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.

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.

Worldcon: Loncon 3 schedule


There’s just over a week to go until Worldcon hits the UK – Loncon 3 will be at London’s ExCeL arena over 14th – 18th August. More than 5,000 people will be descending on London for the first UK Worldcon since 1965. So I’m ridiculously excited to announce I’ll be joining a couple of panels in the music stream over the weekend.

Here’s what my Loncon schedule looks like so far:

FRIDAY 15th AUG – “Massively Multiplayer” The Music of Genre Video-games
Capital Suite 5 (ExCeL), 4:30pm – 6pm
w/ Melinda Snodgrass, Jeremy Zerfoss, Isabella van Elferen and Helena Nash.
“Now a larger industry than films worldwide, with the biggest titles inspired by SF&F themes, video games are driving a lot of successful music composition, both classical and modern. Panellists discuss the landscape so far and look to future trends.”

MONDAY 18TH AUG – Worldbuilding to Music
Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL), 11am – 12pm
w/ Bill Sutton, Nicolle Lamerichs and, once again, the amazing Melinda Snodgrass.
“Panellists explore how music inspires imagination and worldbuilding, with examples from current professional and fan works and from classics such as the works of Marianne L’Engle, H. Beam Piper, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and others.”

The full schedule for the con can be found at this link on Loncon 3 website.

If you can’t make those, I should be floating around the con all weekend – so come say hi. Hope to see you there!