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Utopiales, the Earth’s Biggest Science Fiction Festival : 29th of October – 3rd of November 2014, Nantes, France

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The 2014  Utopiales’ poster illustration was created by Chris Foss, the famous british artist; © Chris Foss & Les Utopiales

Last year, Utopiales’s attendance was over 60.000 participants, making the Festival the biggest Earth’s science fiction event.

Utopiales is not only the biggest European SF Festival, it’s the largest SF event on Earth.

As a comparison, the “World” Anglophone conventions have between 6 to 8,000 participants at maximum.

The Utopiales model, to open the gates of science fiction to the general public, to gather writers, scholars, scientists, artists plus fans and readers and gamers, it’s functioning and is generating audience and awareness.

Les Utopiales Festival is taking place at La Cité, le Centre des Congrès de Nantes / Nantes Events Center, 5 rue de Valmy/5 Valmy Street, 44000 Nantes, France.

Nantes is the largest city in Brittany, France, with 800,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area and is located 342 kilometers southwest of Paris, at the confluence of the Loire, Edre and Sèvre rivers, 50 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean.
Since 2000, the Utopiales venue is the Congress Palace in Nantes, always fall in late October or early November. The Utopiales Festival is an event of great magnitude  and the most important SF international event dedicated to the  European SF and it’a managed to gather together  thousands of genre fans and professionals  (38,000 participants in 2006, 40,000 in 2008, 41,000 in 2010, 46,000 in 2012, over 60.000 in 2013).

The Utopiales name was suggested by Christian Grenier, a SF writer in 1997 and the Utopiales Festival was created in 1998 by Bruno della Chiesa (an Italian-born French, linguist, diplomat, researcher, SF editor) in Futuroscope (Poitiers), a huge theme park dedicated to the future.

Bruno della Chiesa coordinated the Utopiales between 1998 and 2000, and was succeeded between 2001-2005 by the historian Patrick Gyger (Maison d’Ailleurs/House of the Elsewhere’s manager ; La Maison d’Ailleurs is the only public world museum of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys, in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland).

Utopiales is a manifestation of the general public, the fans and the professionals. The Utopiales Festival is celebrating and exploring all means of expression of science fiction, literature, film (international competition and European contest of short films), theater, comics (best album contest, exhibitions), art exhibitions, concerts, games videos, a role playing site, plus panels, discussions and debates on scientific topics.

The Festival’s tracks are literatures, sciences, cinema, comics, expos, asian pole, video games, games, children and schools, evening events.

Festival - presentation

This year the festival will take place from Wednesday, the 29th of October to Monday, the 3rd of November 2014.

As every year, it will develop a theme, while at the same time treating the yearly developments in the world of science fiction.

This year’s theme is Intelligence(s).

International Guests of Honor are Michael Moorcock, Christopher Priest, Chris Foss, Norman Spinrad, Walter Jon Williams, K.W.Jeter, Jo Walton, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Deborah Harkness, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Cindy Van Wilder.

The guests  are Ayerdhal, Samantha Bailly, Ugo Bellagamba, Sylvie Bérard, Alain Bergeron, Karim Berrouka,Estelle Blanquet, Pierre Bordage, Simon Bréan, Fabien Clavel, Philippe Curval, Alain Damasio, Lionel Davoust, Thomas Day, Jeanne-A Debats, Sylvie Denis, Sara Doke, Dominique Douay, Catherine Dufour, Jean-Claude Dunyach, Anne Fakhouri, Gilles Francescano, Laurent Genefort, Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac, Johan Heliot, Léo Henry, Gérard Klein Ariel Kyrou, Sylvie Lainé, Christophe Lamber,t Anne Larue, Loïc Le Borgne, Jean-Marc Ligny, Ménéas Marphil, Xavier Mauméjean, Gilles Ménégaldo, Yves Meynard, Sylvie Miller, Olivier Paquet, Jean-Jacques Régnier, Michel Robert, Esther Rochon, Laurence Suhner, Natacha Vas-Deyres, Philippe Ward and Joëlle Wintrebert.

