Friday Five: 5 Weird & Wonderful War Stories


World Fantasy is over - and with it, one of the more frantic (and fun!) weeks of our geeky lives.

Only a week ago, about sixty people braved the Dread Storm of '13 and attended Blackwell's for The Kitschies' Secret Histories - a panel with Lavie Tidhar, Kate Griffin and Tim Powers, moderated by Anne. (Here's a great write-up from For Book's Sake.) Thanks to all who braved the weather to join us for what was a great evening. 

Tuesday was the grand launch of The Book of the Dead, in which many writers, Egyptologists and (best of all) readers, all descended into the dark tomb of the Phoenix for merriment, readings (from Louis Greenberg, Molly Tanzer and David Bryher) and general rejoicing. (Photos courtesy of author, and contributor, Jonathan Green.)

The contributors - of which... 13 were there, including illustrator Garen Ewing - signed a zillion books, including one hundred sheets for the limited editions. Again, thanks to everyone who joined - especially the gentleman in the full mummy garb, and the pair in brilliant adventure/journalist outfits! (The book itself is available here and here and here.)

(And, hey - check out the mummy-related specials over on and The Speculative Scotsman!)

Wednesday, I went along to the Daniel Polansky interview (conducted by Paul, from J for Jetpack), which was one of the most amusing events, well, ever. Incredibly entertaining and very, very funny.

And.... World Fantasy. 

Bfs_logo-128x300Ok, just four things about World Fantasy:

First, the 'redcoats' - the volunteers that go to World Fantasy and, while I was drinking, gossiping, drinking, attending panel (singular), shopping, shopping, drinking and shopping, the volunteers were... volunteering. Standing. Guiding. Smiling. Answering inane questions. Tidying up our messes. Being awesome.

By midway through the first day I'd lost my programme and took to using the redcoats as a sort of WFC-specific Google. They were fantastic, immensely helpful, long-suffering and wonderfully friendly. So a huge hand to all of these hard-working volunteers: especially Nazia, Lou, Andrew, Alasdair and Ewa, all of whom got me out of at least one jam/dead end/boring moment at some point over the weekend. 

Second, THE SHOPPING. Good lord, that was a dealer room. A second post is coming, because, you know, loot. But this week of silliness has added up to over thirty new books. Wow.

Third, huge thanks to Will Hill and Lou Morgan who read their stories from The Book of the Dead at World Fantasy, to much acclaim and rejoicing. (Also, much 'emailing the publisher and requesting of copies', which is a great sign.)

Fourth, this. Which is awesome. Thanks to everyone who voted us to the shortlist and to the judges and to all of the wonderful people that view, comment, post, link and otherwise contribute to this picturesque corner of the internet.

And, of course, thanks to all the lovely people we saw, and apologies to the lovely people we didn't see, and double apologies to all the lovely people we kinda-saw-but-didn't-nearly-see-enough-of.