Academic programme FAQs

What is the difference between “Diversity in Speculative Fiction” and Loncon 3?

“Diversity in Speculative Fiction” is a component of the wider event called Loncon 3. Loncon 3 is the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). The Worldcon often includes an academic track (also known as “academic programme”). Due to the fact that each Worldcon is organised by different people, the exact details of the academic track changes each year. Some years it is very large, other years tiny. Some years it includes only lectures, other years papers. Some years it has a theme and other years none at all. In 2014, the academic programme is being run as the full academic conference “Diversity in Speculative Fiction”. It will be held within the Loncon 3 convention space and all conference sessions will be embedded with the convention programme. This means that conference presenters will be presenting to each other as well as convention attendees. It also means that conference presenters can explore and enjoy the convention. To find out more about the other things that will be happening over the week, please explore the rest of this website, and consider volunteering for other programme areas as well as the academic conference.

If I present at the conference, can I also be involved with other programme areas?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, you can already volunteer to be on the programme or suggest programme items. We are aware that academics are often published authors who may wish to appear as both an academic at the conference and as an author in the convention as a whole. This is encouraged.

How long should the papers be?

If you are proposing a standard paper, most individual timeslots are expected to be 25-30 minutes, within which you can schedule your time however you like (15-20 minutes talk, 5-10 minutes Q&A as a good example). If you want longer or you want to suggest something entirely different, please just ask! Variety is the spice of life.

As a further idea, sessions themselves will last for either 60 or 90 minutes. You can request to run a panel of either length if you choose, again, just ask!

What are the Panel CfPs?

To maximize the diversity of the programme we are encouraging people to submit panels and panel ideas. Some people have chosen to submit whole sessions already complete with panellists, while others are going through the CfP process. Those who are going through the CfP process are guaranteed, assuming there are enough papers proposed, at least one session in our programme. If you would like to propose a panel either as a complete readymade unit or one with a separate CfP (which would guarantee a session) please drop me an email

If I propose something am I guaranteed to be accepted?

No, this is an academic conference that just happens to be set within the environment of the world’s longest running science fiction convention. As with all academic conferences there is a possibility that we will have too many excellent submissions to be able to accept everyone.

How many sessions can I be involved with?

We are not completely certain at the present time, but we expect participants to be in a maximum of two sessions, one as chair and one as presenter/panellist/speaker. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is what we are working with at the moment. Of course, this is in addition to any non-academic programme items you may want to be involved with (see above).

Was the deadline October at one point?

Yes, for the first month the CfP was released we had the CfP deadline as 1 October. Due to scheduling changes, the deadline was extended until the end of 2013.

Do I have to join Loncon 3?

Yes, if your proposal is accepted you must have full attending membership by May 2014. This membership gets you full and complete access to the conference as well as full and complete access to the Loncon 3 convention. There are different types of membership depending on your age (16-25, over 26) and whether you come with other family members (2 adults and 2 or more children). They entitle you to exactly the same things, but cost different amounts of money. Full details can be found here.

I can’t afford to come; is there funding available?

No, unfortunately not. Loncon 3 is not-for-profit and organised exclusively by volunteers, including the conference. This obviously limits the amount of money available. However, there is an instalment plan to make it easier to pay the full cost of the membership. There will be a range of hotels including cheaper options in the immediate vicinity and further away. We are also looking into ways people can find room-shares easily. Details of where to stay will be announced by January 2014 at the latest. In the meantime, there is information about the hotels here.

My university/funding body will offer financial assistance, but only with official letters. Can you provide these?

Yes, get in touch with us and let us know what you need and we will do out best to help in a timely fashion.

With the sad death of Iain M Banks, how will he be remembered?

He will continue to be honoured fully and completely as a Guest of Honour in all publications and at Loncon 3 itself, including the academic programme “Diversity in Speculative Fiction”. In addition there will be appropriate acts of remembrance.

I have other questions

Please contact the conference organiser, Emma England

Alternatively, ask her on the conference twitter account: twitter.com/AcademicLoncon3.