocative lecture he asks, from a writers’-eye view, what the United Kingdom’s role in the world should be in the age of terror.

F3  Michael Morpurgo, Celia Rees, Eleanor Updale & James Naughtie
Sat 11 Oct 2003 3:30pm  -  4:30pm
Cheltenham College Junior School
£6     (£4 concessions)    
Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo is one of the nation's best loved storytellers. His latest book, Private Peaceful is a moving tale set in WW1. Eleanor Updale's debut novel Montmorency is a gripping adventure based in the sewers and salons of Victorian London. Celia Rees's latest novel Pirates recounts the adventures of two girls who become pirates - wanted dead or alive. They discuss the importance of stories with broadcaster James Naughtie.

F4  Philip Pullman & Nicholas Tucker
Family Event
Sat 11 Oct 2003 6:00pm  -  7:00pm
Town Hall
£8     (£7 concessions)     Reservable Seating
A rare chance to hear Philip Pullman discussing his books with Nicholas Tucker, whose Darkness Visible is a fascinating guide to the world of His Dark Materials and its author. Philip Pullman’s new book is Lyra’s Oxford, an ideal accompaniment to His Dark Materials, containing maps and other fascinating details from Lyra’s universe.

41  James Gleick: Isaac Newton
Sun 12 Oct 2003 10:00am  -  11:00am
Town Hall
£7     (£6 concessions)     Reservable Seating
We owe to Isaac Newton almost everything we know about the hitherto abstract concepts of time, space, motion and force. In a rare British appearance, acclaimed science writer James Gleick, author of the bestselling Chaos, brings his new biography of Newton to life, explaining why this reclusive professor’s revolutionary work means that we are all Newtonians now.

49  Julian Barnes
Sun 12 Oct 2003 2:00pm  -  3:00pm
Town Hall
£10     (£9)     £8     (£7)     Reservable Seating
Author of Flaubert’s Parrot, Metroland and England, England, Julian Barnes is one of Britain’s most important contemporary novelists. His new book The Pedant in the Kitchen brings together his celebrated Guardian columns on cookery and in a rare interview he discusses his award-winning writing.

F7  Fantasy Worlds
Family Event
Sun 12 Oct 2003 2:30pm Wed 13 Aug 2003 3:30pm
The Playhouse Theatre
£6 (£4 concessions)    
Diana Wynne Jones, author of The Merlin Conspiracy and creator of the famous enchanter Chrestomanci, is a doyenne of fantasy writing. First-time novelist, G P Taylor a vicar from the parish that inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula, has written Shadowmancer, a terrifying adventure packed with sorcery and intrigue. Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus is the first part of a darkly comic fantasy trilogy set in an alternative London. They join Nicholas Tucker for a magical discussion of alternative worlds.

58  Mark Haddon & Douglas Kennedy
Sun 12 Oct 2003 7:30pm  -  8:30pm
Town Hall
£6     (£5)    
Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a sensational murder-mystery whose detective is a fifteen-year old boy with Asperger’s, a form of autism. Douglas Kennedy, the author of A Special Relationship, has written a remarkable new novel about post-natal depression. They join Nigel Williams to explore the sensitivities and creative opportunities involved in writing about emotionally dissociated minds.

91  Robert Winston
Tue 14 Oct 2003 6:00pm  -  7:00pm
Town Hall
£10     (£9)     £8     (£7)     Reservable Seating
How can we explain intuition, déjà vu or sixth senses? What does ‘intelligence’ really mean? What is ‘love’ all about? Acclaimed scientist and much-loved television presenter Robert Winston gives a captivating talk, drawing on sources from Hamlet and bingo to the latest neuroscientific research, to take us on a magical journey inside our own heads.

F14  Too Much Too Young? Melvin Burgess, Kate Cann & Matt Whyman
Fri 17 Oct 2003 6:00pm  -  7:00pm
Town Hall
£6 (£4 concessions)    
As a young adult, do you need to be protected from books about sex or should writers for this age range tell it like it really is? Do books like Doing It and Escape scare you or is it just your parents and teachers who can't cope with children growing up? Listen to the views of three of the top writers for young adults and have your say too.

153  George Monbiot
Fri 17 Oct 2003 6:00pm  -  7:00pm
Everyman Theatre
£7     (£6 Concessions)     Reservable Seating
Economics, culture, environment, trade, security... globalisation has reached into every arena of our lives – except for democracy. George Monbiot, bestselling author of Captive State and the de facto leader of the global justice movement, delivers a landmark lecture based on his new book The Age of Consent, arguing not merely the case for true global democracy – but how to achieve it.