Since its creation, in 2000, Les Utopiales, The Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, has tried, as its objective, to offer works of quality to the greatest number of people, and to enable them to discover the world of futurology, of new technologies and of the fantastic.

Time has come for science fiction to look at the possibilities for the close future. Science fiction can be a part of the necessary reflection on the coming changes: those already acknowledge as indispensable, like the choice of sustainable development, but also those which, though they seem unlikely at first glance, could very well become true someday. Concerning emerging realities, science fiction envisages, and imagines, all the other worlds expecting us, whether they be on Earth or far away in the universe. Will we be able to deeply reinvent our society and our political models to make humanist values rhyme with the ecological equilibrium of the planet? Will we be able to create together a brand new contract, “natural” as Michel Serres said, after exploring the possibilities of the social contract? Will we be able to give a better world to our descendants? Or will we abandon them without a user manual to deal with the biggest challenge mankind was ever confronted with?

All these interrogations will be part of the programming of this new edition of the Utopiales international and multimedia festival. During round tables open to the audience, scientists, authors and artists will exchange their views, which are sometimes divergent. Day after day, they create fabulous worlds by using fragments of the real one, to make, beyond the evasion they promise, true “experiences in thinking” which lead us to think more easily about the advent of a new world we unconsciously wished for.

The art of the Comics will stand out thanks to the presence of numerous cartoonists and scriptwriters, etc. All of these personalities will come together for lectures, debates or the autograph sessions which punctuate the festival.

The Inserm and the CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) will present new technologies which could be part of our future everyday life.

Moreover, the festival area will be entirely decorated by vegetal creations from SEVE.

The cinema universe will also be rich, with the desire to show us still more talents from all over the world. And finally, the festival will of course give us the opportunity to rediscover role playing, video games, a program for young people, evening events, and also the Asian pole, with the renewal of Manga Tan day and its Cosplays.

Utopiales 2014

Cover’s illustration©Laura Sava, romanian digital artist ; © Actusf

Like every year since 2009, Actusf Press is publishing the official Utopiales Festival anthology. This year, unusually, the cover’s illustration is different from the poster. The anthology includes a dozen French and foreign authors with new short stories on the theme of the 2014 Utopiales Festival,  Intelligences.

The Anthology’s foreword belongs to Yannick Rumpala.

Among the various texts, Laurent Genefort, Dominique Douay and Jean-Marc Ligny are in the area of ​​new life forms, Léo Henry takes us on a strange journey about a chess genius, Sylvie Denis revives a mummy in the near future with all the difficulties of adaptations that can lead to it, Barbara Sadoul offers a new version of the  Dracula myth (and this is the first play published in the Utopiales anthologies series), Sylvie Miller & Philippe Ward have written a new short story on their Gods Detectives… There is also an investigation of a strange albino case in Michael Moorcock’s short story while Jo Walton invites us to make a revolution togtether with an Artificial Intelligence, not to mention the disenchantment future described by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Last but not least, an excellent short story of K.W.Jeter.

The 2014 Utopiales Anthology will be in bookstores in November.

Table of Content :

“Intelligence (s)” by Yannick Rumpala (Foreword)

“Chaperon” (Riding Hood) by Laurent Genefort

“Fe6 !! ou La Transfiguration de Bobby J. Fischer” (Fe6 !! or The Transfiguration of Bobby J. Fischer) by Léo Henry

“Sleep” (En sommeil) by Jo Walton (translation: Sylvie Denis )

“The Gospel According to Artyom” (L’Évangile selon Artyom) by Dmitry Glukhovsky (translation: Denis E. Savine)

“Pas de deux sur la planète des ombres” (Step of Two on Shadows’ Planet) by Dominique Douay

