Sunday, 3 August 2014

Fantastical and Super Relaxed in York

It's been all of an age since I last attended any kind of writing and / or genre-related do in York, and a large part of the reason for that - as organizer of the joint BFS / BSFA / Super Relaxed Fantasy Club event that took place there yesterday, Alex Bardy, was quick to point out - is that there hardly ever are any these days.

No worlds were harmed during this event.
And also, in fairness, that I haven't lived within visiting distance of York in about five years.

But mainly that first thing.  Because it's a fact that where in London you can't step out of your door without tripping over an author reading or a book signing or a convention, here in the savage north it's quite possible to go for whole years without anyone feeling the need to put on any sort of get-together for genre fans.

It's a good thing, then, that Alex took it upon himself to get just such an event together, and a better thing that it turned out really well.  Particularly good for me I suppose, because - along with Janine Ashbless - I was one of the two authors doing readings and answering questions, having been asked to fill in when Adrian Tchaikovsky had to choose between visiting York and Spain.

Janine was on first and did a terrific reading from her forthcoming novel Cover Him With Darkness, sneakily finishing at the point where things were just about to get raunchy.  Then there was a bit of a Q&A and a brief break and I was up, reading a new(ish) and thus far unpublished short story titled Witch House

(Side note: it's really tough picking something to read when you don't exactly know the prospective make-up of your audience, even when you've written somewhere around a hundred short stories.  I mean, eliminate everything that's too long or too short, too old, too weird or too sweary (because who knows if someone's going to bring their five year old?) and you suddenly realise you aren't left with a whole hell of a lot.)

Anyway, I haven't done a great number of readings and never to quite so large a group, there being about twenty five of us gathered by this point, and so was a wee bit nervous.  A couple of pints helped, but also didn't, in that I'm hopeless with fizzy alcoholic beverages and kept wanting to pee.  But it seemed to go well enough in the end, though I'm yet to master that thing whereby you read and look at your audience at the same time because that's clearly impossible.

All told, though, everyone seemed to have a good time.  And I succeeded in not winning anything in the raffle, despite there being about as many prizes as people and my picking fifty percent of the tickets - which is actually a good thing because all of the prizes were books and my house is already on the verge of critical mass with those.  So well done to Alex for putting the thing together, for finding an excellent venue and for going to so much effort to make sure that people actually attended.  I'm already looking forward to the next one, which may or may not be timed to coincide with this year's FantasyCon.

No comments:

Post a Comment