Tag Archives: Andy Sawyer

Something in the water? Liverpool and the Literary Fantastic

Friday 13th May is Liverpool’s LightNight- an event that takes place across the city.It’s billed as a late night arts & culture festival. You can go to a silent disco at Liverpool Central Library, take your kids to a drumming workshop at the Walker Art Gallery, join a writer’s group at the Liverpool Everyman or watch a live graffiti event.

The full programme :  http://www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk/about/

The University of Liverpool is taking part with:

“An Experimental Extravaganza of Art and Science”– make ice-cream with liquid nitrogen, make a Jaffa Cake battery or watch some Shakespeare.

“Plague Tales- pus, pits and powders” – from treatments by powdered unicorn horn to current plague research.

“Meroe – Africa’s Forgotten Empire”  – a fabled city in ancient Sudan that lay undisturbed for 2000 years before being excavated in the early 1900s.

“Something in the water? Liverpool and the Literary Fantastic” – A lecture by Andy Sawyer, the Science Fiction Collections Librarian at the Special Collections and Archives, University of Liverpool Library. He is responsible for the Science Fiction Foundation Collection, the largest resource of sf and material about sf in the UK. Until 2012, Andy was Course Director of the MA in Science Fiction Studies offered by the School of English, University of Liverpool. He curated the British Library’s sf exhibition, “Out of this World: Science Fiction but not as you know it.”

“The talk and display will discuss Merseyside’s connection with writers of the fantastic:

  • the pre-war Liverpool sf fan group out of which a host of British science fiction writers came
  • Olaf Stapledon, who whose epic future-history influenced a young Arthur C. Clarke
  • modern writers of the fantastic such as Clive Barker, Stephen Baxter, and Ramsey Campbell, winner of the World Fantasy Society’s lifetime achievement award
  • The Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool

We’ll also celebrate a new generation of sf and fantasy writers such as Priya Sharma and Debbie Johnson, comic book stars such as Leah Moore, John Reppion, Tim Quinn and John Higgins, and film greats such as Alex Cox.”

Details of the University of Liverpool’s programme: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/lightnight/


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The Science Fiction collection at Liverpool University

This week Roy Gray and I were lucky enough to visit Liverpool University’s staggering collection of over 35,000 books and 2,500 periodicals. The Science Fiction collections in the University Library’s Special Collections & Archives comprise Europe’s largest catalogued collection of SF material, including the Science Fiction Foundation Collection and a wealth of literary archives.

Andy Sawyer , who manages this treasure trove, based in the Sydney Jones Library, was very generous with his time and encyclopaedic knowledge.

My own personal highlight was seeing the manuscript for John Wyndham’s  The Day of the Triffids.

Thanks again to both Roy and Andy!

    Roy’s chappbook, The Joy of Technology, is in the archive and is available from Pendragon Press.

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