The 20th February saw our 5th (yes 5th – doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun!) Social event. We had a nice mix of familiar and new faces, and for me, it’s especially nice to see people travelling from a little further afield than the suburbs of the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire to come and join us for what is rapidly becoming a semi-regular hoot!
David hails from West Yorkshire, and brought not one, but TWO new books with him to the days’s festivities. First up was Patchwerk, published by Tor.com’s novella imprint tells the story of Dran Florrian and his machine Palimpsest. David read us a section involving a flashback as to Dran’s revelation as to how the machine could be brought to life and the beginning of the adventure true, which I am looking forwards to reading to see what happens; not least as the story involves a multiverse, for which I have a soft spot conceptually (although it might not be a while as my TBR pile is slowly shrinking… it’s still too big!)
After questions and a short break, where people had a chance to say hellos, get a drink, stretch legs, browse the shop (yes, we had a shop as a new development!) we returned to meet Aunty Fox.
Adele Wearing runs Fox Spirit – a small press who in the short time it’s been up and running have managed to find and publish some wonderful authors and stories whether solo books or as part of the Fox Pockets series of anthologies (several of whom have attended events with us – including Jo Thomas, K.T. Davies, and Steven Poore) and also last year won the Best Indie Press award at the BFS awards. Not afraid to diversify, you can find everything from centuries old translations of Italian language books, right up to apocalyptic flash fiction. She proceeded to give us the run down on what it’s like being a publisher (you’ll remember we’ve also had other guests at previous events from the ‘other side of the fence’) and the journey Fox Spirit has taken so far, before opening up to questions, which were many and varied! I felt this was a really interesting talk, as at the end of the day, without small press and genre publishing there would be no-one willing to take a risk on something the least bit unconventional, so it was really refreshing to hear from that side of the world!.
Another break followed, before David returned with the second of the two books he’s recently gotten out into the world – ‘The Sign in the Moonlight‘ being a collection of fully illustrated short stories, with a nod to authors past including Lovecraft, Doyle and H.G. Wells and brought out with Digital Fiction Publishing after a bit of a bumpy journey, by all accounts. David read one of the short stories from the book and explained a bit about the journey of creating and collating the works and his inspirations behind them (or not, as may be!)
Finally, of course, was the raffle! I have to say that I did begin to worry as we bundled books together whether we might have (dare I say it) too many books! And the number kept growing, as Adele kindly donated Fox Spirit’s soon to be launched ‘African Monsters’ and it’s predecessor in the series ‘European Monsters’, Adrian Tchaikovsky snuck in a copy of his book ‘Guns of the Dawn’ (which he read from back at our first event) which quickly became highly coveted by those browsing the tables stacked high, and there were several others drawing attention as well. So many (if not most) left with more books than they arrived with!
As I’d also mentioned earlier, we also had a shop at this event, as Fox Spirit brought several of their books along for perusal and for sale – which seemed to go down well with the guests – if you were there, I’d be really interested what you thought to this – would you like more of this? If so I’ll see what we can do!
So all that remains, is to thank our guests once more for coming and talking with us, we really hope to have you back to future socials! And those who turned up to support us – we really hope that everyone enjoyed it and to see you at the next one!