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.

SATURDAY
4:00pm – Posters Exhibiton (Half Moon Room)
Ruth EJ Booth

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’. If you’ve got any questions about the poster, this is the first of my two half-hour sessions where I’ll be available for chat.

7:00pm – BSFA Awards Ceremony (Dining Room)
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.

SUNDAY
4:00pm – Posters Exhibiton (Half Moon Room)
Ruth EJ Booth

If you’ve got any questions about my poster, ‘Mapping the Way: Taoism and Landscape in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet’, this is the second of the two half-hour sessions where I’ll be available for chat.

MONDAY
2:00pm – Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin (Dining Room)
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.

ALL WEEKEND

As previously mentioned, Follycon is holding a poster exhibition across the event in the Half Moon Room , and this will include my poster ‘Mapping the Way: Taoism and Landscape in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet’. It’s based on work I completed as part of my MLitt in Fantasy, and this poster was last displayed in August at Worldcon 75 in Finland. So, if you missed it then, now’s your chance to see it!

You can click here for my main 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.

Update: Click here for the facebook event page!

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.

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?

2015 in Fiction (and other things…)

It’s almost over. The turkey’s been stuffed, and stuffed again. The three wise men are still treadmilling their way across the mantlepiece, in the hopes of reaching the Advent Candle by New Year’s Eve. In short, it’s really time I’d done one of these end of year round up posts already and bunged it up online. You know how it gets. The presents. The relatives. The discovery of new species of hybrid plastic animals in your crackers. So here’s the summary of a year that’s been deceptively busy under it all.

This year was quiet in terms of new stories. Just the one, in fact – ‘Good Boy’, which appeared in the January issue of Far Horizons magazine. This was my first foray into horror, of sorts, and I’m actually pretty proud of the way it turned If you’d like to read it, click here to do that for free

That’s not all that’s happened. In 2015, I’ve also been able to indulge what’s becoming one of my favourite things about writing fiction – doing public readings. I read at Eastercon, and Fantasycon, and the Speculative Bookshop‘s July event. Here’s hoping here’s more on the way. On a writing-related note, music has taken a back seat since the mighty Thrash Hits decided to go out on their own terms, although I wrote a piece for The Independent on the sad passing of Lemmy from Motörhead (here). And though it’s not writing-related at all, really, I ran a half-marathon (the Great Scottish Run) and raised over £700 for Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of my friend Carol, who passed away last year (if you’d like to make a donation, here’s my Just-Giving page).

The BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction

Of course, I can’t talk about 2015 without mentioning the BSFA awards. I mean, you smarten yourself up a bit and prepare a bunch of words, because it’s only sensible, right? But winning the award for Best Short Fiction wasn’t something I’d actually expected to happen. I doubt I’ve even realised it has yet – every so often I’ll remember it, and then I have to get it down and poke it a bit, so I can reassure myself it’s real. And then point it at Millie-cat and mke pew-pew noises, much to her utter disgust. Once again, thank so, so much to all the lovely folks who nominated and voted for ‘The Honey Trap’ in the BSFAs. It made my lifetime.

A lot of what’s happened this year went on under the surface. Writing fiction has been difficult this year, and it’s led me in directions I wouldn’t normally have gone in. Interesting ones, I hope, and ones likewise I hope you’ll see in print at some point. Tricky as it’s been, I’m hoping it’s all part of the process of becoming a better writer.

Talking of becoming a better writer, being invited to join the Glasgow SF Writers Circle was one of the highlights of 2015 for me. Come the new year, there’ll be 30 years of critique workshops behind the group (Amal El-Mohtar, Gary Gibson, Hal Duncan, Michael Cobley and Neil Williamson rank amongst its alumni), and I’m honoured to be part of it. Talking of which, there’ll be an anthology coming out in late 2016 to celebrate. Stay tuned to the website for more information.

2016, by contrast, is shaping up to be quite noisy. By my reckoning, there’s maybe half a dozen things in the pipeline due at some point next year. Of the ones I can talk about now, NewCon Press will be releasing a new ebook Best of called Digital Dreams, as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations – you’ll find a reprint of ‘The Honey Trap’ in that (click here to pre-order). And I’ll finally be able to call myself a published poet too. Both Winter Tales (Fox Spirit Books) and The Speculative Book (Speculative Bookshop) will be include a pair of my poems between them – my first to appear in print. Exciting stuff!

In the meantime, I’d better get back to it. 2015 was a year of the unexpected, and often giddying highs. 2016? Well… Let’s see what you’ve got, eh?

Cheers!

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!
 

 

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”

Bits’n’Bobs: Eastercon, Pet Slimmers, La Femme and Amber and Locktender

Hi all. The Maw of a Thousand Tomes, aka the Expanding Suitcase of Doom, is packed and ready for Eastercon in Glasgow this weekend. There’s just time for a bit of housekeeping before I go.

  • Firstly, here’s my schedule for Eastercon, where I’ll be at the launch of NewCon Press anthology La Femme, as well as my first ever panels across the weekend. Come say hi, if you’re about!

Continue reading “Bits’n’Bobs: Eastercon, Pet Slimmers, La Femme and Amber and Locktender”

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”