Category: con presence

Reminder: House of Binding Thorns promo tour (sort of)

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Quick reminder of a few events:

  • I’ll be at Waterstones Piccadily in London on Wednesday 12th April 19:30 (so tomorrow!), in conversation with Zen Cho and Vic James. You can get tickets here (or just show up at the event and get them).
  • And I’ll be attending Eastercon in Birmingham: my schedule is here

I’ve also been around the blogosphere:

  • My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal’s Blog: destroying Paris and terrible bilingual puns
  • In Defence of Uncanny Punctuation at Chuck Wendig’s blog: in which I defend the King of Fruit and the King of Punctuation
  • My Favourite Dragons and how I designed mine¬†at The Book Smugglers
  • Unfamiliar rooms: magic and dread in Kari Sperring’s The Grass King’s Concubine, at Tor.com
  • At my blog: why likeable characters are overrated and how to design your very own character we love to hate,
  • The Fallacy of Agency at Uncanny Magazine, with awesome Likhain art (aka Madeleine from The House of Binding Thorns, with silver and gold foil and all the usual Likhain prettiness, which you can see a snippet of above. Seriously. Go check the post out just for the art because it’s stunning. Likhain is a current Hugo finalist for Best Artist and deservedly so!)
  • Author takeover: War of the Houses at Mugglenet (which makes me absurdly happy because Harry Potter was such a big part of my London years)

Eurocon next week!

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Eurocon next week!

Aka “arg I hadn’t realised it was so close!”. Next week I’ll be Guest of Honour at the Eurocon in Barcelona.

Here is my schedule.

For reference: I go to these cons to meet people, so unless I’m on my way to somewhere else I’m quite happy to be chatted to (and I don’t bite, promise!). Also quite happy to sign books, etc. if you have them, even if it’s not my “official” signing (which, for the record, is at Gigamesh on Saturday 18:30). Also: my Spanish is darn rusty but I’ll try my best ūüôā If you’re curious, I’ll be at Chronos on Saturday at 17:00, where we’ll be doing an interactive interview in Spanish with Silvia Schettin–“interactive” because I foresee I’ll be spending a lot of time asking vocabulary questions from the audience…

I will also have the shiny business cards above on me: The House of Binding Thorns ones have got a random quote from the book, so if you want a peek at the book, do get one (The House of Shattered Wings ones have got a choice of covers plus glowing review quotes :)).

(do bear in mind I’ll be with the librarian though, so if I look like I’m running somewhere that’ll be it. Experience has shown that I spend my cons running from one place to another, and con + baby¬†is a killer combo in that regard…)

A very belated Mancunicon report

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A very belated Mancunicon report

So… didn’t get around to this earlier because fatigue hit me pretty badly, but I had a great time at Mancunicon. It was my first time as a Guest of Honour (and, in time honoured fashion, I was 7 months pregnant, just like Finncon 2013 ^-^).

I arrived in the UK on Wednesday and had a great night out with the BSFA–many thanks to the BSFA, Andrea Dietrich, Chad Dixon, and especially to Ed Cox for the great interview!

Then met up with Zen Cho, who was travelling with me, and we got into Manchester easily (I love trains. So much easier than planes), and we chilled out until the con got into gear Friday midday.

The cooking demo

Things I learnt, in no particular order:

  • Got to visit the kitchens of the Hilton Deansgate–my first time in a professional kitchen. Wow, had no idea, that was very cool
  • Deliveroo is really awesome for takeaway food (eating in the room is really neat when fatigue levels are close to crashing). And many many thanks to Zen Cho for keeping my sugar levels up and my anxiety levels down.
  • Kari Sperring is an awesome interviewer–engaging and effortlessly keeping me talking (which is no mean feat when the room is full)
  • Apparently there’s a¬†strong correlation between my having failed to prepare a speech¬†(was too busy worrying about the cooking demo and completely failed to realise the awards were the same day) and my actually winning said awards. Kind of still flabbergasted at this one
  • Programming was very strong, only regret I didn’t make it to more panels. Also, Kari Sperring and I shouldn’t be on a panel about history together, we kind of encourage each other ^-^
  • The Saturday cooking demo was great–I was a bit worried because I’d never done that before, but it was well attended and we made a beautiful salad! Also, Zen Cho and I have a future as a comedy cooking duo if all else fails us
  • Mancunian¬†weather apparently includes hail and horizontal rain. Which, even on the 23rd floor of a hotel, is something quite striking (and makes you glad you’re not under it. I’m given to understand Ian McDonald and a few others were, er, in the wrong place at the wrong time and got the brunt of it in their faces ¬†¬į_¬į)
  • Manchester doesn’t seem to¬†have good Vietnamese restaurants (makes sense, there isn’t a big community there), but it does have awesome dim sum, yummmmm
  • ¬†1847¬†makes great vegetarian food

