Skulk at @Dublin2019 WorldCon

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Floof Will Out

Dublin 2019 World Con will be full of floof! It even includes a performance by the Fox Spirit Skulk Players!

CON-EIRE

‘ConEIRE’  50 minutes FRIDAY 5:00 PM  –  5:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall 2A
Play

A love letter to the people who do the thankless work behind the scenes at SFF cons everywhere!

It’s three days before the start of ConEIRE, the best Irish-themed science fiction and fantasy con in the tri-state area, when a phone call sets the entire Convention Committee into panic mode. Is Big Name Writer going to pull out at the last minute? What does Very Famous Artist have to do with that decision? And what do the fairies have to say about all this? Follow the hilarious mishaps as the committee members work desperately to salvage months of planning and hard work, all of which are about to be undone by a well-known prima donna.

But there are skulk members appearing throughout the con:
THURSDAY
Ruins, curses, and family secrets: the Gothic  50 minutes 11:00 AM  –  11:50 AM  |  CCD , Wicklow Room-3
Panel
Where does the Gothic fit into the overall horror tradition? What elements of the Gothic remain so compelling today, and why? Panellists discuss the genre from its roots to Southern Gothic and other modern interpretations.
Creating podcasts: ideas, people, and themes  50 minutes THURSDAY 4:00 PM  –  4:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall-1
Panel
FRIDAY
Fleshy fears: horror and the body  50 minutes FRIDAY 11:00 AM  –  11:50 AM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall 2A
Panel
From body horror to body snatchers to possession and beyond, how has horror explored, exploited, and pushed the limits of bodily integrity? What is the subtext of different approaches to body horror, and what practitioners are exploring these assaults on the flesh in the most interesting ways?
Escape Artists podcast: live recording  50 minutes FRIDAY 1:00 PM  –  1:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall 2B
Podcast
Come and learn more about free weekly podcast fiction! Join the Escape Artists for an audio fiction show presented by all four EA podcasts: Escape PodPseudoPodPodCastle, and Cast of Wonders. There’ll be a Q&A session, swag giveaways, all the latest news, and live readings.
Why is it always raining in Gotham? Noir themes in SF  50 minutes FRIDAY 9:00 PM  –  9:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall 2B
Panel
Noir tropes are hugely popular in science fictional settings, such as China Miéville’s The City and the City, or William Gibson’s Neuromancer. In what ways are noir tropes adapted or subverted within the genre? Is there a difference in the ways SF books, comics, and movies use elements of noir? The panel will discuss the uses of noir across SF genres and formats.
SATURDAY
Misconceptions in medieval history  50 minutes SATURDAY 10:00 AM  –  10:50 AM  |  CCD , Wicklow Room-4
Panel
The medieval period is a rich source of inspiration for writers of speculative fiction, but medieval life has been so romanticised in popular culture that it has become hard to separate the chaff of fiction from the wheat of historical fact. Our panel of medievalists will saddle up their warhorses and ride to rescue the damsel of medieval history!
Revolutions in an era of advanced technology  50 minutes SATURDAY 10:00 AM  –  10:50 AM  |  CCD , Wicklow Room-3
Panel
How do revolutions (e.g. overthrowing government) occur in an era of advanced technologies? Are orderly regime changes jeopardised with growing asymmetries in weaponry, surveillance, and political power? Are current political processes up to the challenge?
‘Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know’  SATURDAY 11:30 AM to 12:20 PM (50 minutes) Odeon 6 (Academic) Part of: Crusaders and Fairy Kings
Paper
Susanna Clarke’s sprawling novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell takes in the whole of the 19th century attempt to restore magic to respectability in England. Repeatedly the readers are warned that fairy magic is ‘not respectable’ – most often by Gilbert Norrell, who hides his shame at stooping to its employment on at least one occasion. Why is fairy magic not ‘respectable’? I will argue that it is because it is mostly Celtic, rather than the more dour, respectable, and rather puritanical English magic that Norrell seeks to revive and rule over. In contrast, John Uskglass was trained in fairy magic and his troop, the Raven King’s army, is specifically identified as the Daoine Sidhe. In pursuing the Raven King’s example, Jonathan Strange remains open to this Celtic influence and soon surpasses his teacher in skill and daring, but both Englishmen are unprepared for the full fury of the fairy fight.
Horror: where are we going?  50 minutes SATURDAY 5:00 PM  –  5:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Room-3
Panel
Whose book is it anyway?  50 minutes SATURDAY 5:30 PM  –  6:20 PM  |  Point Square , Alhambra
Panel
Who decides which YA books get bought? Publishers? Editors? Booksellers? Parents? Or maybe even YA readers? Join us for a thoughtful discussion on marketing and publishing in YA as we look at how YA novels get chosen. Moreover, what are publishers and readers looking for in a book?
SUNDAY
Portrayals of mental health in genre  SUNDAY 50 minutes 12:00 PM  –  12:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall 2A
Panel

