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My week of geek schedule: Nine Worlds, LonCon3, and everything in-between

SFF fans have got it good this August in the UK, with an unprecedented “week of geek” packed with two major conventions and a host of other events.

Here’s my (updated!) schedule – there are a couple of items still to confirm, along with rooms and locations. But in the meantime, general convention and ticket info can be found at the links.

Nine Worlds (8 – 10th August, 2014)

Friday 8th August

Writing Transmedia: ideas that cross formats and boundaries
6.45pm  8.00pm (All The Books)
Because a story can also be an app, computer game, vlog, fanvid, web series, docu-drama, interactive ebook, diary comic, inter-sensory experience or any other format currently existing or yet to exist not listed here. Kind of against the spirit of the thing, if you ask us. Guess you’ll just have to go to it in person.
Barry Nugent, Anna Caltabiano, Simon Guerrier, Adam Christopher

Saturday 9th August

Signing
10.00am – 10.30am
The signing slots are actually an hour long, but I’m a little tied up Saturday morning so if you want to come along and get me to deface something, you must be IN like a NINJA at the Forbidden Planet table in Commonwealth West. Failing that, do feel free to ambush me elsewhere at the con – after a panel, or at the bar, or if you see me wandering around.

Dis/Continuity: long-running characters, change, evolution and disruption
1.30pm  2.45pm (Comics Fandom)
The challenges, joys, disappointments and outright confusion of writing, following and redesigning characters with 60+ years of sometimes-not-entirely-straightforward back story.
Paul Cornell, Kieron Gillen, Nat Wilkinson, Misha Sumra, Adam Christopher

Working with Artists: drawing up professional relationships
6.45pm – 8.00pm (All The Books)
How can artists get the best from their writers, and vice versa? Advice about making great things.
Q&A, with Sarah McIntyre, Emma Vieceli, Gillian Redfearn, Djibril al-Ayad, Adam Christopher

Sunday 10th August

Anytime, Anywhere
10.00am – 11.15am (Doctor Who)
The Doctor can travel anywhere in time and space, and the pure historical story was a regular occurrence in the early days of the show, but has been seen only once since 1966. Would a pure historical work in today’s Doctor Who? Is there any time or place the Doctor should go that he hasn’t yet? Which historical figures does he really need to get around to meeting?
Simon Guerrier, Adam Christopher, Joanne Harris, Anna Jackson

Marketing & Social Media: getting the word out
11.45am – 1.00pm (All The Books)
How do you get the word out about your book? How can events, social media, publicity and marketing work? Tips and tricks from the experts.
Q&A with Tom Hunter, Adam Christopher, Danie Ware, Sophie Calder and James Oswald

Never Just “Comic Book Guy”: celebrating diverse comics fandom
1.30pm – 2.45pm (Comics Fandom)

Celebrating diverse comics fandom, defying stereotypes, encouraging participation and wondering when people will realise comics are for everybody.
Helena McCallum, Tony Keen, Nat Wilkinson, Misha Sumra, Kate McAlpine, Charlotte Geater, Hazel Robinson, Adam Christopher

Fantasy in the Court (12th August, 2014)

Cecil Court, London, 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Join me and a bazillion other authors in this amazing celebration of SFF. Full listing at the website. Tickets are £5, redeemable on a book bought on the night.

Angry Robot Summer Invasion (13th August, 2014)

Forbidden Planet, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, 6.00pm – 7.00pm
I’ll be reading and signing at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday night alongside Madeline Ashby, Wesley Chu, Anne Lyle, Ramez Naam and Mike Shevdon.

LonCon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (14 – 18th August, 2014)

Thursday 14th August

Reading
6.00pm – 6.30pm
Might dig out something special for this one…

Friday 15th August

Welcome Party
9.00pm – 11.00pm
If this is your first convention, or you’re just a bit worried about coming to such a big event, come along to our introductory mixer, where our hosts will find out what you want from Loncon and what your genre favourites are, answer your questions, and introduce you to fellow newbies. Come and start your convention here, and make some new friends.
Paul Cornell, Adam Christopher, Emma Newman, Gareth L Powell, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Marcus Gipps

Saturday 16th August

Kaffeeklatsch
12.00pm – 1.00pm
Come and have a coffee, maybe some biscuits, and we can talk about stuff!

