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And it's Eastercon

Off to Eastercon very shortly (and thence to California to see zaan and sartorias, and to attend the wedding of desperance and klwilliams. My internet connectivity is likely to be patchy, but I'll try to check back here at least a couple of times. have fun, all, and see you on the flip side.

My Eastercon schedule

It's going to be a busy con for me. I shall be working in Green Room as usual, and, of course, there is the EightSquared bid of which I am a part, so I will have con-desk duties, too.
And then there's programme:


12.00 noon 'Gender Parity on Panels', Commonwealth, Paul Cornell, Farah Mendelsohn, Juliet E McKenna, Emma Peel, Kari Sperring. (Thanks to birdsedge for reminding me of this one.)

7.00 p.m. 'A History of Feminist SF in Britain', Room 12: Lesley Hall, Roz Kaveney, Andy Sawyer, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Kari Sperring.

9.00 p.m. 'What happens at Milford?' Room 38: Jacey Bedford, Terry Jackman, Steve Kilbane, Kari Sperring. A look at the long running professional writers' workshop.

11.00 p.m. 'No Country for Old Men?' Room 41: Avedon Carroll, Martin Easterbrook, Dave McCarty, Kari Sperring. (No, not a discussion of the film, but of sexism and sexual politics within sf fandom. Guess why I'm on it. The clue is in the clothes.)

4.00 p.m. 'Subverting the context (alternative universes in fan fiction)' Room 41: Tanya Brown, Kate Keen, Kari Sperring. I've never written AU: this one will be fun.

9.00 p.m. 'From Fan to Pro' Room 38: Paul Cornell, Kari Sperring, Charlie Stross. Once upon a time there were two baby writers called Kari and Charlie sitting in a bar and wondering about editors... True story.

Plus, of course, there's the Eastercon bid session, which is at 11.00 a.m. on Sunday in Room 12.

I should be easy to find, given the bid. See some of you there.

Skirt of the day: blue summer flowers.


Off to Novacon in an hour of two. See some of you there.
Meanwhile, I have proof-reading to do...

Skirt of the day: wedgewood.

That was the week that was

We're back from World Fantasy. We got back on Monday, in fact, and I spent yesterday doing laundry, working my way through the email pile and being descended on by assorted cats. ('You left us! What kind of service do you call that! I need brushing! I need more food! I need cuddles! I need your lap/dinner/pillow!' They had groliffe to look after them, but they remain convinced that they were, in fact, starved, ignored and abused for the whole nine days.)

I had a lovely time. We got into San Diego late on the Sunday before WFC and stayed overnight in an airport hotel, then on Monday, the marquis set off to L.A. to work, while I took a plane on to Portland, where calendula_witch very kindly let me infest her spare room and eat her bagels and read her books -- and drove me all over and let me meet her friends. Her house is gorgeous, and Portland may well have replaced Chicago as my favourite US city. So many trees! Such a friendly atmosphere! People walking and cycling and using buses! I had lunch with the fabulous jaylake, who took me to a very nice bar which looked to have excellent beer, had I only been not jet-lagged. Tuesday afternoon S and I inspected Chinatown, which is small and neat and has some interesting restaurants, and then she took me to Powells, which left me stunned and overwhelmed. So good to know that there are still such fine bookshops in the world. They had my book, even though it's two years old. On Wednesday, we had lunch with my fellow Dawuthor ramblin_phyl, who showed us the Multnomah Falls. (Did I mention how beautiful Portland and its environs are? And that it has normal weather? If I ever have to live in the US, I want to live there.) And in the evening we cooked and ate with the legendary La Enigma and her husband, who were delightful.

Thursday, S and I flew down to Portland, where markferrari collected us at the airport, having, as he pointed out, manfully driven all the way from Seattle just to do this. He's a true gentleman. And I reunited with the marquis at the con.
After that, it's a bit of a blur. We hung out with msagara and kateelliott and suricattus and jemck and I did a podcast for Locus with swan_tower, which was huge fun (I will post the details later on, when it goes live), and was on a scary-but-good panel on class, where I learnt a lot about the US, and failed to see enough of stina_leicht, and got to meet shweta_narayan in person (she rocks); and was given a puppet ferret by fireun, which was very badly behaved at the mass signing (she's posted photographs. She's a very bad woman, which is why we love her). and waved to and chatted with lots of other people, including matociquala in a very, very fine red dress, and the beautiful leahbobet. I also had a long and very productive meeting with nice editor, about which more anon.

And I got to catch up with zaan, who I haven't seen since she moved. That may well have been the best of all: we miss her, and it was lovely to see her and hear her news and to get to spend time with her.

The site has garnered mixed reviews. I found it comfortable enough, but it was very disabled unfriendly, which is unnecessary and unforgivable, and many people had room issues to do with faulty appliances, blankets and noise. The marquis and I were lucky in that respect. I did find it hard to navigate, though, and the food places were not reliably open or accessible, which was difficult. On the other hand, most of the staff were very helpful and kind to us. And I enjoyed the convention programme.

