Melon 2019 - Aliens

March 23 2019 at the JW Marriott Hong Kong

2019 Event Photos

Watch videos of some of the sessions here

2019 Speakers

Some of the world's most interesting thought leaders from the world of science fiction, science, technology and media.

Rachel Armstrong
Rachel Armstrong, (a writer and lecturer on the future of human society), Professor of Experimental Architecture, Director and Founder of the Experimental Architecture Group (EAG). Rachel is coordinator of the Living Architecture project, a 3.2 million euro EU-funded project that establishes the principles for our buildings to share some of the properties of living things e.g. metabolism, operating at the intersection of architecture, building construction, bio-energy and synthetic biology.
Bao Shu宝树
Chinese SF writer, won major Chinese SF awards repeatedly, has published four novels and three collections. His shorter works are published by celebrated magazines like Science Fiction World, Knowledge is Power, People’s Literature, Fiction World, Flower City, etc. Some of his works have been translated into multiple languages. Several of his stories are now available in English, published by F&SF and Clarkesworld; A novel by Tor is coming out in 2019.
Antoine Blondeau
Co-founder & Managing Partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital, a venture capital firm investing in deep algorithmic science-based Artificial Intelligence companies, globally. He has 25 years of experience as entrepreneur in technology industry. He held senior leadership positions at Good Technology,, and Sybase, and built 3 AI technology-based companies, including Dejima, the company that powered DARPA’s foundational CALO project that later evolved into Apple’s Siri.
Chan Ho Kei
Mr Chan won the 6th Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award in 2009, and later received the third place in the 10th Ni Kuang Sci-Fi Award. He won the 2nd Soji Shimada Mystery Award with The Man Who Sold the World in 2011. Chan's police procedural The Borrowed (2014) was well acclaimed, it has sold rights in more than ten countries and won awards in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. His work In The Net was selected by the Yazhou Zhoukan magazine as one of the ten best Chinese novels in 2017.
Stanley Qiufan Chen 陈楸帆
Chinese representative speculative fiction author, translator. He is known for his stylistic combination of realism and New Wave, and has been called “China’s William Gibson”. His works have been translated into many languages and received multiple domestic and international awards. His representative works include “Waste Tide", “Future Diseases”and“The Algorithm for Life”. He's running his own studio Thema Mundi on developing SF film/TV projects.
Chong Yun Kang (張草)
He published his first novel Yun-Kong Xing (A Journal of Taoist Priest Yun-Kong) in 1998. He created Ruin of Beijing in 1999 and obtained the champion in “Popular Novel Competition” organized by Crown Publishing Group (Taiwan). The story was soon expended into “Ruin Trilogy” and his 2018 new story f(x)= Killing Procedure also combined oriental concept of reincarnation with space-time theory. He has already published 21 books including 5 short stories collections, wuxia Chef Trilogy.
Aliette de Bodard
Author of the critically acclaimed Obsidian and Blood trilogy of Aztec noir fantasies, as well as numerous short stories which have garnered her two Nebula Awards, a Locus Award and two British Science Fiction Association Awards. Her recent works include the Dominion of the Fallen series which comprises The House of Shattered Wings and its standalone sequel The House of Binding.
Fritz Demopoulos
Fritz Demopoulos has been a technology and media industry entrepreneur in mainland China and Hong Kong for a number of years. He coordinates his entrepreneurial business and investment activities through Queen's Road Capital. Fritz was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, Karls-Ruprect University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He supports The Arsenal Gunners of the English Premier League.
Marcel Fenez
President of Fenez Media, which provides advisory services to boards & senior management across entertainment, media & technology ecosystems. He was Global leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers Entertainment & Media practise until 2015. He is an independent non-executive director of AsiaSat and serves on the advisory boards of a number of emerging companies in media, education technology and entertainment sectors. He was formerly Chairman of CASBAA (now AVIA).
Roger Garcia
Roger Garcia was executive director of the HK International Film Festival from 2010 to 2018. He has served as consultant, programmer and jury member for many film festivals in Asia, Europe and the US including Berlin and Venice. As producer he has worked on box-office hits in Hollywood, independent films in Asia, and pioneered experimental cinema in HK in the 1980s. He lectures at universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Beijing Film Academy, and is a Board Member of M Plus Museum.
