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Eastercon (again) and Fantasy in the Court
It's been a year since my last update! Possibly something to do with the baby who arrived around ten months ago. Anyway, I'm finally crawling out of my maternity cave and doing some events. First is Eastercon, where I will be on 3 panels:
Multiverse Magic (9pm, Saturday 8th April)
Apart from the MCU, films like Everything, Everywhere, All at Once are exploiting the possibilities of many worlds. And many writers have also leaned into the implications and made multiple timelines work, despite the difficulties. We discuss our favourites.
For obvious reasons, I'm very excited about this one. I loved Everything Everywhere All At Once, and I can't wait to talk to the other panelists about the possibilities and difficulties of writing multiversally.
Comedy in SFFH! (7.30pm, Sunday 9th April)
Is it time for more than just Pratchett and Adams to grace the science fiction and fantasy humour section of our bookshops? And what about comedy horror books? We delve into new modern works that look on the lighter side of SFFH, and discuss why humour in these genres can be so hard to find in book format when TV and Film frequently go there.
My next book (currently in edits) will be a time-travel romantic comedy, so I'm hoping to help redress the balance. I also want to argue that humour in SFFH isn't necessarily hard to find - it's just not always in books that are marketed as comedies.
My Favourite Trek (10.30am, Monday 10th April)
Several season of several different shows, multiple games, comics, novel tie-ins and more - a panel look at their favourite interpretations of Trek across the decades.
I am on this panel purely to yell about how much I love Deep Space Nine. Consider yourself warned.
I'm also moderating a couple of other panels which should be really interesting - Conlangs and You, on constructed languages and when (or if) you should use them in your fiction, and Music's Symbiosis with Art, on the role music plays in the creative process.
I'll also be a guest (along with a host of other science fiction and fantasy authors) at Fantasy in the Court, on 25th May at Goldsboro Books in London. The event is sold out, alas, but if you're going, I'll see you there!
This will probably be my last blog-style news update - I'm starting a newsletter, since that's probably the easiest way to make sure people find out about the next book once it's finally ready. Head to the home page if you're interested in signing up!
Eastercon, Subjective Chaos, and spoilers
Firstly: next weekend I will be attending Reclamation 2022, this year's Eastercon! I'm currently scheduled to be on 3 panels:
Brave New Babies (9.00am, Sat 16th April)
Growing babies outside the womb is a frequent idea in science fiction, but is it really possible? And if it were, what benefits, problems, and opportunities might it bring? How do SFF books deal with reproduction and gestation more generally?
Besides being something I'm interested in as an SFF reader, the topic of this one is also personal right now - as of the con, I will be 33 weeks pregnant. So if you see someone walking around looking like they're smuggling something between a palantír and a Death Star, it may well be me.
Twisting Tropes (10.30am, Sat 16th April)
Tropes are fun; subverting them is even more fun. Our panel discuss the glorious history of twisting tropes in fantasy, fairy tales, and science fiction, including their favourite tropes to undercut!
This one looks like it'll be a lot of fun: the real-life equivalent of being sucked down a TV Tropes wormhole. I'm hoping to get to talk about some of the tropes I wanted to subvert in Meet Me in Another Life, and hear about some of the other panelists' favourites.
The Margins Are Thicker Than The Mainstream (12.00pm, Mon 18th April)
A discussion about genre purity and the creativity and popularity of liminal spaces. Genres constantly overlap, despite the potential tension between the practicalities of bookshop labelling and the creativity of liminal spaces. And fans expand just about every type of original material, not always to the delight of creators and producers. This panel discusses all of the above, and other issues of margins and liminality in SFF.
Since no one can seem to agree on what genre Meet Me in Another Life is, I'm looking forward to this one! There's a lot of people involved, so it may be more of a quickfire Q&A, which should make it interesting.
On the Saturday at 12.00pm, I'm also hoping to take part in All the Book Launches!, a celebration of all the books published during the pandemic that didn't get a physical launch.
The full programme is here. You can still register for the con if you're interested in attending - it's taking place at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre London Heathrow, from Friday 15th through to Monday 18th April.
Secondly: Meet Me in Another Life was nominated for a Subjective Chaos Kind of Award, in the Science Fiction category! This is an award created and judged by a panel of passionate genre readers and bloggers, so it means a lot to be nominated, especially in such amazing company - I've already read and loved Firebreak and Far from the Light of Heaven, and will be working my way through the rest of the nominees once I'm done with my preparatory reading for Eastercon.
Thirdly: I got to cross off something that's been on my wishlist for a while. C. at The Middle Shelf graciously invited me to answer spoilery questions about Meet Me in Another Life! This was an absurd amount of fun - thanks so much to C. for the opportunity. Take a look if you've read the book and want to hear me nerd out about all the things I'm usually not allowed to mention.