Sunday 17th August

Authors Accept, Encourage, and Create Fan Works Too
11.00am – 12.00pm
Fanfiction, fan art, and other forms of transformative works can be a sensitive topic with authors understandably having mixed reactions to works based on their creations. In this session four successful authors embrace forms of creative (not-for-profit!) output based upon their works. They discuss the benefits and difficulties of having fans creatively engage with their material. Beyond that they openly talk about their own experiences with fan works, whether they have written, still write, or read fanfiction or produce other forms of fan works.
Karen Hellekson, Seanan McGuire, Adam Christopher, Karen Miller, Patrick Rothfuss

Detectives in SF
4.30pm – 6.00pm
The detective character has always been with us, but more and more we’re seeing new narrative shapes creeping into the genre as part of a noir movement. What is noir in a literary sense? How is it differentiated from hard boiled? How has the detective had to adapt to survive in a science fictional world? Why such an increase in the prevalence of crime oriented science fiction?
Heidi Lyshol, Erin Hunter, Peter F Hamilton, Jan Siegel, Adam Christopher

Wow… that’s quite a week. See you in August!

Tonight! Angry Robot Live 3 with me, Chuck Wendig, Anne Lyle and Carrie Patel!

A quick note to say: come join me and three other Angry Roboteers in a Google Hangout, as we discuss series writing!

The hangout starts tonight (Wednesday 25th June) at 7.30PM BST (11.30AM PDT/2.30PM EDT). Full details, the hangout link and sign-up, can be found over at Angry Robot.

Tonight: Interview at the British Fantasy Society, Phoenix Artists’ Club, London!

Later today I’m heading down to London, where tonight I’m the guest of the British Fantasy Society at their open night. There’s a lot going on tonight, including an anthology launch, the launch of DieGo Comics Publishing, and the announcement of the shortlists for the British Fantasy Award.

And there’s also an interview with me, conducted by Gollancz Publishing Director Gillian Redfearn, which should be fun.

There’s also an entirely free raffle, and I’m bring a fair pile of books to throw into it – including some limited edition hardcovers.

Full details are available at Angry Robot and the BFS website. The open night is completely free to attend whether you are a member of the BFS or not. You don’t need any tickets, and things officially kick-off at 7.00pm. The Phoenix is on Phoenix Street, just off Charing Cross Road. You can find directions here.

See you there!

Interview at the British Fantasy Society open night, 6th June 2014

Still working. Still busy. Still battling deadlines. But busy is good. Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty, as a wise man once said.

Good good.

But while I’m around here a little less at the moment, you can come and see me on Friday 6th June 2014 at The Phoenix Artists’ Club in London, where I am the guest of the British Fantasy Society at their open night. I will be interviewed at the event by Gollancz Publishing Director Gillian Redfearn, and there will be books for sale, drinks, a raffle, drinks, the launch of a new anthology Journeys Into Darkness, drinks, the launch of DieGo Comics Publishing, and – thanks to Gollancz shifting offices – quite possibly a very large stack of books for Gillian to give away.

Full details are available at the BFS website. The open night is free to attend whether you are a member of the BFS or not, and things kick-off at 7.00pm!

See you there!

SFX magazine takeover, Kelly Braffet blurbs HANG WIRE, and the epic Forbidden Planet double book launch!

So this is a busy week.

Out today is issue 246 of SFX Magazine – inside of which you will find no fewer than three things either by, or related to… me!