SL Huang
An Amazon-bestselling author who justifies her MIT degree by using it to write eccentric mathematical superhero fiction. Her debut novel, Zero Sum Game, is recently out from Tor, and her short fiction has sold to Analog, Nature, and The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016. She is also a Hollywood stuntwoman and firearms expert, with credits including “Battlestar Galactica” and “Top Shot.”
Rebecca Kuang
Rebecca F. Kuang was born in Guangzhou and immigrated to the United States in 2000. She has a BA from Georgetown University in International History. She is currently pursuing an MPhil in Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge on a Marshall Scholarship. Her debut novel The Poppy War was published by Harper Voyager in 2018 and was a Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist and one of Time's Best Books of 2018. The sequel The Dragon Republic comes out in August.
Andrew Kwan
Andrew Kwan is founder and CEO of education technology companies Outwhiz and Edore. Outwhiz is adaptive learning infrastructure combined with rewards. Edore helps students connect learning with their real lives and interests. In addition, Andrew serves as strategic advisor to CoCoon, an entrepreneurship community in Hong Kong.
Samuel Levin
Samuel Levin is a DPhil Candidate in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. He develops mathematical models to study the evolution of cooperation, the origin of life, and astrobiology. He is interested in why organisms cooperate, how the first life forms became more complex, and which rules of evolution are universal. He has also written popular science articles for The Guardian, Quartz, and Aeon.
Gary Li
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow in the UCLA Plasma and Space Propulsion Lab. He won 1st place at UCLA, given a public talk at TEDxUCLA in 2017, and published multiple popular science articles that have been featured on BusinessInsider and
Scarlett Li
One of China’s leading media and music executives, Scarlett started her music career as CEO of Star TV’s Channel [V] music channel. She founded Zebra Media in 2008, one of China’s top music festival operators. She joined CMC in 2017 as VP of the group, responsible for music and live entertainment division. During the past 2 years with CMC, Scarlett incubated and invested in many entertainment companies. Prior to Zebra Media, she Co-Founded R2G Limited, a music rights clearance company.
Jo Lusby
Co-founder & CEO of Pixie B, an independent consultancy specialising in publishing, film, and the creative sector based in Hong Kong. She is a director of Hong Kong International Literary Festival and PEN Hong Kong. Jo is regularly quoted by international news outlets including the New York Times, The Guardian, and The Economist, as well as Quartz. She also works with mid-level and senior managers in multinational and international companies offering leadership development and strategic advice.
Jean-Luc Margot
Professor & Chair of Dept of Earth, Planetary, & Space Sciences at UCLA & Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA. He is a planetary astronomer who conducts research on properties of planetary bodies with a variety of spacecraft and telescopes. He also leads the UCLA SETI Group, whose mission is to find evidence of other civilizations in the Galaxy. He has published more than 100 articles or book chapters in refereed publications and was awarded Urey Prize by American Astronomical Society.
Phillipa Milne
Phillipa Milne studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield. Before relocating to Hong Kong, she worked in multi-arts programming at the City of London Festival. She also managed their year-round education projects. She was Director of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival for four years.
Jeannette Ng
Ms Ng has been nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She won the British 2018 and the Sydney J Bounds Award (Best Newcomer) in the British Fantasy Awards 2018.
Alexandre Philippe
He holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and is creative director at Exhibit A Pictures. Most of his films unpack the most influential works of master filmmakers & dissect seminal screen moments. Selected past works include Memory - The Origins of Alien (2019 Sundance Film Festival), 78/52 (2017 Sundance Film Festival), Doc of the Dead (SXSW 2014), The People vs. George Lucas (SXSW 2010). He is currently working on a film about The Exorcist with William Friedkin.
Robbie Stamp
TedX Speaker, member of UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence, and CEO of Bioss International, a consultancy interested in decision making and human judgement, particularly in relation to machine learning and AI. In 1995, Robbie was a Founder of The Digital Village with the late great Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Company created the Computer Game Starship Titanic and, real “earth edition” of The Hitchhiker’s Guide.
