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EasterCon – Glasgow 2014

Glasgow Science Museum

Glasgow Science Museum

This year’s EasterCon, Satellite 4, was held by the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow over the Easter weekend. This was my first time in Glasgow and as is the way with conventions I didn’t get to see much of the city other than the area around the convention hotel. Having said that, everyone was very friendly and it would be a city I would go back to and explore without hesitation. The convention itself was well-organised and ran smoothly – clearly a lot of work had gone into the preparation and I would like to add my thanks to the many people involved in running the convention.

For me it was a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues and to meet people for the first time. It was particularly nice to meet those who have read my work and took a moment to let me know they’d enjoyed it. Writing is generally a solitary activity and to realise that your work has made a connection with someone is very rewarding – especially as they are such nice people.

View of the Clyde

View of the Clyde

In terms of programming, I participated in a panel discussion on different styles of fantasy, which was fun and interesting. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, including the panel, so that was good. I especially enjoyed the presentations of two visitors to the convention, Andy Miah from the University of the West of Scotland, and Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Andy presented on the subject of enhanced humans, either by mechanical, biological, chemical or genetic means, and what was stunning about his presentation was not how much could be done, but how much of it was current. I was expecting him to be talking about things that might happen in the future, but most of what he was presenting is perfectly possible now, and may actually already have been done. Andy clearly knows his subject well and is a gifted presenter, and his presentation was excellent.

BBC Scotland Reflection

BBC Scotland Reflection

 

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is a former President of the Royal Astronomical Society and was President of the Institute of Physics. She is also lots of fun, really interesting to listen to and an inspirational speaker. Her presentation was on new developments in astronomy, a subject that until then I’d though was relatively well understood and quite static. How wrong I was. Dame Jocelyn mostly talked about transients, things which move around in the heavens and which have been difficult to study because the sensitivity to track something in the heavens that is moving around  has only recently become available. These are important not just because they enhance our understanding of our universe, but also because there is evidence that from time to time large objects crash into the Earth causing damage on a catastrophic scale.

She also talked about mysterious things called whistlers that that are intermittent and fleeting – pulses of radiation that have crossed intergalactic space. This is cutting edge astronomy and we are only beginning to theorise on what might be the cause of such intense bursts of energy. Dame Jocelyn has the gift  of making her subject accessible, understandable and inspiring. If you get the opportunity to hear her speak then I highly recommend it.

So overall Satellite 4 was a successful weekend for me personally and for the convention in general, and I hope I will get to visit the lovely City of Glasgow again soon.

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Signing at Waterstones Bedford and Promotion

Waterstones Logo

Waterstones Bookshop

The lovely people at Waterstones in Bedford have allowed me to take over a small part of their shop this Saturday 30th November so I can sign books. I will be in the shop from about 10:45 onwards with copies of all 4 books in the Courts of the Feyre series available – at least until we sell them all.

To tempt you to come along, I will be giving away a free signed copy of Sixty-One Nails to the first five people who come into the shop and give me the codeword, “DOGSTAR”. Come early because they will go quite quickly.

In any case, come along and say ‘Hi’. If you want to bring along your existing copies, I will be glad to sign those too. Bear in mind that I will be sporting my Movember Moustache in all its glory.

See you there!

 

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Wood Green Literary Festival 2013

On Saturday 12th October I will be at Wood Green Literary Festival, along with Anne Lyle, author of the Night’s Masque series, and together we will be discussing Mad and Magical London – the London of the unknown and the unseen, and the London of magical and mysterious history.

Our Books

Anne and I will be happy to sign books, or just chat about London, fantasy, writing and books. Latest information is that we will be in Wood Green Library, but that may change, so keep an eye on the festival website for latest information.

