Worldcon 75

Everyone in Helsinki seemed to know the World Science Fiction convention was happening in their city. Even the airline knew they had a plane full of SF geeks, and they made a point of welcoming us. The convention itself got off to a shaky start with long queues and insufficient capacity in some of the rooms, but this was mostly sorted out by the second day.

I particularly enjoyed a panel on the subject of writing your first novel. I’m a bit past that now but it was interesting more generally about writing anything. Mysteriously, each panel had to wrap up after 45 minutes, despite having one-hour slots, often leaving me wanting more.

Food at the convention consisted mainly of burger meals. I experimented with a toasted sandwich at one point, which did not go well. The dealers room was mostly filled with books in Finnish, and people queuing up to ask George ‘Really Really’ Martin to sign something.

I got to hang out with Eeson & Becks all week and chat to them about Twin Peaks for their “Time for Cherry Pie and Coffee” podcast. Also managed at least brief chats with many writing friends who were attending, but in the bustle of a busy convention I never crossed paths with others.

Loved Helsinki itself. The food was excellent. The beer was expensive, but I expected this. It’s Scandinavia after all. Took a trip out to the island of Suomenlinna on the last full day. The island has its own brewery, as all islands should. Eventually I was forced to head home. The very efficient trains running regularly between Helsinki, the convention, and the airport, could not be faulted. Back in the UK, the service from Gatwick to Brighton was a different story.

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cbutlerwrites

My social media page names and handles on twitter, facebook, and here on wordpress have all updated to the name “cbutlerwrites”.

This should not affect anyone who has liked or followed me on twitter or facebook, unless for some reason you’ve bookmarked the urls of my pages.

The old wordpress site will stay around for a while, but will not be updated with new blog posts. If you were following the old blog you’ll need to follow here instead.

My domain http://www.chris-butler.co.uk has been redirected to point here.

First paragraph

This morning I’ve been working on the first paragraph of a story. The draft I’d written earlier did a bit of scene setting but wasn’t as polished as a first paragraph needs to be, and certainly didn’t grab the reader as a first paragraph needs to do.

At this moment it is much improved, but it’s something I will return to, probably many times between now and the day the story is published.

Time for Cakes and Ale

Last weekend I was a guest on the Time for Cakes and Ale podcast, episode 15, chatting about short fiction in the science fiction and fantasy genre. We also talked about my own writing, and the shortlisted stories for the BSFA Award. The episode is online now. Much thanks to Eeson and Becks for inviting me on. 😀