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#ConTamination2020 virtual conference specifically centered around ‘pandemics’ with three themes: speculative fiction, science and social science.

Many sci-fi and fantasy conventions have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Others, such as Worldcon/ConZealand, have announced they’re going virtual this year, as are the SFWA with the Nebula conference.

But long before any of them did that we had the idea of running an online sci-fi and fantasy convention… online. To avoid stepping on any toes, we’ve narrowed the focus of ConTamination to be a science-meets-speculative-fiction convention. Our aim is to tackle the big questions that many of us are asking about the future, and our place as science fiction and fantasy readers within it.

As sci fi and fantasy fans, we want to reflect on the world we’re living in and how it might change as a result of COVID-19. We hope to combine science, fiction and social studies to focus on the depiction of plagues, infections and lockdowns of all descriptions.

In addition, we hope to use the online format to bring together authors, fans, commentators and experts who wouldn’t normally meet due to distance or disability. We want to be friendly, welcoming and kind, providing opportunities for respectful discussion at what is, for some, a time for reflection and, for others, a difficult, confusing and lonely time.

So our three themes are:

Fiction


We’d love to see discussions around books, films, short stories, and other SFF media that have broached the subject of pandemics in one way or another, as well as how the science fiction and fantasy landscape has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, with cons going virtual, book releases being delayed, and bookstores closing their doors until further notice.

Science


We hope to invite experts from various scientific fields that deal with pandemics, from medicine to bioengineering to statistics, to discuss:

  • How COVID-19 has affected their respective fields;
  • How the world has responded to a variety of changing measures, and;
  • What these changes will mean long-term.

Social change


We’ll be looking to explore conversations around how our communities are changing in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, from a local to a global level:

  • What we each can do for these communities, both physical and virtual
  • What the world is likely to look like once we are all on the other side of this pandemic, and;
  • How this might inspire the fiction of the future.