Helping the Lich King

Venturing into new territory for Torque Control, I’m going to talk about a video game, and when I tell you it is World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King it probably explains my lack of posting around here over the past month.

If you’re not familiar with World of Warcraft, then you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past four years. A massively multiplayer online world with 11 million subscribers around the world, the newest expansion pack managed to sell 2.8 million copies in a single day. I’m pretty sure that makes it the most popular work of fantasy around, and there are spinoff books, comics, card games, and an annual convention with 15,000 attendees.

There are many reasons why WoW is such a ridiculously successful game, and one aspect is certainly the addictive, easy gameplay – it takes a significant time investment to reach a high level, but it doesn’t require much in the way of skill. There’s also an enormous world and backstory to explore, throwing together fantasy and science fiction and horror tropes and lovingly stealing from and referencing everything from Dune to Lovecraft to Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Another big reason for the continuing success is that having made a wildly successful game, they haven’t sat back on their laurels and churned out more of the same, they are actively trying to improve it. Nowhere is this more evident than the epic quest chain which swallowed a large chunk of my weekend, and shows off how well they’ve managed to integrate storytelling and gameplay.

The new expansion introduces a new playable character, the Death Knight. This is the first chance to play a character who is not just morally dubious, but absolute evil in the service of the villainous Lich King, Elric Arthas. (Arthas has a backstory containing pretty much every epic fantasy cliche going, but he’s now a creepy albino cursed by an evil sword.) Of course, it turns out that being evil is a whole lot of fun.

The game can be criticised for relying on too many quests of the “Go over to X and kill me a whole bunch of Y’s” formula, and there’s still a few of those, but when going to X involves sneaking onto the enemy ship by hiding in a decoy mine cart, and the Y’s are slaughtered by taking control of a cannon to effect mass slaughter before escaping on the back of a flying skeletal horse, I really don’t care. I have stolen horses, killed cowering civilians with my enormous glowing sword, corrupted the innocent with an undead plague, and bombed a town from my skeletal dragon.

Another common criticism of the original game is that the world was far too static and unchanging, and quests which led to enormous revelations had no lasting effect – even when you revealed the evil power behind the throne was a dragon in disguise, she would reset five minutes later to let the next player finish the quest. With the introduction of “phasing”, which allows the same area of the world to appear differently to players at different stages of the game, the quests you complete really do make a difference, and when you set the town on fire and murder all the inhabitants, this time they stay dead. The final quest is not only an epic phased battle with hundreds of participants, it ties up major storylines that have run through the game from the start, as well as the previous Warcraft games.

It is by no means a perfect gaming experience. It’s a much more linear story than in most parts of the game, and there’s no opportunity to run off and do something else, or to skip a quest you find boring. The introduction of new controls can be confusing, when you suddenly find all your normal controls have disappeared and you are in what appears to be a floating eye roaming around the landscape, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. (Or you don’t, and you send me endless badly-spelled messages asking how you do this part, but your fellow players are both the best and the worst thing about this game, and could fill another post entirely.) It’s also buggy in parts – I missed part of the final quest because I was being endlessly killed by a bugged enemy, and it’s not a part of the game you can easily replay. But if there was anyone considering taking up World of Warcraft, or returning to their dormant characters, it’s worth knowing that once again Blizzard have upped their game, and it’s hard to see how anything else can dislodge them from their place at the top of the MMORPG market.

Third Annual Science Fiction Foundation Masterclass

Location: University of Liverpool
Dates: June 10th, 11th and 12th, 2009

Class Leaders: Joan Gordon, Adam Roberts, Paul Kincaid.

The Science Fiction Masterclass is held in conjunction with the University of Liverpool. The aim of the Masterclass is to provide those who have a serious interest in sf criticism with the opportunity to exchange ideas with leading figures in the field, and also to use the SFF Collection.

The Masterclass will take place from June 10-12th at the University of Liverpool. Each full day of the Masterclass will consist of morning and evening classes, with afternoons free to prepare. Class leaders for 2009 will be Joan Gordon, Adam Roberts, and Paul Kincaid.

