Paul Rainey and Me on Video

Okay, so you remember me and indie comicker Paul Rainey were interviewed at Orbital Comics the other day? Well, you can now see the whole thing on their website. I think it's a pretty fun time, and Paul's a sweetheart.

Also, I've been interviewed about the future of Action Comics by Newsarama.

I've got my fourteen month old twin nieces in the house tonight, so I'll have to clear those piles of comics out of the spare room, or have them turned into goo. But tomorrow morning, I hope to see you at the Cardiff International Comics Expo. Cheerio!

Day of the Orange Lantern

Before I say anything else, I'd like to note the passing of Nick Courtney, the Brigadier from Doctor Who. I met, and drank, with him several times, and he was always the most charming man. His talent was, I think, a little underestimated. You don't become beloved by accident. He was very much the human point of view to a generation of Doctor Who fans, so good a foil that he was often the lead. An excellent man.

Out today, on a happier note, is Action Comics #898, the issue where Orange Lantern Larfleeze returns to battle Lex for the power he's seeking. By the end of it, a few things about the quest become a lot more clear. You can find the first five pages here.

Meanwhile, MTV Geek interviewed me about Knight and Squire and put me through a quiz in British slang, to find out if, I don't know, I was secretly from Idaho.

And I wouldn't normally link to positive reviews of my work, but Colin Smith is two thirds of the way through a serious examination of the Action Comics/Secret Six crossover. It's not that it's very flattering so much as that it's a rare pleasure to see comics being reviewed as seriously as this.

Okay, back to the grindstone I go, and I hope to see some of you at the Cardiff convention on Saturday. Cheerio!

This Weekend and the Weekender

This Saturday I'll first be popping my head round the door at Picocon at Imperial College, London, then, from 4pm, I'll be doing a signing, alongside indie comic creator Paul Rainey, at Orbital Comics, on Great Newport Street, followed by a panel discussion around 7pm. Should be fun.

You may have noticed that I've utterly failed to do any sort of report on the SFX Weekender. The truth is, I'm working too hard. I had a great time, staying in the Tor Books cottage, with China Mieville, Mark Charan Newton, Peter F. Hamilton, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gary Gibson, editor Julie Crisp and editorial assistant Chloe and Amy. I felt slightly out of my depth in such intellectual company, in front of folk I'm now proud to call my publishers, but to whom I haven't really proved myself yet. I drove out into the wastelands to see the nuclear power station and have tea on the edge of Romney Marsh. I appreciated a fantastic event which put a bigger, more diverse audience in front of SF and fantasy authors than any other UK convention can provide. I did a signing where a little girl looked up at Peter Hamilton's huge fort of huge novels and said 'I can read big letters and small letters'. I appreciated the power of Baby Davros. I had a pint with Moffat, and several more with several others. You know who you are. I partied so hard that it took me the best part of a week to get over it. I like the SFX organiser ethos, I like the dancing girls (but there should be an equal number of dancing boys), I like this new mainstream SF audience that's growing here, who don't think they're in a ghetto. With the complaints of last year listened to, I think something big's growing here. And the booksellers apparently did good business. The way of the future, I think, prose and media hand in hand, authors and publishing people having a great time networking and meeting the audience as actors take the stage. Hmm, that sounds a lot like San Diego.

This photo by Danie Ware, who organised our signing at the Forbidden Planet table:

That's Adrian, Peter, Gary and me. If I see you on Saturday, do say hello. Cheerio!

Happy Valentine's Day from Robot Lois Lane

I was asked to write a short piece about a romantic night for Lex Luthor and Robot Lois Lane, and the result is this. Hope you're having an excellent Valentine's Day too. Cheerio!

The Ghost of Conventions Future

I'm not keen on the past. I love the future. That's one of the reasons I signed up for this genre. SF is not a nostalgia brand. Or it shouldn't be. But that's a rant for another time. Here, I mention it only in so far as it informs what I'm about to propose.

