Alt.Fiction Bulletin 2

Well, Alt Fiction has been and gone again. And it was really, really excellent. I managed to squeeze three sessions into the afternoon.

First up was a discussion about the alternative fiction small press with Pete Crowther of PS Publishing, Christopher Teague of Pendragon Press, Andrew Hook from Elastic Press and one other I will have to look up. The small press has really became the saviour of genre fiction in recent years. PS in particular has taken the lead in keeping classic writers like Ramsey Campbell in print and discovering new talent, with Joe Hill the leading example. I expect to see the small press go from strength to strength over the next few years, and good luck to them.

Second was without a doundt the most useful 45 minute writing workshop I’ve ever joined in with by Graham Joyce. I have to admit dialogue has been getting me down for the last few months so getting a blast of expertise on the subject from an expert was timely to say the least. I’m going to post a few more details from this workshop tommorow.

Finaly was the unofficial guest of honour Iain M Banks. Iain is one of my three formative writers along with William Gibson and Philip K Dick. I’ve met Gibson, PKD is dead (Now there is a story title) so seeing IMB was like completing the trilogy. I actually got considerably closer than I had intended to. I got collared by Alex Davis the organiser to carry some books down to the cargo elevator (the extent of my volunteer activities for the day – sorry Alex!). Coming back into the venue I ended up backstage and literary ran into IMB waiting to go on for his reading. Of course I paniced, waived manicly, shrieked ‘Hello Iain’ and then ran away leaving a bemused world famous author behind me. Well done D. However, I did get a clip of Iain reading from the next Culture novel! (see next post…)

I might try and post a more considered, insightful account of Alt.Fiction tommorow. For now I need to rest my aching brain.

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Alt.Fiction Bulletin 1

Alt.Fiction 2007 gets off to a rousing start with talks from Mark Chadbourne, james Barcla, Stan Nichols and a bundle of other writers. There is a fantastic selection of book stalls that I’m yet to even get near – I’ve stepped out for a bit to eat lunch and let the brain cool down after all the listening. I’ve been making Ipod mic. recordings of the talks so far. Unfortunately they aren’t good enough quality to post as they wouldn’t do the writers involved justice but they will be useful to review later.

Highlights so far include Mr Chadbourne’s comments on fantasy genre and the marketing that surrounds it, and Stan Nichols critique of stiff, starchy prose in fantasy.

Still to come – writing workshops with Graham Joyce and Harry Harrison and the GoH Iain M Banks.

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