“Les Dracula anonymes” (Draculas anonymous) by Barbara Sadoul

“The Affair of the Bassin Les Hivers” (L’Affaire du Bassin Les Hivers) by Michael Moorcock (translation: Nicolas Cluzeau)

“L’Esprit de la roche” (The Spirit Of Rock) by Jean-Marc Ligny

“Le Sage qui entre dans la paix” (The Wise who Enters Peace) by Sylvie Miller & Philippe Ward

“Le court roman de la momie” (The Short Novel of the Mummy) by Sylvie Denis

“Last Will” (Dernières volontés”) by K.W. Jeter (translation: Jean-Daniel Brèque)

 

Literary Prizes : The European Utopiales Prize, The European Youth Prize, The Julia Verlanger Prize

This year too, Utopiales, the International Festival of Science Fiction from Nantes (France) organizes The Utopiales European Award (the 6th edition) in order to reward European authors of the genre called “Speculative fiction”.

This award recognizes a novel or a collection published in French language during the literary season preceding the Utopiales Festival and whose author is an European.

This prize is worth 2,000 Euros (1,580 sterling pounds/2,560 USD).

The award ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 1st during the 2014 Utopiales SF Festival, from Wednesday the 29th of October to Monday the 3rd of November.

The jury includes Jean-Pierre Dionnet (writer, scriptwriter and journalist), Florence Porcel (writer, journalist and actress) and Guillaume Choplin (reader).

The 2014 Utopiales European Award nominees were announced :

“7 secondes pour devenir un aigle” (7 Seconds To Become An Eagle) by Thomas Day (France), Le Bélial Press

“Juste à temps” (Just in Time) by Philippe Curval (France), La Volte Press

“L’Opéra de Shaya”  (The Shaya’s Opera) by Sylvie Lainé (France), Actusf Press

The Long Earth” by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (Great Britain), L’Atalante Press

Sumerki” by Dmitry Glukhovsky (Russia), L’Atalante Press

 

The 2014 European Youth Prize (Prix Utopiales Jeunesse 2014)

The nominees are :

Bazmaru et la fille du vent (Bazmaru and the Wind’s Girl) –  Maëlle Fierpied ( L’école des loisirs)

Les substituts (The Substituts) –  Johan Heliot ( Seuil)

Dresseur de fantômes (Ghosts’ Trainer) – Camille Brissot (L’ Atalante)

La symphonie des abysses  (The Symphony of the Abyss) –  Carina Rozenfeld (Robert Laffont)

Pixel noir (Black Pixel) –  Jeanne-A Debats (Syros)

Automne  (Autumn) – Jan Henrik Nielsen (translated by Aude Pasquier), Albin Michel

The 2014 Julia Verlanger Prize

The Julia Verlanger Foundation was created by Jean-Pierre Verlanger under the aegis of the Fondation de France in 1986 to perpetuate the memory of his wife (1929-1985), author of many science fiction novels under the pseudonym Gilles Thomas. The Julia Verlanger Award  annually recognizes a science fiction or a fantasy   novel.

The nominees are :

“Time Out” –   Andreas Eschbach, Germany (L’Atalante)

“The Long Earth” – Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, UK  (L’Atalante)

“The Great North Road” – Peter F Hamilton (Bragelonne)

“Le Sang des sept rois” (The Blood of Seven Kings) –  Regis Goddyn (L’Atalante)

“Fées, weeds et guillotines” (Fairies, Weeds and Guillotines) – Karim Berrouka (ActuSF Publishing)

“L’Esprit du Melkine” (The Spirit of Melkine) – Olivier Paquet (L’Atalante)

The award ceremony will take place Friday, October 31st at 20:00 on the Hetzel stage.

