Saturday, October 16, 2004

Cons and Books and Paris and stuff

Apologies for the long time between updates ... there's been a lot going on and so finding/making time to pen some words here has sort of taken a back seat. So what's been happening. FANTASYCON I attended the annual FantasyCon event as usual in September ... a good line-up with Muriel Gray and Robert Holdstock as GOHs, plus a load of other editors and writers and artists crammed into a soulless hotel in Walsall (literally just off the M6). The event was good - well attended - and the folks seemed to have a good time. Unfortunately the hotel couldn't seem to organise anything and Saturday night food was a disaster (queuing to book in, no bookable tables, no way of ensuring that everyone had their food at the same time ... sort of like trying to organise a sit-down meal in a motorway cafe!). We had a Telos launch there but a panel overran and so no-one came, and the book room was dead. We did manage to get a little awareness of our titles there, but it really wasn't what I had hoped for. Never mind. At least some people left with copies of some books. PARIS Straight after FantasyCon was my 20th wedding anniversary, and as a surprise I booked up for a weekend in Paris for me and the wife. It was a really nice break - we had a meal in London friday evening, and then off on the Eurostar to Paris and then to the hotel ... except that the map on the internet site for the hotel was wrong and we ended up in Bastille with no map and no way of finding where the hotel really was. All praise to the Parisian taxis, and at 11pm we ended up getting a taxi to the hotel - which was on the other side of the city up by Opera and the Moulin Rouge! However once ensconced in the hotel, things were fine. We walked all over the place, and Metroed when not walking. I don't know why, in hindsight, but outside Notre Dame, I was amazed to spot some people I knew!!! John and Phil along with some friends. We said hi, and they assumed we were in Paris for the same reason they were - it was the 25th anniversary of the transmission of the DOCTOR WHO story CITY OF DEATH, which was of course filmed in Paris! But no, we had to disappoint them ... Talk about small world though. I usually see John at the annual Gallifrey convention, and I hadn't seen Phil for an age. Rosemary and I went up Notre Dame this time and the views were very nice indeed. Several good meals and lots of touristy stuff, and we were on the train back on Sunday. Totally worn out but having had a good time. BOOKS Of course in the middle of all this running about to Walsall and Paris, piles of books arrived: we got the hardcovers of ALICE, and then the final shipment of paperbacks of four other titles we had been waiting on and which had been delayed in port strikes in India for a month or so ... so this week we've been knee deep in books and bubble wrap getting them all packed and despatched to everyone that wanted copies ... publishing isn't too glamourous at times, I can tell you. And that's pretty much what's been keeping me from the keyboard for the last few weeks, that and finishing off the outline for another DOCTOR WHO related drama for Reeltime, and the editing and finalising Telos' catalogue for next year, and the sorting of books for Jan and Feb next year ... and ... so on and so on. Hopefully I'll be back before long with some views and comments on some of the new WHO merchandise that I've been picking up as and when I see it.