Applicants should write to Liz Batty at sff.masterclass@googlemail.com

Applicants must provide a short CV of either: academic credentials, essay/book publications, reviews and writing sample (this may be from a blog); all of these will be valued equally as we are looking for a mixture of experiences and approaches. A range of hotel recommendations will be forwarded to those accepted.

Applications will be assessed by an Applications Committee consisting of Peter Wright, Joan Haran, and Farah Mendlesohn.

Completed applications must be received by 31st January 2009.


Feel free to forward this advert to anyone you think might like the masterclass. Niall’s summary of last year’s event is here.

Welsh Reading Roundup

What I did on my holidays: I read ten books. (And a whole bunch of short fiction, but that’s for a later post.)


And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts
Autism’s False Prophets, Paul Offit
Bad Science, Ben Goldacre

Three pieces of non-fiction, on aspects of medicine ranging further than the science. And the Band Played On is a classic account of the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the US, covering the terrifying bureaucratic and political slowdowns of the government response while more and more men fall ill with mysterious immune diseases. It’s a long book, which feels even longer because the lessons never get learned, and while I was most interested in the science, it was the aspects of gay politics and culture that I learned most about. Autism’s False Prophets and Bad Science cover similar ground, with the former specifically about the bad science surrounding autism and the desperate search for any treatment which leads to the use of often damaging therapies and the current vaccine scare, and Goldacre’s book is a more wide-ranging primer on evidence-based medicine and the problems of media coverage of science. the Offit is a fine book, but more specialised and a little American-centric, while the Goldacre is not only a good layman’s introduction to a useful branch of science, but also extremely funny about a subject which is extremely depressing.


The Case of the Imaginary Detective, Karen Joy Fowler
Dreamers of the Day, Mary Doria Russell

Two mainstream novels of genre interest, both ultimately a little disappointing. The only previous Fowler I read was The Jane Austen Book Club, which failed on both the plot and the meta level, because I hadn’t read any Jane Austen. The Case of the Imaginary Detective (or Wit’s End, for you US-types) works much better. Rima Lanisell goes to stay with her godmother Addison Early, the famous mystery writer, whose works include a fictionalised version of Rima’s father, Bim, and the local isolated cult – or are they fictional? There’s lots of fun to be had with the ideas about fans, fan-created works, how fiction and reality collide (sometimes in Real Person Slash!), but the underlying story is slight, and while Rima is appealing enough, the other characters are pretty thin. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but it’s pretty disposable.

Dreamers of the Day is only disappointing when compared to Mary Doria Russell’s previous novels, as both The Sparrow and A Thread of Grace were powerful, moving stories, with character deaths which actually made me cry (something which only a handful of books have ever done). Dreamers of the Day gave me the same sense of foreboding, knowing that the story of Agnes Shanklin and her life-changing trip to Cairo during the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference was unlikely to end happily ever after. And it doesn’t, although not in the tragic way of Father Sandoz or Renzo Leoni, but in a gentler way – Agnes escapes the control of her mother only when tragedy befalls her family, and while the trip to Cairo certainly changes her and her life, it seems too little too late. My reservations about the book stem from the coverage of the Cairo Conference, which is not the story that Russell is interested in telling but is one which is more interesting to me, and gets a fairly cursory treatment for an issue as large as drawing up the boundaries of the Middle East as we know it. I’m also not convinced the narration from a land beyond the grave adds that much.


Song of Time, Ian R. MacLeod
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
Yellow Blue Tibia, Adam Robert
The Night Sessions, Ken MacLeod

Four SF novels from 2008 (or early 2009, in the case of the Roberts), and all worthy of your attention. While I like Ian MacLeod’s short fiction, I have previously failed to finish The Light Ages, my only attempt at his novel-length fiction, and now I feel slightly guilty that a book as fine as Song of Time is coming out from a small press and may not get the size of readership it deserves. I largely agree with Niall’s earlier review – I too was guessing at the identity of Adam only to be completely wrong, and the revelation feels like it would be unsatisfying in the hands of a less skilled writer, but works perfectly here. I think it’s time I gave The Light Ages another shot.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is hard to say anything about without giving away the plot, but it’s a fairly standard YA coming-of-age story done very nicely in an interesting setting of colonising the frontier which happens to be another planet, and with some thoughtful gender roles. The protagonist is a little too stupid and irritating at the start, but that does leave a lot of room for character growth, and while the constant interruption of the villains just when we’re about to learn an important plot point starts to grate, it still rushes along quickly and doesn’t seem 500 pages long. The biggest problem is that it is book one of three, and I would like to read book two right now. (It’s also the third book I read last week to feature a cute dog, which does make a nice change from all the cats.)

