A little late to the write-up (about a month late, actually), but I had an excellent time at FantasyCon 2022, despite it being held at the Park Inn at Heathrow, which is a generally uninspiring venue. It was great to see people again, and I even got to participate in a last-minute-organised game of Dungeons & Disorderly on the Friday evening, run as always by David Moore of Rebellion, and joined by Stewart Hotston, Anna Smith-Spark, and Maya Evan. This one took the form of an urban fantasy-type game, in which (thanks to audience suggestions) I played an shapeshifting archaeology professor who was an authority figure and hot because he was an authority figure, and who had a magic item which was an energy potion made of blood (I decreed that the energy potion gave me an automatic reroll of David’s giant, custom D20, which turned one result from “anguished” into “Gary Gygax”, which meant I got to take over as DM. That is, indeed, how we roll).
Sadly (and predictably, given I haven’t been shouting about it), The Black Coast did not win the British Fantasy Award for best novel: that went to Shelley Parker-Chan’s She Who Became The Sun. I can have no complaints, since it was a great honour to even be shortlisted alongside such great competition, and SWBTS was one of the novels for which I cast my own vote anyway. Better luck next year, eh? (The Godbreaker will be eligible for nomination, if any of you want to make me very happy)
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in the Fox Cities Book Festival, which has been running for fifteen years in the Fox Cities area of Wisconsin, USA. It was a remote interview, and you can see it here until Sunday 23rd October. I’d like to thank the libraries concerned for inviting me to take part, and I hope the festival continues to great success in the years to come!
Finally for this update, my fourth (and last) novel of this year is Harrowmaster, a Warhammer 40,000 novel about the Alpha Legion, and it is available for pre-order as of this Saturday, the 22nd October, which I think means it will be coming out on 29th October. I first wrote about the Alpha Legion in Alpharius: Head of the Hydra, and the short story Council of Truth, but both of those were set in the days of the Great Crusade, pre-Horus Heresy. Harrowmaster is “up to date”, as it were, a look at the Alpha Legion some ten thousand years later. It is focused on Solomon Akurra and his warband The Serpent’s Teeth, first featured in my short story The Brightest And Best, and covers his attempts to rally his notoriously fractured and independent legion in the face of the new offensive of the Indomitus Crusade.
Did I say finally? Nearly finally. Because it so happens that the 29th October is also the day that I return to my irregular DJing career, when I join the Nightmare crew for Nightmare Presents… Nottingham Horror Story Freak Show. Nightmare’s been running for about twenty years now, and while it now does a few special events each year rather than a monthly night, Halloween Nightmare is a long-standing tradition in the Nottingham alternative club scene, and I’m delighted to be joining them!