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.

SATURDAY

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!

SUNDAY

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.

Additionally…

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.

FS9-Evil-Genius-Guide-ebook-72ppi

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.

One!

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

http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4150072-in-photos–emma-pollock-newcastle-academy
Emma Pollock - O2 Academy Newcastle, 12th May 2016

Two!!

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…

Three!!!

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

Shoreline of Infinity, Satellite 5, and the Glasgow SF Writers Circle

Ladies and gentlemen, it has come to my attention there are things you should be aware of. Brace yourselves…

ONE!

Shoreline of Infinity’s Issue 4 line-up is online now, and it’s a stonker, boasting interviews with Ken MacLeod and Tricia Sullivan, as well as stories by Gary Gibson, Andrew J Wilson, Holly Schofield and more.

Issue 4 will also be the first with my new column, Noise and Sparks (does that sound oddly familiar to you?). This time around, I’ll be talking about what happens when you find yourself writing more for other people than for your own pleasure.

It’s available for pre-order now – and look at that amazing cover by Sara Ljeskovac! Look at it!

Shoreline-Issue-4-Cover-647x1000

Look!

TWO!!

The Glasgow SF Writers Circle marks its 30th anniversary this year with the release of a brand new anthology of work from members past and present. I’m happy to say that a new poem of mine will be appearing in this too. The as-yet unamed book is expected in the Autumn, so I’ll post more nearer the time.

But before all of this…

THREE!!!

This weekend, Satellite 5 kicks off at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow, where there will be fun, frolics, and live action Space Invaders with skateboards and nerf guns. So I’ve heard.

If you’re up for more leisurely adventure, I’m reading on Saturday 28th May at 8pm, along with Andrew J. Wilson, Elaine Gallagher, Brian Milton, Elsie Donald and more. Neil Williamson will also be reading extracts from his new collection Secret Language, which you’ll be able to pick up at the preview launch the same day, ahead of the official release.

So if you’re about, why not pop along? Hope to see you there!

Eastercon 2016: Mancunicon Schedule and the James White Award

Mancunicon

Going to Mancunicon (the 2016 BSFA Eastercon)? The full programme (and app) is now online – and it’s a cracker. With panels on SF Music, coping with Anxiety, Short Stories, Place and Identity — and my first ever moderating stint — it looks like I’ll be a busy bee this year.

In the meantime, I’ve been invited to judge this year’s James White Award, alongside Ian Sales and Neil Williamson. There really have been some imaginative entries amongst this year’s stories, so thank you to the entrants for making my first judging panel so much fun! The winner will be announced on Saturday 26th March during the BSFA Awards ceremony (also at Mancunicon), where I’ll be presenting the BSFA’s own Short Fiction Award. Hope to see you there!

So, if you don’t fancy barcon, here’s where I’ll be spending the weekend:

FRIDAY

14:30 – 15:30: Dealing with Anxiety in Fandom (Room 7)
Esther MacCallum-Stewart (M), Ruth EJ Booth, Meg Frank, Russell A Smith, Crystal Huff

Out of all my panels this weekend, this is the most important one to me. We’ll be talking about coping with Anxiety in relation to both going to cons and online interaction, but with the timing of the panel, expect that this will be focussed more on the former than the latter. Especially if Mancunicon is your first con, I’d encourage you to pop along if you can.

SATURDAY

A gentle day, but at the BSFA Awards (17:30, Deansgate 2&3) I’ll be presenting the Award for Best Short Fiction to either Aliette de Bodard, Paul Cornell, Jeff Noon, Nnedi Okorafor, or Gareth L Powell. Which is a marvellously surreal turn of events for my inner fan-girl.

SUNDAY – busy day!

13:00 – 14:00: Supporting the Short Stuff (Room 7)
Val Nolan (M), Ruth EJ Booth, Matthew Hughes, Juliet Kemp, JY Yang

This panel has sprung out of Neil Clarke’s recent comments in Clarkesworld on the future of Short Story outlets, sustainability, and what the future might look like for SF markets. Following his guest slot on the Coode Street Podcast just recently, I hope there’s going to be some good chat on this one.