Yellow Blue Tibia is probably the strangest of the books I read last week, but in a good way. A story of SF writers in the post-war Soviet Union, who wrote a story about aliens which starts to come true, it is narrated by an ironic, alcoholic and elderly Russian writer and reads like one of the more farcical Coen brothers films, although this might be the effect of a recent viewing of Burn After Reading. There’s even a strange love story going on, in between the jokes about Scientology and testicles and the SF plot, and it’s refreshingly different from almost anything else I have read this year.

I liked The Night Sessions a lot when I was reading it, partly because I had been wanting to read some proper SF and this was one of the few books I had with space elevators and robots and AIs and all those skiffy things, but upon reflection I’m not sure it’s as good as I thought it was. The plot is a fairly linear crime story about preventing terrorism in 2037, only it’s a future where the result of the “Faith Wars” started by America is that religion is driven out of public life. It’s an intriguing premise that doesn’t quite go into enough depth, especially when the action is mostly set in future Scotland and I want to hear about all the rest of the world, and the characters aren’t that deep either. It’s good, but it feels a bit MacLeod by the numbers.

Further Notes from Newcon 4

The Guests

I attended both days of Newcon 4, plus I took more pictures than Niall, so some thoughts on the Sunday panels and the convention in general:

  • The Fishmarket in Northampton is a really nice venue – light, airy, right in the town centre, and there’s even a garden outside. Unfortunately, it’s a terrible venue for a panel discussion because it lacks certain features essential in a panel room, like walls and a ceiling. I went to less panels than I otherwise would have, because I wasn’t willing to put in the effort to listen to anything. I started watching the “Are Graphic Novels the future of Genre Magazines?” panel and gave up when I realised that no one had a clear idea of what it was going to be about, and I could go and sit in the sunshine.
  • I did make it to Iain Banks and Ken MacLeod in conversation with John Clute, which was only an hour and could have easily stretched to two. It wasn’t a typical Guest of Honour interview – as Clute himself admits, he’s not that good at interviewing unless you’re happy with a question which lasts for three minutes and confuses your interviewee, but it was a fascinating discussion. They started out with a discussion of the public persona of the author and those of Banks and MacLeod in particular, and moved to the reviews in New Worlds by Clute and M. John Harrison (Banks called it a move away from ‘cosy criticism’), and how they wanted to write the science fiction they would like. I hadn’t seen Banks speak before, and I liked how relaxed, laid-back, and most of all how funny he was.
  • The last panel was Just an SF-ing Minute, starring Banks, MacLeod, and Cornell, plus Ian Watson and someone else whose name I have forgotten but was pretty funny. An hour was possibly too long, but we did get such gems as Iain Banks channeling Ian Watson, and Paul Cornell’s whole minute on the sonic screwdriver.
  • Acoustic problems aside, it was a fine little convention which I will attend again, especially given it’s so close to home and attracts so many cool people.
  • And on a final note of fangirl squee, I met Alan Moore! Who was extremely nice when confronted with a tongue-tied person shaking his hand.
  • More pictures here.

Fan Funds Are Go

Two of the fan funds have recently announced the opening of races for 2009:

Damien Warman announces the opening of the Get-Up-and-over Fan Fund, for Australian fans wanting to visit the UK for Eastercon LX:

The next Get-Up-and-over Fan Fund is now open for nominations. If you know what this means, are an Australasian fan, and have a desire to attend the sixtieth British Eastercon, LX, then you need to contact me. You’ll need to find three nominators in Australasia, two nominators in Europe, and send me a 100 word platform and an AUD25 bond.

Nominations will close on or around 8 September, and ballots will be immediately distributed. Voting will run until shortly after Novacon.

