I've had a bit of a mad week last week: a celebration, if you will, of geekery that neatly coincided with the fact that I'm FREE from university until October. Silly academia.
All started Monday with the Lauren Beukes launch of The Shining Girls over at Forbidden Planet - got a signature of my lovely copy, in pretty silver on the front, black page. It looks lovely. Essentially spent the launch queuing and listening to Molly Flatt and Tom Hunter chatting about the upcoming Write the Future, feeling a little silly. But hey, it was good procrastination from the last day of essay writing, and, while nowhere near as fun or as social as the Sarah Pinborough launch, kept me amused. Maybe that's partially down to Forbidden Planet's layout as much as anything - the basement, if you don't know, is both wonderful and exceedingly cramped. Full of books and bookshelves, it doesn't make for good mingling, and though I did spot a bunch of people I know (Jared Shurin, Den Patrick etc.), I left them to their chatting are wandered home. Not the best, but hey hum.
Tuesday's Kitschie's event, a panel/reading with Benjamin Percy, Lauren Beukes (again) and Warren Ellis was much better - two great readings and an excellent presentation from Beukes, and a great panel on modes and methods of storytelling followed. And then a good hour+ of bar-shaped mingling. Which I always love. Benjamin Percy has the greatest voice in the world ever, and I may buy my first audiobook since my cassette versions of Harry Potters 1-3, just because he reads them. Seriously. Listen to this. Its like molten, evil, chocolate. I got Lauren to sign my Zoo City & Moxyland, and bought both Gun Machine and Red Moon. Mingling wise, met the delightful James Smythe (big fan of The Explorer, which I'll be rereading this summer, at the same time as reading The Testament and The Machine), Gerard from the Science Fiction Book Club, as well as having lovely chats with Den Patrick and Tom Pollock (as usual), and accidentally blanking Kim Curran. I placed her face, but just went 'er, hi'.
Wednesday saw Write the Future, a symposia on futurificness (yes, that is a word. I invented it.) In eight talks and a panel we explored varying aspect of the future, and the methods with which it can be written both literally and metaphorically. There were some real highs (Molly Flatt, take a bow - she looked at Social Media for writers, and discussed it astonishingly.) and a few lows (the panel - which was exceedingly chair led, and seemed to have 4 disparate personalities in Smári McCarthy, Joanna Kavenna, Jane Rogers and Paul Graham Raven, talking on the nature of truth in writing. It didn't really work.) All in all, it was an excellently run event which I'd have like to have blogged about in more detail - however, I missed the opportunity while it was all fresh in my mind by being hungover due to a party in the morning. Bugger. With luck, it will be back next year - possibly a little more thematically resolute, due to longer to plan it.
Thursday finally saw a panel hosted by the post-apocalyptic bookclub at Waterstones Piccadilly. Featuring Frances Hardinge, Tom Hunter, Adam Roberts, Anne Perry, Rob Grant and Jeff Norton, topics ranged wildly from George R R Martin naked in a sauna (thanks for that image Mr. Roberts!) to award shortlists to the cultural reasons behind the plague of zombie-apocalypse novels in publishing. Again, a wonderful event, one that was full of interest and lovely people. Irritatingly I thought I'd forgotten my copy of A Face Like Glass for Frances to sign, but when I came home I found it in my bag. Balls and buggery. However, I did make Anne Perry's day by breaking the mold and getting her to sign her page of Adventure Rocketship! Jared also signed his, and I'll be taking it with me to World Fantasy and Nine Worlds (if I decide to go to the latter) to see how many signatures I can get onto it. Fuck it, why not?
So, all in all, a truly delightful week. Lovely people, interesting events, a free coke (thanks Tom!), good, new books, and more excitement in my geeky geeky life. Bring on the next lot.