Eastersprosiumcon was a great fun weekend, albeit somewhat expensive when you tot everything up (1). Caught up with all the great and the good (or the scum and the villainy) that constitute the con-going author and publishing bods. My panel items all went well – we had a YA panel with the unusual benefit of having an actual YA reader on it (thank you Emjay Ameringen!), a decent Holmes Panel (Thanks in particular to both panellist Linda Stratmann (the best qualified of all of us) and Gary Stratmann who agreed to moderate at 5 minutes’ notice), plus a nice Gemmell slot in the Newcon room that was well received. I particularly enjoyed the Cryptids panel, where Seanan McGuire and I mostly enthused about octopi at each other.

As for watching, the Newcon Press mini-programme was very good all round. Gillian Redfearn, Peter Newman, Aliette de Bodard and Gareth Powell chatted on how to build an agent trap. Jo Thomas and Fran Terminiello did a particularly nice talk/demo on fencing for writers (highly recommended if they do it again at a con you’re at), and I caught some very high class readings from Ed Cox and Al Robertson. I also gatecrashed an official Gollancz game of Cards against Humanity.

BSFA awards went to Edward James (non-fiction – genre writers and WWI), Tessa Farmer (art – the phenomenal Wasp Factory physical art piece (2)), Ruth Booth (short fiction – Honey Trap from Newcon’s Femme antho) and Anne Leckie (Ancilliary Sword). My personal twitch would have been towards Hutchinson’s Europe in Autumn or Hardinge’s Cuckoo Song, but it was an extremely strong field.

Speaking of which, the Arthur C Clarke shortlist is out (3) and I’m going to try and get the whole list read before the actual awards like last year. The list can be found here. I’ve read the Hutchinson already, of course, and the North and the Mantell were at the top of my to-be-read pile (4) already, so it’s a fairly organic process. More when I’ve mulched my way through them.

(1) I bought a metric crapton of books.

(2) I have no words to describe this wonderful thing.

(3) Shortly after the abovementioned metric crapton, meaning that I now have batch of books to buy.

(4) Pile/several shelves

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