Bestselling science fiction authors Philip Reeve and Alastair Reynolds at University of Leicester’s annual Literary Leicester festival

This year’s Literary Leicester to host two bestselling science fiction authors at the National Space Centre on 18 November

LEICESTER, 06-Nov-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — This year’s Literary Leicester plans to take audiences where no-one has gone before – but might do, one day.

Bestselling science fiction authors Philip Reeve and Alastair Reynolds will be taking audiences on a voyage of discovery in the apt surroundings of the National Space Centre in two free public talks for the University of Leicester’s annual Literary Leicester festival.

The adventure begins with a talk by Philip Reeve, author of Mortal Engines, on Saturday 18 November from 11am to 1pm. He will invite the audience to ride the interstellar express into a fantastic future universe of aliens, androids, and sentient trains as he talks about his writing and reads from his popular books Railhead and Black Light Express.

Reeve’s book Mortal Engines won the Smarties Gold Award, the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Blue Peter ‘Book I Couldn’t Put Down’ award. It is currently being filmed by the makers of The Lord of the Rings and looks set to become a sci-fi film classic.

Former scientist and award-winning science fiction author Alastair Reynolds will then make a stop on Mars from 3pm to 5pm. In ‘Alastair Reynolds: Red Planet Dreams’, he will present a wide-ranging and accessible talk on Mars, both in our imaginations and in reality.

Long before the space age, scientists and writers tried to imagine conditions on Mars, leading some to speculate that there might even be advanced civilisation present on our nearest neighbour in the solar system. As the twentieth century wore on, though, advances in astronomy and space travel slowly dismantled this dreamlike vision, leaving us with a starker, but no less fascinating reality.

Now, once again, visionaries and space activists are beginning to talk about Martian exploration and even colonisation, perhaps within our lifetimes. As always, science fiction has played a game of leapfrog with science fact, sometimes being behind, sometimes ahead of speculation.

Reynolds won acclaim for his approach to ‘hard’ science fiction which attempts to remain consistent with current thinking in science. The novels of his Revelation Space series have received several nominations for British Science Fiction Awards, with Chasm City winning Best Novel in 2001. His other works have also received nominations for two of the science fiction world’s most prestigious awards: the Hugos and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

This year marks the tenth year of Literary Leicester, the University of Leicester’s free international literature festival celebrating the written and spoken word.

Organised by the University of Leicester, the four-day festival will take place from Wednesday 15 November to Saturday 18 November and will feature acclaimed guest authors, the dramatic arts and several school events.

Festival Director Professor Martin Stannard, from the University of Leicester’s School of Arts, said: “This year’s Literary Leicester will explore new places both figuratively and literally – as we invite two very popular science fiction authors to take our visitors to possible new worlds. We will also be taking Literary Leicester into the very apt environment of the National Space Centre. This will be a wonderful opportunity for the Centre’s visitors to get involved in the Festival, and to learn how science and literature can inform one another.”

Both events are free and open to the public, tickets can be booked at:

For further information about events please visit


SOURCE: University of Leicester


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