20:30 – 21:30: Third Rock and Roll from the Sun (Room 7)
Michael Cobley (M), Gary Couzens, Ruth EJ Booth, Phil Nanson, Dave Tamlyn

SF music in all its forms. Join us for my forty minute lecture on the genius of Devin Townsend presents: Ziltoid the Omniscient. \m/

MONDAY

13:00 – 14:00: Place, Identity, Story (Room 6)
Ruth EJ Booth (M), Tiffani Angus, Ian McDonald, Taj Hayer, Russell A Smith

Guaranteed to be The Best Panel on Monday – not because I’m moderating it, but because we’re going to have Taj Hayer, whose latest play North Country is on Sunday evening (20:30 in Deansgate 2&3), Tiffani Angus (historical fantasist and academic, and an expert on the role of gardens in SFF), Urban fantasist Russell Smith, and Guest of Honour Ian McDonald. With a line-up like that, there’ll be plenty of proper chat, I’m hoping. So if you’re about, why not join us?

Fantasycon 2015: Where you can find me… *UPDATED*

Now that all that half-marathon business is out the way with, on with the next thing. And the next thing is this:

Fantasycon 2015

This weekend, I’ll be at Fantasycon 2015, which takes place over Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th October at East Midlands Conference Centre and Orchard Hotel, Nottingham (UK). Officially, I’ll be at two events — one panel and one reading. The full schedule can be found at this link — but here’s what I’ll be up to:

Friday 23rd October

6:00pm – Protag / Antag: Character Creation (Conference Theatre)
Moderator: Caroline Hooton. Panelists: Ruth Booth, John Connolly, KT Davies, Peter Newman, James Oswald

Come us for a chat about what makes for characters we truly want to stick with and root for in stories. With not only Guest of Honour John Connolly on the panel, but a bunch of authors who’ve written about the perspective of limited pattern AI, half-human half-lizards, dragons, and possible the most lauded goat in genre, this promises to be a well good chat

Saturday 24th October

9:15pm – Readings: Ruth Booth
No room for this yet, but I’ll be on after Foz Meadows – so, why not pop in for the full half hour as a mid-disco break?

UPDATE: I’ve had the go ahead to read my poem from the upcoming Winter Tales anthology from Fox Spirit. Plus I’ll be reading from a brand new piece… So why not pop along for a sneak preview?

So that’s where you can find me. If I’m not there, try the bar – or maybe the Abaddon/Solaris Karaoke on Friday night? Come say hi and get me a belated birthday drink!

New Interview and Contest on The Sci Fi Fantasy Network

Has it already been two weeks since Dysprosium? Well, you can relive some of the 2015 Eastercon via the good folks at The Sci Fi Fantasy Network, who have been steadily uploading their coverage of the weekend in recent days. While they were there, we caught up for a quick chat in my first ever interview – and you can now watch it online at the link below.
 
The SFFN
 
To tie in with the interview, The SFFN are also giving away a copy of La Femme, the NewCon Press anthology that contains my BSFA award-winning story ‘The Honey Trap‘.
 
So, if you fancy bagging a free copy, here’s me, Rob Malan and Francesca Barbini chatting about The BSFA Awards and NewCon Press. Stay tuned for a bit of extra footage on the end…
 
(PS. I’m not standing in a ditch. Honest.)
 
NEW Interview and Competition: http://www.scififantasynetwork.com/in-conversation-with-ruth-ej-booth-bsfa-winner/
 
Many thanks to Rob and Francesca for the chat – and to the techies at Dysprosium for allowing us the space to do this.
 

BSFA Awards: The Honey Trap wins Best Short Fiction – Updated

BSFA Award 2014

Well. That was a bit unexpected, wasn’t it?
 
As I start to write this, it’s nearly midnight on Tuesday evening. I finally got home from Eastercon late last night. I’ve spent the last god knows how many hours responding to all the wonderful tweets, facebook messages and emails from you lovely lot. I am, truly, overwhelmed by all this. I barely know where to start.
 
I’ve spent that time, and much since, hoping that a coherent blog might coalesce from the mass of thoughts in my head, all knotted up after this mad weekend. But when I began pull apart the tangles, to unravel it, the whole thing fell apart in a heap, and only this was left behind:
 
 
Thank you all. So, so much.
 
