News Post # 9
The last news report of the year from Floppybootopia. The clocks have just gone forward (or is it back?), Sven Goran Erikson and Liam Fox have both been booted out of their sinecures (although to be fair, Sven isn’t a corrupt croney-favouring scumbag, he just lost a game to Millwall), Gadaffi has been ousted, protests against the banks are intensifying and Denmark and Thailand have elected their first women presidents. Out with the old, in with the new, that seems to be the sign of the times. If that is so, an old geezer like myself is in for a rude shock at some point…
# Starbase Leicester is now 6 years old and has moved from reception class to Big School. They had a party and cake and stuff. At the last minute I had to cancel my attendance, which was annoying. Still, happy birthday, SBLites.
# Will Ellwood sold a story to Flurb! If you don’t know what Flurb is, I’ll tell you. It’s an online magazine of Speculative fiction run by Rudy Rucker and held in extremely high esteem by the SF world. In the same issue as Will, little known author Bruce Sterling also had a story.
# The Grassroutes project has been launched! Your esteemed self is the list of authors and is pleased as punch to be there.
# Saw the production of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls at the new Curve. Nice to see such a great play put on again. Thought the acting was top notch but the staging seemed a bit odd. Particularly as a lot of the action seemed to take place in a dolls house. Still, the production won me over as it did reference a lot of the Soviet ideology that inspired the play (first performed in Moscow, dontcha know…)
# My extra-curricular activities are boundless. Went to see Leicester play Barnsley in the league with my amigo Miguel and his dad. Met my mate Wayne Exley there before the match for a few pints. Can’t remember much about the game, apart from the fact that I got sun-burnt. In fact I’m probably the only person ever to catch sunburn at Oakwell on consecutive years.
# Phoenix Writers have been busy. We hosted Bead Roberts as a guest on September the 17th and held an open day on October the 1st. Five new faces joined us for a writing session and as many again have dropped in since. It seems that the whole thing is starting to take off.
# Still at the Phoenix, a short film festival with over 20 local films packed out the building in September 24th. I attended the event with Maria Smith and Keith Large, who had written and produced two of the films ‘The Ticket Collector’ and ‘Refrigerator’. Both were very well received. A big shout out too to Big Society, a cracking little satire I’ve embedded below:
# Three days before that (Saturday 20th) I trolled up to Waterstones to a book signing by local fantasy writer Mark Chadburn. A great guy who I knew from Twitter (i.e. we were complete strangers), but we had a great little chat. Also met up there with assorted speculators (Catherine Digman, Jenny Walklate, Damien Walter and the aforementioned Will Ellwood). The highlight of the visit was the GodCake provided by Adele Wearing. Yum. Yuuummm… Oh, yeah, where was I, right, OK, Mark Chadbourn. Bought a copy of his Elizabethan fantasy adventure The Scar-Crow Men. A great read that introduced me to a whole new universe of great books.
# Get Leicester Reading, the festival of all things literary, gets better every year. A highlight this time was the appearance of writers writing in Waterstone’s window. Maria Smith gives the lowdown on Keith Large’s appearance here. Will, Damien. Keith Morley and others also took their turn as window displays.
# Still on Get Leicester Reading, a highlight of the whole thing was the ‘Science vs Science Fiction’ debate between Peter F Hamilton and Professor George Fraser, director of Space Research at Leicester Uni. A great and thought provoking debate and only the 2nd time I’d been in the new library since it moved venues.
# Jim Worrad has returned to England following his sojourn in San Diego on the Clarion workshop. He continues to amaze and astound. He did miss out on the Speculators lock-in with Kasabian at the Dos Hermanos bar last week though, bad luck, Jim.
Blimey! What a lot of news there is… Haven’t got time to wish you all a happy Halloween and Bonfire Night and Solstice and Day of The Dead have I? Thought not.