The week has been an interesting one, kicking off with Novacon in Nottingham last weekend (November 11th to 13th) which proved a gently enjoyable affair. On the Friday I had dinner with Terry Martin, attended the launch of John Meaney’s latest novel, Transmission – not officially released until next year – and spent the evening (and early morning) in the company of Leigh Kennedy and Alastair Reynolds. Good company, a good old natter, and Laphroaig whisky at the close.
On Saturday, my good friends Kim and Del Lakin-Smith pitched up, which guaranteed the evening would be less than sober (this is my new undertaking: to mention the word ‘sober’ in the same sentence as Del and Kim, purely for the novelty value). On Sunday, I was presented with a certificate confirming the award of ‘Best Publisher’ to NewCon Press from the European Science Fiction Society, which was a nice moment, and then I was ‘token male’ on a panel about women in British SF. Hosted by Theresa Derwin, the other panellists included Justina Robson and Kari Sperring. It made for lively debate.
Throughout the weekend I sold a fair few books, drank more than I should, and renewed acquaintances with friends while making some new ones along the way; which is what such events are all about. Rog Peyton again thanked me for my talk to the Brum SF group on November 4th, telling me that he’d never had so many emails from members saying how much they’d enjoyed a meeting… So presumably I must have done something right.
I came back home to news that the collection Scenes from the Second Storey (inspired by the God Machine’s album of the same name and featuring my story “The Piano Song”) has been released by Morrigan books. Can’t wait to see this one. The week since Novacon has been the usual mix of writing, reading, editing, negotiating with authors, commissioning artwork, and posting out books. I’m really pleased with the new novel, though it’s progressing more slowly than I would have liked. This one is very science fiction, straying into ‘space opera’ territory once more, though quite different from the two Noise books. I was hoping to have it finished by year’s end. I won’t, though it shouldn’t be too long after.
I’ve just announced on Facebook the ‘giveaway’ of a hardback copy of the anthology Fables from the Fountain for anyone who’s interested. The book is signed by all the contributing authors including Stephen Baxter, Charles Stross, Liz Williams, and Neil Gaiman (who very kindly retweeted Tom Hunter’s promo tweet regarding the competition). This has led to a gratifying surge of interest in the NewCon Press page. As I said at the top, an interesting week… and it’s still only Thursday.