To everyone whom I hoped to run into/who hoped to see me–I hope I managed to be at enough of the con that I could be grabbed/chatted with/listened to.¬†¬†I was always more tired than I expected, and¬†being able to rest in the room made a big difference to levels of fatigue (yes, I know. Anyone could have told me I would be more tired than on a normal day. I’m possibly the only optimist who thought the, er, incubating would make little difference).

Going back took me most of Tuesday, but that was because I paced myself and allowed three hours’ changeover at St Pancras where I could sit and relax between trains.

My deepest thanks to the Con Committee, the con organisers/volunteers and the hotel staff for a great con; and to Gollancz for taking good care of me (and shipping my awards home, didn’t know what I’d have done otherwise!). Thanks as well to everyone who attended (and everyone who voted in the BSFA awards). It was a super experience. And now I get to sleep for the next two months before sleep becomes a thing of the long-ago past…

The House of Shattered Wings and Three Cups of Grief by Starlight win BSFA awards

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The House of Shattered Wings and Three Cups of Grief by Starlight win BSFA awards

This isn’t the Eastercon report post (will have a longer one when I do get home), and I imagine that by now everyone has seen the news, but just in case ūüôā

Delighted (and still a bit shocked, two days after the fact) that both The House of Shattered Wings and “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, have won a BSFA Award.

I’m told by Farah Mendlesohn that this is the first time anyone has walked away with the two fiction awards in the same year (previously Keith Roberts won both art and short fiction in 1986). The Guardian has a lovely piece here, courtesy of David Barnett (and yeah this is me going “OMG I’m in the Guardian” in case you had any doubts).

My thanks to everyone who read and voted in the awards and to everyone involved from the BSFA. I was also honoured to be part of two very strong shortlists and highly suggest you check out the other finalists.

Me with Gillian Redfearn and John Berlyne in the bar shortly afterwards.

Semi-hemi-darkness notice

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Semi-hemi-darkness notice

In which I take a holiday…

I’ll be off with snakelet & family to a secluded location so I can write sleep. Email is (mostly) on hiatus, though if I owe you a thing it’s going to hopefully get done that week or the one after that! (you know who you are). Book promo stuff will still be posted: expect Shattered Wings Thursday to still happen. Social media might or might not happen (trying to get a little less addicted to the stuff).

And I will see you in London for those of you who are here: Blackwell’s High Holborn with Anna Caltabiano Wednesday August 5th 18:30 onwards (book tickets here, it’s free but you need to register your attendance); and Fantasy in the Court at Goldsboro Books here on August 6th 6:00pm-9:00pm (tickets ¬£5, book here. Lots of other cool authors here!). FYI, The House of Shattered Wings finishes printing end of July, so hopefully there’ll be copies around.

The August newsletter will be a little late due to the aforementioned holiday, expect it around August 4th (earlier if I get through the to-do list faster than expected–one never knows!)

(and yeah, I know there was no July newsletter. Very sorry about that, but real life went a little bonkers on me).

Nebulas and darkness notice

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Nebulas and darkness notice

(Picture: Fran Wilde, Navah Wolfe, Alyssa Wong and me)

Just a quick note that I’m still around but completely completely buried in explody real life (aka “not serious, but time consuming” events).

