Satellite Conventions

Science Fiction, Science Fact, Science Fun

Glasgow's bi-annual(ish) series of science fiction conventions

Satellite 1

50 years after the Space Age dawned with the launch of Sputnik 1, we gathered in the Campanile Hotel to commemorate the event.

Satellite 1 ran for a single day, and was hailed by many as "small, but perfectly formed". With just over 70 adult members, Satellite 1 established our series' motto of 'Science Fiction, Science Fact, Science Fun' by having two programme streams, one devoted to talks and panels, the other to games and interactive items, with several items devoted to the real-world issues and impact of space exploration.

Guest of Honour

Ken MacLeod, a local author noted for his hard SF stories featuring socio-political commentary and believable alien races.

Other Guests

Sydney Jordan, a Dundee comic artist best known for the Daily Express' SF strip 'Jeff Hawke', who was unfortunately unable to attend.

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Satellite 2 small step

40 years (give or take a few days) after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, we gathered in the Crowne Plaza Hotel to commemorate the event.

Satellite 2 ran for two days, saw an increase to over 90 adult members, and maintained our dedication to having fun while looking at serious science, featuring items that have since become standard for the series: Inadvisable Rocket Science, themed art workshops, and readings from local authors.

Guest of Honour

Iain M. Banks, the sadly-missed Scottish author most noted for his novels set in and around the post-scarcity utopia known as The Culture.

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Satellite 3

...the next giant leap

Having run out of past events to celebrate, Satellite 3 predicted a successful manned mission to Mars spearheaded by the Chinese. Gathering more than 160 members in the Grand Central Hotel (the refurbished former home of Glasgow Fandom) we added a new concept to our programme: a panel item by and for stuffed toys, which has since become a Satellite regular.

Guest of Honour

Charles Stross, the then-upcoming Edinburgh-based author with a speciality in post-Singularity tales.

Other Guests

Jon Davies, science communicator and founder of the outreach company thinkScience Ltd.

Fluff, the cuddly Cthulhu.

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Satellite 4 step beyond

As an Eastercon, Satellite 4 had much more programme and considerably more members (750+), but was still a Satellite convention at heart. With the nominal concept of 'stepping beyond the solar system' in honour of Voyager 1's crossing the heliopause, we had our usual mix of hard science talks, science fiction discussions, and themed workshops and games, as well as the Eastercon standards.

Guests of Honour

John Meaney, an established author of hard science fiction.

Juliet E McKenna, fantasy author with a solid grounding in classical mythology and an active fan in her own right.

Jim Burns, long-established and lauded artist whose works grace the covers of several of our other guests' boooks.

Alice and Steve Lawson, well-known fans with several convention committees in their CVs — including WorldCons — who have each won their own Doc Weir awards.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discoverer of the pulsar and innovative science communicator.

Other Guests

Special Guest Sir Terry Pratchett, sadly-missed author of the Discworld series, who sent a video message due to being unable to attend in person.

Mark Alexander and Jean Anderson, digital humanities experts and staff on the Historical Thesaurus of English project.

Roddy Hamilton, philosopher, Church of Scotland minister, and Doctor Who fan.

Representatives from CubeSat manufacturers Clyde Space.

Jon Davies, science communicator and founder of the outreach company thinkScience Ltd, returning from Satellite 3.

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Satellite 5

...back into orbit

Returning to the smaller two-day format, and to a still-respectable 190 members, Satellite 5 convened in the Marriott Hotel to discuss and celebrate the Space Station in fiction and reality.

Guests of Honour

Jaine Fenn, author of several stories based in and around orbital stations.

Ed Buckley, well-known space artist with several convention programme book covers to his credit.

Other Guests

John Donaldson, cognitive scientist and philosopher.

Martin Hendry, Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow.

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Satellite 6

...some like it hot

Expanding to run for an extra half-day and with just over 200 members, Satellite 6 returned to the Crowne Plaza for discourse and diversions inspired by the planet Venus.

Guest of Honour

Paul McAuley, author of many hard-science fiction pieces with themes such as biotechnology, space travel, and alternate history.

Other Guests

Professor Charles Cockell, Director of the UK Centre for Astrobiology.

Dr Saskia Vermeylen, a legal scholar researching the possibilities of space property law.

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Satellite 7's a giant gas

Keeping the two-and-a-half day format, Satellite 7 returned to the Crowne Plaza for joviality and sagacity inspired by the planet Jupiter.

Guest of Honour

Aliette de Bodard, Hugo finalist and author of science fiction and fantasy works.

Margaret Walty, artist.

Other Guests

Kev F Sutherland, comic strip artist, comedian, and the genius behind the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Ken Gordon, the European Space Agency.s Space Solutions Business Ambassador for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Adah Tole, a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde, working on satellite orbits and their design methodologies.

Astrid Werkmeister, teacher and researcher at the University of Strathclyde, interested in disaster management from satellite data.

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Satellite 8

Let It Rock

Only a year later (to avoid the Glasgow Worldcon) Satellite 8 returned both to the Crowne Plaza and to the Earth, for fun of an earthy and rocking nature.

Guest of Honour

Christopher Priest, multiple BSFA-award-winning novelist and short fiction author.

Fan Guest of Honour

Michelle "Cuddles" Drayton-Harrold, famous Glasgow fan and conrunner.

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Satellite 1 Logo

6th October, 2007