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George and the Blue Moon

Event 161 Friday 3 March, 1.30pm-2.30pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Lucy Hawking
Lucy Hawking is the creator of the highly acclaimed George Greenby series, in which George and his friend Annie go on adventures through space and time with the help of the supercomputer Cosmos – and with real scientific information provided by Lucy’s famous father, Professor Stephen Hawking.

Come along to this family session to find out how Lucy fits so much adventure and information into her lively books and learn more about the new instalment, George and the Blue Moon.

This session is part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration led by the British Council.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Age Group: 9-Adult

George and the Blue Moon

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Night Without Stars: Peter F Hamilton in Conversation

Event 25 Friday 3 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

“An atomic blast of a yarn. Hamilton in peak form and absolutely not to be missed.” – Kirkus review of Night Without Stars

Peter F Hamilton is widely praised as a master of space opera – science fiction epics with galactic-scale threats – whose novels feature a seamless blend of big ideas and gripping action. His latest book, Night Without Stars, is set in 3326 and continues the story of the Commonwealth and the star-devouring Void. Embattled humans on an isolated planet face a terrifying alien threat in a story that has been praised for its edge-of-seat plotting and awe-inspiring ideas – if you like high-tech, high-stakes tension then this session is perfect for you.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Night Without Stars: Peter F Hamilton in Conversation

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A Voyage Through Air

Event 181 Saturday 4 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Take a trip to another dimension….

Be among the first to find out what happens in A Voyage Through Air, the conclusion of Peter Hamilton’s Queen of Dreams trilogy – which has been published early especially for this Festival!

When sisters Jemima and Taggie followed a bespectacled white squirrel into the First Realm, they had no idea of just how life-changing their adventures would be. But their greatest challenge lies ahead…

Language: English

Age Group: 9+

A Voyage Through Air

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Journey to the Stars: Space Colonisation in Fact and Fiction

Event 41 Saturday 4 March, 1.30pm-2.30pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

“What I really want to try to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible – like it’s something we can achieve in our lifetimes.” – Elon Musk

Science fiction has presented many different visions of space colonisation, from survival stories to galaxy spanning empires. Our panel will discuss these fictional depictions and take a look at how close reality is to realising our imaginings.

Lucy Hawking is author of the George Greenby series, books that make science fun, accessible and inspiring for younger readers.

Peter F Hamilton is the author of the Commonwealth series, which features a galactic civilisation that enjoys interstellar travel, immortality and advanced cybernetics.

Ashlee Vance reports on technology and business developments and is the biographer of Elon Musk, a pioneering figure in real-life space travel.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Journey to the Stars: Space Colonisation in Fact and Fiction

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Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations: Science Fiction Across Cultures

Event 75 Thursday 9 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“What they didn’t realise was that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time.” – Doris Lessing

When we talk about Science Fiction and Fantasy, what do we mean? Do fiction genres transcend language and cultural context? Why does speculative fiction in English have a devoted following while its Arabic counterpart is only now growing in popularity?

Our panel of Arabic and English-language writers takes a look at these questions and more.

Eric Van Lustbader’s first novel, The Sunset Warrior, was science fiction, and he has returned to the genre frequently, including in the Pearl Saga, which pits two very different cultures – one technological, one spiritual – against each other.

Ahmed Khaled Tawfik is familiar to English speakers for his novel Utopia, about a future Egypt that is anything but utopian; in Arabic, he is also known as a master of science fiction, horror and medical thrillers, with hundreds of books to his name, and as the author of the award-winning Like Icarus.

Noura Al Noman is the author of the science fiction novel Ajwan, which won the Etisalat Prize in 2013. She wrote it in response to a lack of Arabic young adult SF.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations: Science Fiction Across Cultures

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Knights, Priests and Time Travel

Event 100 Friday 10 March, 3pm-4pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“Nothing was supposed to be and wasn’t. Nothing was going to disappear and didn’t. As if today was brought in yesterday and yesterday will come tomorrow.” – Monther Kabbani

Meet the doctor-turned-author who readers have called “the Arabic Dan Brown”!

Monther Kabbani is here for a thrilling conversation about his sci-fi-fantasy series, which slips between the 12th and 21st centuries and between truth and illusion.

His Knights and Priests trilogy has been a bestseller since the week the first book was published, while his first book The Shadow Government was described as “the birth of suspense in the Arab world.”

