Adventures in Torun

The alarm went off at 3 a.m.. Because my alarm doesn’t usually go off at 3 a.m., I was already wide awake ready for it, having kept myeslf awake most of the night with the anxiety born of thinking I would probably think through anything beeping at such an obscene hour of the night. I slapped it into instant silence, so as not to wake my partner, who had staggered in from work at midnight. The room was hot and muggy, smelling of late summer, drawn curtains and overdue rain. My clothes were in the kitchen already, so I could …

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Adventures in Aviles

July 2016 127

You know when someone says ‘the hotel is in a converted ducal palace’?  Of course you laugh.  This very funny.  Hahaha. Well don’t you feel stupid when it turns out they weren’t lying? Earlier this year, I got on a plane from Heathrow to the city of Aviles in Northern Spain.  Like most small airports I’ve ever flown into, there was one guy on the customs desk as the clock ticked down towards midnight, inspecting 300 passports.  I was there to attend Celsius 232, an annual science fiction festival, and once customs was cleared, I think it’s fair to say …

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Adventures in…. Estonia

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Why is whenever anyone asks me to go traveling I automatically assume it’s some terrible mistake?  Why, for example, would anyone invite me to go to Estonia?  It seems like madness…. … as it turns out, the madness of awesome. In May 2016 I went to the Headread Festival in Tallinn.  As prep I did the following:  Bought some Euros Renewed my European Health Insurance Card Read about the history of Estonia (800 years of various occupying powers; brief flourishes of independence in the early 20th century; more occupation; liberation in 1990 and twenty five years of cultural and economic …

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Strong Women!

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Many writers of fantasy/SF identify as feminist.  This is a Good Thing – by adopting the label and wearing it with pride, there is an inherent acknowledgment that genders are equal with each other.  That’s all it is – a simple thing.  Men are equal to women who are equal to men.  This is empowering for everyone, and I am delighted by how many people seem to get this, and grateful to all the writers who go out of their way to celebrate the equality of peoples by writing… well… people.  People who are male.  People who are female.  And …

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Some Writery Answers

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I don’t write about writing much on this blog.  This is for two reasons.  1.  Like most people everywhere, I find talking about my job dull.  I love writing, but sitting down and saying that at 8.30 a.m. I go to a keyboard and then I scribble a bit and then I stop and think about it and then scribble a bit more… well, there’s a reason I’m a fiction writer.  It’s just so much more fun than reality.  2.  I have a deep-seated fear of becoming a writer who writes books about how hard it is to write a …

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