Journeys – preorder now!

Journeys by [Gwynne, John , Martin, Gail Z., Knight, Julia, Tchaikovsky, Adrian , Spink Mills, Juliana , Cooper, Jacob, McKenna, Juliet E., Poore, Steven , Pulsipher, Charlie, Ashura, Davis]I have a story, The Witness, in the new anthology from Woodbridge Press, Journeys (releasing 15th February). It’s a cracking tale of vengeance in a dying world, but it’s not the only reason you need to buy this book.

  • Adrian Tchaikovsky.
  • Juliet E McKenna.
  • Gail Z Martin.
  • John Gwynne.
  • Thaddeus White.
  • Julia Knight.

Those are even better reasons to preorder this book now. And the best reason of all?

  • 99p/99c.

Yes, 99p. DO IT NOW.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Sledge-Lit: The Final Chopper On Tour 2015 Post!

It’s been a long year, and it isn’t quite over yet. But the Chopper On Tour tag is bedding down for hibernation through the winter, after one last hurrah at Derby’s Sledge-Lit event.

And what a hurrah it was! Sledge-Lit turned out to be a very good way to wind down. Alex Davis had done his usual bang-up job of inviting interesting guests of honour – Charles Stross, Alison Moore, Rob Shearman and Adam Roberts – and surrounded them with a host of panels, readings and workshops designed to make you want to be in three places at once. I’m at the point – I think – where workshops aren’t going to add an awful lot to what I already know, so I can’t comment too much on them (there may be a blog post from Sheffield’s SFF Writers’ Group later on that covers one or two of the workshops). Aside from that, I was somewhat busy anyway…

The first panel of the day was on the value of subgenres in fantasy & SF. With me were Julia Knight, Susan Boulton, Rod Duncan, and Gavin Smith. Because of family stuff, I had questions, but I hadn’t been able to pass them around in advance. As a first-time panel moderator/chair, I came into it feeling a bit like a support act without instruments. That soon passed – even though the panel helpfully touched on all of my questions within the first five minutes! – and hopefully we made for an interesting start to the day.

Some good questions came from Andrew Bannister, whose first book comes out through Transworld next year. I managed to miss the panel about small presses while chatting to him and David Tallerman (the new TOR novella is well worth getting hold of), after which it was time to take a break from taking a break and go out for chips (now a firmly-established tradition for me in Derby…). With my SFSF hat on there were brief conversations with Penny Reeve, Helen Armfield, Natasha Pulley, and Tony Ballantyne, as well as a chat with Simon Marshall-Jones, whose Biblia Longcrofta I’ve recently finished reading. Recommended, by the way.

Then it was time for the second panel of the day – the flip side of the subgenre discussion – Is Fantasy Broadening As A Genre? Well, yes, obviously, and a good thing too, was the general consensus from Alex, Julia, Natasha, Stephen Aryan and myself. We wandered over the genre landscape and dished out some sterling recommendations, and I had a bit more of a relaxing time of it since Alex was moderating this one. Fueled by increasing amounts of coffee, I even manned the TTA Press stall for a couple of minutes while Roy popped away. Don’t worry, I know retail. I didn’t sell anything though…

Apart from a few copies of Heir To The North, which is always a bonus. 🙂

For my final panel of the day, I was hiding in the audience, listening to Jacey Bedford rein in Adam Roberts so that Amanda Rutter, Gavin Smith and Andrew Bannister could get a word in edgeways on the subject of dystopian SF.

The Edge-Lit raffle is a thing of legend – almost as legendary as the SFSF raffle, in fact – and if you squinted hard enough and ate enough of Brian Marshall’s vodka jelly babies, you could probably confuse Robert Shearman for Sarah Pinborough. I didn’t win anything, but it’s the taking part that counts….

One thing I didn’t get was any photos – if anybody has some, I’d be happy to see them! And so, with the 2015 leg of Chopper On Tour concluded, it’s time to get some words laid out on TFL and start the planning for next year….

Chopper On Tour 2015: Sledge-Lit Schedule

What are you doing on Saturday 21st November? And why aren’t you doing it at Quad, in Derby, in the company of the good folks at Sledge-Lit? Well, if you are there, you stand a very good chance of being able to buy a paperback copy of Heir To The North from one of the tables in the Dealers’ Room. I’ll quite happily sign it for you too, assuming you like your frontispieces besmirched with angular scribbles.

You’ll also be able to see yours truly at the following panel items during the day:

10:30-11:20: Break it Down – The Value of Subgenre in SF and Fantasy Sponsored by Verse Publishing Susan Boulton, Rod Duncan, Julia Knight, Steven Poore (Chair), Gavin Smith

1:30-2:20: Spreading Your Wings – Is Fantasy Broadening as a Genre? Stephen Aryan, Charlie Fletcher, Julia Knight, Steven Poore, Natasha Pulley

A couple of immediate thoughts: these panels kinda walk hand in hand together, looking at two sides of the same coin. The first one I see more as a technical writer’s question (for example: is it healthy for an author to gain a reputation as working within a subgenre? Can that be a trap?); the second is probably one of vision and inclusion for both readers and writers, especially relevant given the recent shenanigans at conventions over in the US. There’s some very interesting folk on both panels.

Oh, and yes, I’m moderating that first panel. There’s nowt quite like the deep end, is there?