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On page 108, Eddie Robson reviews The Burning Dark, awarding four stars and saying it is…

A skillful genre clash, using the furniture of military SF to stage a piece of psychological horror… what lingers at the end is the deeply uncanny quality of a haunted, abandoned space station, and a final sequence of revelations that pay off the tension handsomely.

All I can say it… wow! I love this review to bits!

If that whets your appetite, turn to page 116 for a two-page extract from the book, courtesy of Titan. The extract is an entire chapter, focussing on two of the marines stuck on the space station Coast City.

Following that, on page 118 is my second Book Club feature, this time on the Dragonlance classic, Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

Phew! Seriously, that must be some kind of record for SFX appearances.

I’m also delighted today to show off a new blurb for Hang Wire!

One of my favourite books of last year was Save Yourself, by literary wunderkind Kelly Braffet. Save Yourself is dark and beautiful, with a depth of character and elegance of prose that regular schmucks like myself can only dream of achieving.

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I was pleased as punch to make Kelly’s acquaintance via Twitter (man, three cheers for social media), and then just a little awestruck when she asked if she could read Hang Wire.

And she did, and this is what she said:

Adam Christopher’s Hang Wire reads like Erin Morgenstern via Tim Powers, but the dark, creepy heart that beats at its center is entirely its own. It’s good unclean fun, and so addictive.

And… wow. I’m speechless, and also very, very grateful to have received such wonderful praise from a writer such as Kelly. That blurbs joins Hang Wire‘s NPR review and starred Booklist review as some of the highlights of my writing career so far.

So if all of that tickles your fancy, come along to the Forbidden Planet Megastore at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on Thursday night (6th March) at 6pm for what promises to be an epic double launch of Hang Wire and The Burning Dark. I’ll be reading from both books, and the first 50 people in the door will get a Hang Wire fortune cookie (as seen in the book)! Hidden inside are four spot prizes, including a voucher for the Forbidden Planet store. There will also be jello shots! We were going to serve a wild strawberry liqueur – as seen in The Burning Dark – but it’s a little sweet and very sticky, so to make it safer for the store (sticky fingers on books is a bad idea), we’re making it into something a little easier to handle.

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As well as the regular paperback of Hang Wire, the limited edition, numbered hardcover – with gorgeous variant red cover by Kitschies Inky Tentacle winner Will Staehle – will be available for the first time. And not only that, this event will be your chance to grab The Burning Dark nearly three whole weeks before it goes on general sale anywhere in the world.

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Phew! I guess I’d better choose what to read then… see you tomorrow!

THE COPPER PROMISE by Jen Williams launches tonight at Forbidden Planet London!

So much for blogging every week day, but the last week or so has been a little hectic.

Today I’m off to London – third week in a row, would you believe – to help cheer on my pal Jen Williams as she launches her debut novel, The Copper Promise, at the Forbidden Planet Megastore tonight at 6pm.

CopperPromise_visual

The Copper Promise is my kind of fantasy – fast, funny, full of action and with some seriously kick-ass characters. Also there is magic, and dragons, which, bizarrely, fantasy seems to be lacking at the moment.

So if you can’t make it to Forbidden Planet tonight, do yourself a favour and grab Jen’s book from your favourite bookstore. Trust me, you want to read it.

 

Angry Robot and Titan Books present: the HANG WIRE and THE BURNING DARK joint book launch!

As you know, I’ve got two books out in 2014 – Hang Wire, an urban fantasy from Angry Robot, and The Burning Dark, a dark space opera from Titan (in the UK; Tor in the US). Their release dates are pretty close together in the UK – February 6th for Hang Wire, and March 25th for The Burning Dark. Which is tricky.

So, we’re throwing a party!

For one night, Angry Robot and Titan are joining forces to host a double book launch at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in London on Thursday 6th March, 2014, 6pm.

But… have you spotted it yet?

Yep. This is your chance to get hold of The Burning Dark nearly THREE WEEKS prior to publication. The Titan paperback will be on sale at Forbidden Planet. Stock will be limited. When they are gone, they are gone. But if you can make it in, you’ll be among the first in the world to buy the book. It’s not out anywhere – UK or North America – until March 25th.