Albert Tam (譚劍)
A Hong Kong novelist, screenwriter and author. “Humanoid Software” (2010) won the Best Novel of Chinese Nebula Award. “Light Gate Murder Case” was shortlisted for the same award in 2015. “Rhythm of Night” (2008) was shortlisted in “Chiu-Ko 30 Novel Award”. “Broken Pieces” was selected in “A 100 Years of the Best Hong Kong Short Stories/Novels” in 2017. “Cat Whisperer” (2018) was selected as one of the recommended titles of “XMediaMatch, from Book to Screen” by Taiwan Ministry of Culture.
Tang Fei (糖匪)
A speculative fiction writer and a member of SFWA. She has been writing and publishing nearly 400,000 words of short stories and novelettes and has published 7 stories in the USA, UK and Australia. “Call Girl”, translated by Ken Liu, is published in APEX Magazine and reprinted in Rich Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014. “Pepe”, translated by John Chu, is published in Clarkesworld and also reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy.
Jeremy Tse (望日)
A speculative fiction writer in Hong Kong. He began his writing career using the pen name “Mong Yat” in 2013 and has published seven novels. He founded Starry Night Publications in 2015, which publishes books and and its publications have received a number of local awards including Hong Kong Publishing Biennial Awards and Hong Kong Golden Book Awards.
Jo Walton
Author of science fiction and fantasy novels. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and the Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012, and the Tiptree Award for My Real Children in 2015. Her collection What Makes This Book So Great won the Locus Award for Best Non-Fiction in 2015, and her An Informal History of the Hugos came out in 2018.
Wang Chien Min (寵物先生)
A mystery writer and reviewer of Taiwan and As a member of the association ‘Mystery Writers of Taiwan’. On Sep 4th 2009, he won the first prize of the inaugural Souji Shimada Mystery Award for the fiction Virtua Street. Other sci-fi or mystery novels, like Catching Doraemon: Death in the Clouds and S.T.E.P.
(collaborated with Chan Ho-Kei), were also published.
Regina Wang
A bilingual writer from Shanghai, member of Shanghai Writers’ Association, Shanghai Popular Science Writers’ Association and World Chinese Science Fiction Association. Her short story, “Back to Myan,” won the SF Comet international short story competition in Feb, 2015. Her novella, “Of Cloud and Mist” won the Silver Award for Best Novella and Golden Award for Best Film Adaptation of Xingyun Award for Global Chinese SF 2016.
Anna Wu (吴霜)
Science fiction writers of the new generation, film and TV play writer, member of World Chinese Science Fiction Association. She won the Gold Medal of Originality for the Best Science Fiction Film of the Sixth Nebula Award and the Silver Medal for Novelette of the Ninth Nebula Award for Global Chinese Science Fiction. Her works includes Clarkesworld、Galaxy's Edge and Science Fiction World, Twins and The Shape.
James Marsh, Moderator
Born the same year Star Wars opened, James has always been an avid fan of science fiction. He works as a film critic for the SCMP, RTHK Radio 3 and, and as consultant for Fantastic Fest and XYZ Films.
Siew Hoon Yeoh, Moderator
Yeoh Siew Hoon combines her love of travel and writing in her profession as a travel industry journalist and commentator. She runs her own travel conference and website, Web In Travel, which she founded in 2005. She saw a need for the industry to recognize and deal with the changes that would come from the Internet and technology.
Karen Koh - MC
Karen Koh is Hong Kong based independent TV and radio journalist, MC and trainer. She’s reported and anchored for BBC World, CNBC Asia, CNNI and Thomson Reuters. Karen MC’s and moderates events, teaches media and presentation skills and hosts The Agender Café, a weekly show on gender issues for RTHK.
Christopher Slaugher - Moderator
Christopher Slaughter has more than 25 years of experience in Asia-Pacific broadcasting, most recently as CEO of CASBAA, the regional pay TV trade association. Before CASBAA, Christopher was Managing Director and Executive Producer at independent production company APV. Previously, he was Asia-Pacific head of TMT consultancy The Yankee Group; prior to that, he was HK and Shanghai Bureau Chief for CNBC Asia, and a correspondent for its predecessor, Asia Business News.
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                : Aliens

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Siew Hoon Yeoh, Moderator

Yeoh Siew Hoon combines her love of travel and writing in her profession as a travel industry journalist and commentator. She runs her own travel conference and website, Web In Travel, which she founded in 2005. She saw a need for the industry to recognize and deal with the changes that would come from the Internet and technology.