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EasterCon 2013 – EightSquared Bradford

I’ll be in Bradford for Easter weekend for the 64th EasterCon and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the event. I have a number of sessions programmed throughout the weekend – see below for details:

Friday 29th March

  • 6:00 PM – Avalon, Sherwood Forest and Alderley Edge: The Magical British Countryside
    • How does the landscape of Britain affect stories set in it? Where does the magic lurk, and how does it inspire writers? Sue Mason moderates Tiffani Angus, Anne Sudworth, Mike Shevdon and Freda Warrington.
  • 9:00 PM – Underground London
    • Take one London. Add magical society hidden from most people. Mix in famous places from the city, and optionally garnish with police procedural. Why is this such a great recipe? With Paul Cornell, Roz Kaveney, Anne Lyle, Simon Morden and Mike Shevdon.

Saturday 30th March

  • Genre Get-Together – Fantasy
    • A chance to meet the authors, get books signed and chat about books, stories and other stuff.

Sunday March 31st

  • Author Readings
    • I will be reading from The Eight Court, along with the lovely Emma Newman who will (I hope) be reading from her new book – Between Two Thorns.

If you would like a book signed or just to say hello, I will be around the convention for most of the weekend. There are a host of events, panels, games and discussions with plenty to do throughout the weekend.

If you’re at the event, please come and say Hi – it’s always nice to meet new friends. See you there!

 

 

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Sheffield Visit 2012

On 17th November we had a very successful visit to Sheffield Central Library – a big thank you to Dan and the team, to Harland Cafe and to The Space Centre for organising and supporting the event. Hi to everyone who came along – I hope we were able to entertain you and answer your questions. A special thank you to the person who asked the question about deadlines :-)

Some pics below:

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Four Go To Sheffield

This Saturday 17th November there will be not one, but four Angry Robot Authors in Sheffield. As part of their Readers Events, Sheffield Central Library are hosting a Science Fiction and Fantasy Readers Day with four authors, each with a different style of fantasy:

  • David Tallerman“Best known for an eclectic variety of short stories, Tallerman debuts with a breezy novel of a man with his eye on the prize … Tallerman’s charming, devil-may-care hero has plenty of swashbuckling roguishness to carry him through the planned sequels.” – Publishers Weekly
  • Gav Thorpe – “The Crown of the Blood should really have a warning sticker on the front (Angry Robots take note) it’s one of those books that are almost impossible to put down, so much so that you find yourself unconsciously continuing to (try to) read after geeting up to make a brew / go to work / go to bed (delete as applicable and don’t try this at home kids). The novel also stands out with a very strong opening scene and excellent end, with a genuinely unexpected twist.” – SFBook.com
  • Anne Lyle“Anne Lyle’s Alchemist of Souls teems with intrigue and magic worthy of the Bard himself, all set against the backdrop of Elizabethan London. The attention to historical detail brings the time and place alive and peoples it with characters I could instantly empathize with. An outstanding debut!”  Lynn Flewelling

And you get me into the bargain, talking about The Courts of the Feyre and writing in general. I will also be around to sign copies of the books, including Strangeness and Charm – all supported with free cake from The Harland Cafe and with books on sale from The Space Centre.

NOTE – TICKETS ARE FREE, BUT YOU HAVE TO BOOK IN ADVANCE

If that wasn’t enough to tempt you,the Angry Robot editorial team will be there, talking about publishing, what it takes to be an Angry Robot Author and how to get that big break. The event starts at 1pm at Sheffield Central Library, but remember to get those tickets in advance.

Hope to see you there

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Signing at Waterstones Bedford on Saturday

This weekend Bedford will be hosting its bi-annual River Festival and entirely co-incidentally, I will be at Waterstones on Silver Street signing copies of Strangeness and Charm and the earlier books.

Do come along and get your books signed – the staff at Waterstones are very welcoming and helpful. The event starts at 10:30 and will continue until about 4pm if we still have books. Last time we had sold all the stock by 2pm, so my advice would be to come earlier rather than later to avoid disappointment.

Hope to see you there.

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