Science fiction, forensic science on ‘collision course’ at Book Fair

PHILIPSBURG–experts from the Forensics Department of the Police Force of St. Maarten and popular Canadian science-fiction writer Nalo Hopkinson may not know each other yet but their worlds are about to collide on the “Friendly Island,” said coordinator of the fourteenth annual St. Maarten Book Fair Shujah Reiph.

“Collide is probably a word to make it sound exciting, but they definitely will be at the scene, around the same time, and with exciting presentations or discussion about their work at the University of St. Martin (USM) on Saturday, June 4,” said Reiph.

Book Fair visitors will get up-close insights into the mind of a big name in the very imaginative, other-worldly category of the fiction genre, said Jacqueline Sample.

The St. Martin Book Fair forensics workshop will be about “Digital forensics and cyber-crime” fighting in St. Martin, said House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) President Jacqueline Sample.

Those attending the workshop will get to ask the experts in real time about the scientific investigation of this type of crime that uses, for example, social media and the Internet on the island, said Sample.

Science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson will present the commentary at the Presidents Forum, where the science/future-oriented topic will carry the title of, “I will write a story and put myself in it, in this new world.”

“I can’t wait for these two programs,” said Sample. “One could touch on the fantastical worlds of science-fiction writing and future thinking. The other is about the meticulous facts that make forensics science so captivating but more importantly rewarding of justice for so many people.”

Sample, who is a criminologist by profession, is an avid reader of science-fiction books and murder mysteries.

Hopkinsonis the author of eight books of fiction, the editor/co-editor of four fiction anthologies, and a fiction co-editor for the special edition People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction, said Reiph.

Hopkinson, who was born in Jamaica and is a Canadian citizen, has received the John W. Campbell Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Andre Norton Award, and twice, the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. She is now a Creative Writing professor at the University of California Riverside. The author of the newly published short stories Falling in Love with Hominids has made noted novelist Junot Diaz write that Hopkinson is “a powerful writer with an imagination that most of us will kill for.”

It is exactly on a subject like killing where Hopkinson’s world of great fantasy and the forensics world of real crime investigation could clash in sometimes dangerously dramatic, sometimes tragic and captivating ways, or depart with the differences of light years between them, said Sample.

Reiph thinks that it’s no exaggeration to say that many people in St. Maarten/St. Martin are addicted to forensics crime shows on TV.

“Now when there’s a murder it’s sadly normal to see newspaper and online pictures of Police and Gendarmes conducting parts of their forensics investigation. But there are other types of crimes that forensics deal with,” said Reiph.

In a nutshell, forensics have to do with scientific tests or techniques that are used in connection with the detection of crimes such as murder, rape, genocide, burglary, monetary and technology theft and fraud, crime that uses the Internet, and to solve certain aspects of espionage cases.

The theme of the island-wide literary festival this year is “The Science of It.” Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP are organizing the St. Martin Book Fair in collaboration with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, USM, L.C. Fleming Foundation, GEBE, SOS Radio, and the Collectivité of St. Martin.

The Book Fair Committee is also thankful that Philipsburg Jubilee Library, IrieLife, and Peridot Foundation are contributing to literary and movie presentations, said Reiph.

Source: Daily Herald
Science fiction, forensic science on ‘collision course’ at Book Fair