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?

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!
 

 

BSFA Awards: Best Short Story Nomination for ‘The Honey Trap’

I’m delighted to announce that one of my stories has made the shortlist for this year’s British Science Fiction Association Awards. ‘The Honey Trap’, from NewCon Press anthology La Femme, has been nominated for Best Short Story.
 
The final results of the BSFA member vote will be announced at this year’s Eastercon (aka Dysprosium), to be held over the Easter weekend at the Park Inn Hotel in Heathrow. All BSFA members will get a chance to read ‘The Honey Trap’, along with the other nominated short stories, as part of the annual award booklet. In the meantime, you can read a wee snippet of the story on the Fiction page of this site.
 
Huge congratulations also to my fellow nominees! It’s a really strong showing this year. Regardless of the result, I’ll be at Eastercon 2015, celebrating my first ever award nomination. If you’re going, I’ll look forward to seeing you there!
 
Dysprosium
 

Eastercon 2014: Broken Promises, Reforged Bonds, and the Things that are Important

With a fortnight of madness finally at an end, I figured it might be time to catch you up on what I’ve been doing.

So. Some of you might have seen this:

As you may have gathered from that, Eastercon 2014: Satellite 4 was a weekend of the unexpected. More than a week later, I’m still trying to gather my thoughts together from one of the most surreal, scary, exciting, and ultimately rewarding conventions I’ve been to since I started attending them back in 2011.

Where to begin? How about four thoughts from the weekend?

Continue reading “Eastercon 2014: Broken Promises, Reforged Bonds, and the Things that are Important”

Eastercon: Satellite 4 – Scheduled Orbit

It’s almost Easter, so it’s almost Eastercon! The BSFA’s annual convention has moved to Glasgow, and I’ll be making my programme debut this year. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m doing my first ever book signing, when La Femme launches at the Newcon Press / PS Publishing party on the Friday.

That’s not all. I’ll be crossing another first off my list this year, when I appear on two of Eastercon’s convention panels. One of these is right before the signing on the Friday evening. So, if you fancy two hours of back-to-back Booth – and an encore on Sunday – come along, hear me waffle, and I’ll scribble all over your books. Any books, really. Magazines too. Notebooks. Toaster Ovens. Small potted palms. Treasure Maps to hoards of Mexican gold…

Here’s what I’ll be up to:
Continue reading “Eastercon: Satellite 4 – Scheduled Orbit”