Last Wednesday evening I travelled up to London for an interview with the BSFA.
Sloane Square looked stunning in the darkness with the Christmas lights on, and the Antelope is only a few minutes walk away. In fact, I had barely arrived and was about to buy a drink when Tony Keen joined me. Tony organized the event, and he and Dave Mansfield -who interviewed me- made me feel exceptionally welcome. I read a couple of chapters from Damage Time to a small but attentive audience who asked some intriguing questions, and finished up reading the first few pages from ‘Spindizzy,’ my contribution to Dark Spires. Actually, it was interesting to see how different the whole experience felt from ‘that’ side of the table. Afterwards we had a fine Thai meal at a restaurant a short(-ish) walk away.
The evening flew by, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone next year, when it’ll be someone else’s turn in the hot seat. And the BSFA are keen to roll the format out to other areas. If you’re an author looking to be interviewed, or a fan who wants to interview their favourite author, drop by the BSFA contact page and get in touch with them. Sadly, they didn’t have their recording equipment, so my secrets are (almost) safe for a while longer.
And on my return the next day, I found the curiously titled e-mail in my inbox - Is Scramble A Drug?
It was lucky that it didn’t end up in the crushing maw of the spam filter, but it got through, and it turns out it was someone with an ‘edu’ e-mail (edu addresses always impress me, they hint at academia) asking whether the reference to Scramble in Damage Time refers to a drug.
It does, and the name’s sort of self-explanatory in that it jumbles the memory, but I must admit that I thought someone else had used it before so if you’ve heard of it elsewhere, drop me a line.
Enough for now. More tomorrow.
• November 27th, 2010 • Posted in General
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I started this blog post yesterday, but had very little time, so you’ll have to use your imagination and pretend that it’s Wednesday, and not Thursday. (Hey, why shouldn’t I demand a bit of reader contribution?) Anyway…
I had my first Genre session on SF yesterday. I wanted to approach it with the open eyes of a student with no previous knowledge of the genre, and have no preconceptions that might blinker me. But it was an odd feeling, because you can’t undo what you know.
The result was that I kept hearing things that I’d heard before in a slightly different way, rather as if I was hearing echoes of voices. Delany on Heinlein and his dilating door, Adam Roberts and his definition of SF as “where the marvellous is framed within a materialist understanding of the universe,” and Darko Suvin and his Novum (the new).
The lecturer is Antony Nanson, who reviews for Vector among other places. He has a wealthof knowledge and understanding of genre in general, but of SF in particular. I haven’t volunteered that I’ve published work, and he hasn’t asked. But he must have some idea….
…especially as he put up four scenarios for people to use to create an SF-nal world. And scenario number 2 was Damage Time, to a tee.
I now have to write a short-story in collaboration, which will be a new experience.
Now it’s off to meet the BSFA in London.
• November 25th, 2010 • Posted in General
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Before I head off to uni, a reminder that I’m in London tomorrow night for the BSFA interview at the Antelope near Sloane Square. I’ll probably kick the proceedings off by reading from Damage Time. Details are here, so feel free to come along and say hi.
Meanwhile, there’s another nice review for Damage Time over at Warpcore SF, which has several interesting points to make – not all of them I agree with, but that’s what set’s merely nice reviews apart from interesting ones.
And SFX carried a fascinating interesting review. Not for what it said, but for the assumptions behind it, which in turn sparked off some thoughts on my part about what kind of writer I want to be. More on that another time….
• November 23rd, 2010 • Posted in General
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Here’s a thought; as I type this, it’s 12.07 on the 183rd day of the year. We are seven minutes past the mid-point of the year — from now on, we’re closer to 2011 than we are 2009. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about the future, that has a certain satisfaction to it. And of sourse we’ll be even closer to 2011 when you read this.
But looking back 36 hours, I had a thoroughly good time chatting to Eric Brown before and after the BSFA meeting in London on Wednesday night. It seems incredible that he’s been writing for over 20 years, but he has, and had some interesting points to make about Haworth in Yorkshire, SF, reviewing and writing for readers who have difficulty reading.
It was also nice to get to chat to Ian Whates, since we both of us always seem to be busy at cons. I’m not sure where he finds the energy to write, edit, publish and find time for the BSFA. Long may he continue.
And after over 30 years, it was good to say hello again to Geoff Ryman.
More on that another time, when we’ll be even closer to 2011…
• July 2nd, 2010 • Posted in General
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Today’s blog is in appreciation of those splendid chaps and chappesses at the BSFA.