I would only be echoing my acceptance, kindly recorded here by my good friend Annie Catling, to say more about how lucky I feel. Yet, a few of these things bear repeating — without the erms of punctuation that come with writing a speech in your head half an hour before the ceremony.
 
Once again, I’d like to thank my amazing publisher, Ian Whates at NewCon Press, for giving this misfit story a home. The same is due to David Gullen and the Pirate Program for giving ‘The Honey Trap’ its first airing at their World Fantasycon readings in 2013. It’s independent presses and events like these where many up-and-comers like me got their start, and where many more of us will come from.
 
Additionally, I’d like to thank Gareth L. Powell for his splendid turn as MC at the awards this year, and to the wonderful Kari Sperring for presenting me with mine. To the BSFA, and the volunteers of Dysprosium, for an ace convention weekend. My long-suffering family, my wonderful friends — to the inimitable Neil Williamson for his critical eye — and to my amazing con family, for their support, their much needed chat, and their safe space this weekend (You know who you are. Indeed, these may not be the things that win awards — but without them, noone ever could.). And thank you to my fellow nominees, Octavia Cade and Bee Sriduangkeaw, for sharing their brilliant stories with us. The world always, always, needs more stories.
 
And I’d like to thank you. Thank you for reading ‘The Honey Trap’. Thank you, members of Dysprosium and the BSFA, for voting in these awards. You guys are brilliant. You keep us doing what we’re doing. And for this amazing journey so far, I can’t thank you enough.
 
I mean, a PROPER ray gun as an award statue? That’s WELL cool.
 
I’ll leave you with a few shots from the weekend, courtesy of Robin Ballentyne, Adrian Faulkner and Del Lakin-Smith. In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to run round the house and yell “PEW-PEW” at the cats…
 
***UPDATED (09/04): See after the gallery…***
 

 
UPDATE (09/04): Just a quick update to address a couple of things that have happened since. Firstly, The Guardian have reported on this year’s awards here, with a lovely bit about Tessa Farmer‘s amazing winning artwork, interpreting the titular machine in Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory. Once again, huge congratulations Tessa, Ann Leckie (and emissary D. Libris) and Edward James on their respective wins.
 
Secondly, some of you may remember that, in his opening speech, Gareth Powell described troubles trying to get a plastic gun nailed to a 3″ by 6″ through Glasgow airport. As a result, some people have been asking me what my experience was like at Heathrow.
 
Actually, getting the award through was a remarkably smooth experience. Due to a tendency to over-pack — and then, in the dealer’s room, overbuy — at cons, I’d booked a ticket with allowance for one checked-in bag. So my lovely death ray was safely tucked into the hold by the time we reached the x-ray machines.
 
However — getting my fringe through security? Now that was a different story…

 

Eastercon 2015: Dysprosium – Schedule

Dysprosium

Looks like the updated programme book for next weekend’s Dysprosium con (the 2015 Eastercon) is now online. Here’s what I’ll be up to:
 
This year, NewCon Press (who published ‘The Honey Trap’ in La Femme last year) have their own spot in Room 15 at Eastercon. There’s some cracking panels there across the weekend, featuring the likes of Aliette de Bodard, Gareth L. Powell, Kim Lakin-Smith, Gaie Sebold, Christopher Priest, Nina Allan, Freda Warrington, Paul Cornell, Neil Williamson, Dave Hutchinson… and I’ll be there too.
 
Saturday
3.00pm – 4.00pm: Writing the Short Stuff
Tony Ballantyne, Ruth EJ Booth, Paul Cornell, Kim Lakin-Smith, Ian Whates (Rm 15/NewCon Press Room)
 
My understanding is that this’ll be largely an informal affair, where folks will have the chance to ask us questions about writing short stories, have a wee chat, and maybe pick up some books while they’re there. All lovely stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.
 
That’s it for my relaxacon. Well, apart from this…
 
Sunday
5:30pm – 6:30pm: BSFA Awards
‘The Honey Trap’ nominated in Best Short Story Category. (Discovery suite)
 
So, erm… The bar, Sunday night, then?
 
Only kidding. I’ll be in the bar every night. See you there!