Story Time scifi Full view

Story Time

‘I don’t try to predict the future, I try to prevent it.’ Attributed to science fiction author Ray Bradbury

Whether it’s Star Wars or Inception or the new adventures of Captain Kirk, few people aren’t fascinated with at least one story about what the future might be like. If you like stories, you probably like to ask ‘what if?’, and the future is more or less the ultimate what-if.

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There are always more possibilities; the future keeps moving, and what we look forward to depends on where we are now. We probably don’t expect the future to be full of flying cars and spacesuits with spheres of glass for helmets, like we did in the 60s, but we might believe it could be polluted and full of neon and ruled by corporations, like in classic film Blade Runner. And there’s no doubt some new strange vision of the future is being invented even now.

So it’s no surprise then that after very successful storytelling evening in November, celebrating the freedom and wild creativity of fairytales and reminding us that they can be for adults too, Emma Hammond’s latest storytelling event focused on science fiction. As you can tell, I am and always have been passionate about science fiction, but judging by the reactions of the other people who attended, the event showed that you don’t have to know a lot about science or be a geek like me to be blown away by the possibilities of a good science fiction story.

If anyone is wondering about these storytelling events, but nervous, you’ll probably be pleased to hear that, showing up for the first time, I was warmly greeted and offered both food, and the chance to read a story, or (as I suspect many will be hoping) not read if I preferred. I really felt included right away, and the atmosphere was wonderful. Everyone had brought decorations and food for a fun, futuristic atmosphere. When the event got started the lights were turned low, and there was even a violinist who had come to accompany one reader.

The event was very varied, with prepared performances, but also people just showing up with their favourite book and no particular plan. People read aloud from a variety of books, computers, and even their phones. We even had the honour of hearing an extract from an unpublished novel by one of the guests. We heard a chapter from from H.G. Wells’ classic vision of the distant future, The Time Machine, which evoked the loneliness of the main character’s arrival in a future where he believes he may be the only human left, and another from Brave New World, a novel about a future society which seems happy and perfect, but offers no freedom. We had a break for tea and biscuits in the middle, before hearing an extract from The Hunger Games, the story of a man who realises he is a robot made to believe he is human, and many more stories.

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I really enjoyed the event, and I’d definitely recommend the next event in February, where I might even be reading!

Rosa Wolfe is a writer, lover of all things strange and fantastical (or science fictional), and blog writer for Significant Seams. Yes, she knows Inception isn’t set in the future and contains very little science, but she’s willing to look a little silly to explain this great event.

Our literary soirees are held on the third Wednesday of every month. The next one is February 19 at 7pm. In honour of International Women’s Day, the theme will be Girls, Girl, Girls.

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