Picocon 31 — ‘Survival’ 22nd February 2014

Picocon 31 was held on Saturday 22nd February 2014, in Imperial College Union.

What is Picocon?

Picocon is the annual one-day Science Fiction & Fantasy convention run by the Imperial College Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, ICSF. It usually takes place on a Saturday in February, in Imperial College's Student Union. We try not to clash with other conventions around the same time.

It is a small (hence the name), affordable and convenient convention for students and fans in or near London. Registration opens at 10am, with the first scheduled events kicking off at around 10:30. The schedule concludes in the evening.

At a Picocon you will encounter:


Guests of Honour

Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is an English-born horror writer whose books have found success in the United States. Her works have previously been compared to that of Bentley Little, Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz, and have appeared in several anthologies. She also writes screenplays, including episodes of New Tricks, an upcoming horror film Cracked, and other works in progress. She has won a selection of awards, including the 2009 British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, and her novella The Language of Dying was short-listed for the Shirley Jackson Award and won the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella.

You can find Sarah on Her Website or @sarahpinborough on Twitter.

Charles Stross

Charles Stross

Charles Stross is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 and 2010 Hugo awards for best novella, he has won numerous other awards and been translated into at least 12 other languages. Stross writes in a variety of sub-genres and styles, including Lovecraftian horror, space opera and fantasy.

You can find Charles on His Website

or @cstross on Twitter.

Professor David Southwood

David Southwood

Professor David Southwood is a British space scientist and current President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He has interests in solar–terrestrial physics and planetary science, and accomplishments include building the magnetic field instrument for the Cassini Saturn orbiter. Until 2011 he was Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency, and he now holds the post of Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London. He is also a patron of the Science Fiction Foundation.


10:00 Doors Open
10:30 Charles Stross
11:30 Sarah Pinborough: Mixing business with pleasure; why selling books doesn’t have to mean selling out
12:30 Destruction Of Dodgy Merchandise
14:00 Prof. David Southwood: Science Fiction and Fact
15:00 Guest of Honour Panel

with Charles Stross, Sarah Pinborough, and Professor David Southwood

16:00 Turkey Readings

and other abominations

16:30 Silly Games

Just a Minute, Mornington Crescent, and other favourites

17:30 Harmless Fun
18:00 Pub Quiz

The timetable is liable to change up to the start of the convention.


Entry for the day will cost (subject to change up to Feb 2014):

Discounts for large parties (e.g. other University SF societies) are potentially available (email the Picocon Sofa).

Please note that neither ICSF nor Union membership is required to attend Picocon; all are welcome.

Directions to Picocon

Here's a general map of the area, pointing at the entrance to Beit Quad (which houses the Union) off Prince Consort Road.

By London Underground

London Underground

The tube is probably easiest way to get to Picocon; both Gloucester Road Station and South Kensington Station are within easy reach.

Both stations are served by the Circle, District, and Piccadilly lines. There are planned engineering works on some other Underground lines .

These maps show the routes we suggest from both Gloucester Road Station and from South Kensington Station.

TfL Journey Planner

More options More Options

By Public Bus

TfL Buses

Both the Royal Albert Hall and the South Kensington bus stop groups are near by - the Royal Albert Hall itself is next door to the Union. From South Kensington stops, follow the route map from South Kensington Station.

These stop are served by buses C1, 9, 10, 49, 52, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430, and 452.

By ‘Boris’/‘Barclays’ Bike

Barclay's Bike Hire

There are three hire cycle docking stations on Prince Consort Road, which also houses the Union. Search for 'SW7 2BB' on the Cycle Map.

Note: If you get lost around South Kensington trying to find Beit Quad, ask for directions to the Royal Albert Hall, and once there, Beit Quad is the building on the left of the RAH as you face it's main entrance (if you arrive form the Hyde Park side, you will be at the rear of the RAH).

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Amanda Sjödahl, the Picocon Sofa (comfier than a chair), at picocon@icsf.org.uk.

Our mail address is the following:

Student Activities Centre
Imperial College Students' Union
Beit Quad
Prince Consort Road