Recently, conventions have started featuring a 'Ghost of Honour', a figure who might have attended said event, but for their passing away. Various attractions at the convention are centered on that figure. It's a good idea, and I'm not here to criticise it. It's a little too specific to contribute to the nostalgia malaise of SF, it's about scholarship, and it's especially worthwhile when it honours the recently departed, like Charles N. Brown, the former Locus chief who, in life, was planning to be at the Reno Worldcon.

But alongside that, how about we have something similar that looks to the future?

I propose a Future Ghost of Honour. (Or Foetus of Honour.) This is an as yet unknown individual, listed as a Guest of Honour at, for example, the 2012 Worldcon in Chicago. This Guest would be someone who is born in 2012, who, in the decades after, becomes a significant SF/fantasy author. At the 2062 Worldcon, it will be decided who the 2012 Worldcon Future Ghost was. It may be obvious, or there may have to be some sort of judging event.

'2062 Worldcon?!' you say. 'That's ridiculous! You're assuming that SF fandom will continue, that anyone will even be alive by -!'

I'm hoping for exactly that, yes, and this concept is a sign of that hope. It's designed to help turn our genre towards the future. This hope isn't ridiculous. Humanity will continue, trivial everyday human pursuits will continue, and in a mere fifty years, a lot of today's young authors will still be around to celebrate their relatively youthful Future Ghost compatriot. I wouldn't bet against Robert Silverberg making the presentation. And if you think SF fandom is greying terribly now, that you wonder if the subculture will still be around in ten years, never mind fifty, well then, this concept is yet another demand for something to be done about that.

It's a small proposal. It wouldn't cost a thing. And it's a message to the future: we've lost sight of you a little at the moment, but we know you're still there.

Thanks for listening. Cheerio!


Knight and Squire Day

Just popping up to say that Knight and Squire #5 is out today. It's the start of our finale, with a surprising villain guest star, some terrifying happenings, and the world of British superheroes being rocked. And by the way, there'll be something Robot Lois Lane related in all the DC comics out next week, as a special for Valentine's Day. Cheerio!

Eagle Awards Nomination Time

I had a great time at the SFX Weekender, and will blog about it at more length later in the week. For now, do me a favour and pop along to The Eagle Awards 2011 where you'll find drop down menus mentioning me, artists like Pete Woods and Jimmy Broxton, editors like Matt Idelson and Janelle Siegel and titles like Action Comics and Knight and Squire. Asking for public support has been frowned on in previous years, but this time round we've all been positively encouraged to get the vote out. So please consider my work, but if you don't want to nominate it, then go for something you do like. Cheerio!

My SFX Weekender Schedule

I'll be there from tomorrow, mainly because many chums asked if I was down for a pint on the Thursday. The Tor.cottage doesn't open until the Friday, so I'll be in an SFX chalet on that first night. Apart from the odd beer, here's what I'll be doing:

Friday, 1pm: How To Get Into Comics with Tony Lee, Dan Boultwood and Dez Skinn. So that'll be the rest of us listening to Dez.

Friday, 4pm: When Fans Go Bad, about audience interaction, with James Moran, Toby Whithouse and Mark Charan Newton. All of whom tend to roll about in piles of adoring fans, so I think that'll just be the four of us saying how lovely everyone is. Apart from... you know... that one.

Friday, 6pm: People have, it seems, voted for 'Human Nature' and 'The Family of Blood' to be shown in the screening zone, so, if they let me, I'll pop along to introduce them. And I'm sure I'll be on some team or other in the Blastermind quiz in the bar afterwards.

Saturday, 11am: Is Doctor Who Still For Children? With Toby, James and Ben Aaronovitch. Let's hope we can stretch that one beyond one word.

And at 1.15pm I'll be signing in the Forbidden Planet area, with fellow Tor authors (and cottage mates) Gary Gibson, Peter F. Hamilton, China Mieville, Mark Charan Newton and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

That apart, I'll be spending most of my time in the literature area, which happens to neatly overlap with the bar, listening in to the panels. I'd like to be on some of those panels, but I think I'm going to have to at least have a new book out before I'm mainly thought of that way. Do say hello. One of the best things about the Weekender last year was that a new audience discovered how friendly authors can be. That interaction, in a bar that the prose types just about colonised, is something I hope continues this time round. Until then, Cheerio!