The Science Fiction 'New Wave' At Fifty

full name / name of organization: 
School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
contact email: 

In May 1964 New Worlds #142 hits the newsstands. It is the first edition edited by Michael Moorcock and ushers in a creative, and much debated, reinterpretation of the aesthetics of Science Fiction. The "New Wave" has begun. This period of aesthetic innovation connected a great many of the pressing concerns of the day, from the apocalyptic threat of the Cold War to the potential of the Space Age, but it also preceded the concerns of subsequent generations including postmodernism, questions of identity and subjectivity, and the nature of history.

Fifty years after that landmark issue the ripples continue to be felt, washing through various modes of fantastic literature from slipstream to the New Weird, from cyberpunk to steampunk.

As a way of celebrating and acknowledging the influence of Moorcock's tenure as editor of New Worlds starting with that seminal May/June issue, the University of East Anglia will be hosting a conference, The Science Fiction New Wave at Fifty over the weekend of 31st May – 1st June 2014.

Papers are invited on any aspect of "New Wave" Science Fiction related to New Worlds, from key writers such as J G Ballard, Hilary Baily and M. John Harrison, to Moorcock himself, or comparisons between the British and American versions of "New Wave" and their relationships with Science Fiction as a mode.

Abstracts of up to 500 words are welcomed, together with an author's bio of 50 words. The deadline for receipt of this is 15th February 2014 sent to Dr Mark P. Williams (; Dr Jacob Huntley (; Dr Matthew Taunton (

This conference emphasises the international and culturally dialogic qualities of "New Wave" SF and is particularly interested in papers exploring how the themes and concepts which drive the movement have been transformed in the intervening decades, and how they manifest in contemporary fiction today.

Topics for discussion might include but are not limited to:
• Inner Space versus Outer Space
• The "New Wave" and the "New Weird"
• New Worlds as inspiration for Steampunk and/or Cyberpunk
• Time Travel and Subjectivity
• Synthesis of the avant-garde and populism in the "New Wave"
• Apocalypse and ecological catastrophe
• "New Wave" and transgression

Authors for discussion might include but are not limited to:
Hilary Bailey
J.G. Ballard
Samuel R. Delany
M. John Harrison
Michael Moorcock
Pamela Zoline

Further information will be available via the UEA Events page: