I’ve just returned from Alt Fiction in Derby, and I can’t beat Brian Ruckley’s hilarious and lyrical account of the goings-on there, and on the way there, and on the way back.
Brian and I both read excerpts from our respective works in a Mass Book Launch, with Stephen Hunt and Simon Spurrier. This was a smorgasbord of fiction fare, ranging from heroic epic fantasy (Brian and Stephen) to neo-noir (Simon’s novel about a hitman whose victims keep coming back to life) to whatever Debatable Space might be.
I also did a panel on screenwriting with Graham Joyce and Michael Marshall Smith which was wild and excitable and I hope informative.
Darren Turpin and Sam Smith, Orbit honchos both, were in attendance, and I was delighted to share a dinner table with Mike Carey, who is currently writing the X Men and working for Sci Fi Channel, and is hence officially the Jammiest Beggar around.
Alt Fiction is currently funded by Derby City Council and we’re all hoping they continue to give their support to the event in future years – it’s clearly a huge success and deserves to thrive.
I’ve come away with a pile of books by authors who I met and admire, and will be reading Brian’s Winterbirth, Graham Joyce’s Smoking Poppy, Simon Spurrier’s Contract and Tony Ballantyne’s Recursion as soon as possible.
Apart from the sheer joy of socialising with so many smart and entertaining people, this was a forum for ideas to be thrown around, and insights to be gleaned. I came back with my head exploding with ideas for new stories, and a yearning to write some fantasy and horror as well pursuing my core passion, hard but quirky sf….
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