This is an exciting opportunity to hear from one of the most innovative and popular writers of Arabic fiction – don’t miss out.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Knights, Priests and Time Travel

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Mystic Trees, Interstellar Trains and Vampires: YA Fantasy Comes Alive

Event 104 Friday 10 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

It’s a great time to be a writer of fantasy fiction for young adults. A vast number of imaginative books are being published right now, taking advantage of their speculative settings – whether in the past, the present or the far future – to offer mystic adventures while still addressing the readers’ concerns about the real world.

Award-winning British authors Frances Hardinge (The Lie Tree) and Philip Reeve (Railhead) – who have been jointly described by Strange Horizons Magazine as the defining figures of contemporary children’s genre fiction – are joined by Egyptian author Ibrahim Farghali, who is blazing a new trail in Arabic teen writing with his uncanny novels Adventure in the City of the Dead and Ink Vampires.

Language: Arabic, English with simultaneous translation

Age Group: 12+

Mystic Trees, Interstellar Trains and Vampires: YA Fantasy Comes Alive

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The Godfather of Arabic Sci-Fi: Ahmed Khaled Tawfik in Conversation

Event 105 Friday 10 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Khayma, InterContinental

The ‘godfather’ of Arabic speculative fiction returns to the UAE to speak about his award-winning new novel, Like Icarus, and how he came to inspire a generation of science fiction and fantasy writers.

Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s many novels include the famous Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa series of paranormal adventures and Utopia, a dystopian story of the near future which is being adapted as a major motion picture – filmed partly in the UAE.

His new novel Like Icarus, about a man who can see the future, won the Best Novel Award at the 2016 Sharjah International Book Fair – has Arabic sci-fi finally achieved the recognition it deserves?

Language: Arabic

The Godfather of Arabic Sci-Fi: Ahmed Khaled Tawfik in Conversation

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Railhead: A Train Ride to the Stars

Event 119 Saturday 11 March, 11.30am-12.30pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Philip Reeve
'I started to realise that trains are far stranger and more romantic than any spaceship.'' – Philip Reeve

Black Light Express, the sequel to Railhead, is the latest epic adventure from Philip Reeve. In this new series, the wild imagination of the man who brought us the ravenous moving cities of Mortal Engines – now being adapted to a major motion picture by the team who made the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films – takes us once again into the far future. Sentient trains cross the galaxy on the Great Network and petty thief Zen Starling rides them to new frontiers of pilferage – until one poorly thought-out crime sends him on an unexpected and dangerous journey.

Language: English

Age Group: 12+

Railhead: A Train Ride to the Stars

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Twisted Tales and Spellbinding Stories

Event 132 Saturday 11 March, 3:00pm-4.00pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

'Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.' – Patrick Ness

Frances Hardinge is making waves in the world of Young Adult fantasy fiction. From the dark and distrustful world of the Facesmiths in A Face Like Glass to the enchanted dolls of Cuckoo Song she is reinventing the genre and opening up extraordinary new worlds.

When her new novel The Lie Tree won not just the Costa Children’s Prize, but also the overall Costa Book of the Year Award, the judges hailed it as gripping and beautifully written, and also an important book with a powerful message. The story follows Faith, a girl investigating the mysterious circumstances of her father’s death. In his journals, Faith discovers notes about a tree that, when told a lie, will reveal a truth. She embarks on a dangerous search that will change her life and the world around her.

Frances Hardinge will also present the winners of the 2017 Costa Debate with their prizes.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Age Group: 12+

Twisted Tales and Spellbinding Stories

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The Intellectual Thriller

Event 155 Saturday 11 March, 3pm-4pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Have you ever got so lost in a book you no longer knew if you were in the 12th century or the 21st? Or read a book that blended history and fantasy so well that you didn’t know where one ended and the other began?

Three of the best authors of intellectual thrillers – gripping, genre-bending books that take the readers on journeys through past, present and future – discuss their art in a panel that will excite and entertain.

Monther Kabbani is a Saudi surgeon and author of the bestselling Shadow Government series and the Knights and Priests Trilogy.

Raymond Khoury is best known for his suspenseful series starring Sean Reilly, the most recent of which is The End Game. He is also a screenwriter who has written for series such as Waking the Dead and Spooks.

Mohammad Rabie is the author of the novels Amber Planet and Year of the Dragon; his third book, the time-twisting ‘dark fantasy’ Otared, was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Language: Arabic with simultaneous English translation

The Intellectual Thriller

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