Aliens, Monsters & Wizards

17 October 2018

Arrival film
'Arrival' with Amy Adams

The University’s celebrated book club with a difference is back for a season of fantasy and science fiction from the latest blockbusting pen to ground-breaking gothic.

This Autumn the free series offers fresh perspectives on Mary Shelley, the great gothic writer who set the bar for science fiction with Frankenstein, the much-loved classic children’s fantasy The Wizard of Earthsea and the award-winning novella Story of Your Life made Hollywood blockbuster Arrival.

Autumn 2018 events

Opening the Autumn season is contemporary science fiction with Story of Your Life/Arrival on Monday 22 October.

Ted Chaing’s 1998 award-winning novella and its 2016 Academy-winning film adaptation Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) follow protagonist linguist Dr Louise Banks, alternating between the past and future as alien life forms arrive across the globe and Banks’ abilities to communicate with other worldly visitors become critical to world-power reactions.

As ever, Cardiff University experts share wide-ranging perspectives on the subject in hand in bite-size talks in the thought-provoking format.

Philosopher Dr Orestis Palermos shares how the language we use changes the way we perceive the world, from a philosophy of science perspective. Linguist Dr Catherine Laing explores the challenges faced when documenting an unknown alien language. Physicist Jenifer Milard shares her insights on aliens to uncover whether there is a possibility of life in outer-space. Completing the panel is physicist and science communicator UKAstroNut Matthew Allen, who will explain the physics of time-travel.

BookTalk continues in Autumn with a spooky screening of the 2017 biopic Mary Shelley in this Frankenstein bicentenary year as part of Cardiff Frankenfest (22-31 October). The special event in collaboration with Frankenreads takes place on Monday 29 October just ahead of Halloween.

In November, the series celebrates the fantasy classic, A Wizard of Earthsea on its 60th anniversary. Regarded as a classic of fantasy and children's literature, Ursula Le Guin’s series has become widely influential within the genre.

Cardiff BookTalk organisers Dr Alix Beeston and Dr Catherine Laing, lecturers at the School of English, Communication and Philosophy said:

‘We're excited to be offering both BookTalk regulars and newcomers a rich and diverse programme of events this season, with themes from literature and film, science fiction, non-fiction, and some classic texts. The series continues to reflect a range of topical cultural issues and to showcase the breadth of research interests at Cardiff University. Exciting news for the spring is soon to be announced. Watch this space!”

Now entering its seventh year, Cardiff BookTalk has welcomed the public to an eclectic range of more than 35 open discussion events. Increasingly popular, our events include a range of fiction and non-fiction titles, from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to our meet-the-author discussion with Tyler Keevil on his No Good Brothers tour.

Cardiff BookTalk is free, with advance booking recommended. Booking for Story of Your Life/Arrival is now available.The literary series takes place at Cardiff University (CF24 4HQ, School of Optometry), with light refreshments from 6.30pm and talks starting at 7pm.

For latest information, visit the Cardiff BookTalk website, or follow Twitter and Facebook.