The New Genre Army marches on Lincoln

– Gianluca Guerriero contributed to this report

On Friday, April 5th, 2013, the first academic conference on the works of sci-fi writer Adam Roberts took place.

The conference took place at the University of Lincoln.

Dubbed “The New Genre Army”, the event was organised by Lincoln’s own Christos Callow and lecturer Caroline Edwards, with the conference drawing speakers from a number of national and international universities.

Also in attendance was Adam Roberts, the man himself; a rare chance for academics to present their papers to the author on which they are based.

Having received the “Best Novel” award from the British Science Fiction Association earlier in the month, Roberts remarked at how humbling it was to attend a conference held in his honour.

The day saw the presentation of papers with a wide range of focuses, ranging from examining psychopathic heroes to analysing military generations to commentary on the influence of human excrement in Roberts’ fiction.

Professor Farah Mendlesohn and Dr. Andrew M. Butler were billed as the keynote speakers with academics from as far a-field as Germany and the United States also taking the stage (albeit the latter in a virtual capacity).

The conference was rounded off with a round-table discussion from “Strange Horizons editor, Niall Harrison; Emeritus Professor (University of Dublin), Edward James and The Guardian columnist Damien Walter.

The event was concluded with an exclusive reading of an excerpt from Roberts’ new project which, he assured the audience, was not drafted the day before.

Throughout the day, the self confessed Twitter-obsessive Roberts was supplying his legion of followers with real-time updates of conference’s developments, whilst encouraging the other attendees to do the same. You can catch up on the virtual dimension of the day via the hashtag #NewGenreArmy and you can also stay up to date with new announcements by following @NewGenreArmy.

The day was a huge success; all the papers presented were all highly applauded by Roberts, and are due for publication by Gylphi early next year.