161  A Special Relationship?
Sat 18 Oct 2003 10:00am  -  11:00am
Town Hall
£5 (£4 concessions)    
Publishers Caroline Michel from HarperCollins, Ion Trewin from Weidenfeld & Nicolson and John R Murray are leading figures in the book industry. They join author Fred D’Aguiar and former literary agent Jane Bradish-Ellames for a no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes look into the often-controversial relationship between publisher and author.

162  The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Sat 18 Oct 2003 11:45am  -  12:45pm
Town Hall
Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (this year’s Festival Book in conjunction with Penguin Classics - see p4) has haunted readers and writers alike since its publication in 1886. Join novelist Andrew O’Hagan and critics John Carey and Peter Kemp to find out why it captures their imagination and have your say.

173  Behind the Man Booker Prize
Sat 18 Oct 2003 5:30pm  -  6:30pm
Town Hall
£5 (£4 concessions)    
Why do conspiracy theorists love the Man Booker Prize? Why is Beryl Bainbridge always the Man Booker bridesmaid, and what is the inside story on this year’s £50,000 prize? Martyn Goff, administrator of the prize for over thirty years, celebrates his 80th birthday this year and he joins former Booker chair John Carey, past judge Peter Kemp and publisher and former Booker chair Ion Trewin to spill the beans about the Man Booker.

183  David & Lai Ngan Corio: Megaliths
Sun 19 Oct 2003 10:00am  -  11:00am
Town Hall
£6 (£5 concessions)    
Photographer David Corio and writer Lai Ngan Corio tackled an enormous project when they decided to photograph the megalithic sites of England and Wales. Their resulting work Megaliths is a stylish, comprehensive account of the lasting impact of prehistoric man and the very beginning of British architecture, and they give an illustrated talk on the legacy of our oldest ancestors.

230 Writing Science Fiction
Sun 19 Oct 2003 2:00pm  -  5:00pm
Isbourne Foundation
£16;     (£12 concessions)    
Adam Roberts, shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke award and author of Salt and Polystom, will lead this workshop devoted to the increasingly popular art of science fiction. With hands-on exercises and practical advice, learn how to write SciFi that will capture the imagination of literature’s fastest growing fan base.

So if I'm going to go, looks like it should be on the first saturday and sunday.
i envy you.

hey, d'you think you could go to diana wynne jones's panel and report back? we are publishing shadowmancer here, and what i've read of the stroud is brilliant.
d'you think you could go to diana wynne jones's panel and report back?

If I go, I'll definitely go to that one. You may also want to lobby squigglyruth or greengolux, as other possible interested parties... :)
ok done. except squigglyruth does not seem to have email ...
I would normally be very tempted to go along, but I've just signed up for a departmental weekend away on that date. Philosophical field trip! I can't miss that.
Philosophical field trip!

That's so cool! Where are you going?
Where are you going?

A 17th century house in Windsor Great Park. I don't know where that is exactly, but I'm guessing somewhere near Windsor.
that DOES sound cool! what does one do on a philosophical field trip?
what does one do on a philosophical field trip?

Apparently listen to students giving papers, listen to a guest lecturer, and have philosophical chats with the rest of the philosophy department. I also heard something about a quiz, which may or may not be philosophically themed, and a party, which probably isn't (though might be fun if it was...).
The UK's role should be in this 'age of terror' (a malapropism I think, but that's my tuppence).

Leading from the front - UK terror is the best in the world!

-- Tom


Huge Julian Barnes fan, so if you go, let me know ... I might just be interested in seeing him, if I was free. Shame the 'Writing Science Fiction' thing is the next Sunday and not the same one.
so if you go, let me know

OK. I'm currently planning to take the whole of that week off (plus the friday/monday on either side); I need a holiday, and this way I can just go along to whichever bits I feel like, or do something else entirely if I want.

As to the writing course - yes, shame it's not the same sunday. I've never really thought of going on courses before, but I'm definitely intrigued by this...
Super. Keep my updated. (I was going to say 'abreast', but considering the mood on here today I thought better of it.)

I'm seeing Diana Wynne Jones *this* weekend.
oh! are you going to the meetup thing in bristol?

I am indeed going to the Bristol thingie, in Meredith's car.

And you, sdn?
the increasingly popular art of science fiction


-- Tom
Better yet, we're literature's fastest growing fanbase. Allegedly.