Utopiales have scheduled meetings with GoHs Christopher Priest, Michael Moorcock, Chris Foss, Norman Spinrad, Jo Walton, K. W. Jeter, Walter Jon Williams (Beyond the cyberpunk),  K.W.Jeter, Jo Walton, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Deborah Harkness, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Cindy Van Wilder and the french SF writers, scholars as  Ayerdhal, Samantha Bailly, Ugo Bellagamba, Sylvie Bérard, Alain Bergeron, Karim Berrouka,Estelle Blanquet, Pierre Bordage, Simon Bréan, Fabien Clavel, Philippe Curval, Alain Damasio, Lionel Davoust, Thomas Day, Jeanne-A Debats, Sylvie Denis, Sara Doke, Dominique Douay, Catherine Dufour, Jean-Claude Dunyach, Anne Fakhouri, Gilles Francescano, Laurent Genefort, Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac, Johan Heliot, Léo Henry, Gérard Klein Ariel Kyrou, Sylvie Lainé, Christophe Lamber,t Anne Larue, Loïc Le Borgne, Jean-Marc Ligny, Ménéas Marphil, Xavier Mauméjean, Gilles Ménégaldo, Yves Meynard, Sylvie Miller, Olivier Paquet, Jean-Jacques Régnier, Michel Robert, Esther Rochon, Laurence Suhner, Natacha Vas-Deyres, Philippe Ward and Joëlle Wintrebert.

Panels (Literature Track) :

Places of Intelligence and Studies in Science fiction ;

Classifying Extraterrestrial Species and Intelligences with SF ;

Fools, Mutants and Idiots in Science Fiction Stories ;

Reading Science Fiction : Does It Make You Clever ? ;

Computer-Based Utopia : Attribute to Iain M. Banks ;

How to Live Harmoniously with Earth, Universe and Everything Else ? ;

Non-Standard Intelligences in Hard Science Fiction;

Gender Studies and SF : the Beginning of An Ideological Crisis ? ;

How to Boost Intelligence with Technology ? ;

Is the Human Brain Reproducible by Calculation ?;

Language and Intelligence in Science Fiction ;

Science fiction : An inheritance of the Age of Enlightenment ? ;

What if Human Intelligence Was one Among Thousands on Earth ?;

A Meeting with the Woman Who is Waiting for Mars;

Does Physics Clarify the Universe, or Create New Darkness ? ;

Artificial Intelligence and Citizenship : For a New Bill of Rights ? ;

Is the War Between Humans and Thinking Machines Upon Us ? ;

Artificial Intelligence, Faith and Apocalypse;

Positronic Brains in Asimov’s Stories : Pioneers of Today Robotics ? ;

The Y Generation : Lost in Pixels ? ;

The Golden Age of Supermen : An Obsolete Myth ? ;

The Ethics of Intelligence : Leads the Understanding Always to Moral ? ;

Thinking the Future with Science Fiction ? ;

Understanding Nemo;

Why Villains are Always so Smart and so Talented ? ;

Conspiracy Theories and Science Fiction;

If Science Fiction Could Teach History, Would We Enjoy It ? ;

The Age of Reason : Childhood, Comprehension and Power in Science Fiction Stories ;

From Utopia to the Utopiales : Sixteen is a Golden Age ? ;

The Descendants of HAL 9000 in Science Fiction Movies ;

First Contact in Science Fiction Movies : a Good Training ? ;

Intelligence and Surveillance in British TV series ;

The Quebec Way to Science Fiction : Intelligence and Identity ;

A Special Tribute to Jacques Sadoul,

etc.

The 2014 Utopiales teaser : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuphMBeVEaU

OPENING HOURS OF THE FESTIVAL :

  • Wednesday, October 29th 
    from 6.30 PM to the end of the inaugural night.
  • Thursday, October 30th – Friday, November 31st – Saturday, November 1st and Sunday, November 2nd: from 9:30 A.M. until the end of the last film screening.
  • Monday, November 3rd
    the school day from 8:30 AM to the end of the last film.

Games area will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM and until midnight on friday.
The book fair, the stands and the video games area will close at 8 PM.

http://www.utopiales.org/en

http://www.utopiales.org/en/literature

http://www.utopiales.org/en/sciences

http://www.utopiales.org/en/cinema

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