Sunday, 7 November 2010
In Which I Go to Bristol
My day didn't start too well. Having got up remarkably early for a Saturday, dealt with some urgent errands in town and got myself to the station on time, I found that the train I was planning to catch was running very late, so had to wait half an hour for the next one, and arrived a little later than intended.
Joe Abercrombie, one of the Guests of Honour.
I have to confess that I haven't actually read any of Joe's novels, but hearing him speak about the process of writing was interesting. cheryl was also able to disclose that George RR Martin is a fan, and any further delays in his completing the next book may be blamed on the fact that he is reading Joe Abercrombie novels instead of writing...
There was much discussion of hacking people to bits, and of blood spatter. Joe Abercrombie: "People getting hacked to pices, what could be funnier?"
Eugene Byrne's talk about Bristol. This was fascinating - he started by telling us Bristol's founding myth (which has brothers who were rivals in love) then de-bunked the urban myth about the Bristol Zoo carpark and talked a little about the Suspension Bridge, and the Victorian lady who threw herself off it, butwas saved by a combination of her crinolenes and the very soft mud into which she fell. He then took us on a brief 'walking tour' via google streetview of some notable spots in Bristol, including Thomas Chatterton's house (almost opposite the hotel), the (site of) the church of Saint Wilgefortis, (AKA St. Uncumber) who is the patron saint of unhappily married women, and the non-existant street. It was all fascinating and highly entertaining.
Mike Shevdon - I saw him on a panel at EasterCon talking about fanastical London, and wrote his name down intending to buy his book, and I finally managed to buy 'Sixty One Nails'(the first one) and get it signed. He read the opening of the book and I am looking forward to reading the rest.
I also had a brief chat with him earlier in the day, when I spotted him with Paul Cornell, and asked them each to sign books for me ;-)
Paul Cornell wants to live forever, everyone expects that there will be a total loss of privacy, and that science fiction today is notably more pessimistic than it used to be.
This panel was followed by Paul Cornell's GoH spot, in which he talked, very entertainingly about past and current projects, including writing 'Death' for the Lex Luthor comic (and being able to liaise with Neil Gaiman about her dialogue, his current work in progress which is an urban fantasy novel, but without sexy, sparkly vampires - more police proceedural with supernatural elements (which to me sounds as though it may have a similar sort of flavour to Mike Carey's 'Felix Castor' novels, which would be just fine by me!)
He also broke the disappointing news that the BBC will not be commissioning 'Pulse' - apparently it was initially approved but then cancelled, which is a great shame.
At the end of his spot Paul read from his short story "The Occurrance at Slocombe Priory", an hilarious M.R.James/ScoobyDoo mash up... That was the last of the panels I attended.