Have YOU ever wondered what happens when six or seven sci-fi and fantasy authors are put in the same room with curry and beer paid for by a publisher?
But that’s precisely what’s happening tomorrow lunchtime (Wednesday 27th February), with a positive cornucopia of Gollancz authors in attendance. It’s going to be me, Tom Lloyd (Or Lloydy, as we affectionately know him), Rob Grant (Grantsy), Adam Roberts (Robertsy), Mark Chadbourn (Chadders), and Robert Rankin. At least three of those people write proper, honest-to-goodness amusing books, with gags and everything, so you can bet some pretty damn hilarious shit is going to go down.
Richard Morgan (Morgsy) couldn’t make it, alas, he’ll be watching whales.
So to recap – me, Lloydy, Grantsy, Robertsy, Chadders, and Robert Rankin, in a curry house, talking that high-brow jive that authors talk to each other. You know, where Nabokov went wrong, the shortcomings of the third-person limited, who do you like for the Nebulas, and not at all the SAME OLD RUBBISH that everyone else talks.
Who knows what hilarious larks and hijinks will ensue? Well, actually, if you’re in any way interested, YOU, JOE PUBLIC, can know, because apparently the whole thing is being filmed on VIDEO TAPE MACHINES. Not to embarrass the various horrified writers involved as they spill Madras down themselves, but actually for marketing purposes. Publishers, man. What will they think of next? More as I know it.
I believe that Editorial Director Simon Spanton (Spanty, as I affectionately call him) will have an exciting, though probably heavy, brown-paper package to give to me. Ooooooh. More on that mystery in due course.
Following that it’s off for coffee with my editor, Gillian (I dare not even pretend to have a nickname for her), who’s had the PROFOUND PRIVILEGE of reading the first 90,000 words of my latest book over the last week or two and has, in her own words, “a few vicious suggestions”. Always she wants more blood. More torture. More gore. “The readers want gore,” I can almost guarantee she’ll say. “Gore, gore, gore, torture, and gore. Less of this namby-pamby characterisation bollocks, and more torture. There’s only one hideously violent murder in the first chapter! Call yourself a writer?” In all seriousness, we need to come up with ideas for the cover. Something parchmenty, with blood? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Then, finally, on BBC4 at 9.00 pm (though repeated at 12.00, I believe). There’s the first episode of The Worlds of Fantasy, a TV series on Fantasy Literature for which I have been interviewed, would you believe. This episode focuses on the child hero, apparently – you know, stuff like Potter, Pullman, Pan’s Labyrinth. Doesn’t feature me at all. The next one (on worldbuilding) might feature some contributions from me, though, moodily lit in a strange old house on Wardour Street. Unless I’ve bitten the cutting room floor, and HARD (not unlikely). I’m a film editor myself, I know the game. That one (the one that might feature me) isn’t until the following week (Wednesday 5th March) at 9.00 and midnight. Anyway, the show’s been getting some good write-ups, and fantasy fiction gets precious little attention from the rest of the media, so I’m sure it’ll be well worth a look for readers of the genre even if I’m not involved…