• Ireland

    Touring Tuesdays: Enniscrone Beach

      Worldcon will be coming to Dublin next August, and the blog on its web site already has a regular feature – Touring Tuesdays – to highlight other places for visitors to our beautiful island to explore. I wrote a piece on Enniscrone, and surrounding locations in Co. Sligo, an area I’ve repeatedly returned to since I was a child. You can read my full report on the Dublin 2019 web site. All the photos in the article are images I’ve taken over the years – I had plenty to choose from as the Wild Atlantic Way landscapes are spectacular.

  • awards

    Hugo Awards at Helsinki Worldcon

    A couple of days before Worldcon I was informed that their Guest of Honour Claire Wendling could not attend due to illness. I hope that Claire makes a speedy recovery and returns to full health. I was approached by the Hugo Awards committee about stepping in for Claire, as she was due to present the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. At this point I was already in Helsinki, and while I had some trepidation about having to appear at such a big event I agreed. Before I knew it the con was in full swing, and then I was walking onto the stage, and sitting beside the serene, elegant…

  • comic books,  Conventions

    Guest of Honour Interview with Claire Wendling

    I’m honoured that I’ll be interviewing Artist Guest of Honour, Claire Wendling, at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki. It will be taking place at noon on Friday, 11 August in Messukeskus, Room 103. Claire is a French comic book artist, illustrator, and video games concept designer, who started her career by winning the prestigious “Alph-Art avenir” (“future”/young talent) prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival while still in her third year of art school. Since then she has drawn the award-winning Les lumières de l’Amalou (written by Christophe Gibelin), helped design the visuals for Alone in the Dark IV (Infogrames), illustrated numerous titles, and drawn for a variety of comic books,…

  • Conventions

    Worldcon 75

    I’ll be attending the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland from 9-13 August 2017, which is the first time a WorldCon has taken place in a Nordic country. It looks like it’s going to be a terrific event with a huge array of programming items. It will be my first time visiting Finland, and in a bonus coincidence, a new Moomin Museum has opened in Tampere. Here is my schedule for the event: Wednesday, 9 Aug, 2017 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Messukeskus, 206 ‘Coffee, Pie and Murder: 25 Years Later’ The cult television show Twin Peaks makes its return in 2017. Is this a good idea,…

  • Conventions

    Loncon 3 schedule

    I’m heading over to London on Wednesday evening for the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Loncon 3), which is taking place in the ExCel, London Dockland from 14 – 18 August. Here’s my schedule of events during the weekend: 12pm Friday, August 15 What Do You Mean You Don’t Watch … Orphan Black, Grimm or The Returned Capital Suite 17 (Level 3), 12pm – 1pm Mark Slater, Jeanne Beckwith, Maura McHugh, David D Levine (I’m speaking on behalf of The Returned.) 1:30pm Friday, August 15 Best 21st Century Comics: Predicting the New Classics Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm Ada Palmer, Maura McHugh, Hannah Berry, Adam Rakunas, John…

  • comic books,  Conventions

    Worldcon Comic Book Programme

    Nearly two years ago my friend James Bacon phoned me up and asked me if I’d be on for designing the comic book programme at Worldcon in London (known as Loncon 3) in August 2014. I agreed readily enough as I was keen to raise the profile of comic books at the event. Comics are still a bit of a newcomer to Worldcon – the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story was only introduced in 2009. I didn’t realise how much work was involved, which was probably lucky for James, as I might have turned him down if I truly understood. I now have huge respect for the Worldcon programming…

  • Fiction,  Film,  Reviews

    going away

    The preparations for the London/Japan jaunt have sapped my ability to post anything meaningful on this journal. I hate posting something just for the sake of it, and I’m not a “what I had for breakfast” type of blogger (muesli, strawberries, and yoghurt). Since I’ll be away for just over three weeks there’s a lot to do, including learning a little bit of Japanese. I’m accruing a phrase or two every day, which is pretty good since I find it difficult to master another language. The Worldcon programme is online now, and I’m scheduled on a few panels. I’m very much looking forward to reuniting with old friends and meeting…

  • Writing

    I’ll go mad before Sept 1st… well, go madder

    This month is whizzing by. I’ve officially started the final re-write of my screenplay. I have until Wednesday to sort most of the problems out. I spent the early afternoon critting a friend’s script and then listening to my poor screenplay being dissected. It depressed me, but there was much good information imparted. The script, when it is completed, will be the better for it. In a move that Martin described as “You like to keep yourself busy, don’t you?” I started an online screenwriting course last weekend. I’m trying to keep up with the daily assignments. This was particularly hard last week when I was consumed with entertaining very…