Here’s the cover for the Titan edition:

BurningDark_Fcvr

So – this is your chance to grab it, nice and early!

Oh, and there is more, too.

Also released that night is the limited edition hardcover of Hang Wire. This features a cover in alternate colours, and is limited to just 100 copies, all signed and numbered. This hardcover is exclusive to Forbidden Planet.

HangWireLE-144dpi

The regular paperback of Hang Wire will be available as well, of course.

HangWire-144dpi

And… there’s still more.

There will be… drinks! Nibbles! Surprises! Giveaways! Surprise giveaways!

It’s going to be a lot of fun.

A Facebook event page will be set up shortly, although you don’t need to RSVP to attend. If you can’t make it, you can still order your copies of Hang Wire and The Burning Dark direct from Forbidden Planet.

And… one more thing.

Everybody who comes to Forbidden Planet will go into the draw for my giant pre-order contest (even though it’s after the official release of Hang Wire). I’m keeping the details of the contest prize a secret until January 6th, but trust me, you will want to be in the draw. The same rules will apply – buy one book, get one contest entry. Buy both books, get four contest entries. Buy the limited edition Hang Wire hardcover… well, I’ll have to think of something special! Full details of the contest will be posted in the New Year.

See you at Forbidden Planet!

Andromeda One – Birmingham Custard Factory, Saturday September 21st

Andromeda One, a new one-day genre lit convention, is being held this Saturday, 21st September, at the Custard Factory, Birmingham. The guests of honour are Paul Cornell and Jaine Fenn, and I’m pleased to be one of the programme participants (who also include Adam Nevill, Gaie Sebold, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gav Thorpe, Ian Whates, and many others).

There’s no online programme, but my schedule for the day looks like this:

11:30am – 12:30pm, The Theatre
Crossing genre boundaries: Is Cthulhu SF or horror? What happens when you mix SF and fantasy, romance and SF, etc
with Misa Buckley, Iain McKinnon, Simon Marshall-Jones, Janet Edwards, Adam Nevill, Adrian Tchaikovsky
I’m actually moderating this rather large panel. Should be fun!

3.30 – 4:30pm, The Theatre
Does my rocket look big in this? Technology and prediction in SF
with Janet Edwards, Ian Whates, Lynn Cochrane, Chris Amies, Dave Corby, Stan Nicholls

4:30 – 5.30pm, The Theatre
Are comics the new mainstream?
with Paul Cornell and another panellist to be confirmed

Andromeda One runs from 11am until 10pm, and as well as two stream of panels, features workshops, kaffeeklastches, and a book launch. Tickets are £25, and you can find out more here.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

HANG WIRE cover reveal, THE BURNING DARK quotes, Tor catalogue, Waterstones event!

It’s a busy week in the run-up to Nine Worlds, which kicks off this Friday. You can see my full schedule here.

Yesterday the cover for my fourth novel from Angry Robot, Hang Wire, was revealed over at Sword and Laser. Hang Wire is out in February 2014, and will be available as both a regular paperback and as another limited edition Forbidden Planet-exclusive hardcover. The paperback is black…

HangWire-144dpi

…while the hardcover is red…

HangWireLE-144dpi

I’m totally in love with these covers, too! And with Hang Wire, that means Will has done a total of eight covers for me across two different publishers (Empire State, Empire State limited edition, Seven Wonders, The Age Atomic, Hang Wire, Hang Wire limited edition, The Burning Dark, and Two Tales of San Ventura).

Um, wow.

Hang Wire pre-order links imminent!

In other news:

Tor’s Winter 2014 catalogue is out now, and features The Burning Dark on page 42! It also includes a couple of blurbs I’ve been dying to show off:

New York Times bestselling-author James Lovegrove says:

With The Burning Dark Christopher has produced a widescreen Hollywood spectacular in novel form, littered with ‘wow’ moments and a few sly injokes for hardcore comic book fans to catch. Not to be missed.

