Eastercon 2018: Follycon schedule – UPDATED

The official programme for Follycon is now up! Here’s where you can find me over 30th March – 2nd April.

7:00pm – BSFA Awards Ceremony
Nnedi Okorafor, Kieron Gillen, Christina Lake, Kim Standley Robinson, Claire Boothby, Dave Lally, Ruth EJ Booth (MC), Niall Harrison, Rosie Oliver

I’ll be MC for this year’s BSFA Awards ceremony – and, as it’s the 60th anniversary of the awards, this one’s bound to be a bit special. Do join us, if only to see if I managed to find summat proper to wear. In the meantime, if you want your say in this year’s vote, please note that advance online and postal voting for BSFA members is open until 26th March, while Follycon attendees (BSFA members and non-members) can vote at the convention until 12 noon on Saturday 31st March.

2:00pm – Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin
Edward James (M), Nnedi Okorafor, Patrice Sarath, Ruth EJ Booth, Sarah Ash, Matthew Colborn

If you’re still about, come join us for a celebration of the life and works of the late, great Ursula K. Le Guin. Looking at the line-up for this panel, it’s bound to be an interesting and insightful hour’s chat.


Follycon is holding a poster exhibition across the event – including my poster ‘Mapping the Way: Taoism and Landscape in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet’, which is based on work I completed as part of my MLitt in Fantasy. This poster was displayed last Summer at Worldcon 75 in Finland, so if you missed it then, now’s your chance to see it!

You can click here for my full schedule in Grenadine. Outside of these times, I’ll likely be in the bar, if you’d like to say hi. Hope to see you there!

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.

2017 in Review

There’s only hours left until the end of the year, so since it’s the season here’s a look back on my year in genre.

This year’s been rather quiet in terms of new stories. THE ANNIVERSARY was my first sale to Black Static, and appeared swiftly afterwards in Issue 61, which was a delightful surprise for the end of the year. Also, turns out flash fiction is eligible for all the awards, as far as I can work out, so if you read it and think it’s worth a nomination, please do so.

In reprints, GOOD BOY also made its first appearance in audio format on Pseudopod‘s Flash on the Borderlands XXXVIII: Letting Go episode. THE HONEY TRAP was also reprinted for the first time in the Edinburgh International Book Festival Special Issue of Shoreline of Infinity 8 1/2. I also made my first translation sale in Chinese of this story, which should be appearing in the new year. More on that soon, I hope.

I’m still writing the Noise and Sparks column for SF journal Shoreline of Infinity, which is also eligible for Non-fiction awards, if you reckon it’s worth a nomination. ‘The Legend of the Kick-Arse Wise Women’ (Issue 8), about the relationship between age, experience, and imposter syndrome, seemed to resonate with a lot of folks, so thank you for your kind responses. My favourite is still ‘The Company of Bears’, from the current issue (10), but party because this year I fell in love with the fact that there are real cosplay Faerie Markets over in the US, a discovery I made with the paper given by Georgia Natishan at this year’s GIFCon – and, in a way, isn’t that what all cons kind of are?

Most of my New Things this year have been in non-fiction. I helped organize my first symposium, in 2017’s inaugural GIFCon event, with keynote speakers Julie Bertagna, Phil Harris, Stefan Ekman, Robert Maslen, and Maureen Farrell. I also presented my first paper there, on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and superhero modes of adaptation and revision, and I gave my first academic poster at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, on Taoist Landscape and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea sequence.









Worldcon was my only con of 2017, but it was grand to get another chance to attend one of these in Europe. Once again, I appeared on panels, this time on Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman’, and ‘From Literature to Movies and Television – Adaptation of Scifi and Fantasy’ – a pair of great discussions that not only gave us the chance for a bit of role-play, but a chance to catch up with old friends and new (and nerd out in front of Margaret Dunlap, who is currently working on the new Dark Crystal TV series – eeee!).








Around that time, I was also sitting on the jury for the British Fantasy Society’s Non-fiction Award, my second year out – and a tricky job this time, as anyone else in on the final decision will attest, but thrilling to find these conversations around genre criticism to be so difficult, indicating as they did the high standard of the shortlisted works. I also squeezed in a couple of interviews with authors at various things – Oliver Langmead‘s Glasgow launch for Metronome at Waterstones Argyle Street, and a chat with Laura Lam about Shattered Minds at October’s Event Horizon.





The last quarter of the year also bought some firsts: I was the lead for the Creative Writing Station at Night at the Museum: Fantasy Scotland event at the Hunterian Museum in Scotland, in partnership with the MLitt in Fantasy at the University of Glasgow. As the rest of the team will agree, this was an amazing night, and we were thrilled to see people at the event and online responding to our challenges so imaginatively. Huge thanks to my fellow station folks Oliver Langmead, Sarah Tytler, Angie Spoto, Mary-Kate Wagamon and Luc Bateman for their brilliant work!









I also became an editor for From Glasgow to Saturn, the arts and creative writing journal at the University of Glasgow. We recently sent out the acceptances for our 40th issue of the journal and, come the new year, we start working on readying these submissions for publication in early Spring. I can’t wait to share these wonderful tales with you!

There were also a few personal writing highlights: getting to see Nalo Hopkinson, Malika Booker, Alasdair Gray, and Christopher Priest read in person – and sharing a TOC with Nalo as part of Shoreline of Infinity 8 1/2. I also got to meet Samuel R. Delany, which was not only a delight because of how utterly charming and insightful he is, but because his biographical documentary ‘The Polymath’ helped me work through some personal issues earlier in the year. I also gave cosplay a try for the first time this year, going to Worldcon as The Corinthian from Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman comics, and Night at the Musem as Lottie from Neil Williamson‘s The Moon King. And I had the joy of watching my coursemates graduate from the University of Glasgow, and another friend win her first Hugo Award. So that’s a good year, isn’t it?









2018 will not only see my first issue of From Glasgow to Saturn as Editor, but also the second outing of GIFCon, for which I’m handling the social media presence (give me a wave sometime on twitter, facebook or instagram). I’ll be giving at least one workshop in the first half of the year in Edinburgh, as well as a brand new reading in Glasgow. Right now, I should be working on my column for the next issue of Shoreline of Infinity, a special issue for International Women’s Day. I’ll be entering the final stretch of my Masters degree in Fantasy next year.

As for what I’ll be doing after that, well I can’t officially say right now, but I hope you’ll stick around to find out.

The Honey Trap in the Edinburgh Book Festival edition of Shoreline of Infinity

Now that Worldcon is over, on to the next thing: the Edinburgh International Book Festival is on now, and Shoreline of Infinity have produced a special issue in partnership with the event.

The line-up includes *deep breath* Iain M Banks, Shelly Bryant, Monica Burns, Thomas Clark, Benjamin Dodds, Gary Gibson, Pippa Goldschmidt, Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), Caroline Grebbell, Nalo Hopkinson, Russell Jones, Katie Gray, Ken MacLeod, Iain Maloney, Ada Palmer, Dee Raspin, Adam Roberts, Marge Simon, Charles Stross, Jo Walton, Andrew J Wilson, Jane Yolen, and Grahaeme Barrasford Young. You’ll also find my BSFA Award-winning story, ‘The Honey Trap’, in there, and I’m thrilled to be in such wonderful company.

You can find it at the Book Festival Bookshop over 12th to 22nd August – or you can pick it up online here.

Shoreline of Infinity are also hosting a special event this Wednesday (16th August) as part of Unbound at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The line-up includes Ken MacLeod, Jane Yolen, Nalo Hopkinson, Jo Walton, Bram E. Gieben, Pippa Goldschmitt, and Markee de Saw & Bert Finkle, so it’s going to be a wonderful night. It’s free, so if you’re about why not join them at The Spiegeltent from 9pm?

Worldcon 75 Schedule

The Worldcon programme is now available through the official website, at www.worldcon.fi. Here’s a run down of where you can find me over the weekend.

Thursday 12pm-1pm
‘The Sandman’ [Messukeskus 206]
Meg MacDonald [M], Ruth EJ Booth, Tony Keen, Tomasz Kozłowski
“Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comic started more than 25 years ago, but it is still being widely read. The panel discusses the reasons for Sandman’s enduring popularity.”

Friday 10am-11am
‘From Literature to Movies and Television – Adaptation of Scifi and Fantasy’ [Messukeskus 102]
Greg Bossert [M], Margaret Dunlap, Ruth EJ Booth, Anna-Leena Harinen, Mike Kiss
“Many scifi and fantasy movies and television shows are adapted from literature. There are both good examples and bad ones. What makes an adaptation good or bad? How’s the adaption market like these days? How do you write a good adaptation?”

Aside from panels, I’ll also be taking part in the academic poster events on Saturday 12th August.

UPDATE: Please note that some posters will be displayed earlier in the convention, so if you can’t make these events, there are still opportunities to take a look at all the STEM and Humanities projects on display.

Saturday 1pm-3pm
Academic Poster Talks
A series of 5 minute presentations from the teams displaying academic posters at this year’s Worldcon. I’ll be presenting on my poster, ‘Mapping the Way: Taoism and Landscape in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet’.

Saturday 4pm-5pm
Academic Poster Displays
While the academic posters will be displayed all day Saturday, the teams behind each poster will all be available during this period to discuss the topics behind them.

Saturday 6pm-7pm
Academic Poster Presentation Awards Ceremony
The winner will be decided from this year’s STEM displays.

