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Second Annual Science and Fiction Confab

Join PEN Miami/South Florida in collaboration with our partners at Florida International University for a wide-ranging discussion with renowned writers as they explore the connection between science and fiction. The panel discussion will conclude with an audience Q&A and book-signing.

About the Science & Fiction Confab

Established in 2021, Florida International University’s Science & Fiction Lab runs on the tenet that literary studies and STEM are not only complementary, but intricately intertwined. They aim to propagate interdisciplinarity across the undergraduate curriculum by cultivating, storing, and disseminating “plug-and-play” portable course content inspired by the myriad connections between science and fiction. The public-facing highlight of the Lab’s programming is the annual Science & Fiction Confab. Envisioned as a conversation among scholars and writers of science, fiction, and science fiction, the confab serves to kindle the interests of FIU students and faculty as well as the greater South Florida community. They hope to galvanize learners, teachers, and community members to get involved in the Lab’s mission: to leverage interdisciplinarity in reinvigorating both higher ed and science communication.



Ken Liu headshot

Ken Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he wrote the Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (starting with The Grace of Kings), as well as short story collections The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and The Hidden Girl and Other Stories. He also penned the Star Wars novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Liu worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. Liu frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, machine-augmented creativity, history of technology, bookmaking, and the mathematics of origami.

Usman Malik headshotUsman T. Malik is a physician-writer whose fiction has been published at Al-Jazeera, WIRED magazine, Center for Science and Imagination (ASU), in New Voices of Fantasy and more than a dozen best of the year anthologies, including The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy series. Usman’s debut book Midnight Doorways: Fables from Pakistan won the 2022 World Fantasy Award and the 2022 Crawford Award from the International Association for the Fantastic in Arts (IAFA), and was on Washington Post’s 2021 list of best new science fiction and fantasy collections. During the day, Usman is a consultant rheumatologist with Sanford Health systems and is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Central Florida.

Vandana Singh headshotVandana Singh is a writer of science fiction with three collections to her credit, including the Philip K. Dick Award finalist Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories (Small Beer Press), and a chapbook in the Outspoken Author series from PM Press, Utopias of the Third Kind. Recent fiction includes two stories in the Climate Action Almanac, a project of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. She is a professor of physics and environment at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, where her academic work involves a transdisciplinary, justice-centered reconceptualization of the climate crisis at the intersection of science, society and pedagogy. Her book, Teaching Climate Change: Science, Stories, Justice, is out from Routledge in January, 2024.

In Collaboration With

PEN America Miami/South Florida Chapter logo
Miami Book Fair logo