The Hyderabad Literary Festival 2024 will host a dedicated science stream – Science and the City – for the first time in its programme of events. Under this stream, the festival will host science storytellers and scientists on various topics including an understanding of our identity as a population, human emotions and their manifestations, science journalism, science fiction, and what it takes to build cities of science. As a city with numerous science research
institutes, well-known universities, and a prominent technology base, Science and the City aims for HLF visitors to pause, think, and interrogate the pursuit of science in the city of Hyderabad.

Some highlights:

  • GN Devy, co-editor of The Indians: Histories of a Civilization, and scientist K Thangaraj, population genomics expert, talk to Kalpana Sharma on our understanding of ancestry and civilization.
  • Prashant Garg, Executive Chair of the LV Prasad Eye Institute and a clinician-scientist, and Aditya Korrapati, Telugu writer and critic, will discuss the science and art of human tears with Usha Raman.
  • Purnima Tammireddy, author of Emotional Pregnancy, Annapoorna PK, neuroscientist and Neena Verma, well-being and resilience expert will be in conversation with Purnima Nagaraja to understand different perspectives of mental health.
  • Well-known science fiction authors, Samit Basu and Lavanya Lakshminarayan will be in conversation with Sushmita Banerji on the growing science fiction culture in India.
  • Well-known science journalists, Shubashree Desikan and Nandita Jayaraj will be in conversation with Somdatta Karak on what it takes to do science journalism.
  • Dinesh Sharma, author of Indian Innovation, Not Jugaad and Shanta Thoutam, Chief Innovation Officer, Telangana State Innovation Council will be in conversation with Dinesh Abrol on what it takes to build a city’s identity on the basis of its scientific expertise.
  • Workshops on science fiction writing by Lavanya Lakshminarayan and zine-making as a tool to question the world around us, by Ipsa Jain.
  • STEM booths to discuss and question the scientists in the city of Hyderabad as well as be fascinated with the diverse scientific and technological advances happening in the city.
  • DoScience, a booth for the visitors to engage with seemingly unreal experiences and have a scientific explanation for them.
  • Gene-Health Connect, a mobile science exhibition on genes and their role in our health and well-being.
  • Magnetize your Creativity, an activity for the visitors to immerse in to a complex health problem, antimicrobial resistance, and become creative champions in spreading awareness on the issue by painting colourful magnets with messages for their families and friends.
  • Story box, a vending machine that will give stories, including those of science.

Building New Worlds: A Journey into Science Fiction

Lavanya Lakshminarayan

Duration: 1.5 hours
Number of Participants: 25
Age group: 13 years and above

🗓 28th January 2024
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Venue: Science And The City

Science fiction allows us to go to the unseen worlds, travel time back and forth, become explorers and foresee problems that the mundaneness of our worlds shield us from. This is fiction that compels you to ask a lot of ‘why’s’ while traversing through fantastical settings. These stories let us experience and articulate our expectations from the advancements in science and technology while questioning processes and ethics of the current age. They also set the premise of future inventions. Be it a pandemic or the invention of telecommunications and more, science fiction writers saw it before anyone else.

Join Lavanya Lakshminarayan in this workshop and learn the process of building new worlds using science fiction. Learn to develop unique settings and characters to tell stories of reimagined futures.



Event Streams


Lit Stream

Kaavya Dhaara

Poetry Stream

Stage Talks

Audio-Visual Track

Science and the City

Climate Conversations

Indigenous and Endangered Languages

Nanha Nukkad

Children’s Corner

Youngistan Nukkad

Youth Programmes


Cultural Events



Moving Images Talkies

Film Screenings

Meet My Book

Author’s Pitch