|Strangers. Moustache optional.|
Now, this is the first post of a new blog, so you might as well get to know me. I normally don't shy away from chatting to random strangers. From the bloke at the supermarket to my Literary Theory seminar at uni, to the lady who dropped her Oyster on the Tube, I'm happy to make conversation and espouse my own views wherever, whenever. However, to the SFF event newbie, it was truly intimidating to be faced with the well connected circles of knowledge, through the blogosphere and Twitter, that ensued. Plus, God (AKA China Mieville) was a few steps away.
I pottered about a bit, listening in on conversations, knocking over the Christmas Tree, and generally feeling like a fool. I knew nobody, nobody knew me. I wasn't dressed in a fun costume, nor do I have a splendid moustache. There were circles of people, and author's who I had heard of, and whose books I had read! Argh, I nearly upped and left then.
Luckily, there was rum.
A few rum-and-coke's later (quick thumbs up to Kraken Rum, sponsors of the event, for their splendid concoction, tasty both neat and with Coke...) and I plucked up the bravery to talk. Not to anybody even on a slight scale of famousness mind you, but the nice lady who smiled at me. She turned out to be stood next another nice lady, who had stepped on that sliding scale of geek-famousness (where Gaiman is top and I am bottom) - the truly lovely Sarah McIntyre. In fact, after a quick chat about my love of all things Mieville, and my tongue-tied nervousness of talking to him, she whisked me off to talk to 'one of her best friends', Philip Reeve.
|Also available in front view...|
God awaited me, hemmed in by fans, in the corner by the staff room. He couldn't escape, and, as I neared, nor could I.With my voice having failed me, but standing 3 feet away, Sarah once again came to my rescue, introducing me with a touch of embarrassment as someone 'who was too nervous to talk to you'.
Mr Mieville was, of course, a delight. There was no reason to doubt it, I guess. Like Roberts, he is scarily intelligent. I listened to him talk, without a trace of bitterness, about his creative process, his 'inspirations' and his 'daily routine', questions he's probably been asked a million times. Google them, they're there. We ended up chatting Blade Runner, Director's Cut versus not, and the Sapir-Whorf hypotheses in relation to his latest novel, Embasseytown (beware a sad looking Jimmy Wales in this Wikipedia link). he signed my dog-eared and tatty The Scar, and even had the kindness to get his photo taken with me. Looking badass. Him, not me.
Having had the highlight of my evening served to me on a plate, font-of-all-contacts-Sarah hurried me to Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, the ridiculously wonderful authors of the Edge Chronicles. We chatted how they write, how they met, why they do what they do. And very interesting they were too. Before I wandered off, to take my lonely 68 bus home, I took this beautiful photo of Philip Reeves, Chris, Paul, Deadly Knitshade and others with the rather delightful Plarchie the Squid, one of the other incumbents of the steampunk evening.
|Chris, Paul, Philip, Knitshade, Someone.|