Content warning: may include discussions of suicide and self-harm, mental illness and ableism, eating disorders.

Mental health used well can drive a story, create believable motives for characters and even greater awareness amongst the audience. However, these issues are not always treated sensitively or realistically. This panel will explore examples of mental health issues in genre fiction and consider their implications and accuracy.

‘Ditch Diggers’ podcast: live recording  50 minutes SUNDAY 2:00 PM  –  2:50 PM  |  CCD , Wicklow Hall 2B
Podcast
MONDAY
Irish horror and the supernatural  50 minutes 11:00 AM  –  11:50 AM  |  CCD , ECOCEM Room
Panel
Critic Peter Tremayne observed that: ‘Practically every Irish writer has … explored the genre for the supernatural part of Irish culture.’ Ireland has always held its own in fantastical literature, from Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker to Dorothy Macardle and Elizabeth Bowen. But is there a discernible tradition threaded through their fictions? And what, if anything, makes their writing Irish?
Kaffeeklatsch: Marguerite Kenner 50 minutes MONDAY 12:00 PM  –  12:50 PM  |  CCD , Level 3 Foyer
Kaffeeklatsch
Kaffeeklatsch: Alasdair Stuart  50 minutes MONDAY 1:00 PM  –  1:50 PM  |  CCD , Level 3 Foyer
Kaffeeklatsch
[If we missed something tweet Kate with the details]
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A weekend of Words

Well the Foxes had a busy weekend.

Saturday we got up bright and early and headed to Nottingham in the light rain and chilly air for Other Worlds. A one day event run by the ever excellent Alex Davis and Nottingham Writers Studio. I pretty much spent the day downstairs, being on and watching panels. 

Among the guests were Gav Thorpe, J.R. Park, Alison Moore, Justina Robson, Stephen Aryan and Charlotte Bond. A stellar line up I was delighted to be part of. I moderated a discussion on short stories. As a huge fan of the short it was lovely to get writers takes on their role in the industry. I also sat on the Tropes panel which had some lively discussion around the role of tropes, for better and for worse. The other panels of the day were superb, with intelligent and varied contributions from writers who clearly really engaged with the subjects. Gav realised last minute that he was moderating but ran the panel brilliantly. I would later come to regret teasing him.

I wore fox ears. Of course.

Mr Fox and I then pootled off to get the train to Sheffield. After a very relaxed night at a premier inn which included pizza in bed and sleep, we were just about refreshed and ready for the final day of Sci Fi in the City. The book programme is run by Sam Stone and David Howe and they always put together an excellent and busy selection of treats for the event. 

I started with a one on one interview with Sam, which was up against cosplay so we had a small audience allowing for a very relaxed conversation with some input from others. I might have been a bit over excited about the colouring story book Zena the Zombie and tried to persuade Sam custom crayons were the way to go. 

