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,┬ámy 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.

*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!