Firstly, bloody hell but actually getting home from Fantasycon turned out to be the sort of journey that would have Gandalf and assorted hobbits calling in the eagles sort of early. UK rail services continuing to enact their divine duty to turn the lives of anyone daring to travel on the Sabbath to total crap.

Anyway, Fantasycon — great fun all round. Reading went well (having Joe Abercrombie and Tom Lloyd in the audience was somewhat nerve-racking). The panel "trends in fantasy" went extremely well — the best I've been on — me, Joe and Tom being kept ruthlessly on message by Juliet McKenna — this is the second panel I've been on with Juliet moderating, and she is extremely good at it. And she can kick your ass. No really.

Other than that, I finally got to meet Stephen Hunt, author of The Court of the Air and sequels. I missed him at SFX this year, and he's one of my favourite authors to read, plus the creator of one of the hands down most original secondary worlds currently in play. I also got to meet my new editor at Tor, Bella Pagan, who's just made/is making the move over from Orbit.

Fantasycon is also something of a bonanza for publishers, and there was a profusion of book launches from small presses — including Solaris, PS Publishing, and notably the launch of the new Jo Fletcher Books imprint which, according to what Jo was saying in the publishers and agents' panel, is currently looking to build on its fantasy list. I feel honour-bound to point this out as I did consume a fair quantity of free wine at the launch party.

And Brian Aldiss — interviewed by Christopher Priest who, in any other company would be the one being interviewed. Listening to Mr Aldiss talk about a life remarkably full of incident, both humorous and tragic, made me wonder, should the world ever miscarry sufficiently to put me in a similar position, if I would have anything remotely as worthwhile to say.

Next up — Forbidden Planet signing 5th October, possibly with an associated stop in Oxford or Reading, but not sure yet.

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