Blackwing: LITFIC edition

Hilarious satire piece from my dear friend Ed McDonald. Only I didn’t find it literary enough cause it’s not talking about the 4th divorce of a geriatric literarure professor.
Try better, Ed!
But still hilarious nonetheless 😀

ED MCDONALD

Everyone knows that literary fiction is the best form of fiction and that popular books are written by mere hacks spouting garbage for the unwashed, illiterate masses who can barely understand a story, let alone a sentence that has taken 12 hours of deliberation. As such I am rewriting the whole of Blackwing into a more literary style. Here’s a taster.

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At Bristolcon, We Drink and We Learn Things

I totally suck at writing convention recap posts. In fact I failed to do one for Worldcon, it was simply too overwhelming to pull my head together and write a post. I figured I should do one for Bristolcon since it is a very special gathering for me and I owe it to the folks.

I booked a few days in order to actually see the city this time, do a trip to Bath, and take some photos of Bristol. I don’t have the energy to download and sort the DSLR photos at the moment, but I will post them on instagram at some point.

We planned to be there at the same dates with my buddy Thomas James Clews (who is an amazing fantasy and grimdark literature advocate) and we attended the female grimdark authors panel at Waterstones the night before Bristolcon. That was a great panel, featuring authors including brilliant Anna Smith Spark, Jen Williams and Anna Stephens.

I haven’t been in the best shape in terms of physical and mental health lately and I was not able to update my own blog while I was involved in judging the SPFBO for Booknest (check this link to see all of my SPFBO reviews on booknest)

Late it better than never, however. I had some of the best moments of my life with my awesome bookish friends, made some new friends and got to visit Mark Lawrence along with T.O Munro (Check his books out on his Goodreads profile!)
Celyn Lawrence has the most heartwarming and precious smile. Those big smiles made my day as much as the company of my dear friends.

Special thanks to Julia Kitvaira and Marielle Ooms-Voges for the surprise presents. Huge thanks to Thomas James Clews for being a beacon of positive energy and goodness, of and R.B. Watkinson for being such a sweet and caring friend since my first Bristolcon. Also, James Latimer deserves a big trophy for organizing the sightseeing trip.

Dyrk Ashton came all the way from the States and Petros Triantafyllou (of Booknest) traveled all the way from Greece, winning both the distance award and life of the party award. Dyrk was a finalist in last year’s SPFBO with his book Paternus, and he is one of the most likeable and fun people in the fantasy scene. One of the most positive and energetic folks I’ve ever met. I am hoping his arch nemesis Michael R. Fletcher can make it to Bristolcon next year. We are trying hard to make it international.

Sadly I didn’t make it to any panels other than the pre-Bristolcon one at the Waterstones, the crowd at the bar was so awesome I just couldn’t leave such a magical party for any panel even if it were GRRM. Yes, the Bristolcon crew is that good.

I must also thank the Doubltree Hotel’s night shift manager and bartenders for taking great care of everyone and tolerating us. Bristolcon is the one place where you can geek out about books with the bar staff (they turned out to be Polish, so we started chatting about the Witcher books and it went to Wheel of Time and other good stuff from there.)

I’m not known to upload photos from my DSLR right away, sometimes I take up to a year to process the photos from trips, but I intend to make a post with the Bristol and Bath photos soonish. (Don’t take my word on it, I’m a lazy sod!)

But here are some photos from Laura M. Hughes’s Twitter feed which sum up the party spirit: https://twitter.com/HalfStrungHarp/status/924725739190136832

And T.o. Munro’s blog post which makes a better summary: http://tomunro.blogspot.fi/2017/10/i-dont-get-out-much-but-when-i-do-i.html

I am hoping to do better convention reporting next year.

Grey Sister US Cover Reveal

that thorn guy

It is with great pride and near-giddy joy that I hereby reveal this stunning US cover from ACE and artist Bastien Lecouffe-Deharmefor Mark Lawrence‘s upcoming book: Grey Sister

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In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and…

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Reporting from the field

that thorn guy

GR Matthews, Mariëlle Ooms-Voges

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend two bookish events in London, both amazing and unique in their own rights. Knowing that, despite many invitations, Mark can almost never make it to such gatherings, I usually try my best to report back to him after each occasion, telling him all about who was there, what happened and I even pick up a book for him when I can.  I always work on the assumption that my reflections on such things would be of little interest to anyone else, but for once I decided to share some of it here and see if there’s any demand for such a thing.

Despite my original plan I’m running somewhat late writing this post, that is all down to being incredibly busy these last few weeks, trying to cough my lungs out following a chest infection, but…

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Things I Love: The Malazan Book Of The Fallen

An excellent, spoiler free tour of Malazan.
I’ll start reading it after I finish my spring TBR!

Word Whiskey

In the 90s, Canadian writers and archaeologists Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esselmont created the Malaz world to play a role playing game in. Erikson would go on to take the characters and history of the world and craft a novel out if it, Gardens of the Moon, the first in a ten book series collectively known as The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Since then, Erikson has written a couple novellas also set in the world and Esselmont has joined him as an author by penning some novels of his own detailing other events and characters that help flesh out the world and the thousands of years of lore that define it. But I haven’t read those yet.

The ten giant tomes that Erikson scribed, however, are some of my favorite pieces of prose ever written. Often overshadowed by George R. R. Martin’s hugely popular A Song of…

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The production of a fantasy debut: Interview with Anna Smith-Spark

This one is for writers who want to be traditionally published. There’s a lot of good info and valuable tips shedding light on the whole process. I highly recommend reading the whole interview if you are aspiring to get an agent and go the tradpub way.

Michael Everest

Following on from my interview with Nicholas Eames yesterday, I’ve invited Anna Smith-Spark to talk about the ‘production’ behind her fantasy debut ‘The Court of Broken Knives’, book one of ‘The Empires of Dust’ series. Anna’s already making a name for herself amongst the fantasy community, and her novel, pitched as a favourite for fans of Mark Lawrence and R Scott Bakker, promises to be an explosion of grimdark epic-ness. Back this up with the fact she’s represented by Ian Drury, Lawrence’s agent, and the twitter tag of @queenofgrimdark twitter handle sounds like a challenge to all would be contenders. Heck, if the crown fits, wear it. Or as Jorg Ancrath proves – take it!

So, without further adieu, I introduce, to you ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of Grimdark herself, Anna Smith-Spark.anna-smith-spark-author-photoME: Hi Anna!Before we begin, let’s start with some introductions – who are you, what do you…

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