What better place to launch a new science fiction novel than a convention devoted to scifi and fantasy? Well, today (19th November) I’m here at Fantasticon 2016, in Hull, signing copies of my latest book, Blood Red Dust.
Set on Mars before the end of this century, it follows the lives of a set of pioneer settlers as they come to terms with living on a strange planet without help from Earth. Things become tense as they learn that a group of religious fanatics are on their way to destroy the fledgling base and everybody in it!
With me here are a number of other writers of both genres and a whole wonderful crowd of enthusiastic and generous readers. A writer’s dream!
The event’s organised by Dan and Gabi Grubb, my publishers, who run Fantastic Books Publishing. Tireless, creative, wonderfully fair in their dealings with authors, warm, funny, clever and endlessly enthusiastic, they’ve spent months putting this event together. Here in the Guildhall in Hull (2017 City of Culture), we’re all gathered to celebrate science fiction, fantasy and gaming.
People in weird costumes wander the many rooms, parading their Cosplay skills, a Dr Who Dalek roams among the crowds, a Dr Who Tardis sits awaiting the curious who dare enter. Board games, electronic games, 3D Virtual Reality displays, and anything you can imagine that’s connected to the genres is gathered here for the entertainment of attendees.
In a separate room, on Sunday, some of the authors, including me, will move with our books to the associated Litfest. There, we’ll give talks, readings, answer readers’ questions and take part in discussions relating to our books and the genres. Joining us on the platform will be JRR Tolkien’s great grandson, Royd Tolkien, to give a flavour his ancestor’s work.
But for me, most importantly, this is the weekend of the launch of Blood Red Dust. Lots of you have followed my journey, here on the blog, as I prepared and wrote this novel. I’m hoping some of you might even be here to meet me, maybe buy a copy, and get it signed. I’d love to see you. It’s not too late to visit; tickets can be had at the door to the Guildhall on Alfred Gelder Street.
For those unable to make it here, the book is available from the publisher direct by clicking this link, or from your local Amazon store by using this universal link. You can read it in digital or print versions, whichever takes your fancy.
If you do, and have time, please whip up a few words of honest review and post your views to whichever sites you generally use. Reviews get readers talking about books and, after all my hard work, I’d love to attract as many readers as possible. You’ll find a couple here, and here, if you’d like some readers’ thoughts. Thank you.