There were a series of very disturbing incidents of sexual harassment, too: this was not the site's fault, but in 2011 is not acceptable, and the women who were subjected to it have my full support. I've been there myself. Fandom and sff culture in general needs to shape up and step up and ensure that this kind of thing does not go on happening or being connived at.

And then we came home. This was the most settled I've felt at a WFC: at the previous two, I've been very aware of how few people I know, but this time we always seemed to find people who didn't mind hanging out with us. I probably talked too much. And I did stand on a chair in a short skirt. (I blame suricattus. And the ferret.) But I did have a lovely time: thank you all, for making us so welcome.

Skirts that went with me: long green and gold, long grey with black hem; blue wedgewood; new green cord mini.
Skirt of the day: long blue cotton.

And we're off (almost)

Off in about and hour and a half for the trip to World Fantasy. See you all on the flip side.

My WFC schedule, and the Skirt Issue

It's less than two days till the marquis and I set off to WFC. He will be working in his employer's California office for the first three days of next week, while I head up to Portland to see various fine people. I'm looking forward to it. I'm due to get down to San Diego and the con on Thursday lunchtime and will be there till lunch-time or so on Sunday. One of the GoHs is Parke Godwin, whose books I've loved since I was in my late teens. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to hear him read.
I get to get my programme commitments out of the way fairly early on, too:

Thursday 27th Oct, 8 p.m, ROom Pacifica 2/3
The Role of Class in Fantasy and Horror
Science fiction often deals with class conflict. How does fantasy and horror pursue the same concepts? Are vampires and elves the bourgeoisie? Are werewolves and orcs the working class? Who are the working class heroes of our genre?
John Hornor Jacobs, Jeff Mariotte (M), Kirstyn McDermott, Kari Sperring, Kathryn A Sullivan.

This is the panel I particularly wanted, since -- as a Briton and a historian -- class is a subject that I think about a lot.

Now all I have to do is decide which skirts to take. The new green one is going, oh yes, but which others? Any requests/suggestions?

Skirt of the day: denim.

And it'sFriday

Off to Fantasycon 2011 this evening. We're likely to miss most of today's activities, as we don't get to leave until after the marquis gets home from work and it's a fair distance, but we'll be around on Saturday and Sunday.

Easteron Ho!

Getting ready for Eastercon here: as usual a round of cleaning, cat pandering and packing. But I'm looking forward to it and to catching up with various people.
I shall be in jeans today, but the following skirts are going to the con with me:
beloved blue tiered
green and gold
silk patchwork
beaded batik (this is one of my most beautiful skirts: it's a batik fabric which has been hand-beaded all over the front in shimmering peacock beads. It doesn't get a lot of wearing, as it's heavy, and it only goes with one of my tops. But it's gorgeous and it hasn't been to a con for about 6 years).

See some of you soon, and I hope the rest of you have fun with whatever you're doing over Easter.


Eastercon is almost upon us once again. The marquis and I shall be there from late-ish on Thursday to Monday evening. He has managed to escape programme responsibilities. My schedule looks like this:

Friday 4.30 'Great Women in SF' -- who are the most memorial female characters in sf?

Saturday 4.30 'Did Star Wars change science fiction to speculative fiction?' -- For many years our genre was Science Fiction, something that Real People looked down upon. Nowadays the term Speculative Fiction is often used to make the genre appear less geeky. When did this happen? Was it because a lot of people who would never admit to enjoying SF rather enjoyed Star Wars?

Sunday 10.30 'Women in SF (vs fantasy' -- There is arguably a perception that fantasy is a more feminine genre, as opposed to SF. Yet look at the lists of best-selling writers, it's manifestly not so. Why is this?

Sunday Noon 'Diana Wynne Jones Memorial' -- The recent passing of Diana Wynne Jones has left a large hole in the landscape of current British science fiction and fantasy. Several of Diana's friends and admirers read some of her works in tribute to an exceptional creative talent.(moderator)

Monday 3.00 'Great Women of SF' -- SF has a reputation for being a genre full of male authors, yet there are many excellent female authors out there. Who should you be reading?

The rest of the time, I'm scheduled to help with the Witchcraft Shop stall in the Dealers' Room, and I will be helping in Green Room, too, if they need me. I might end up in a bar, too. I'll keep you posted as to which skirts are going with me.


It's official: the marquis and I are going to Eurocon 2011. I get to see athenais and mikaela_l and, I suspect, suaveswede. And matociquala who is Guest of Honour and will rock (as she always does).
I am really looking forward to it. I love Stockholm. The perfect city. (Merafi is a melange of it, Paris and, weirdly, Bristol. Ask me about the map sometime.)

And we have maeve_the_red, towerofchaos, eleyan, miramon and frostfox arriving soon. It's a good day.

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