You can also find my panel schedule (minus the academic poster events) by searching Booth on the Grenadine Site, or clicking here: https://sites.grenadine.co/sites/worldcon75/en/w75/participants/3347/Ruth+EJ+Booth.

Hope to see you there!

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.

Fantasycon By T’ Sea and the British Fantasy Awards

Fantasycon By The Sea

This weekend sees the latest installment of the British Fantasy Society’s Fantasycon, Fantasycon By The Sea (or Fantasycon-by-t’-Sea, in Yorkshire fashion), in sunny Scarborough. And I’ll be there too! When I’m not slurping ice cream, or trying to find a seaside donkey who understands my inner Eeyore, here’s where you can find me.


3pm – 4pm: NewCon Press and Glasgow SF Writers Circle Launch
Main Ballroom, The Grand Hotel
The GSFWC‘s 30th anniversary anthology, Thirty Years of Rain, is having a preview launch in Scarborough ahead of next week’s official party in Glasgow. With stories from Louise Welsh, Hal Duncan, Amal El-Mohtar, William King, as well as stunning up-and-comers like Eliza Chan and Peter Morrison, it’s an astoundingly good collection, and II can scarcely believe the company I’m keeping here. NewCon Press have kindly cleared us a space at the table for their launch, so here’s a chance to not only get a copy ahead of release, but get it signed too! You lucky ducks!


12pm – 1pm: GSFWC Reading
Cocktail Bar, The Grand Hotel
If you’re still not persuaded to pick it up, hear me, Neil Williamson and Ian Hunter (and Cam Johnston, if we can persuade him) reading from Thirty Years of Rain in the Cocktail Bar. Extravagant booze and brilliant stories – what better way is there to spend a lunchtime?

Thirty Years of Rain

2pm – 3pm: A Little’s Enough
(Palm Court Ballroom, The Grand Hotel)
With moderation from George Sandison of Unsung Stories, Storyological‘s E.G. Cosh joins myself, Lynda Clark, Stormblade‘s Neil Buchanan and David Guymer for a natter about what makes a great story. If you missed mine and Emma’s stint on the Short Story panel at Mancunicon, here’s your chance to see it again – but with rebooted cast and an intriguing new direction…

3:30pm – 5pm: The British Fantasy Awards Ceremony
Royal Ballroom, Royal Hotel
Finally, not strictly an appearance, but an announcement I’ve been looking forward to. Over the summer, I joined Martin Petto and Kevin McVeigh on the Non-Fiction Jury for this year’s British Fantasy Awards. It’s been a really interesting experience — not least because of the quality of the shortlist — but also because of the conversations we’ve had around the nominated works. I can’t wait for you all to find out which entry won.

Because you’ll be there too, right? I mean, it’s Fantasycon-by-t’-Sea! You know what “t'” means, don’t you?

September Shenanigans: Event Horizon, Fantasycon, Thirty Years of Rain and more.

I’ve got a bit of news. Well, quite a lot of news, actually. Earlier this year, I put in an application to the University of Glasgow’s MLitt programme in Fantasy — and to my immense delight, they accepted me. So I’m currently condensing my life into a dozen boxes, as I’ll be moving myself and them up to Glasgow this weekend. It’s both terrifying and utterly exciting (and I’m not just talking about the ability to buy a tonne of books and call it work), but I can’t wait to be living in such a vibrant, creative community of writers and artists. The hard work begins here.

September is looking to be a busy month already, with book launches, events, and two new things coming out. While I’m taking a breather from boxing up, I thought you might like to know what’s coming up in the next few weeks…

Event Horizon 11

5th September: Event Horizon XI (Edinburgh)
Next Monday, join me, Bram E. Gieben, Harry Giles, Elaine Gallagher, The Spiders, and Russell Jones for stories, slam poetry and some stonking performances that’ll knock your SFing socks off. We’ll be at the Blind Poet in Edinburgh from 7pm. For more details, check out the facebook event page here, or last week’s blog.

23rd September: Shoreline of Infinity 5 is out! (Everywhere!)
The next issue, featuring my latest Noise and Sparks column, hits the shelves! Pick it up from Transreal Fiction or Deadhead Comics in Edinburgh, or order direct from www.shorelineofinfinity.com.


Thirty Years of Rain

23rd – 25th September: Fantasycon-by-the-Sea (Scarborough)
This year’s Fantasycon ships up in sunny Scarborough for a weekend of fun, frolics and the world famous Fantasycon Disco Karaoke, the Karaoke is the best. Kev McVeigh, Martin Petto and I have just finished judging for the Non-Fiction Award of the British Fantasy Awards, which will be announced that weekend. I’ve also been booked for a panel, so more on that when it’s been officially announced. For now, I can say I’ll be at the NewCon Press & Glasgow SF Writers’ Circle Book Launch on Saturday (24th) at 3pm, where we’ll be signing copies of the GSFWC‘s 30th anniversary anthology, Thirty Years of Rain. If you’re about, why not join us?