And Bridget Bradshaw announces the westbound TAFF race for 2009:

Nominations are now open for the 2009 Europe-to-North America TAFF race. The winner will attend Anticipation, the Worldcon, being held on August 6-10, 2009, in Montréal, Canada.

If you don’t know what the fan funds are, try TAFF in Thirteen Paragraphs. Some of my favourite convention memories are meeting the fan fund winners and watching them put koalas in their beards – I look forward to meeting the Australian fan who wins GUFF, and voting for the fan we send over to Canada in 2009.

Anathem

The problem with trying to review Anathem is that to give the details of exactly why it is so great would give away half the fun of reading it. I’ve never read a Neal Stephenson book I didn’t like, but there are definitely areas where he is weak – endings, for example, also resisting the urge to cram all of his copious research into a book wherever he can, and while I like the parts where he spends four pages describing, eg, the removal of Randy Waterhouse’s wisdom teeth, I can see it’s not going to work for everyone. The good news is that Anathem is a distinct improvement over his past works in that it has a plot, an ending, and tells a self-contained story in only 900 pages, which compared to the Baroque Cycle seems positively restrained.

The first three hundred pages or so are an intense piece of world-building and scene-setting. This is not Earth, but it’s something like it, and Stephenson dumps you straight into this world a few steps removed from our own, with just enough resemblance to our language for you to almost understand. I spent the first fifty pages flicking back and forth to the extensive glossary, but when it starts to fall into place it’s worth the effort.

The “religious” communities of this world are not based on belief in a higher power, but belief in logic, and the mathematical laws of the universe. (Holding what we would term religious belief is optional, and as much a matter for debate as any other part of the world.) The monks and nuns (“fraas” and “suurs”, as they are named in this world) live in their monasteries and convents (or “maths” and “concents”), discussing and debating for years, and stepping out into the secular world once every decade, hundred years, or thousand years to mingle with the people outside. It’s a very convincing, detailed world, all told in the first person, and when the outside world starts to encroach upon the sheltered, unchanging world of the concents you feel for the bewildered monks having to deal with the changes it brings. The middle part of the book is a little slower, although it does introduce Fraa Jad, probably my favourite character because of his habit of dropping bombshells into the conversation as though nothing has happened, while being completely aware that’s what he’s doing.

The dialogues between the monks take up large parts of the book, and here’s where the brilliance lies – they allow Stephenson to digress, tell stories, explore physics and the universe and philosophy, but rather than being interesting sections which don’t advance the plot, they are an absolutely integral part of it, and every time I felt my interesting in the abstract nature of the dialogues flagging they tied them right back into the plot.

If there was an area that disappointed, it was that in a book filled with many good characters, the main love interest is underdeveloped compared to almost everyone else, and the romance comes right out of nowhere and never really convinces. It’s a necessary part of the development of our protagonist from innocent, cloistered youth to the more worldly-wise figure he is at the end, and with the first person perspective it’s probably intentional that he doesn’t spot her attraction to him until it’s right in front of him, but even afterwards she doesn’t get developed as much as many of the other characters. While I appreciate the proper ending to the book, it’s almost too sudden a finish, and after nine hundred pages of buildup I could have stood to have a few more pages of epilogue.

Anathem is probably not going to win over anyone who didn’t like Snow Crash or Cryptonomicon, but it is a return to proper SF, and a return to form after the slight disappointment that was the Baroque Cycle. It’s funny, filled with characters you feel for and root for, and a hymn to the wonders of a world where logic is the key belief, without being blind to the problems and failures that would ensue. There’s no doubt that Stephenson thinks it would be a better world than ours.

Who wins Nebulas?

In the Tor.com thread referenced in the previous Hugo post, Charlie Stross asks:

Leading off at a tangent: in light of the age profile of Hugo nominees/winners, has anyone done anything similar about SFWA and the Nebulas? What’s the average age of SFWA members, and what’s the average age of Hugo voters? Could the perceived loss of relevance of the Nebulas over the past decade possibly be a harbinger of the same trend — age-related conservativism — hitting the Hugos?

