Orbital: Day Two


  • Mythology in Fantasy. I have never seen a 10am panel as well-attended as this one. The power of Gaiman, I suppose. Good discussion of how and why writers use pre-existing mythology in their fantasy, though; the other panellists were Maura McHugh, Nic Clarke, Sarah Singleton and Liz Williams.
  • China Mieville GoH talk. Probably the programme item of the convention so far: a vigorous defence of intelligent, in-depth reading, and an exploration of why some people get so annoyed by the same, to the point of saying “it’s only a story”. I recorded it, so if the transcript coms out ok hopefully it will be appearing in a Vector near you relatively soon.
  • Fantastic London. More Gaiman, along with Geoff Ryman and Sci-Fi London chair Louis Savy, all modeated by Graham Sleight. Much talk of the palimpsest effect of London, and stories of how even when you make something up about London it turns out to be true.
  • Right to Reply. This was my panel of the day; moderated by Edward James, and the other panellists Christopher Priest, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Adam Roberts, a discussion of how and whether (and indeed why) authors should respond to reviews. Much livelier (and funnier) discussion than I was anticipating from a 9pm panel about reviewing.


Celebration, edited by Ian Whates
Gateways to Forever by Mike Ashley
Interzone 215


  • It’s confirmed: the 2010 Eastercon will be back at the Radisson, with Guests of Honour Alastair Reynolds, Liz Williams, Mike Carey, and Fran and John Dowd.
  • The Gollancz table in the dealer’s room has copies of some of the shiny new fantasy promotion they’re doing:

    Not pictured are Lud-in-the-Mist, The Dragon Waiting, and one other I can’t remember. They’ll be out in late April, apparently.

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