So I’m gazing into the depths of the black mirror of my first ever fantasy-fiction convention... FantasyCon 2011, in Brighton, this Saturday October 1. I’m down to be reading from Doctor Forrest at 1030 in Room 134 of the Royal Albion Hotel. Beyond that, who knows...?
My slot is between Julia Knight and Reggie Oliver, so I’ll have to bring my game and hope that their fanbases might look kindly, if darkly, on my sacrificial offering. Perhaps I’m lucky to finish just before Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, gets started for a reading/Q&A in the main assembly space at 1100.
The amusing conundrum is the choice of what to read for 20 minutes or so. One gets into a certain pattern after having done a few events with a book, and it’s only in the last few outings that I’ve tried to vary things a little, which can be a pleasant surprise to oneself. Until now I’ve vaguely favoured readings focused on character, theme, mystery, intrigue, mood... But in a crowded programme of experienced thrill-practioners, perhaps I ought to offer the closest I can to the red meat of sensation...? Some selections from the 'Confession', perhaps? Murder by scalpel, radical surgery, taboo seduction, perhaps even ‘the speculum scene’...?
Anyhow, if you’re going to FantasyCon this Saturday or know anybody who is, please do speak of me and speak kindly and let them know where I'll be at 1030 - that's room 134, the Royal Albion! - otherwise, being a stranger by the shore and all that, it’ll likely be a case of in and out and barely time for fish and chips on the pier before I’m back off to London, no doubt with Quadrophenia on my iPod.