March/April ’18: BFS Open Night, Edinburgh International Science Festival, FGTS 40 Launch and more!

Readings, a workshop and more – here are my official plans for March and April.

March 15th – BFS Open Night (Waterstones Argyle Street, 6:30pm)

My next reading will be part of the British Fantasy Society’s Glasgow Open Night on 15th March. Joining host Shona Kinsella (Ashael Rising, Mirnya’s Oath), Neil Williamson (The Moon King, Secret Language), and I (other stuff) will be R. J. Barker, author of Age of Assassins, and we’ll all be reading and chatting about fantastic things for your entertainment. The night kicks off at 6:30pm on 15th March at Waterstones Argyle Street, Glasgow. For more details, see the Waterstones event page or Facebook event page.

If you can’t make this, I’ll also be doing a warm-up reading as part of the MLitt in Fantasy Reading Party on 7th March at DRAM! If you’re interested in attending this, please let me know and I’ll pass on the details.

March 30th – April 1st – Eastercon: Follycon (Harrogate)

More on this soon! Click here for details of my full schedule!

April 5th – From Glasgow to Saturn: Issue 40 Launch (The Raven, 6pm)

From Glasgow to Saturn will be holding a launch party for issue 40 at The Raven in Glasgow on 5th April. We’ll be hosting readings from some of this issue’s authors and poets, plus music, an open mic, and the infamous FGTS raffle. This is the first issue for which I’ve been an editor, so I’d love to see you there.

April 7th – Workshop at Edinburgh International Science Festival (Summerhall, 2pm)

Edinburgh area writers, I’ll be joining Oliver Langmead (Dark Star, Metronome) for ‘Discovering New Worlds Through Writing: A Creative Writing Workshop’ as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 7th April. We’ll be taking you through exercises on exploring the galaxy, new worlds, and what it takes to get there – and this will be the first workshop I’ve given! Be warned this event will be limited availability, so best pick your ticket up sooner rather than later. The workshop runs from 2pm – 4pm on 7th April at the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall. Click here to buy tickets.

April 26th – 27th – GIFCon 2018 (University of Glasgow)

Finally, GIFCon 2018 takes place over 26th – 27th April at the University of Glasgow. If you’ve submitted an abstract to the event, you should be hearing from us soon, but in the meantime, please keep an eye on our twitter, facebook, and instagram accounts, and on our website for announcements of details of how to register.

Hope to see you at one of these!

In the meantime, Shoreline of Infinity have uploaded video footage from February’s Event Horizon — where Hal Duncan, Neil Williamson and I staged a GSFWC invasion — to their facebook page. You’ll find us starting at about 1 hour 13 minutes in.

Shoreline of Infinity 10, GIFCon 2018, and From Glasgow to Saturn

It’s been a while since I committed bloggery, so let’s get down to some housekeeping.

Firstly, huge congratulations to Shoreline of Infinity, who celebrated their milestone 10th issue recently. It’s testament to the hard work and persistence of Noel Chidwick, Russell Jones, Mark Toner and the rest of the team, who not only put out Scotland’s only SF magazine, but run the celebrated Event Horizon night in Edinburgh. Long may it continue!

A new issue also means a brand new column from me. ‘The Company of Bears’ is about… well, it’s there in the title really, but it gathers some thoughts on genre community that I’ve been considering for a while. You can pick up Issue 10 of Shoreline here.

Secondly, in case you’ve missed my tweets, GIFCon, aka Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations, is back again on 26th – 27th April 2018. Our call for papers is out now, and we’ve got a really thought-provoking topic for you – Escaping Escapism in Fantasy and the Fantastic.

If you’re a researcher in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and related genres, you can check out our call at – or follow the links from facebook, twitter, and instagram, where I’ll be doing social media. We’re looking forward to receiving your abstracts!

Finally, last week, the editorial team at From Glasgow to Saturn spent a massive 4.5hrs going through 70+ submissions to our upcoming issue 40. At this point, it’s usual to make noises about the quality of what was received and the difficulty of making choices. Speaking from the inside of the process this time, I have to say, it really was pretty damned tough to choose between submissions at points. We only wish we had room for more. If you submitted to this issue, you should have heard back from us by now. If you haven’t, please get in touch asap via

The Legend of the Kick-Arse Wise Women, Worldcon 75, and the BFS Awards

Here’s a quick update on things academic and fictional.

Firstly, my latest Shoreline of Infinity column is out now! In ‘The Legend of the Kick-arse Wise Women’, I unpack some of the ideas I had about age and writing when I was younger, and what made me change my mind about them. You’ll find it under Noise and Sparks in Issue 8 of Shoreline of Infinity, which you can pick up in all formats at their website.

Secondly, a couple of bits of Worldcon news. I’ve had a poster proposal accepted to this year’s event in Finland, where I’ll be presenting on the relationship between landscape and themes from Taoist philosophy in the first four Earthsea novels by Ursula Le Guin. I’ve also been offered places on a couple of panels on the provisional programme, so more on that when things are finalized.

Finally, I’ve accepted a spot on this year’s British Fantasy Awards‘ Best Non-Fiction jury. This’ll be my second year on the jury for this award, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to the shortlist. You can find out the results of our discussions first at this year’s Fantasycon, which takes place in Peterborough over 29th September to 1st October.

I think that’s it for now. More news when I can share it.

*UPDATED* Reading Party, Oliver Langmead’s Metronome, and GIFCON

Blimey, February already. Here are three bits of news for you, in chronological order:

Firstly, I’ll be reading in Glasgow this Monday 6th February, as part of the University of Glasgow’s MLitt in Fantasy Reading Party. It’s a casual affair, BUT will feature a rare UK appearance from Canadian YA author Caighlan Smith and Dark Star author Oliver Langmead, as well as the chance to hear some exciting fresh new writers and some performative readings. So why not come join us? We’ll be starting at 6:30pm at Dram, where we’ve hired the backroom.

Talking of Oliver Langmead, I’ll be doing interview honours when he launches his second novel, Metronome in Glasgow on 9th March (event page). Ollie’s a witty guy with a love of language, so I’m looking forward to discussing his writing – and considering his first novel was an SF detective noir in the form of an epic poem, this should be a fascinating chat. Join us at Waterstones on Argyle ST from 6:30pm. UPDATE: You can now find the facebook event page here.

Finally, a little academic news. I’ll be presenting my first paper at GIFCON, which takes place the end of March at the University of Glasgow. ‘Gods Rebooted: Liminality in the Neil Gaiman Multiverse and the Expansion of the Superhero Canon’ will be an exploration of Neil Gaiman’s use of America as a liminal space in American Gods as rooted as much in comic books as the great American novel, tracing this back to his earlier work on the Sandman series (and possibly Black Orchid, if there’s time).

I should add that, while I have been helping out with GIFCON, the abstract judging used a double blind procedure where the reviewers (who did not include me, in this case) were unaware of the authorship of the paper. Unfortunately, that means it’s a good idea on its own merits and now I have to make a good paper out of that. Bugger.

If you’d like to see if I manage it, GIFCON takes place over 29th – 30th March at the University of Glasgow (see for more details).

Add about ten thousand words of non-fiction writing, creative writing, classes and photo editing, and that’s my schedule until the end of March. Hope to catch you at one or more of these!