What I’ve Been… #7

… Doing

Last weekend I attended the 3rd Nine Worlds Convention at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre in Heathrow. It’s my second one and this time was bigger and better than the last time. I’ll let others tell you about the actual venue and concentrate on the event itself but the service from the hotel was a little disappointing to say the least.

As I live all the way west from London and over the English/Welsh border I don’t get to London to see all the people I love catching up with. Eastercon was a disappointment this year in that regard as all the cool people have now chosen Nine Worlds as their bookish con of choice. And it’s easy to see why.

It’s such a relaxed space with so many geek-friendly threads. Books are only one part of what goes on. There are threads devoted to Game of Thrones, geek culture and academia, the end of the world, comics, creative writing, games, fanfic, feminism, history, LGBTQAI+, podcasting, Supernatural…. and more. It’s really a lot of mini-cons in one space. But you can crossover easily and see discussions you might be curious about but never get chance to experience otherwise.

After 3 years it has grown a little too big for the venue. Lots of the panels had ‘full’ signs on the door. And I missed out on Knightmare Live as the queue was so long I didn’t see everyone fitting in the room it was allocated to. It’s nice from the panelists point of view to have full rooms but for attendees it’s a little frustrating.

I was even on a panel, The End of Author Mystique, where a group of critics and authors discussed the relationship between readers and authors. I learnt I need to change my use of ‘buy my book’ when talking about thinks I don’t like authors doing into ‘PLEASE buy my book’ as the later is annoying and the former is essential to make sure authors get some financial recognition for the hundreds of hours they’ve spent making their work come to life.

I had a great time and can’t wait for next year’s event. I might even cosplay next time.

…Reading

So on the car ride into Nine Worlds I listened to the last hour of Good Omens (the BBC cast recording) and forget what I said about it being slow. When it came to the ending, I must have been tired, because I cried. It somehow encapsulated the power of the message of the book with the right tone and it set me off. Really good job.

On the way back I started listening to The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett. I’ve been slowly working my way through a reread of the City Watch books and thought it might be good to mix it up a bit. To be honest the voices of the cast aren’t anywhere near the voices in my head. But as Terry will have had some input into it they must be voices he approved of in some way. I mellowed after a while. They’re still a little odd but I’m not freaking out hearing them any more.

I’m another story down in Fearie Tales. This one was ‘Open Your Window, Golden Hair’ by Tanith Lee. She’s taken the Rapunzel basics and subverted them into a creepy honey trap of a tale. Well worth reading.

A couple of days ago I picked up The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard to see if it grabbed me. I do that with a lot of books.  I taste them to see if it’s something that works for me. Now I’ve been reading it off and on. Mostly when I’m supposed to be doing other stuff. I’m getting addicted. I know it’s dangerous to share book lust as it might fade before the end. But at the moment I’m happy to share.

My current TBR reading plan is:

Finish The House of Shattered Wings
Finish The Autumn Republic
Move onto Scottish literature starting with The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

…Adding to the TBR

I have enough to keep me busy but that didn’t stop me spending money while at Nine Worlds:

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I keep seeing The Wicked + The Divine mentioned on twitter. It’s one of the comics I’ve been really curious about but needed a push. I’m being really cautious about the comics I buy as I don’t want to be disappointed. I have high hopes.

I keep meaning to read Frances Hardinge. She’s loved by a lot of people I know. I have A Face Like Glass and  I was standing at the Forbidden Planet considering The Lie Tree or Cuckoo Song. I’m not sure I’d like The Lie Tree as it seems a little dark. I’ve said that but all her books seem dark so maybe I should say a little too dark. So The Cuckoo Song is was.

I bought Battle Mage as I’ve known Stephen for years and as his debut was available a couple of months early. It’s nice to support debut authors.

Speaking of support, Jared of Jurassic London was selling some of their books at the con and I finally picked up a copy of Irregularity. I also picked up The Good Shabti, a The Shirley Jackson Award 2014 nominee. 
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And now I have an almost complete collection of Jurrasic London releases:

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The other thing which happened was a I got so curious by Tom Pollack’s recommendation that I had to get hold of a copy of The Raven Boys. Twitter seemed to find a it a really good recommendation. And I need to read some more YA.

IMG_2382That’s the end of this week’s update. Hopefully more next Sunday.

What have you all been reading?

 

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