I don’t know of any available demographic data about the age of SFWA members or Hugo voters, but we do have the list of Nebula winners, courtesy once again of Nicholas Whyte. Here’s the graph for the Nebulas, done in the same way as for the Hugo graph in the previous post:

Doesn’t look much different, does it? The average age of a Nebula winner has risen from 37 in the 1960s, to 53 in the most recent decade, but the most telling data is the number of winners who were in their twenties and thirties per decade. In the 1980s, there were 27 winners in their twenties and thirties; in the past seven years, there have been four. And three of them were Kelly Link.

This age trend doesn’t hold for the Clarke or Tiptree award, both juried awards, but neither of them have been around for very long compared to the Hugos and Nebulas. Jeff suggests that we look at the Hugo nominees, to see if the nominees are younger and the older, familiar name always wins, and it might be interesting to look at the Locus award to see if the wider voting population makes a difference, but I think I am turning into crazy stats lady already and I will leave those for another day.

There’s more interesting discussion over at James Nicoll’s journal. If you want to do your own number-crunching, you can get the spreadsheet Niall and I used here.

So long, semiprozines

No, we haven’t had the actual Hugo Awards yet , but SF Awards Watch reports on some changes to the award categories which were passed at the WSFS Business Meeting yesterday – notably, the proposal that the semiprozine category be eliminated, and that a category of Best Graphic Story be added, which I believe will cover online publications as well as paper ones.

I am wholeheartedly in favour of the Best Graphic Story category, as competing with the biographies and critical works which get nominated in Best Related Book always seemed a strange fit, although books which are art collections and not stories will still go there. A category to recognise some of the excellent SF&F graphic novels seems overdue, and hopefully the Montreal shortlist will be filled with some of these. (Sadly, there will be no eligible volumes of Scott Pilgrim for me to nominate.)

Removing the semiprozine category I am less in favour of. It’s true that in recent years (UK Worldcons excepted), it has been dominated by Locus, but there are an increasing number of online venues for short fiction, critical articles, and reviews which fit into this category and don’t fit anywhere else, and under the current proposed change they won’t be eligible as fanzines either. I don’t know the proposers of this change, so I’m not sure what it was about the category they felt was terminally broken and I’ll be interested to hear what happened in the business meeting – it seems strange to me that you remove a category entirely, and then make everything eligible for the now-defunct category specifically ineligible for the one award they might now conceivably fit.

Predicting the Unpredictable: The 2008 Hugo Awards

It’s that Worldcon time of year again, and while I won’t be in Denver and I didn’t vote on them that isn’t going to stop me giving my opinions and speculating wildly on who might get a Hugo this Saturday night. Feel free to question my judgement and attempts to second-guess the voters in the comments; if you are equipped with Livejournal, you can vote in this Hugo poll as well.

Best Novel

  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  • Brasyl by Ian McDonald
  • Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer
  • The Last Colony by John Scalzi
  • Halting State by Charles Stross

I hear that Rollback may be one of the best things that Sawyer has ever done I’m not convinced it can actually be good. Based on Old Man’s War, Scalzi certainly has the potential to write great books, but I haven’t read The Last Colony. My vote would go to Brasyl, probably the finest SF book I read last year, and a worthy successor to River of Gods, with the very different but still often great Yiddish Policemen’s Union in second place.

Best Novella

  • “The Fountain of Age” by Nancy Kress
  • “Recovering Apollo 8” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • “Stars Seen Through Stone” by Lucius Shepard
  • “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis
  • “Memorare” by Gene Wolfe

I confess I haven’t read any of these due to lack of time, and it seems unlikely that I will manage to do so before Saturday evening. My wild stab in the dark for this category is Connie Willis, based on her previous Hugo wins.

Best Novelette

  • “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics” by Daniel Abraham
  • “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang
  • “Dark Integers” by Greg Egan
  • “Glory” by Greg Egan
  • “Finisterra” by David Moles

I like Greg Egan when he manages to write stories which combine hard science with emotional resonance (see “The Cutie” and ‘Reasons to be Cheeful” for examples), but both of these stories are too filled with science I don’t fully understand and characters I don’t really care about for me to like them. “The Cambist and Lord Iron” and “Finisterra” are both good stories, and only lose out because even a Ted Chiang story which is not his best work is still a very good story. So “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” gets my vote, and I think it’s going to win.

