Astronauts’ Wives and Zombies in a Pub! – SFSF Social #2

DSCF7131Well, that was an absolute blast. Last night saw our second Sheffield-based event on the emergent Northern Circuit, held this time at the Old Queen’s Head pub since Eten Cafe stays closed on Sundays. For a wet Sunday night, the turnout was excellent – the pub’s upstairs room was almost packed out.

And with good reason too – our guests more than matched the occasion. BSFA Award-winner Ian Sales kicked off proceedings with a pair of readings; first from the upcoming final volume in the Apollo Quartet, All That Outer Space Allows (you can get the first three here and we wholeheartedly recommend you do!), and then from A Prospect of War, the first volume of his equally epic space opera trilogy (again, coming this year from Tickety Boo Press, in time for EdgeLit).

Ian Sales reads from All That Outer Space Allows

Ian Sales reads from All That Outer Space Allows

In the Q&A session that followed, Ian talked about the depth of research needed for this fourth part of the Apollo Quartet, how it was easier to find out technical details of the Apollo program itself than small social details like what products and advertisements would have been in magazines, and how he had to reconstruct the journeys of the astronauts’ wives from details like where their husbands were stationed.

Dana Fredsti, in the Q&A with Pete Allison

Dana Fredsti, in the Q&A with Pete Allison

Then, after the obligatory pause to enable refills, Pete Allison introduced Dana Fredsti – swordfighter, novelist, and zombie aficionado, and author of the Ashley Parker series of books, which are available from Titan Books. Dana read from Plague Town and then, with Pete on additional dialogue duties, from Plague World – a segment in which a pair of visitors to Sheffield go to a pub and get attacked by zombies…! And the OQH got immortalised in the process! Thorough flesh-ripping fun, which got enthusiastic applause. Pete chaired a quick Q&A session, in which Dana revealed her absolute hatred for outlining. The Q&A was recorded for posterity – when the clips go live online we’ll link to them here!

 

Covetous bibliophiles assemble!

Covetous bibliophiles assemble!

Obviously, there were books to give away too – including two sets of Dana’s trilogy and two sets of Ian’s Apollo Quartet Trilogy-so-far. Just look at that lovely spread of wordy goodness! 😀 – and with all prizes disbursed, the downstairs bar called – once again, it was brilliant to see people stopping back and chatting afterwards. Many thanks to both Ian and Dana, to Titan Books, the excellent Old Queen’s Head, the BFS and BSFA for their support – and to everybody who came to enjoy themselves!

The York Pubmeet returns in May – May 9th to be precise – with (provisionally) KT Davies, Mark Morris, and Lee Harris as guests. SFSF will be representin’ there, and we’ll be passing out more details nearer the time as well as possibly offering transport (convoy!). The Social, meanwhile, will be back – hopefully – in June.

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SFSF Social #1 – In the Aftermath

Hello everyone!

This is my first post on the SFSF Social Blog, which is rather exciting! For those who were there, I was the quiet hobbly one (not to be confused with Hobbity, as I am the tallest of the three of us behind yesterday’s (Okay, I started this the next day…. but things happened) and future events!) For those who weren’t, I’m Sara, and I do lots of stuff, and one of them is helping with this!!

SFSF Organisers

Your Hosts here at SFSF

As you’ll know, yesterday (Okay.. yes it’s a couple of weeks now… ) was the first SFSF Social (huzzah!) And from what I can see, we all loved it. All in all we had over 30 people from not just Sheffield, but as far as York and Stafford and other places too, gathering at Eten Cafe to get together, chat, network, and listen to our guests of honour for the day, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Jo Thomas.

After a bit of time for people to arrive, get a drink and have a perusal of the surroundings we kicked off with introductions. I will admit happily this was the hardest part for me, as I’ve not really done anything social in a few months since injuring my leg so the idea of having to address a room of people absolutely terrified me, and I *nearly* managed to get out of it, had it not been for Jo sneakily realising!

 

SFSF Social #1 Introductions

Introductions!

 

After introductions, Steve then gave a brief introduction to the event, and we all gathered round for Jo’s reading. Jo (for those who don’t know) has written a book called 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf, which is published by FoxSpirit, and we were treated to a portion describing one such method; namely the Nailgun. Written as part instruction manual, part diary and very down to earth, the book talks us through the main character Elkie’s repeated dealings with werewolves. After finishing and a hearty round of applause, we moved onto a Q&A session which was enjoyed by everyone.

 

SFSF Social #1 Jo Thomas reading 25 ways to kill a Werewolf

“everybody laughed in the right places” – Jo Thomas

SFSF Social #1 Jo Thomas reading 25 ways to kill a Werewolf

SFSF Social #1 Jo Thomas reading 25 ways to kill a Werewolf

Jo Reading her chapter on Nailguns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a break for refills and a stretch, we gathered back for Adrian’s reading. Known for his series Shadows of the Apt, we were both surprised and excited to hear that he was reading from his new stand-alone book Guns of the Dawn. Pseudo-historically set (Napoleonic age), we heard the story of the female protagonists first kill on the battlefield. I’m not going to say much more on that, as I really think that you should read it yourself! Then followed another Q&A session where there were a lot of interesting questions!

SFSF Social #1 Adrian Tchaikovski close up

SFSF Social #1 Adrian Tchaikovski close up

On paper no less!

Then we moved onto the raffle. We had some generous donations sent in, including a full set of Adrian’s Shadows of the Apt series (which we split into three) so lots of bundles of books to be won! I hadn’t really looked too hard at everything on there, as it’s rare I win things when I’m in person, but I was lucky enough to walk away with the “nazi flying saucer” book, as it was aptly described, along with another one. I think everyone enjoyed this part, and the banter was flying thick and fast.

SFSF Social #1 Raffle prizes

A few of the prizes..

And that was that! People then quite happily went and talked to one another, made new connections, and friends, caught up with old ones, had another pint and generally had fun, and whilst I had to nip off to another event (that frankly was a waste of my time) I know that come 8pm, the location had changed as Eten was shutting it’s doors, but other places were explored!

The final moment of the evening for Steve and I though, was the last pint in what is to be our next venue, The Old Queen’s Head.

I’d given up on The Waste Of My Time ™ and come back into town, as Steve had wished the last person goodbye from Cavell’s and we wandered down to the familiar setting of the Writer’s group, and had a pint which took us to midnight and talked about the day, and how we’d definitely be organizing another… which we are!!

Sara

SFSF Social #1 Organisers and Authors Steven Poore Darren Johnson-Smith Sara Smith  Jo Thomas Adrian Tchaikovski

The Authors and organisers

 

All photographs (C) Sara Smith 2015