After a break, during which pop up puppets did their hilarious version of Jaws (do see them if you get the chance), I moderated a panel on self publishing which looked pretty openly at the pros and cons, and why you might choose to self pub and the practicalities. Followed this up with what was originally posted as a small press discussion but ended up being ‘Aunty Fox and Ian Whates have a damned good catch up and chat about the stuff that goes on’. We covered a lot of the joys and hard truths of small press and while it felt very indulgent to spend a whole hour talking to the lovely Ian in this way the audience seemed happy to just occasionally provide a topic. A rare opportunity for those who attended to hear how it really is. 

Finally the afternoon wrapped for us with a writing SF & Fantasy Panel. I had to eat my words from teasing Mr Thorpe because I realised 5 mins before my 3 hour stint started that I was down to moderate this. I obviously stole some of the questions from the tropes panel, and honestly with the guests I had very little moderating was needed, it was more like throw something out and let them run with it. An absolute joy. I met some utterly delightful people, caught up with old friends including several skulk members and found some even bigger fluffier ears. We came home with lots more books and a whole load of others on my list to try. A fantastic weekend. My guests over the course over the day included Sam, Ian, Bryony Pearce and Rob Harkess among others.

I now have a couple of weeks for my voice to recover before Fantasycon at Chester, where I am pleased to say I am just a punter this year. If you are there I will be the one in giant fluffy ears. 

Just one final shout out for the weekender, to these fabulous cosplayers who went back for the cat. 

 

 

 

Living on the EDGE.LIT

Today is the day. Early start, loads of boxes, a day at the QUAD in Derby and for me a day behind a table in the dealers room getting to see some of the fabulous people who support our work in a myriad of ways, buying stuff not being the least of it.

It’s meant to be another warm weekend too. Todd and Reynard recommend books to help with the heat. 

At 4pm we will have the signing of Children of Artifice with the fabulous Danie Ware! There will be biscuits and books and badges, all good stuff. 

I am also pleased to announce that you kindle people should now be able to Skytown, Children of Artifice and Into the Blight to your collection. And you definitely should, they are wonderful.

If it is your first Edge.Lit have a blast, it is a lovely friendly convention, if you aren’t able to make it, maybe we will see you next year, in the mean time all our titles are available on Amazon and check out the guest list for some great writers to read. 

 

 

 

Edge.Lit is almost upon us

Normally at this time I do the ‘what panels am I on’ post for Edge.lit, but somehow this year I am not on any! I am free to do whatever I want, so obviously I will be behind a table all day in the dealers area and then almost certainly at Ask for dinner. 

We will have many many books by all sorts of fabulous people, some of whom are also at the event.

Particularly of note is Danie Ware who is having a low key launch of Children of Artifice at our table in the dealers room at 4pm. Danie will be happy to sign books or anything else you want, within reason, and there are fabulous Artifice cookies to devour from 4pm. 

I will be bringing some of our travel mugs, tote bags and notebooks to sell too, so if you are looking for gifts for bookish loved ones, or yourself, Fox Spirit can provide. Also look out for the Foxy goodies in your attendee goodie bags.

Events Spring 2018

I interrupt this month of Horror to bring updates. 

Events:
24th February at Forbidden Planet there is a small press expo. Fox Spirit will be taking part to showcase our two titles ‘And the Fox Crows’ by V.C. Linde and Dark Travellings by Ian Whates. We will also be formally launching ‘Multiverse’ by Jan Siegel. Jan and Ian will be joining us to chat and sign books.  Ian is also of course head of exemplary small press Newcon and will be there in that role as well. An afternoon of Small Press Big Stories, please join us if you can.

10th March is States of Independence at De Montfort University Leicester, and we will have a table at the event with books and merchandise and friendly banter. States of Indie is focused on Indie publishing and has a great showing of poetry. It’s put together each year by the team at Five Leaves Books. 

Todd & Reynard enjoying a book together

Sledge.Lit

It’s only just over a week away now, so we wanted to remind you we will be having a launch at this years Sledge.Lit.

The book officially being brought out in style is Tracy Fahey’s ‘The Girl in the Fort’, but we will also be bringing copies of some of this years other new titles, fantasy novels Hobgoblin’s Herald and Into the Blight along with our Halloween release Got Ghosts, will all be making their event debut in Derby. 