30th September: Thirty Years of Rain – Glasgow launch (Glasgow, funnily enough)
Naturally, it wouldn’t be right to have a Glaswegian book without a Glasgow launch. Come join me and even more GSFWC authors at Waterstones (Sauchiehall Street) for free booze, readings — and, of course, we’ll be on hand to sign any 30th anniversary anthologies you may have just bought that evening. The event kicks off at 7pm, so do join us then.

If you’re not able to make either of the two launch dates for Thirty Years of Rain, you’ll be able to order it online nearer the time, and I’ll post details of that when I have them. In the meantime, if you’re wanting your new story fix, don’t forget Fox Pockets: The Evil Genius Guide (feat. ‘Dame Ammonia Dastardly-Truste’s Evil Genius College for Ladies Class of 2014: Graduation Speech [Transcript]’) is out now in paperback, with e-book to follow soon.

I think that’s it — until Glasgow!

The Evil Genius Guide, Thirty Years of Rain, and Shoreline of Infinity

Ever wondered what it takes to be an Evil Genius? Now’s your chance to find out.


The Evil Genius Guide is the latest in Fox Spirit‘s Fox Pockets series, and I’m delighted to return to it with a story almost as mad as the ‘The Real Deal’, which appeared back in Fox Pocket 1: Piracy.

‘Dame Ammonia Dastardly-Truste’s Evil Genius College for Ladies Class of 2014: Graduation Speech [Transcript]’ (deep breath) is a story about love, revenge, and machine gun bikinis, set in private school with a rather unusual graduation ceremony. It’s an older tale — I first submitted this story two years ago — so it’s interesting both to see how my writing’s changed in the years since, but heartening also to see how Past Me could still pull a surprise out of the hat when she needed to.  Of course, if that doesn’t take your fancy, Chloe Yates, Andrew Reid, Steven Poore and the rest of this dastardly ensemble will gladly indulge your lust for evildoings. Paperback copies are available to order now, with an ebook due very soon.

The release of The Evil Genius Guide is also a bit of a landmark for Fox Spirit Books — this and the soon to be released Reflections are the last in the current Fox Pockets series. So Fox Spirit are having a very special celebration to mark this on 25th August at the Secular Hall, Leicester. Don’t forget to pick up your tickets, ’cause there ain’t no party like a Fox Spirit Party!

In the meantime, I’m taking a break from the world’s least fun game of Katamari Damacy to go through proofs for Thirty Years of Rain, the anthology celebrating 30 years of the celebrated Glasgow SF Writers Circle. As you might expect, the TOC’s a blinder, with Louise Welsh, Amal El-Mohtar, Garry Gibson, Hal Duncan, Eliza Chan, Neil Williamson and more. I’ve also just finished my latest Noise and Sparks column, which will be in the next issue of Shoreline of Infinity.

Both of these should be out around the 23rd September — just in time for Fantasycon-By-The-Sea, where I’ll also be hanging around for the Thirty Years of Rain launch. So, if you’re going, I hope to see you then!

Drowned In Sound, British Fantasy Awards and Satellite 5

It’s occurred to me that there were a couple of things missing off the blog from the other week. So now the smoke’s cleared a bit from Satellite 5, here’s a little extra news for you.


Firstly – new photos! Drowned In Sound have uploaded a selection of my shots from Emma Pollock‘s recent gig at the O2 Academy’s upstairs room the other week. If you’ve not heard any of her work post-Delgados, new record In Search of Harperfield really is a gem. Meantime, there’s a link to the photos below.

Emma Pollock (w/ heartsetonhope and The Artisans)
12th May 2016, O2 Academy Newcastle

Emma Pollock - O2 Academy Newcastle, 12th May 2016


Secondly, the juries for this year’s British Fantasy Awards have been announced. For the first time, I’ll be joining the panel judging the Non-Fiction Award, completed by Martin Petto and Kev McVeigh. We’ve already had some interesting discussions, and I think I can speak for my fellow jury members in saying we’re looking forward to getting stuck in to the final shortlist. The winners will be announced at this year’s Fantasycon By the Sea, held by the British Fantasy Society over the weekend of 23rd – 25th September in Scarborough.

And, finally…


While I’m here, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made it along to the readings on Saturday night at last weekend’s Satellite 5 convention in Glasgow – as well as all those who had a hand in a splendid con. Many thanks also to Helen Sansum for this lovely photo, taken in the mid-way through a story about stories…

Ruth Booth - taken at Satellite 5 by Helen Sansum