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The Promise of Pleasure: Good Bad Books?

A film still of two images layered on top of each other

Join artists and writers for an evening of film, readings and discussion exploring the imaginative spaces of genre fiction.

Who is at “home” in a genre like science fiction or mystery? What kinds of reading relationships are forged by passionate fans of horror or romance? How can artists and writers make use of the mixed feelings evoked by genre fiction: from the spine-tingling to the cringe-inducing?

This closing event reflects on ideas emerging from writing workshops hosted in the Barbican Library throughout August and September. The event will launch The Promise of Pleasure publication; a selection of original short stories created by participants of the writing workshops, with an afterword by So Mayer.

Content note: This programme contains references to racism, racial language, nudity, and mentions of sadomasochism and violence.

Age restriction: Under 16s will not be admitted.


Introduction by Naomi Pearce 

Reading of new short fiction from Hardeep Pandhal and David Steans’s Good Bad Books? Horror workshop  

Screening of Lucy McKenzieThe Girl Who Followed Marple (2014, 11 minutes) 

Reading of Martine SymsThe Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto (2013) 

Screening of TJ CuthandHelpless Maiden Makes an “I” Statement (1999, 6 minutes) 

Reading from Philip: A Novel (2007) by Mark Aerial Waller, Heman Chong, Cosmin Costinas, Rosemary Heather, Francis McKee, David Reinfurt, Steve Rushton and Leif Magne Tangen (curated by Mai Abu El Dahab)  

Screening of Jamie Crewe, A Luxury (2021, 8 minutes 11 seconds) 

Reading of new short fiction from K Patrick’s Good Bad Books? Romance workshop 

Discussion with So Mayer and Temi Oh chaired by Anna Bunting-Branch 

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Frobisher Auditorium 1