Some of you reading this may well have been to one of the previous SFX Weekender jamborees, but this will be my first. Catching the train on the morning of Friday February 3rd down to Prestatyn on the north Wales coast (not so very far southwest of Liverpool), and to the Pontins holiday resort there which the mighty SFX organisation has taken over for several days of unbridled SF-flavoured knees-up. There will be panels, talks, exclusive previews, films, retro-TV screenings, and celebs, celebs, celebs out the yingyang.
Er, amongs whom will be my good self. And I have things to do, to whit an autograph session at 10am on the Saturday morning, in conjunction with the immensely agreeable Jaine Fenn, after which I`ll be on a panel about space opera at 12 noon. Much relaxation and chinwagging shall ensue, have no doubt about this!
For more info on the Weekender schedule, see the following link:
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Well, here we are at the uttermost final hours of 2011, in some ways a pretty awful year (taking a political perspective) yet for yr hmble scribe it has been a bit of a watershed year what with the publication of The Ascendant Stars, the final volume of the Humanity’s Fire trilogy, which rounds off five years or so of dedicated hard work. The trilogy has also been published in Germany and France, and next autumn will appear in the USofA, from Orbit US, which is of course beyond splendid.
Curiously, however, here in the UK one almost gets the feeling that the book has appeared (as Harry Harrison used to say) under conditions of extreme secrecy. Well, okay, I exaggerate, what with the excellent review by Eric Brown in the Guardian back at the start of November, coinciding with its publication on November 3rd. Yet thus far, from the two main pop-SF magazine outlets, SFX and Scifi Now, not so much as a sniff of a review. Odd that.
On the other hand, Scifi Now Online did highlight the cover art for Ascendant Stars (by the very talented Steve Stone), and here is the link for your delectation:
All that remains is to wish all my readers and all visitors to this here blog a very happy and survivable New Year. Have a good un, and see y`all on the other side!
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So, if you wander down to your local news/mag emporium and pick up a copy of the latest SFX (June edish), you can turn to page 45 and see real, untouched pictures of your hmble scribe from the SFX bash at Waterstones Piccadilly branch. Sitting right there between Philip Palmer and Mike Carey, with the inimitable China M holding forth (and later next to Dan Abnett and Adam Roberts with China M once more addressing the comrades). Twas a great night (lurgy notwithstanding), and I hope there’ll more to come.
Smashingly terrific and otherwise peachy keen, yes! – did an interview with editor Dave Bradley at SFX, and it has now appeared at the magazine’s online website citadel! Link below:
Aw yes, and a good time was had by all. For me it began with a quick stop-off at Forbidden Planet for to sign their stock of The Orphaned Worlds (as well as a coupla copies of Shadowgod and Shadowmasque! - get em while ya still can). From there we (being myself, Orbit publicist Rose Tremlett, and me old mucker, Dave Wingrove) shimmied and sidestepped along to Piccadilly and Waterstones’ mighty Citadel Of Books (well, it is immense, have to say) in time for the multi-celebtastic signing in the foyer. After that we headed up to the vip lounge for the SFX Summer of Reading launch, attended by luminaries, as well as lucky winners of the compo to get in.
David Bradley, editor of SFX, hosted a panel on science fiction and the comparison between print and visual media. The panel consisted of Dan Abnett, myself, Adam Roberts and China Mieville, and while we didnt really resolve the main question we had a whole heap of fun doing an intellectual dash around its various aspects (including the whole gateway book-drug thang, maaan). I had a great time, and the audience seemed to enjoy it too. For Dave Bradley’s report and spiffy photoset, click the link:-
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Penned by the redoubtable Dave Bradley, there it is on page 125 of the July issue. Here’s a quote;
“Cobley writes energetic space opera, rarely dallying with sentiment and mostly assaulting the reader with exotic locations and sudden skirmishes. There are joyous moments of invention but overall there’s too much going on…Fortunately, as the saga progresses, The Orphaned Worlds begins knotting some of the threads together – it still feels like an over-shaken can of fizzy diet Banks…”
That’s a first, being compared to a can of pop. Crik-tsshhh!
And which is only topped by the subheader, beneath the book title – “Like Iain M Banks with ADHD”.
And yet – and YET – the book earns itself 3 and a half stars outa 5, eh? Hmm. Personally, I choose to regard Dave B’s review as a 4-star. Well, this is my blog after all….
…but I’m still pleased.
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So the story goes thus – glossy bigpro mag SFX is launching its Summer of SF Reading, in association with booksellers Waterstones, and this glittering evening event is due to take place at Waterstone’s Picadilly branch in London on May 10th, commencing 5.30pm with a bit of multi-celeb signage involving the likes of China Mieville, Adam Roberts, Dan Abnett, myself and others. For some official and more comprehensive info on this event, click on the link below:
And if you’re in town that day, why not pop in and say Slainte!
So the official publication date is Thursay, March 5th, at bookstores the length and breadth of Great Britain! Avast, there, ye lubbers, and fork out the dosh!
Ahem. This coming weekend I`ll be heading up da road to Glasgow to do what’s called a stock signing – this is where the author signs the copies of the book which the bookstore has in stock, after which the store can put a little ‘signed copy’ sticker on the front. This is not quite as enjoyable as a public reading, along with all the applause and egoboostery that it entails, but is good for author-store relations. And what writer doesn’t get a kick out of putting his monicker on his published work?
Related news – as mentioned, Sci Fi Now magazine had a great and positive review of SOE, and I’m told that incoming are reviews by SFX, LOCUS, the Guardian and Scotland On Sunday (a Sunday broadsheet sold in Scotland, kinda self explanatory I guess). After which I’ll be keeping a weather eye open for detailed analyses in other publications such as the North Devon Gazette, the Madagascar Tribune, and the Cayman Islands Observer. No really, I would love to get reviews in them!
Anyhoo, stay tuned for more Seeds Of Earth development, including a possible competition for STUFF – and honestly, who in their right mind says no to STUFF?