My friend Cheryl is at Finncon this week, so she offered me her ticket to see Alastair Reynolds at Toppings in Bath, on Tuesday night.
He was there to celebrate the launch of his Doctor Who novel, 'Harvest of Time'
I've heard Alastair speak before, at BristolCon, so I wasn't surprised to find that he was entertaining and very approachable.
The novel features the Third Doctor (as played by Jon Pertwee), his companion Jo Grant, and The Master, and Al explained that he had jumped at the opportunity to write a Doctor who novel, and was delighted to find that no-one had yet 'bagged' the 3rd Doctor!
Alastair read a short extract from the book, then spoke a little about it before reading a second extract, and taking questions.
He confirmed that he'd love the opportunity to write an episode for Who, were it to be offered, and that he did try to make the hard science - the helicopters and oil rigs, realistic.
There was a slight disturbance as a drunk tried to get into the shot while Alastair was reading, but other than that it was a fun evening, and I got the impression that it was fun or Al as well as for the audience.