Best Short Story

  • “Last Contact” by Stephen Baxter
  • “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken MacLeod
  • “Distant Replay” by Mike Resnick
  • “A Small Room in Koboldtown” by Michael Swanwick

See previously; I would go for “Tideline”, but I think it’s going to go to Swanwick.

Best Related Book

  • The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Glyer
  • Breakfast in the Ruins: Science Fiction in the Last Millennium by Barry Malzberg
  • Emshwiller: Infinity x Two by Luis Ortiz, introduction by Carol Emshwiller, forward by Alex Eisenstein
  • Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Even if I had read all these books, I have no idea how I would make a comparison between a book of critical essays, a biography, a dictionary, and a piece of sequential art – if the proposal to creat a sequential art category passes the business meeting, that would take away part of the problem. The only one I have read is Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, which is absolutely gorgeous and wonderful and should be read by everyone, and I think it would be a worthy winner. My actual prediction is the Malzberg, based on it winning the Locus Award.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Enchanted
  • The Golden Compass
  • Heroes, Season 1
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Stardust

I’m torn between Heroes and Harry Potter on this one (Stardust was good but not that good, The Golden Compass was not very good). Order of the Phoenix is a bloated book made into a surprisingly good film, but I don’t know if I’m giving it extra points for being a much better film than I thought it was possible to make out of that book. Heroes season 1 I don’t mind being in long form, but I would have much less trouble voting for some of the specific really good episodes than trying to judge the season as a whole with all the ups and downsagainst a two hour film. In the end, I think Heroes might edge it for me. Predicting what will actually win is difficult, as I don’t know if the unexpected presence of Heroes in the category will affect the voting. I think Harry Potter might win it, and I won’t be too upset with that.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • Battlestar Galactica “Razor”
  • Doctor Who “Blink”
  • Doctor Who “Human Nature” / “The Family of Blood”
  • Star Trek New Voyages “World Enough and Time”
  • Torchwood “Captain Jack Harkness”

Two-horse race, I suspect for the voters as well as for me, between the two finest episodes new Doctor Who has produced. “Human Nature” / “The Family of Blood” wins for me because David Tennant does a stellar job, but in the end I think this might be a third win for Moffatt, unless the inexplicable Torchwood love is more widespread among Hugo voters than I think.

Best Semiprozine

  • Ansible, edited by David Langford
  • Helix, edited by William Sanders and Lawrence Watt-Evans
  • Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
  • Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, and Liza Groen Trombi
  • The New York Review of Science Fiction, edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kristine Dikeman, David Hartwell, and Kevin J. Maroney

Ansible remains one of the best and funniest newsletters I’ve seen in any field, but this is the Locus category and I see no reason why this will change this year. I would prefer it if Helix didn’t win, and I wouldn’t mind seeing some recognition for NYRSF.

Best Fanzine

  • Argentus, edited by Steven H Silver
  • Challenger, edited by Guy Lillian III
  • Drink Tank, edited by Chris Garcia
  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
  • Plokta, edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies, and Mike Scott

I like Plokta, particularly the Facebook-parody cover of their latest issue , but this category is defined for me by the lack of several excellent fanzines, like Banana Wings, Prolapse, and Chunga, which all deserve to be on the ballot. I predict a victory for File 770, because I have a completely unfounded feeling it might be a US ‘zine winning this year and File 770 has past form.

Best Fan Writer

  • Chris Garcia
  • David Langford
  • Cheryl Morgan
  • John Scalzi
  • Steven H Silver

Sure, Dave Langford has won this award many times, but I still think there are very few fan writers to match him. I predict this is the year that John Scalzi swoops it, and I won’t be too disappointed with that even though he wouldn’t be my first choice.

London Meeting: Christopher Priest

The guest at tomorrow’s London Meeting is Christopher Priest, interviewed by Paul Kincaid.

As usual, the venue is The Antelope, 22 Eaton Terrace, London, SW1W 8EZ. The closest tube station is Sloane Square, and a map is here.

As ever, the meeting is free and open to anyone who is interested; the interview will start at 7pm, with fans in the bar from around 6.