This Saturday (30th October), I will be attending BristolCon! At the moment I'm scheduled to be on one panel (see below), but given the times we live in, the programme is subject to change...
Are the Hotels All Inclusive?
The greatest fantasy of all – going on holiday. A panel of fantasy authors become travel agents and explain to the audience why taking a holiday in the world they’ve created would be a great idea.
7pm, panel room 1
If you fancy attending, be quick -- registration closes at 23.59 today (Mon 25th Oct).
While I was unplugged
I've been mostly off Twitter, Instagram and the internet in general for a few weeks, for a couple of reasons. The first reason was that I went to see family in Greece.
It felt strange to be Somewhere Else for the first time in almost two years. It was also lovely, and we were looked after as only Greeks can look after you, and it's taken a while to come to terms with being back.
The second reason was that I realised I needed to devote some time to finishing up the next book. It's not done yet, but it's mostly there. At least until edits come through, and I start the (genuinely fun) process of unpicking it all and putting it back together again!
Here are a few things that happened while I was away:
- I was very proud to be the SECOND member of the Silvey family to be interviewed in The Courier. Unlike my dad, I didn't get to do a photoshoot in chest waders, but there's always next time.
- I took part in VoyagerCon - I was honoured to be on a panel about Fantastical Cities with R.F. Kuang (author of THE POPPY WAR trilogy and the forthcoming BABEL) and Saara El-Arifi (look out for THE FINAL STRIFE, coming next year). If you missed it, you can watch the recording on YouTube.
- MEET ME IN ANOTHER LIFE is going to have a French edition and an Italian edition! I've updated the list of currently confirmed translations, with links to the publishers, in the FAQ.
Coming up next: I'm going to be attending BristolCon! Not sure yet if I'll be on any programming, but will update here once I know.
Instagram Live event
It seems only a few posts ago that I said I was not cool enough for Instagram. While that remains true, I have nevertheless joined in order to do this event which I am very excited about:
To mark the UK release of Meet Me in Another Life, I will be chatting about the book with my wonderful editor Natasha Bardon! The event will be hosted on Harper Voyager UK's Instagram. If you're an Instagram novice like me (seriously, all I have up there is a fuzzy picture of my cat and a flyer for this event), please don't panic. You do need to have an account to be able to view the event, but there is no obligation to then become a dedicated 'grammer. Unless you want to, of course! Either way, hope to see you there.
National Writing Day event with Bristol Libraries
Update: the recording of this event is now available here!
With the UK release date for Meet Me in Another Life fast approaching (8th July!!), I'll be doing some events in the coming weeks. The first is a panel hosted by Bristol Libraries on the evening of Wednesday 23rd June.
I'll be taking part alongside fellow 2021 debut authors Carole Johnstone and Christina Sweeney-Baird. We'll each talk about our books (I'm currently reading Mirrorland and The End of Men and they are both excellent so far); since 23rd June is National Writing Day, we'll also be talking a bit about our writing processes and our paths to publication.
The event will run from 7pm - 8pm UK time on Wednesday 23rd June. You can register here.
This weekend is ConFusion, the virtual 2021 edition of Eastercon (the British National Science Fiction Convention). I'll be on the following panels:
Sat 3rd April, 12 midday: Influences beyond the literary canon. Our panel chat about their biggest influences beyond favourite authors; from cartoons to games to tv shows and beyond.
Mon 5th April, 12 midday: Storytelling through repetition. Time loops, time travel, and replaying games: how narratives are built by repeating actions & discovering new elements - including building relationships, and positive queer depictions.
I'll also be doing a reading of an excerpt from Meet Me in Another Life - this is scheduled for 7pm on Fri 2nd April. You can see all the events I'm involved in here.
Meet Me in Another Life
MEET ME IN ANOTHER LIFE comes out next year! Publication day is April 27th in the US and Canada, 8th July in the UK and the rest of the Commonwealth. I've updated the Books page with blurbs, preorder links for both editions, and the starry starry US cover. The UK cover is also stunning, but still under wraps at this point -- watch this space. In the meantime, you can read an excerpt from the book if you so choose.
US advance copies are not only being sat on by my cat, they are also out there in the world and starting to get some good reactions on Twitter and Goodreads! If you're based in the US and would like an advance copy, my publisher William Morrow is running a series of Goodreads giveaways -- the current one is open until December 21st. If you miss that one, there will be a couple more running in January and February. More news on UK advance copies coming next year.
Another semi-recent happening was that I took part in a panel discussing one of my favourite films, Arrival. The event was part of the Imagining Better Futures series, organised by University College London to welcome new Arts and Humanities students. I really enjoyed this event -- I got to wear both my linguist and my author hats, and it was great fun talking about everything from language-trained chimps to fate versus free will.
The freezing fog is drawing in here in Cambridge, and it's starting to feel like this year may actually be coming to an end. May the next one bring good things for you and yours.