Release the Bristolcon! AWOOOGA AWOOOGA

That’s it, the Bristolcon siren has sounded. Genre-related shenanigans have been spotted cavorting off the port side, and will be arriving with us Saturday 26th of September. All hands brace for AWESOME.

Oh I do like Bristolcon. It’s enormously friendly and relaxed, and Bristol is an odd and funky place (with excellent graffiti and its own Forbidden Planet). I have been a zombie in Bristol, and chased a helium-filled Spiderman down a street. Anyway.

Here is the programme. I’m on a panel in the evening on editing, my books will be there is some form, and I’ll be generally mooching about so do say hello if you see me! I won’t be dressed as a zombie but I will have had to get up very early, so take pity.

Where am I? What’s going on? Cons and wotsits UPDATED

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Yes, you too can witness me awkwardly signing books, IN FLESH SPACE

I’ve been putting off writing this post slightly, because I haven’t actually known what I’ll be doing, really, over the next few months, but August is suddenly looming and it occurs to me that I should probably get my finger out. As I gradually learn stuff, I will update this post, and wave it about some more. So this is the rough draft, as it were.

So! Hello! Convention season is upon us. What am I up to? Where can you find me should you need a dragon drawn in a book?

6th of August Fantasy in the Court

Come and hang out at Goldsboro Books, one of the loveliest bookshops in London, with a bunch of fantasy authors. What could be better than that? I always look forward to this event.

7th to the 9th of August Nineworlds Geekfest

On the Friday I will be chatting dragons and griffins and giant spiders on the “It’s ALIIIIIVE: Creating a Monster” panel, 1.30pm to 2.45pm

On Saturday morning, I’ll be on the panel for The End of Author Mystique, where possibly I realise that after 105K tweets, I am probably not that mysterious any more. From 10am to 11.15am.

On Sunday morning, the excellent writer Den Patrick and I will be hosting a special “pastries and coffee” edition of the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. Readings tbc, and there will be a chance to win a copy of The Folio Society’s gorgeous edition of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Chat and shenanigans will take place from 10am to 11.15am, and we hope to see you all there. Our early morning wakefulness will be sponsored by Orbit!

Then, on the Creative Writing track, Den and I will be making another appearance on the “Support Groups for Writers: How to make them work” panel, at 1.30pm to 2.45pm.

On September the 26th I will be at the lovely Bristolcon, and from the 23rd to the 25th of October I will be at the fabulous Fantasycon. I’ve no clue what I’m doing yet, but I am always ready and willing to sign books, draw in people’s books, or generally bore on about Dragon Age or Mass Effect, so please do say hello if you see me.

 

Big Up Bristolcon

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I went to my first ever Bristolcon this weekend, which I’m pleased to report was brilliant. Good times were had, dodgy food was eaten, minds were expanded.  

At this stage I’m not a massive con veteran and I’m just starting to find my feet with these things, but what struck me about Bristolcon was how cosy it was – cosy friendly rather than cosy tiny, I mean. There were two conference rooms where the talks took place, spaces for the dealers and artists, and a huge bar, and I very much enjoyed walking back and forth across the hotel because inevitably you would bump into someone you knew almost immediately.

            I met up with possibly too many people to name, but I’ll chuck a few up here – saw Fran Terminiello for the first time, who shared a bottle of wine with me and undoubtedly has better taste in booze; finally said hello to Lou Morgan, who I have spectacularly failed to meet previously despite attending many of the same events; discussed a Watership Down roleplaying game with the mighty Dave Moore; caught up with Anne Lyle, who saved me from awkwardness when I turned up hideously early (I was very paranoid about missing the train and consequently got up at 4am); admired Emma Newman’s spectacular coat; Mhairi Simpson prompted a vividly memorable conversation about, uh, green dragongs; saw Gareth L. Powell receive a monkey dressed as a fighter pilot… as you can probably guess, I had a lot of fun. And thanks to Guy Haley, who got the same train back for a little while and ensured that at least 20 minutes of my journey was filled with amusing chat (the rest of it was spectacularly hideous. There is nothing quite like 20 boozed up football fans all trying to vomit into the same train toilet).

            The panels! Also, the panels were great. I particularly enjoyed the Women in Sensible Armour talk, where the sense of “we’re not putting up with this bullshit anymore” was palpable, and Danie Ware brought up a particular bug bear of mine (namely: strong women having to have massive personality problems or issues). The steampunk panel was great too, headed by the fabulous Philip Reeve – there were lots of opinions on show, all articulated wonderfully. Plus Nimue Brown had an excellent hat.

            All in all, I had an excellent experience and felt very welcomed and included. I am a reasonably introverted person, as I may have mentioned before, and a decade or so ago the idea of travelling to a place by myself and actually, you know, talking to people I’ve never met before would have been totally unthinkable; now I’m pleased to say I can do it, with bells on, and that is partly due to the awesome and friendly writing community. Good show, I say, good show!