We are pleased to say that in addition to the traditional wine and nibbles there will also be Fox cookies made by the fabulous Motherfudger. 

Please come along and say hi, even if you don’t buy. 

Quad, Derby on the afternoon of 25th November. 

 

Everybody’s Reading

On Thursday 6th October at 5:30pm in Leicester at Bru Gelato, Fox Spirit are doing a special edition of Fox Bites, hosted by the incomparable Ishi Khan-Jackson and with refreshments provided (yes that includes cake) free of charge.4

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It’s all part of Leicester’s Everybody’s Reading Festival so please come along and support, or let me know if you would like to read (5 minute slots, any genre).

It’s going to be awesome!

Lined up to read so far Sarah Davies, Marianne Whiting, Mayapee Chowdhury, Penny Jones, Let me know if you would like to read, otherwise just come along and enjoy the refreshments.

Party Time, Excellent!

It’s almost time!

Volume 9 of the Fox Pocket series ‘Evil Genius Guide’ edited by Daz Pulsford, is live, Reflections will be hot on its heels. We are close to the whole series of ten small and perfectly formed volumes of flash and short fiction being available.

pockets

To celebrate we are having a bit of a do at the Secular Hall on Humberstone Gate in Leicester.

We’ve got a panel to talk about writing and publishing and then to take audience questions, followed by local comedian Ishi Khan Jackson who will be doing part of her popular ‘I’mMigrant’ comedy set, then we will be opening the floor for people to do five minute readings. All for £5 including some refreshments.

Get your tickets here so we know how much wine to buy!

5:20-8:30 Thursday 25th August in Leicester

Release Day: Piercing the Vale

Today is the official release day for Fox Pocket no. 8 Piercing the Vale.

Piercing the Vale is a collection of stories crossing the veil of death and venturing into the worlds of the fae.

FS8 Piecing The Vale ebook 72ppi

Contents: Alasdair Stuart – Connected, Alec McQuay – All and Nothing, Jonathan Ward  – A Tale of Days Long Gone, Paul Starkey – Just Another Breakfast, Jennifer Williams – The Ghost Trap, Darren Goldsmith – Soul Punch, Ben Stewart – A Curious Tale of Life and Death, Tony Lane – Tentacles in Town, Rahne Sinclair – The Captain, Asher Wismer – Solid Glass, Chloe Yates – Intimacy, Colin Sinclair – Claudia, Tracy Fahey – The Cillini, Jenny Barber – Dead Women’s Tales, Craig Leyenaar – all Fun and Games, Jo Johnson Smith – For My Next Trick, Carol Borden – The Lost City of Osiris, Steven Poore – Take me with you

pockets

We are close to the end of the series now, with The Evil Genius Guide and Reflections coming out this summer, which will bring us to a total of 158 flash and short fiction stories and poems, over ten pocket sized volumes.

You can view who is in what title and some of their biographies here.

In order to celebrate we are working with DMU Bookshop on the Newarke in Leicester to bring you a Pocket Party on Thursday 25th August.

More information to follow but we can reveal there will be a special edition of the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club hosted by Den Patrick and Jen Williams, who both appear in the Fox Pocket series.

Diary Dates

Reminders about some Fox Spirit Appearances coming up.

This Thursday 11th Feb we are getting together with DMU Bookshop in Leicester for a Fox Bites event with local author readings.

unromantic tales poster

confirmed readers are: Penny Jones, Leah Osbourne, Marianne Whiting, Margaret Penfold, Mayapee Chowdhury, Daniel Ribot and Cathi Rae

On the 20th February Aunty Fox is a bit further north at the Sheffield Sci Fi Social Club for an evening of talking about books! Hurrah!

On the 3rd March we have our big exciting launch at Forbidden Planet London and we hope to see lots of you there to meet some of the people behind African Monsters and eat cookies. Margret will give a very brief introduction to the concept behind the series and then it’s just chat, enjoy, nibble cookies and get lovely books signed.

african

Please join us wherever you can!