Last weekend, Del, Scarlet and I travelled to one of our favourite cities in the world, Bristol, for Bristolcon. A relatively new genre convention, Bristolcon is already a mainstay for us and without a doubt the friendliest event on the calendar. There is something very unique about the Bristolcon committee’s approach to putting together and running an event. Panelists put themselves forward for proposed panels – a much more accurate way of ensuring the right people are on the right panels. In addition, this year there were a series of very short readings taking place between panels; this meant that writers had a real audience and kept the panel streams flowing wonderfully. Having witnessed some god awful behaviour on the part of my fellow writers in the way they can treat volunteers at conventions, I was delighted to see so much respect for the organisers and all of the folk who helped out on the day.
The highlight of the event for me was interviewing writer, friend and Bristolcon Guest of Honour, Gareth L Powell. Gareth was engaging, great fun and put me at complete ease as an interviewer. I cannot recommend Gareth’s forthcoming novel, Ack Ack Macque (Solaris, 2013) enough! Gareth has a uniquely dry wit and this humour infuses his latest novel.
This was Scarlet’s very first taste of the convention scene – and she loved it! Apparently it was better than our summer holiday to Tuscany (certainly the weather was better). She made a particular friend in Bristolcon artist Guest of Honour, Anne Sudworth, who is always so lovely and who Scarlet described as ‘That beautiful lady.’ I think the weekend made for an excellent test bed for next year’s Eastercon. My real hope is that Scarlet will find some likeminded friends at these events and not feel quite so different from her pink-and-glitter loving peers at school.
And so now it is back to the working day. I am really enjoying working on my new adult novel, the title of which changes on a weekly basis. I’m also teasing out the plot for a new YA fantasy novel and have a couple of short story commissions to get started on very soon. Alongside writing I’m doing the audio for a couple of stories for Starship Sofa and Pseudopod and will be reading some ARCs for the purpose of enjoyment and blurbage.
First though, it’s nearly Halloween – which means ridiculous costumes, pumpkin carving and ghost stories. In the case of the latter, The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories is released next month and features my short story ‘Field of the Dead.’ I am also looking forward to the release of the Snowbook steampunk anthology, Resurrection Engines, which features an equally disturbing short story of mine called ‘The Island of Peter Pandora.’ This really is one of my stranger tales, combining influences from Peter Pan and The Island of Doctor Moreau. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the mashups!
Happy Halloween folks!