Martha Wells, author of the forthcoming Star Wars novel Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge, says:

A riveting SF mystery reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

Being in the Tor catalogue is something of a Big Moment for me, so there may have been a little Snoopy dancing last night. And my thanks to James and Martha for two stunning blurbs.

Finally, a date for your diaries – fellow author and superlatively nice chap James Smythe and I will be at Waterstones Deansgate in Manchester on Thursday 5th September to talk about our work. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £5/£5 from the store – I’ll post a link to the event when the page goes live.

 

My slightly epic Nine Worlds 2013 schedule

This time next week is Nine Worlds, the brand spanking new UK convention covering science fiction, fantasy, and all things genre across books, TV, films, games, comics – you name it. The convention is being run across multiple concurrent streams, and the programme is PACKED, so I advise you pop over to their website and download the full schedule PDF

I’m excited to be taking part in what’s looking like a heck of a cool weekend. And they’re keeping me busy too:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9th

5:00-6.15pm, Rad Royal A & B
Non-Genre Genre Shows
with Nickey Barnard, Lesley McIntee, David A. McIntee and John Medany

Some shows that aren’t strictly SFF in genre seem to have transcended their boundaries and become big hits with fans of more traditionally styled SFF shows. Veronica Mars has recently been kickstarted into a movie and Person of Interest‘s second season finale was described by some critics as one of the best pieces of true Science Fiction on television. Discuss these shows and more here.


6:45-8:00pm, Rad Royal A & B
Comic Book Heroes On The Small Screen
with Paul Cornell, Roz Kaveney and John Medany

From Adam West’s Batman to the 21st Century Arrow, how do our heroes fare on the small screen? It’s a different medium to both comic and film and in a lot of ways less forgiving. Where has it been done right, and where does it go wrong? Come and discuss the Original Batman, the 70s’ Spiderman and Hulk, the 80s’ The Flash, and more recently, Smallville, Heroes and Arrow


10:15 – 11.305pm, Lobby Room
New Voices Slam Session
with Liz de Jager, Stephanie Saulter, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Emma Newman, Barry Nugent, Danie Ware, Jennifer Williams, Lou Morgan, Hannah Chutzpah (emcee)

Come listen to short readings from nine of science fiction and fantasy’s most promising new authors. Bring your drinks, bring your friends: you might find your next literary addiction. Get to know these guys before they sell out!


SATURDAY, AUGUST 10th

12:00 – 1:00pm – Forbidden Planet table, dealer’s room (Vendors/Wessex)
Book signing!
with Adrian Tchaikovsky and Emma Newman


SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th

10:00-11:15am, George I
Can’t Take The Sky From Me: Science Fiction & Space Travel
with Jaine Fenn, Stephanie Saulter, Gavin Smith, Charles Stross and Ian Whates

It’s over fifty years since we sent the first humans into space. Are we still as excited about going to the stars? How have real-world concerns about the reality and practicality of space travel affected the genre?


11:45-1:00pm, George II & III
Doctor Who: The Ones You Love To Hate
with Ben Aaronovitch, Jonathan L Howard and David A. McIntee

Nothing’s more fun than a really hissable villain, and Doctor Who’s had more than its fair share of dastardly dudes and dames over the years. What makes a perfect villain? Is it the megalomaniac schemes? A catchphrase? Or just a natty line in sinister clothes? We talk all about the nastiest people in history.


1:30-2:45pm, George II & III
Is Doctor Who “Thunderingly Racist”?
with Abigail Brady, Una McCormack  and Iona Sharma

A recent academic study of DW makes a bold claim that the show is “thunderingly racist”. Is this true? No non-white actors have ever played the Doctor, and the absence of non-white people from the line-up of companions throughout the whole of the Classic Series is notable.


Phew! If I don’t see you on a panel, without a doubt I’ll be in the bar somewhere. See you there!