I had a lovely time at the Nebulas; and finally got to see Mad Max: Fury Road with Navah Wolfe, Fran Wilde, Alyssa Wong and her boyfriend Don (and it was great, OMG. First off, the last movie I saw was Interstellar, which a. wasn’t *very* good from my point of view, and b. was a long time ago! *sigh* toddlers). Now I feel like I’m all caught up with what everyone was saying on the internet! Also, it’s a fantastic 2-hour chase movie with a couple great leads (Charlize Theron is badass awesome, and Tom Hardy too, in a different way!).

And then there was this:

(Kat Tanaka Opoknik, Alyssa Wong, Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, and me)

Yes, there was tailcoat goodness ūüôā (for those who haven’t been following the adventures of the tailcoat: I basically got it for¬†my book launch, aka “cosplaying my own characters”, in this case Selene, the head of House Silverspires and a dab hand with tailcoats, men’s clothes and general bad-assness. This was my first serious spin with it, and it went very well. Except I had to google¬†how to tie a cravat because it’s been so long since I last did it ^^)

Didn’t actually win a Nebula, but had a great¬†time at the banquet (Sheila Williams organises awesome table seating!) and was very happy for the winners.

Now I’m back in Paris, looking with apprehension at the mass of things I’m supposed to be doing (do not overcommit do not overcommit etc.), and gearing up for the summer before book release (*gulp*). More when my head is above water (hahaha who am I kidding).

Drafts, Nebulas and ARCs of House of Shattered Wings

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Have been up to a number of things (including baking and preparing for the upcoming Nebula Awards, aka “eep, my first over-the-pond flight in 2 years! [1]). BTW, I don’t know how much I can publicy say about that, but there’ll be shiny book-related stuff at the Nebulas, so if brace yourself if you’re attending :p (also me in a Gothic tailcoat, looking snazzy. And jetlagged).

Not much book stuff, but I’ve been focusing on shorts: answering proofreader’s queries to the upcoming “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” (in the Oct/Nov. issue of Asimov’s (the short version of this is that one should never put the simu-ghosts of 24 dead emperors in the same story unless one is prepared to do a lot *more* work to keep them straight and separate), and writing a couple new pieces!

Among them is this one, which is, er, mostly a retelling of this legend as a Xuya story (it’s always fascinated me. Mostly because I can’t imagine wasting away on an obsession, I guess).

Snippet:

In Da Trang’s nightmares, Pearl is always leaving¬≠¬≠–darting away from him, towards the inexorable maw of the Sun’s gravity, going into a tighter and tighter orbit until no trace of it remains¬≠¬≠–he’s always reaching out, sending a ship, a swarm of bots¬≠¬≠–calling upon the remoras to move, sleek and deadly and yet too agonisingly slow; to do anything, to save what they can.

Too late. Too late.

Yes, there are remoras. And crabs. And er. Angst. A lot of angst ūüôā

Also, a brief reminder that today is the last day for getting a signed ARC of The House of Shattered Wings, my Gothic dark fantasy of a devastated Paris, fallen angels and political intrigues (and dead bodies, because this is a Bodard book :p): enter here!

[1] I think of it as prep for this summer, where I’ll be flying to Spokane on a *much* longer journey aka 3 connecting flights and 17 hours of zombie-inducing state…

March/April Events

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March/April Events

Just a quick heads-up that I’m doing a bunch of writerly stuff in March/April:

  • Tuesday, March 25th, 17h30-19h30: North London Lit Festival (Middlesex University, Hendon Campus): Speculative Fiction authors Stephanie Saulter and Aliette de Bodard, chaired by Farah Mendlesohn
  • Saturday, March 28th & Sunday, March 29th: Luxcon 2015, (T√©tange, Luxembourg). I’ll be Guest of Honour, and there’s a bunch of things I’m going to be doing (reading, signing & panel).
  • Friday April 3rd-Sunday April 5th early morning: Dysprosium, Eastercon 2015 (Park Inn Hotel, London Heathrow). Hanging around, meeting friends, the usual…

I’ll hopefully have print copies of On a Red Station, Drifting handy, grab me if you want one! (and/or if you have something else you want me to sign and/or if you want to chat. I’m at these things to meet people, and if it doesn’t look like I’m making a beeline for some prior engagement, or to my room in order to collapse, I’m always happy to stop and chat)